My middle daughter, Emalyn, turned 16 in March. Yes...sixteen. *sigh*
For the 4th year in a row she made her infamous request for a "fruit cake" as her birthday dessert.
With this being the 4th time I would be creating a fresh fruit masterpiece for her on her birthday my wheels started to spin abouthow I could change things up a tiny bit just to make it a little different - and a little more special since this was her Sweet Sixteen.
When I approach making a fruit cake I sort of let the fruit take on a life of it's own and although I sort of have a game plan in mind I'm always open to change and really count on the inspiration to kick in as I wash and prep all of the fruit.
Good thing, because this year's watermelon proved to be on the "unsweet" side and was a very pale pink vs. the nice deep "sweet" pink we are used to. Although I was disappointed at first, this actually led me to try something completely new: fresh fruit cakelets! I decided on a small personalized birthday cake just for Ema and served the mini cakelets to our party guests to help shift the focus from the subpar watermelon to the other fruit that actually tasted nice and sweet.
I love the way everything turned out and I think these little cakelets would be fabulous for any dessert table, Spring celebration or even for a Mother's Day brunch. They are super easy to make - especially if you purchase a pre-cored pineapple.
FRESH FRUIT BIRTHDAY CAKE
Whipped Cream - I used a small amount on the top of this year's cake but I don't normally include it.
Although it's a good idea to have some anyway for your party guests who are looking for a little to add to their slice of fruit cake!
See this fresh fruit cake from Ema's 15th birthday for instructions on how to create and assemble.
FRESH FRUIT CAKELETS (10-12 cakelets)
2 cored fresh pineapple
strawberries or raspberries - I used a combination of both.
whipped cream - optional
(all fruit should be washed and dried, if necessary)
1. Rinse and blot dry blueberries, strawberries and fresh mint leaves.
2. Cut 8 thick slices of pineapple for the base of your cakelets.
3. Using a circle cookie cutter, create watermelon rounds from a nice thick slice of watermelon.
TIP: Make sure the circle cookie cutter you choose to use is a smaller diameter than the pineapple slices so that the watermelon rounds end up being smaller and leave you with a nice edge when stacked on top of the pineapple.
4. Stack one watermelon round on top of one pineapple slice.
5. Add blueberries around the watermelon round using wooden toothpicks.
6. Top with a few mint leaves.
7. Add strawberry slices.
8. Garnish with whipped cream. optional
The toothpicks not only help hold the blueberries on they also keep the watermelon in place and help keep the entire cakelet assembled when transporting plates
Not only was this her Sweet Sixteen but it was also her "golden birthday" so these gold sparklers were a must for the cake topper!
A FEW NEW THINGS I TRIED ON THIS YEAR'S FRESH FRUIT CAKE
1. Smaller cake + individual cakelets - but you already knew that
2. Used mint leaves as a pretty garnish
3. Topped the cake with a small amount of whipped cream and then added the final strawberries and mint.
And here is the Sweet Sixteen birthday girl with her fresh fruit birthday cake
If you are curious about the fresh fruit cakes from the past...here are all of the links:
Fresh Fruit Cake #3 - the prettiest cake yet, in my opinion - also the most expensive.
Fresh Fruit Cake #2 - the one with the all of the "How-To" photos
Fresh Fruit Cake #1 - no laughing...this was my first attempt.
KEEPiNG iT REAL
I didn't even know what a golden birthday was until a friend of mine mentioned it was her daughter's golden birthday last year. I had to look it up and if you haven't heard of it either, it's a REAL thing because I've seen "Golden Birthday" birthday cards!! Of course, I have missed mine - it would've been when I was three. BUT...I lucked out and haven't missed any of my girls golden birthdays - and Ema's was the first!!