Friday, April 6, 2018

Victorian Watermelon Cake: Everything Old is New Again by Kristin Holt

by Kristin Holt, USA Today Bestselling Author
We've all seen Pinterest pages packed with Watermelon-themed cake, cake-pops, pies,and parties. Can you believe this "theme" has been around at least 143 years?

Watermelon Flavored Cake (with recipe!): Pinterest

It’s true! See these Watermelon Cake recipes published as early as 1875. Here are a few, in chronological order.

Watermelon Cake Recipe published in The Herald and Mail of Columbus, Tennessee on July 23, 1875.
Watermelon Cake Recipe published in The Eaton Democrat of Eaton, Ohio on July 19, 1877.
Watermelon Cake Recipe published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch of St. Louis, Missouri on September 26, 1877.
Watermelon Cake Recipe published in The Coffeyville Weekly Jounal of Coffeyville, Kansas on February 8, 1879.
Watermelon Cake recipe, from Kentucky Receipt Book by Mary Harris Frazer, 1903.
Watermelon Cake, from 365 Cakes and Cookies, published 1904.

Interesting ingredients in these vintage confections. Did you notice? Things like pink sugar, red sugar, currants, cochineal, alum, rose water, etc.

Let’s take a look at some of the creative, delicious “watermelon” treats bakers come up with today.

Watermelon-styled Krispie Treats: Pinterest Link
Watermelon-styled Cookies: Pinterest Link
Watermelon-styled frosted cake: Pinterest Link
Watermelon-styled cake: Pinterest Link
Watermelon-styled dessert: Pinterest Link
Watermelon-styled dessert: Pinterest Link
Watermelon-styled cupcakes: Pinterest

Yummy! I believe our great-great-great grandmothers were on to something when they designed and baked watermelon-themed cakes in the 1870s. I can’t wait ‘til summer for fresh, flavorful watermelon. I think I’ll go bake a cake that reminds me of summer.
Image copyright ©; used in accordance with Premium Membership

 Interested in more 19th century cake baking? Want to know if “Receipt” or “Recipe” is correct? Curious about baking pans used in the 19th century? Come check out a recent series of blog posts I wrote about the subject.

Kristin Holt, USA Today Bestselling Author, writes Sweet Victorian Romance set in the American West. She writes frequently about Old West history and contributes monthly to Sweet Americana Sweethearts.

Copyright © 2018 Kristin Holt LC


  1. SUmmer, watermelon, just seeing the photos made my mouth water. Of course, the different ways of creating the cakes was fun, although I'm not much on cakes, etc. Still what fun. Thanks Doris

    1. Thanks, Doris! You're always such a faithful supporter. =) The watermelon images made me very anxious for summer (and fresh melon!), too. =)