From the Kitchen

Fun Summer Dessert: Watermelon Pie

One of my summertime childhood memories is eating the yummy watermelon sherbet dessert at Friendly’s restaurant. I loved it, so I decided to try to replicate this dessert for my own kids’ summertime memories! I made some “watermelon pie” for our 4th of July feast this year…to great success! My 4-year-old daughter loved it – like mother, like daughter! She saw it in the pan before I sliced it up…at that point it was still just a circle. When I started to cut the pie, making the watermelon slices, she exclaimed very earnestly, “Wow! It’s magic!”

watermelon pie

The best part…watermelon pie was super simple to make! Here’s what I did!

– Lime Sherbet
– Vanilla ice cream or Pineapple sherbet
– Red/Pink-colored sherbet…I couldn’t find this, so I bought Raspberry/Pineapple/Orange swirl sherbet, mixed it up with red food coloring and it was perfect!
– Mini chocolate chips

1. For each flavor, you’ll let the sherbet/ice cream soften for a few minutes before using. The red sherbet should be mixed with the mini chocolate chips.
2. Use a round springform pan. You may want to line the bottom of the pan with wax paper or parchment paper if you plan to transfer the entire “pie” to another dish before serving. I served the slices on plates straight out of the freezer, so I didn’t line the pan. It’s actually cuter sliced!
3. Starting with lime, spread a ring of sherbet around the edge of the springform pan – about 2 inches high (or taller if you want!), and about 1-2 inches wide from the outside edge of the pan.
4. Put pan in freezer to harden lime layer.
5. Repeat step 3 with the vanilla, but make the layer much thinner – maybe 1/2 inch. Use a butter knife to flatten the top, even-ing out the lime with the vanilla. Put pan in freezer to harden again.
6. Repeat step 3 with the red/chocolate chip sherbet. Fill the rest of the pan, then use a butter knife to flatten the top. Freeze!
7. When it’s time to eat, run a knife around the edge of the pan before popping off the outside of the springform pan. Use a nice thin-blade knife to slice.

A funny tip…I served the watermelon pie on paper plates, but wanted to take a nice picture for this post, so I put my own slice on a real dish. It melted SO FAST on the real dish. I couldn’t even get a picture fast enough before it was a soggy mess! Even though paper plates aren’t as cute, the sherbet hardly melted at all. Go with paper!

Jane Maynard, writer and founder of This Week for Dinner, is a wife, mother to two beautiful girls and freelance graphic designer.  Jane loves eating, which comes in handy for a food blog. Chocolate, cannoli, and H&H Bagels are her top foods of choice.


  1. So cute great summer dessert I made it with watermelon sorbet Even better when it looks & tastes like watermelon! Thanks, Martha…

    1 cup sugar
    1 tablespoon white creme de menthe, or Campari (optional)
    3 cups ripe watermelon flesh

    Place sugar and 3/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When sugar has dissolved, remove pan from heat, and stir in creme de menthe, if using. Chill the syrup.
    Remove seeds from watermelon flesh. Place flesh in the bowl of a food processor; process until liquefied, about 2 minutes. Add puree to chilled syrup; stir to combine.
    Freeze sorbet in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Store, frozen, in an airtight container.


  2. What if you put your glass plates in the freezer…..would they be cold enough then, do you think? I am going to do this for my small crowd. So I think I will use the smallest mixing bowl I have.

    1. I’m sure chilling would help! don’t know how long the dishes would stay chilled, but I’m sure it must help some.

      it’s interesting, I had a similar experience recently – I made homemade ice cream and poured it from the ice cream maker into a glass dish and same thing, instant melting. you think I would have learned my lesson? no way! ;)

  3. Is this meaning sorbet not sherbet? Sherbet here is like sugar powder (pixie sticks, if you guys have that?) whereas sorbet is water and sugar base icecream alternative…

  4. I am SOOOO making this for our weekly GRILL NIGHT!!!! Tonight is grilled pizza, and it’s so nice outside I think this would go perfect….my friends will LOVE LOVE LOVE it!! Thanks! (And…let’s just say the watermelon rolls are my absolute FAVORITE from Friendly’s…I asked for them at EVERY birthday!

  5. I will mOst definatly be doing this especially because my local store has watermelon flavored sherbet with little candy seeds

  6. Yummmm, watermelon is my favorite! A friend of mine brought this to a barbecue except she put the pie inside a carved out watermelon–it was super cute!

  7. My mom used to make watermelon sherbet with our ice cream machine. It was our favorite, hands-down! But the mixed-fruity flavors sound good too. They probably tasted better with the lime and vanilla/pineapple than watermelon would

    1. yes, but, that is such a great idea! why did i never think of breaking out the ice cream maker and just making our own watermelon sorbet? :) you’re right, the flavors on this version are mighty good together, but I might just have to try making the watermelon sometime. thanks for the lightbulb moment! :)

  8. CUTE! I think this will be a summer hit over here, glad my sister sent the link to me. I haven’t ever been to a “Friendly’s” either but now I want to find one near and try it!

  9. Do you think I could use icecream alltogether for the whole recipe? Where I live sherbet is extremely hard to come by?

    1. Thank you for coming up with that..I was worried about the chocolate chips..My boys would not like the mixture…We are in the watermelon capital.

  10. i will probably make this a million times until im sick of it i am obsessed with watermelon all of my friends even know that !!!!!!

  11. I’m Australian, and to us “Sherbet” is a fizzy powder, so when I first read the recipe I thought “How did she get the sherbet to set?”. However after overcoming the linguistic difficulties I have decided I simply must try this :P

  12. My mom used to make that every 4th of July when we were younger! I made it for a few years after I moved out too, it always got tons of compliments!

  13. Thanks for your watermelon pie recipe. I want to try it as you wrote it, but I also want to try dissolving watermelon jello in boiling water and then adding vanilla ice cream and mini chocolate chips for the filling. I think it would give the watermelon flavor and still keep the creamy texture and look. I’ll let you know when I try it. Again thanks for the recipe.

  14. I’m not a cook at all, but definitely think I could swing these this summer! So bright and yummy looking!! I’ve featured it in a DIY roundup on my site today. Thanks for the great ideas!!

  15. I line a round stainless bowl with lime sherbet and some lime sherbet darkened with green food coloring in stripes, then the pineapple and/or vanilla layer and then the middle. I turn it out on a chilled – repeat CHILLED – serving platter. It looks like a halved watermellon and is really fun when you cut into it.

  16. I know I’m posting to this thread a little late, but for those of you considering making this in the summer: Schwan’s has a watermelon sherbet that comes complete with candy “seeds” already in it. And it’s that great watermelon red color. It’s only offered seasonally, though, so I’ll be anxiously awaiting it’s return next summer so I can try this great recipe!

  17. Wow, this sounded weird until I looked up the American meaning of Sherbet… if that was a cake made of what the rest of us call sherbet, it’d be a flavourtaste from the moon.

  18. That is so cute! I’m going to do that today for my friend’s birthday. Too bad they don’t have watermelon flavored sherbert. Or sorbet.

  19. how fun, think I’ll try that. we just went to a party with a “homemade” ice cream cake. Seems they have a tradition for coming up with wild cake ideas. This year – cookies and cream ice cream with cornbread on top and bottom, topped with blue tinted ice cream. Big hit.

  20. This is awesome! We are making it for dinner and my mom is possibly going to make it for her new neighbors. It is so cute!! Thanks for sharing!

  21. This definitely has “summer” written all over it! I’ll be honest, when I first saw the picture, I figured it was sherbet, but I was baffled as to why you would mix in actual watermelon seeds?! Threw me for a loop! Thanks for the recipe. :) It’s sooo cute!

  22. thanks for all your comments! I’m glad everyone likes the idea! :)

    so fun there are other friendly’s memories people out there! all this friendly’s talk makes me want a chicken sandwich and fries…mmm…

    vanessa – you have excellent taste. ;)

    monkiesmom – I saw something similar to what your grandmother did on marthastewart – such a cute idea! you’re right, though…this is a little nicer if you don’t need to make as much, which is why I did it this way. but maybe one day I’ll try the bowl technique if I’m doing a big party.

    watermelon guy…how fun would it be if I could actually find watermelon flavored sherbet?! yum!

  23. i can remember my grandma making this when i was little but she used a large metal bowl for the shape. then she would turn it upside down, take the bowl off, and then cut it! years later, i even made one for my best friends bridal shower as her kitchen theme was watermelons!

    thanks for sharing your way; i think i will try it for just my family of 4!

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