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).

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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

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All recipe quantities in the book are in grams, ounces and cups.

99 Comments View Comments

  1. Rating: 5

    Dose the milk have to be room temp to?

  2. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann! I only found your channel a couple of months ago, but truly enjoy it. You are an amazing baker and your kind sincerity shines through.

    I have a few questions about this Watermelon Dessert Recipe:

    1. For the biscuits, is it important to use digestives? Can I use graham crackers?
    2. Will a cheesecake pan work?
    3. For the strawberry jelly (Jell-O here in the US), do you mean a 4 ounce or 8 ounce package?

    Thanks for all you do and please keep sharing your wonderful talent with all of us!

    • Hi Jeanice, thank you for your kind words.
      1. You can use any cookies you like for the base graham crackers are good.
      2. Do you mean a spring-form pan? That would be fine
      3. Jelly packets here are 85g or 3oz

  3. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann,
    I used this recipe for a goodbye summer 2019 party cake, and it worked well. But instead of a bowl I used another cake ring for the inner jelly part. My teeange kids loved the cake, one said she loved the jelly, the other said she loved the cheese cake part, so there was something for everyone in it.

    • Great idea Corinna, Looks great

  4. Hi , I live in Germany, I get the philadelphia cream cheese here but its the soft version, used for spreads…
    can i keep it out, drain the water from it the next day and use it as a substitue for the cream cheese?

    • i always use the non-branded cream cheese from supermarkets and it works fine as it is. Use that instead 🙂

    • Hi Spoorthy, the soft version won’t set with the same consistency. YOu really want the firm one.

  5. How many does it serve i have a big family and i want to know if i should double the recipe

    • Hi Natasha, It depends on the size of the serve you would like to use. I would say it would serve 6-8 people.

  6. Rating: 5

    Can I freeze this cheesecake, and if so for how long? Love this recipe though, used it last summer and was extremely popular!! Thanks Ann

    • g’day Katie, Sorry this one won’t freeze. The cheesecake part and the base would be fine to freeze but not the jelly bit. ?

      • Rating: 4.5

        Ok thank you very much!! Can’t wait for the next video on YouTube

  7. Rating: 4

    Hi Ann, how can i make the strawberry jello w/o buying the packet. I want to use vegetable gelatin as the reg starwberry jello has reg gelatin. thanks for ur help.

    • Hi Shibs, You can add strawberry flavouring and colour to halal gelatin which is a vegetable product or Jel-it-in which is also a common vegetarian gelling agent. You can now also buy vegetarian jelly in some supermarkets.

  8. Why not use butter? I like to use more natural ingredients and margarine is anything but natural.

    • Hi Toni, Ann is a consultant dietician in the food industry and as such she usually prefers to use magarine because of it’s health benefits.

  9. I forgot to say we are in the UK

  10. HI Ann Me and my 6 year old son set about doing your watermelon dessert today and we were doing really well up until making the cheesecake part. We could only buy soft cream cheese, and the gelatine came in sheets which we had to put in water to soften anyway, plus the whipping cream (quarter of a cup which seemed nothing) never whipped up to peaks it just eventually went creamier – the outcome was that the mix was totally runny like milk. So I decided to put another gelatine sheet into the mix but the mixture never got to a cake mix constituency that we could put through a piping. What are we doing wrong ? How can we make this mixture thicker ? I left the cake tin in the fridge with the plate still in as all the mixture ran all over the place. Please help

    • Hi Jane, Whipping cream as long as it is 30% fat or higher will always whip and become thicker if you beat it for long enough. If you go too long it will become butter. If it doesn’t thicken at all then it isn’t the right type of cream. There are a number of gelatine powders made in the UK. One I found quickly online is Dr. Oetker Gelatine. Gelatine sheets will work too but are more fiddly. Full fat cream cheese like Philadelphia Cream cheese can usually be purchased in the supermarkets. Several subscribers from the UK have let us know that you can get it in Tesco and ASDA. It is sometimes labelled as full fat soft cream cheese. This is what you want. Don’t get the spreadable version, which is softer still. Hope that helps a little.

    • what cream did you use Jane? I’d try double/whipping cream (but not elmlea as that always seems to take longer to whip when Ive used it)
      also you can get sachets of gelatin powder as well as gelatin leaf (which is ok if you are melting it down into a dessert)
      For the cream cheese I’d go for Philadelphia or an ‘own brand’ version

  11. Rating: 4.5

    Hi Ann, its my 12th birthday tomorrow and for my cake im going to make this one. Thankyou so much for this idea you are a real inspiration.

    • Happy Birthday Rosanna!

  12. hi
    Would it work without the gelatin?

    • Hi Julia, Gelatin is used to set and stabilize the filling. If you leave the gelatin out, the filling would be soft and runny. It wouldn’t hold its shape or support the jelly.

  13. Rating: 5

    wow thats amazing..!!
    hope for ur help… my daughter is alergic to milk…can u maybe help me understand if i can make this cake with soya ingredients or coconut ?

    thank u !!!

    • Hi hofit, Ann hasn’t tested this recipe with soy or coconut based ingredients, so you would need to experiment. Let us know how it goes if you decide to give it a try.

  14. I have a question about the watermelon measurements. According to google 1 gram equals 1 milliliter, then how come the recipe asks you to turn 345 g watermelon (including pulp) into 375 ml watermelon juice without pulp? Is there a typo somewhere?

    • Hi Vlva, 1g of water equals 1 mL. Watermelon pulp is heavier.

  15. Rating: 4

    I love this recipe. The only problem I found was when I painted the “skin” of the watermelon it didn’t dry. Any tips?

    • Hi Kerstin, That is probably to do with the shell being moist to start with or using too much colour. You could try chilling the finished product for longer or using less colour when painting. Ann prefers gel colour which requires very little to be used, but you could use a powder if you prefer.

  16. Rating: 4.5

    Wow it is harder to do then see it on your net…I did My first one and it was somethinG to learN from.It gave me experience. Your page it clear and very good explain.. but i fell in the cheesecake. it was not full white after i put it…becouse i put it wrong to much Quickly 🙁 .but it look nice to the poeple who did not see your cake. but i am learning from my doing and hope next time it will look more like yours XXX

    • Hi Sharon, That is a great attitude. Keep practising and you will get better results as you gain experience.

  17. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann….Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe….I would like to know if I can replace the cream cheese with mascarpone cheese…if yes…can I use 250g of it.

    • Hi Basima, Marscapone cheese has a very different texture and will generally not hold it’s shape in the same way. It is much more creamy. You could experiment to see how you like the results.

  18. Rating: 5

    i really love sweets as well as watermelon, this might be a good recipe for me, it really looks delicious thou 🙂 thanks for sharing your recipe 🙂

  19. Hey Ann, I have 3 queries, please help me,
    1. Can I use glucose biscuits instead of digestive cookies? do I need to change anything if I use glucose biscuits?
    2. I have powdered food color will that work equally well as liquid color?
    3. I don’t like the taste of cheese in my cake,so instead of cheese can I combine sweet condensed milk and fresh cream and use it? (same as lemon pie)
    and last but not least, I just love the way you are passionate about cooking. You are a true inspiration for me to try new recipes 🙂
    Thank you Ann 🙂

    • Hi Navya, We don’t actually have glucose biscuits here so I tell you how they might work. You just need a plain type of biscuit. You can’t replace the cream cheese in this recipe. Other things like condensed milk wont function the same and it wont be a cheesecake.

      • Rating: 4.5

        Thank you Ann…I will try this recipe on new year 😀 Will post my pics 🙂

        • And Merry Christmas and wish everyone a very Happy New Year 🙂

    • the cream cheese you use for this recipe doesn’t taste of cheese 🙂

  20. Rating: 5

    Hi Ann,
    Your crazy sweet creation is amazing.I am living in India.I have tried a lot of your sweet creations.Like you’re so sweet.
    I am 11 years old. Thanks for your recipes.

    • That is fantastic Harini. We would love to see a photo of some of your baking!

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