As seen on our YouTube series "Does This Work!?" (watch the full episode above).

The pull-apart cake trend doesn’t appear to be going anywhere, so we had to give this colorful and creative idea that we’ve seen all over Pinterest a shot in our own test kitchen. And guess what? Despite a few hiccups during testing, it turns out that the cupcakes as a “cake” hiding under frosting concept does, in fact, work and turns out pretty darn cute, too—even if you’re not much of a baker like our culinary producer Jeanette Donnarumma (hello, store-bought cupcake mix!).

One major flaw we noticed in recipes out there, though? It doesn’t tell you to build it on a tray, which is key. Oh and be prepared for everyone who partakes to be end up with frosting covered hands when you serve it. “Maybe these are geared more towards kids parties… probably not my dessert choice for an elegant cocktail party,” says Jeanette.

"Does This Work!?"—hosted by senior culinary producer Jeanette Donnarumma—delves into the great big world of trendy, viral recipes that may or may not work. Don't miss a minute of her delicious hits and messy misses by subscribing here.


  • 1 pastry bag , with a round tip
  • 5¼ cups white buttercream, or frosting
  • Dark green gel food coloring
  • Deep pink gel food coloring
  • Red gel food coloring
  • 19 cupcakes, store-bought or homemade
  • 30 black jelly beans


Serves: 19


Stand the pastry bag in a quart container or pint glass and fold the bag down over the edges to make it easier to fill. Place ¾ cup white buttercream into the pastry bag. In a small bowl, tint 1½ cups buttercream deep green, mixing in small amounts of food coloring until achieving your preferred shade. In another small bowl, tint 3 cups buttercream deep pink and add a few drops of red for a color resembling bright red and ripe watermelon flesh.

Arrange 19 cupcakes in a triangle shape on a serving tray, with 1 at the top and 6 at the bottom, sloping the bottom sides up into a curve to resemble a watermelon wedge

Use a scoop to top each of the 6 cupcakes along the bottom with ¼ cup green buttercream. Smooth with a small offset spatula, covering the tops and sides but not the paper liners, to make a solid green “rind.” Scoop ¼ cup pink buttercream on the remaining cupcakes and smooth over the tops and sides. Shape the buttercream on the cupcake at the top of the triangle into a point to resemble the tip of a watermelon wedge

For the white part of the rind, pipe a curved line of white buttercream from the pastry bag where the pink and green buttercream meet and carefully smooth with an offset spatula (Don’t fuss with it too much or you’ll end up with smears of pink and green icing mixed into the white). Sprinkle the black jelly beans over pink-red icing so they resemble watermelon seeds.