Ann Reardon

Watermelon Cheesecake Dessert

watermelon cheesecake dessert ann reardon


Slicing open a lovely fresh watermelon is very much a family event in our home. Everyone gathers around, plates at the ready as we chop huge, delicious slices for everyone – the kids’ laughter flowing almost as quickly as the sweet watermelon juice.

This gorgeous Watermelon Cheesecake Dessert is out just in time for International Watermelon Day on August 3. It’s the perfect way to incorporate fresh watermelon juice in a very eye-catching dessert.

And some exciting news … after SO MANY requests for T-Shirts and literally thousands of people voting for their favorite slogans and designs … the first batch of my Tees are finally here. How awesome!

Your two most popular designs (by a long way) were the bright ‘How To Cook That’ cookie logo and my sign-off catch-phrase “Make it a Great Week”. Let me just say, I really love the T-Shirt. It also looks super cool on coffee mugs (or hot chocolate mugs in my case).

ann reardon how to cook that

T-shirts and mugs are now available here: new merch

ann reardon make it a great week

Watermelon Dessert Recipe

Crumb Base
200g (7.05 ounces) plain cookies
100g (3.53 ounces) butter or margarine
a few drops of green gel food coloring

200g (7.05 ounces) plain cookies
100g (3.53 ounces) or 1/2 cup butter or margarine
a few drops of red gel food coloring

Use a rolling pin to crush the biscuits (cookies) into fine crumbs. If you have a food processor you can use that instead.
Melt the margarine in the microwave or on the stovetop then pour in the biscuit crumbs and the food colouring. Stir really well to incorporate the colour.

crumb base watermelon dessert ann reardon

Pour the red crumbs into a loose based cake tin, mine is 21cm (8.27 inches) in diameter and use the back of a spoon to squash it flat. Make a space around the edge for the green.

Take a small handful of green and squeeze it together to make it stick together, squash it and then press it onto the side of the tin.

10g (0.35 ounces) or 2/3 Tbsp powdered gelatin
25mL (0.85 fluid ounces) or 2 Tbsp room temperature water
250g (8.82 ounces) block or 1 cup cream cheese
1/3 cup or 75g (2.65 ounces) sugar
1/4 cup or 65mL (2.2 fluid ounces) milk (4% fat)
1/4 cup or 65mL (2.2 fluid ounces) (35% fat) cream (FAQ: What cream should I use?)

Add the gelatin to the water and stir well, then set aside to allow it to absorb the water.

Whip the cream to make soft peaks then set that aside.

watermelon dessert recipe ann reardon

Beat the cream cheese with electric mixers until it is smooth, then add in the sugar. Pour in the milk.

Heat the gelatin in the microwave until it is melted. Pour it into the cream cheese mixture and beat quickly.
Fold in the whipped cream.

watermelon cheesecake ann reardon

Place 1 cup of this mixture into a bowl and colour it red. Spread this over the red crumb base to seal it.

Add a bowl upside down in the centre and pipe your white cheesecake mixture around the edge. Place that in the fridge to set.

Watermelon Jelly
345g (12.17 ounces) fresh seedless watermelon (to make 375mL (12.68 fluid ounces) or 1 1/2 cups of juice)
1 packet strawberry jello / jelly
45mL (1.52 fluid ounces) or 3 Tbsp water

Tip the jelly crystals into the water and stir well.
Place the watermelon into a blender and blitz to make juice.

watermelon dessert recipe how to cook that

Strain through a fine sieve to get rid of any seeds and the coarse bit of the pulp so that you end up with a smooth clear jelly.
Heat the jelly mixture in the microwave until the sugar and gelatine are melted. Add to the watermelon juice and mix well, then allow to cool. Take the cheesecake out of the fridge and remove the bowl from the centre. Pour the watermelon jelly mixture into the middle. Use the back of a spoon to pop any bubbles then place it in the fridge to set.

Watermelon seeds
100g (3.53 ounces) compound dark chocolate

Melt the chocolate and pipe seeds onto non-stick baking paper.

watermelon dessert ann reardon

Remove the dessert from the tin, add the seeds and slice to serve.

watermelon dessert recipe

Copyright 2016How To Cook That

My Cookbook

ann reardon crazy sweet creations cookbook
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All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

99 Comments View Comments

  1. Rating: 4

    Hi Ann
    That watermelon cheese cake looks delicious (as do all your recipes). Although we don’t have jello in New Zealand so what could I use instead? Also does it matter if what kind of biscuits and cream you use because I am dairy free?

    Thank you so much for everything. You can explain everything so well. Congratulations on your t-shirts; they are amazing. I wish I could get one. Anyway thank you. It’s a pleasure to talk to you even if it is by comment. Your work is amazing!
    Please reply.

    Yours sincerely

    • Hi Sophie, Jelly crystals are easily available in New Zealand. What we call Jelly is Jello in the US. You have in NZ some of the same brands as Australia but a common brand is Greggs.

  2. Rating: 4

    Hi Ann, amazing recipe as usual, but unfortunately we don’t have jello here, could you suggest an alternative using regular powder gelatine? Or even the one in sheets, if it’s easier…

    • Hi Sahara, In Australia you buy this as jelly or jelly crystals. In the US it is jello. You may have something similar in your area which could be an alternative.

  3. will it work on a pan that has removable sides?

    • Hi Jasmin, It should work well in a springform pan.

      • Hey Ann I’m Rebecca and I I ove chocolate could you please teach me how to make icecream withoouta machine

  4. Rating: 4.5

    I love your work looks great

    • Thanks Frankie!

  5. Hi Ann,

    I am not sure if my country has the same strawberry jelly as you used, and I am actually not sure what I am looking for 😛 My local supermarket has this… which is a powder to make strawberry pudding or marmelade. Can I use this?

    • Hi Julia, That product is not available here so we can’t advise you accurately. It does look similar to the jelly crystals here so you could give it a try.

      • Hi Ann, I used that packet of strawberry jelly and it turned out great 🙂 I surprised my family with this dessert when they came back from holiday in the south of France.

        • That is great to hear!

  6. Rating: 4

    Hi Ann,
    It didn’t turn out as nice as yours. The crumb was very course (yours looks much smoother) even though I used food processor. Also the cream cheese got lumpy when I added the gelatin and much thicker than yours. Do different brands behave differently? When I added gelatin to water it became solid immediately, unlike yours in the video. Perhaps it’s the cold weather here in Sydney, the gelatin brand, or incorrect measurements. Any tips would be appreciated. Great cake btw! Thank you!

    • How many blocks of cream cheese

      • Hi Kirsten, this will depend on the brand you use and the size of the block you buy. Here in Australia, you can easily find 250g blocks of cream cheese.

    • Hi Helen, The weather is very similar here, so it shouldn’t have a great impact but if it is a very cold day then you may have to work more quickly. Check the strength of your gelatine as it does come in different strengths. Two thirds of a tablespoon of gelatine will be around 2 and a half teaspoons or around 10grams. It is a fairly standard amount to set this quantity This should be around the 9-10g. Once the gelatine mix is melted it should mix easily and smoothly into the softened cream cheese.

      • Hi Ann, thanks for the additional measurements. I tried again today. I used 10g gelatine with 25ml water and got same result – almost solid. So i tried 2.5 tsp of gelatine (which on my scale ended up as 8g) and it was a smooth paste. Still not like your video. And i still got lumps of gelatine (less this time) in my cream cheese which i had to strain out. Im using McKenzies powder. U think im not getting this right or some other error in technique with adding to cream cheese? Or perhaps lumps are to be expected?

  7. Rating: 4.5

    Have just made the watermelon cheesecake. Learnt a lot.Like what type of bowl to use to pour cheesecake mix around, that our ( Nederland) jelly mix isn’t like the Greggs brand I am used to from New Zealand – so have to adapt. all in all a great experience and looking forward to more.

    • Hi Anita, That is fabulous to hear. Cooking always involves a bit of trial and error, no matter how experienced you are.

  8. Rating: 5

    nice one thumb up for you

    • Thanks bolanie

  9. hi ann, heres a request. can u please make a finding dory cake.

  10. Where did you learn to cook? And when did you start cooking?

    • Hi Nikita, My mum taught me to bake cookies and cupcakes and the rest is self taught. I studied food science and dietetics at university – they do not teach you to cook but give a good understanding of ingredients.

  11. I’m in the middle of making this recipe – I love it! How long should the cheesecake set in the fridge before the jelly goes in? Thanks!

    • Hi Becky, I left it for a couple of hours 😀

  12. Please tell us the pan size!

    • Hi Karen, my pan is 21cm in diameter 😀

  13. Please tell us the size pan you used – Thanks so much!

  14. Rating: 5

    Finding this recipe TODAY was kismet. I was searching for a watermelon recipe for my sister’s birthday in 2 days. She loves watermelon. Guess what, I am going to make it today. If it doesn’t turn out as beautiful as yours, I will have one more day to practice…

    • Hi Iris, Happy birthday to your sister 🙂

  15. Rating: 5

    Love this recipe and will definitely make it soon! I have an important request: could your website please start including a “print” icon that leads to a PDF of just the recipe and directions without the ads and extra bits about contests, etc? It is typically found next to the list of social media icons. When printing your recipes, I have had banners covering critical parts. In this recipe, there is the stuff about t shirts. It ends up being 6 pages. Thank you so much for considering my request. (If I am an idiot who can’t find a print icon that is already there, could you please describe its location on the site? Thanks again.)

    • What I do is just highlight text from where I want it, in this case from the beginning of the recipe to the and including the last pic, copy it all (Control and C) and then paste it (Control and P) and format it the way I want it in Word or any text software. Then just print. I like to make the font smaller, change the spacing of text to 1.0, and delete pics I don’t need. This way I got this recipe down to two pages, including two pics I made smaller. Pretty easy and saves on paper. Hope I helped someone. 🙂

    • Hi Peggy, I used to have one but it slowed the website page load time down considerably. I’ll have to look into a better coded one.

  16. Hi could I just ask how many cm or Inches is that cakepan you use in this video and recipe?

    • Hi May, it was 21cm 🙂

  17. Hi, I just want to know what is the size of the pan you used for this cheesecake? Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Katie, It is 21cm 🙂

  18. Ok, love you baking, but why use margarine. Ants will not even it. It’s not good for you. Just asking why.

    • Margarine is a molecule different from plastic, apparently, and first meant to be used as turkey food, gross. So what can I substitute it with is my question? Butter?

      • it says ” butter” right in the recipe up there, duh

      • Hi Dorotea, Margarine is solidified oil. You can use butter if you prefer, assuming you have no family history of heart disease or high cholesterol.

    • Cindy, in the ingredient list she put “butter or margarine”. She, apparently, prefers to use margarine,for whatever reason.

    • Hi Cindy, I am a qualified dietitian. We had to read so much about this when I was at uni and all the research articles say margarine is better for you than butter. I could go into detail but it is probably easier to link you to a reputable website that explains exactly what I’d type…

  19. Rating: 4.5

    Thank you so much! I was trying to figure out what to make for 4th of July weekend and this is perfect!

    • 😀 happy 4th of July

  20. Your baking is amazing

    • Thanks Heidi 😀

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