Few things are more refreshing on a hot summer day than a nice big slice of a juicy, red watermelon, whether served plain, salted or drizzled with lemon juice . Internet marketplace, Rakuten, however, thinks they have a match for fresh watermelon, and it’s available to order for a discounted price on one day, for one hour.
Welcome back to the scene, Suika (Watermelon) Baumkuchen!
While the Suika Baumkuchen is not a real watermelon, you may think so if you saw it. Shaped and colored like the real deal, this traditional German pastry, which has become wildly popular in Japan, would confuse even the most astute watermelon connoisseurs.
Baumkuchen are also known as “spit cakes,” as they are made by pouring layer after layer of cake batter on a spinning rod, gradually getting wider and thicker. It’s even sometimes called a “tree cake,” (a literal translation of the German, where baum = tree and kuchen = cake) as the rings resemble the rings on the cross-sections of trees.
▼ The spit leaves a big hole in the middle.
A Day in the Life
Unlike typical baumkuchen though, this watermelon baum cake, is not just a ring-shaped, yellow cake. The outer layers of the cake are made from a green, melon-flavored batter and further decorated to resemble the striped, telltale watermelon pattern.
▼ The making of the deliciousness.
Typical baumkuchen have a big hole in the middle, where the rod of the spit had been. To make the Suika Baumkuchen, however, they filled that middle section with a red, watermelon-flavored mousse, spruced up with chocolate chips to serve as the seeds.
▼ It’s approximately 10 centimeters (4 inches) tall, 7.5 centimeters (3 inches) in diameter at the top and 11.5 centimeters (4.5 inches) in diameter in the middle.
The cake is then chilled so the mousse can set, so serving the cake is easy and simple – sure beats cutting up a watermelon, plus you can eat the rind!
▼ Rakuten real-time ranking: Consistent Champion.
Is your mouth watering yet? Too bad, you’ll have to wait awhile, and that’s only if you’re lucky. The cake, which sprang to fame last summer after being broadcast on TV, is consistently ranked as the best baum cake by Rakuten pollers.
Despite its popularity, the cake is not a commodity normally found on the Internet marketplace. It’s making a comeback though, albeit not the kind you may be hoping for.
▼ The Suika Baumkuchen will be available for purchase for 1,980 yen (US$16) on Rakuten on Saturday, August 1 from 11:00-11:59 AM.
That’s right, the cake will be on sale for only one hour on one day this summer. You better check your Internet connection and get your credit card ready before 11 AM, if you want to have any chance of getting one these watermelon flavored, summertime refreshers. According to some reviews, you should probably try to get one:
“Someone had one and I got to try it. It wasn’t just cute, it was delicious.”
“When I saw the picture I thought it was a watermelon. It even looked so much like a watermelon up close and when I was cutting it. My family was so excited. It was delicious.”
If you need your watermelon cake fix now, or just want to check out its origin, head to the city of Tomisato in Chiba Prefecture, one of the watermelon capitals of Japan, where you can join watermelon themed road races and are sure not to find a silly watermelon like this .
May your summer be filled with watermelons and Suika Baumkuchen!