10 Creative Ways To Cut Watermelon This Summer

assorted summer watermelon dishes
assorted summer watermelon dishes - Static Media / Shutterstock

Watermelon should be at the top of your shopping list all summer long. The juicy fruit has a water content of 92%, making it a refreshing option to munch on as the temperatures rise. It's much more than just water though, with a deliciously sweet taste and delightful consistency that add to its appeal. While a classic watermelon wedge is always welcome, there are plenty of creative ways to cut the fruit to give it some added pizzazz.

There are plenty of reasons to step outside the box when it comes to chopping fruit; maybe you're setting up a display and want to emphasize aesthetics or perhaps you're simply bored of the status quo and of ending up with sticky cheeks when you munch on a wedge. Maybe you're looking to pair the watermelon with other ingredients, or it could just be that playing with food is fun. Either way, we've got a selection of creative ideas for cutting your watermelon this summer, whether it's for a party, for friends, or just to enjoy solo.

Read more: 13 Simple Tricks To Pick The Best Fresh Fruit Every Time

Make A Layered Cake

layered watermelon cake with fruit
layered watermelon cake with fruit - Darlene Sanguenza/Getty Images

If you're a fan of finishing off your meal with a piece of fruit, take it a step further and transform watermelon into a stunning dessert. While a fruit cake is pretty common, a tiered watermelon cake is on another level. Instead of using the fruit to garnish the cake, make it the feature ingredient by skipping the cake batter altogether. There are several ways to pull off a watermelon cake, depending on how many people you plan to serve and how elaborate you want the project to be.

No matter the specifics, you'll need to remove the entire rind. Cut the oblong shape into thick discs, which you can then stack with interlayers of whipped cream or fresh fruit like sliced apples, strawberries, and blueberries. Alternatively, you can pick up a couple of extra watermelons to create a tiered cake. This technique requires you to cut the watermelons into wide cylinders with perfectly flat tops and bottoms. Use wooden skewers or whipped cream to keep them together for a pretty dazzling cake that would fit right into a summertime wedding display.

Use A Cookie Cutter

watermelon stars on plate
watermelon stars on plate - Elena Rui/Getty Images

If you're going to be playing with your food, you might as well use the right tools. Using a cookie cutter (or rather, an assortment of cookie cutters) is an excellent method to shape your watermelon in a fun way. Why settle for watermelon cubes when you can have stars?

Cookie cutters come in an endless array of shapes and sizes, allowing you to customize the look based on your purposes. Hosting a romantic dinner for two? Cut the fruit into heart-shaped bites. Meanwhile, if you want to add a magical spark to the evening or to a kids' birthday party, stars and unicorns are a good option. Bring on the flower power energy with watermelon blooms, or go for a funky look with cutout dinosaurs.

To simplify the process of piercing through the flesh with the cookie cutters, slice the watermelon around ½- to 1-inch thick. Cut a large surface area so there's plenty of space to maneuver the tool, then simply place equal pressure to slice through to the other side.

Cut Long Sticks

cutting watermelon sticks on board
cutting watermelon sticks on board - westlakefarms/Instagram

Watermelon sticks are a popular TikTok hack, with countless videos showing off this simple way to cut the fruit for mess-free consumption. Once you break it down, this 3-cut method for easy watermelon sticks is a no-brainer. Start by cutting the fruit in half lengthwise. To prevent it from rolling around, feel free to slice off the top and bottom so that it sits flat. Next, place the cut side down and evenly slice the watermelon into a grid pattern, aiming for a couple of inches in thickness.

The result is watermelon sticks: Each stick has a small square of green rind with a long stick of juicy watermelon. You won't have to get your juice all over your cheeks from trying to eat a wedge, but you can still carry these around with you if you're at a picnic or the pool. If you want to include seasoning as an upgrade, sprinkle salt to sweeten up your watermelon, or add spices to a plate and dip the stick between bites. If you haven't yet tasted watermelon with tajín, you're missing out. Other fun options include dips of melted chocolate, yogurt, or whipped cream.

Slice Rounds For A Fruit Pizza

watermelon pizza topped with fruit
watermelon pizza topped with fruit - Anna Shepulova/Shutterstock

For a truly delightful way to enjoy watermelon, get inspired by a classic savory food for a sweet treat to try this summer: watermelon pizza. Just like you can add all the toppings you want on a DIY pizza, the same can be said about a fruit pizza. Simply cut your watermelon into 2-inch-thick discs, leaving the rind on for easy handling and to mimic a crust. Then, sprinkle on your favorite garnishes. If you've got a few people to serve, everyone can make their own pie, guaranteeing satisfaction for all.

The toppings will vary depending on your preference, but some tasty ideas include berries and assorted fruit, melted or shaved chocolate, nuts, and whipped cream. Spread cream over the entire surface to imitate melted cheese, or add small dollops like fresh mozzarella. Other fun add-ons include fresh herbs like mint or basil, a dusting of powdered sugar, a drizzle of honey, or a squeeze of lime juice. Alternatively, you can really channel the pizza inspiration by drizzling balsamic vinegar and crumbling feta cheese onto your "pie" and finishing it off with basil leaves. To serve, simply cut your watermelon circle into slices and dig in.

Use A Melon Baller

watermelon balls in bowl
watermelon balls in bowl - Amallia Eka/Getty Images

A melon baller doesn't discriminate when it comes to cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon. Use the small spoon scooper to cut out perfectly uniform watermelon orbs. The fun shape provides a new eating experience for kids and adults alike, turning the familiar fruit into a fun sphere shape to savor in dozens of ways. There are several sizes of melon ballers, so either go with what you have or pick up a mixed pack to double down on the enjoyment.

Watermelon balls are the perfect format to serve on skewers, along with a fresh mint leaf and a cube of feta. Alternatively, combine those ingredients into a salad with a mixture of melon spheres to serve for dessert. The playful shape is sure to elevate any fruit salad into a unique treat. As for the remaining watermelon flesh, simply toss it into a blender with water and lime for an easy and refreshing juice.

Make Popsicles

watermelon popsicles on sticks
watermelon popsicles on sticks - Palacio Stefania/Shutterstock

Sure, you can juice your watermelon, pour the liquid into popsicle molds, stick them in the freezer, and wait, but you can just as easily cut a rectangle or triangle-shaped watermelon slice, make a slit in the rind to fit a popsicle stick, and freeze the fruit. After all, watermelon is primarily made up of water, so the texture is already pretty close to a popsicle. It will only take 30 minutes or so in the freezer before you can enjoy this frosty delicacy.

For ultimate customization, lay the slices on a tray and top them with your favorite garnishes. A drizzle of chocolate or coconut cream, shredded coconut, lime juice, and salt will all serve to enhance the fruit into a dessert-worthy treat. White chocolate watermelon pops are a definite upgrade, featuring drizzled white chocolate, sliced and toasted almonds, lavender sugar, and salt. If you're looking for a summertime activity to enjoy with friends, just prep the slices with sticks ahead of time and lay out assorted toppings to let everyone make their own popsicle.

Carve A Creative Display

watermelon flower carving
watermelon flower carving - Ocoiovapovivi/Shutterstock

You don't need to have mastered the art of watermelon and fruit carving quite like the Thais, who have been honing the skill since the 14th century, but the big fruit is an excellent excuse to experiment. After all, there's more room to work around the large surface area, giving you plenty of time to tweak your knife work. You're probably not going to be cutting your watermelon into fancy designs when you're looking for a quick midday snack, so this is for celebrations only.

Carved watermelon displays are a creative way to enhance any party spread without having to pick up dozens of ingredients. If you're stuck about where to start, treat the watermelon like a pumpkin and think of some fun jack-o-lantern cutouts. Otherwise, floral designs are a recurring theme in Thai displays, with geometric backgrounds and repeating patterns to fill in the empty space. Depending on the look you are going for, it might be purely aesthetic, or the fruit could also be prepped for people to easily pick off chunks.

Turn Triangle Slices Into Trees

watermelon Christmas trees in bowl
watermelon Christmas trees in bowl - vivchn/Instagram

Watermelons don't grow on trees, but that doesn't mean they can't be made to look like mini trees. Watermelon slices shaped like Christmas trees (spruce, fir, pine, and the like) make a great addition to a barbecue or picnic spread. Whether you live in the Southern Hemisphere and are enjoying ripe watermelons over the holiday season or are celebrating Christmas in July, these cute cutout trees are easy to whip up.

There's not much to the recipe, making this a fun activity to do with kids or anyone who likes making their food look whimsical. Simply cut the watermelon into triangle wedges and slice them in half to make a classic tree shape. Then, keep a central piece of the rind intact and cut off the two sides to create a trunk. Of course, this is a great excuse to doll up the fruit with decorations to mimic a Christmas tree. It might even be the right time to bring out the party sprinkles!

Use A Crinkle Cutter

crinkle cut watermelon fries
crinkle cut watermelon fries - chelles_soul_food_sweets/Instagram

Crinkle-cut fries arguably taste better than regular-cut ones, thanks to all the craggy edges that crisp up nicely in the fryer or oven. Although you're not likely to deep-fry or bake your watermelon, cutting strips of the fruit with a crinkle cutter gives it a textural boost and adds a fun look to your display. Just cut your watermelon into slices about the thickness of a fry, and then finish the process with a crinkle cutter. If you're going out of your way to make watermelon fries as a fun treat, it's only natural to serve them with a dip.

Yogurt is a great base, as it comes in countless varieties and can easily be flavored however you want. Add honey or maple syrup, stir it with cocoa powder, or sprinkle in crushed pecans for a nutty treat. Whipped cream or Cool Whip will give the fries a deluxe twist and plant them firmly in dessert territory. Alternatively, go for something salty with a whipped feta or ricotta dip for a tangy contrast. A squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of salt over the fries will taste great no matter what you pair them with. And if you want to stick with the fruit theme, consider serving them alongside pineapple-adorned Hawaiian burgers.

Cut Out The Center To Make A Bowl

watermelon shark carving on table
watermelon shark carving on table - Dariusceg/Getty Images

A watermelon is naturally round or oblong, and it turns out it can double as a bowl pretty well. There are many ways to go about this, depending on the size of the fruit and how you want to fill it. If you're working with mini watermelons, try chopping off the top, scooping out the flesh, blending it with water and lemon juice, and pouring it back into the bowl. Then, stick a long straw into the liquid and savor a refreshing watermelon lemonade. If the watermelon is larger, treat it like a punch bowl, blending the desired ingredients into a juice and then using a ladle to dole it out.

You could use the watermelon bowl as a serving dish for a fruit salad, keeping it simple with a straight cut or getting more elaborate with some artistic designs. If you've been practicing your carvings, try making spiky teeth around the edges to mimic a mouth-like opening to hold a tropical fruit salad.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.