Watermelon Syrup and Watermelon Butter | Cupcake Project

Watermelon Syrup and Watermelon Butter

Watermelon Jolly Ranchers do not taste like watermelon.  The same applies to watermelon blow pops and watermelon licorice. To me, the flavor of these candies is as close to the taste of a real ripe watermelon as a McDonalds burger is to an all beef hand-formed hamburger patty.   Likewise, you don’t find many watermelon cakes and cupcakes that taste similar to watermelon.  Most so-called watermelon cupcakes are cupcakes that are designed to look like a watermelon – not taste like one.

I wanted to make a true watermelon-flavored cupcake.

Step 1:  Make a watermelon syrup.

I found a small article by Kate Mullinson a webpage about recipes from the past that described the process for making watermelon syrup.  Kate had made the syrup and suggested that it might work well in a baked good.  I decided to give it a try.

Sadly, the watermelon syrup did not make my cupcakes taste like watermelon (more on that in a future post), but that doesn’t mean that the syrup wasn’t a success.  The watermelon syrup captured in a little red bottle the true essence of one of summer’s top fruits. It tasted just like real watermelon – which isn’t surprising, since watermelon is the only ingredient.

As Kate suggested, homemade watermelon syrup would make a great gift for a foodie friend.   Use watermelon syrup on pancakes, in popsicles, in oatmeal, or anywhere you would use a sweetener.  However, my favorite use is watermelon soda.

Here’s how to make watermelon syrup, plus details on the watermelon syrup byproduct that may be even better than the syrup itself.

Watermelon Syrup Recipe

  • 1 seedless watermelon (I used a 16 lb watermelon and ended up with 3 cups of syrup)
  1. Cut the watermelon into small pieces and throw it in a food processor (you’ll probably need to do this in batches unless you have a really big food processor).  Process until it’s liquified.
  2. Simmer the watermelon liquid in a large, heavy-bottomed pot on medium-low heat for eight hours, stirring periodically to ensure that the syrup isn’t scorching.
  3. Strain the syrup in a sieve.  Keep both parts – the smooth red watermelon syrup and the thick watermelon pulp.

Use the watermelon pulp (I call it watermelon butter) as a spread on fresh bread – it’s summer’s apple butter.  You’ll completely surprise and impress your next summer party guests!

Did you love this post?
Share It
Get Free Updates

26 Responses to Watermelon Syrup and Watermelon Butter

  1. Paige July 7, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    You are my new hero.

  2. Momma Bay.... err, I mean, Tara. July 7, 2010 at 8:52 am #

    Doint forget to use the rinds!!! You can make some AWESOME pickled Watermelon rinds that are similar to bread & butter pickles. SO yummy!

  3. Jenn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) July 7, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    That’s a brilliant recipe. My husband and I have been wanting to make homemade watermelon sorbet and I think this syrup would enhance the flavor. Thanks for the recipe!


  4. Momma Bay.... err, I mean, Tara. July 7, 2010 at 10:22 am #

    OK… I got my post up and mentioned you (this post) there….


  5. C Tanner Jensen July 7, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    Watermelon Ice Cream is fantastic and tastes like watermelons.I think I’ll give the syrup a try to flavor and sweeten whipped cream.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  6. Stephanie July 7, 2010 at 4:57 pm #

    Yum, this looks awesome! I wonder how you added the watermelon syrup to the cupcakes. In the past, when I’ve tried to flavor cupcakes with syrup, putting the syrup in the batter didn’t make much of a difference. I brushed the syrup on top of the cooked cupcakes before frosting (or skipped the frosting). It soaked into the cake and flavored it pretty well.

  7. C July 7, 2010 at 10:27 pm #

    Wow this looks great. I’ve tried to make a syrup in the past and now I see what mistakes I’ve been making. I’ve used the “butter” as a sub in backing to make cupcakes, it lends a nice subtle flavor. I can never get the right frosting though… I may try it with this syrup.

  8. Eliana July 8, 2010 at 5:13 am #

    What a genius idea! It looks and sounds so delicous :)

  9. Garner July 8, 2010 at 5:52 am #

    how long do you think the watermelon butter would keep?

  10. Naomi July 8, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    I love this and I love that its Watermelon Butter. Great idea!

  11. Penny Wolf July 9, 2010 at 5:10 am #

    You post some of the most wonderful unusal things! Thank you!

  12. Lora July 9, 2010 at 7:03 am #

    So creative and wonderful. Thanks!

  13. Stef July 10, 2010 at 4:31 pm #

    Stephanie – I tried soaking the syrup in after baking the cupcake, but it just made it wet – not watermelon-tasting. :(

    Garner – Good question. A week or two in the refrigerator would be my guess.

  14. Adam July 29, 2010 at 11:53 am #

    I can’t wait to pour this over same vanilla ice cream…

  15. Honey May 1, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    Think this would work by canning the syrup for cold winter days when you’re dreaming of summer heat? I can just imagine watermelon pancakes during a snowstorm.


  16. Stef May 2, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

    Honey – I bet it would, but I have zero experience with canning so I can’t say for sure.

  17. Anonymous May 24, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

    How long will this keep in the refridgerator?

  18. Stef May 25, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    Anon – I’m not sure. A week or so?

  19. Anonymous July 11, 2011 at 4:36 am #

    Eight hours! I might give this a try in the crockpot.

  20. Anonymous September 29, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

    I grew up in Chile and when I was a child my mother would make this syrup whenever she got a bad watermelon and would put on pancakes, indian fried bread, waffles it was so good and she never let a bad melon go to waste, very yummy, now I have extra melons from my garden so making watermelon syrup so next going to make pancakes yummmy

  21. Anonymous December 22, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    Our family has made watermeon syrup bread for generations. Unfortunately the syrup must be made from scratch. If it is poured while still hot into a canning jar and sealed it will last for years. I watched my grandmother open up a jar of syrup labeled 1964 to make a batch of bread in 2008 and it turned out just fine.

  22. vivika July 5, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    What a great idea. I will have to try this with a watermelon this summer.

  23. Mellissa (@SheSmilesWithn) June 19, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

    Oh my goodness! Pure genius! My mouth is watering. The first time I’ve heard of watermelon syrup. My favorite “different” syrup is a coconut syrup that I tried in Hawaii. I would love to attempt this one day.


  1. Homemade Soda | Cupcake Project - May 3, 2013

    […] is watermelon soda (shown at the top of this post).  I make it by adding just a few tablespoons of homemade watermelon syrup to a glass of carbonated […]

  2. Watermelon Molasses | cateritforward - June 29, 2014

    […] but to use real watermelon as a critical ingredient? I drew my inspiration from a couple of sites: cupcake project and Mother Earth News. The former actually drew inspiration from the latter. Watermelon molasses […]

  3. More than Maple: Homemade Fruit Syrups | I AM Katie Walsh - December 6, 2014

    […] if it’s pure pulp (like add it to baked goods or use it as a base for jams). This cool recipe for watermelon syrup gives you a “watermelon butter” at the […]

Leave a Reply