Tablescapes, Summer Buffet & Watermelon Cupcakes

One of my favorite things to do is arrange the large kitchen island seasonally, setting out plates and self serve pieces so everything is handy at meal time

Right now there is a summer vignette is set on the high top end, with beach chair and palm tree candles, an old surfer VW bus, a pineapple plate and a vase with a bright bloom all on a large wood fish that HHjr made

When you first enter the kitchen there is a “snack station,” with jars full of nuts, crackers and cookies

It’s a popular spot!

Small bowls and plates make it easy to grab and go, which keeps traffic out of the kitchen

The center of the island is full of dinner plates and flatware

Hibiscus and watermelon summer plates, and serving pieces in a Nora Fleming utensil holder

I change things around just about monthly, switching out plates and accessories…it gives us a chance to use and enjoy all the different plates I love to collect…pretty soon I will change this to red, white, and blue for the 4th of July

Around on the other side of the island is the “dessert/breakfast station”

Two handpainted domes full of cake, pie, cupcakes, muffins or cookies with small plates nearby

Speaking of cupcakes…

These little watermelon cupcakes brought a lot of ohhs and ahhs

I adapted a recipe from The First Year with a couple of changes

Her regular size cupcakes are green with pink watermelon {Jello} flavored icing and chocolate chips on top

I decided to make mine minis, with pink chocolate chip cake and green swirl icing…like a watermelon, green on the outside and pink on the inside   ๐Ÿ‰

I used Wilton gel colors to tint the batter hot pink.  You can find them at the grocery store by the cake mixes or at Hobby Lobby and many other stores

I opted for mini chocolate chips since the cupcakes were small

I baked these in paper liners and you can place them in an additional liner to dress them up after baking

I prefer to make my own buttercream, but I didn’t have enough powdered sugar on hand but did have this can of icing… it’s not quite as good in my opinion, but it sure is easy!

I added drops of green food color and swirled it around, not mixing too much as I wanted the icing to look variegated like a watermelon rind


Servings: 24 mini cupcakes Time: prep: 15 minutes, bake: 13-15 minutes Difficulty: easy
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 24


  • silicone mini cupcake pan


  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pink and green food coloring
  • homemade or canned buttercream icing
  • green sprinkles optional
  • additional cupcake papers for garnishing

Buttercream Icing

  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 3/4 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 Tbsp milk or cream


  • Preheat oven to 350. Grease or line mini cupcake pans.
  • Prepare batter by mixing the butter into sugar, beating until fluffy. Add egg whites and beat again. Fold in extract and sour cream with a spatula.
  • Mix flour with salt and baking powder in a separate bowl. Add 1/2 of flour to wet ingredients by gently sifting over batter with a spoon. Mix to combine and repeat, scraping down sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • Add pink food coloring to batter, stir to an even color and stir in mini chips.
  • Scoop into prepared pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes, and remove from oven when just done. Cool cakes completely on wire rack before icing

Buttercream Icing

  • Beat Butter with sugar and extract
  • Add milk or cream 1 Tbsp at at time, and beat until desired consistency is attained


A silicone mini muffin pan is recommended for easy release of baked cupcakes but you can use any mini muffin pan you have and grease well or use linersย 
Keyword chocolate chips, cupcakes, dessert, summer dessert, watermelon

Society 6 is having summer sales for the next 3 days:

Sunday: Everything 25% off with code JUNEART

Monday: 30% off art prints with code HANG30

Tuesday: Debut of 3 new tabletop products!!  Free shipping on everything with code S6FREESHIP

Visit my shop here

The best way to navigate through the site is to click on one of the products in the list on the left, such as art prints or throw pillows.  This will take you to a page where all of the designs are shown and if you click on one you like, it will take you to that product page where you will find all the products available in this design displayed at the bottom of the page

You can also click on collections, at the top of the main page, and see the different collections, and what is in the collection, such as Summertime hereTropical hereTake Me to the Sea here

Thanks so much for your visit!

Watermelon Charger/ tutorial here

Hibiscus plates, wood handled flatware/Bed Bath & Beyond

Watermelon plates, small fruit plates/Home Goods

๐Ÿ‰   ๐Ÿ‰   ๐Ÿ‰

I will be joining these fabulous parties and blogs:

Dishing it & Digging itBetween Naps on the Porch,   Make it Pretty Monday

Cooking and Crafting with J&J,    Celebrate and Decorate,

Delicious Dishes Recipe Party   Oh My Heartsie Girl  Full Plate Thursday

Thursday Favorite Things  Creatively Crafty   Home Matters

41 Responses to “Tablescapes, Summer Buffet & Watermelon Cupcakes”
  1. Jodi says:

    Such a fun idea for welcoming guests and being able to enjoy them too!

  2. Such a clever idea for your cupcakes! I envy that wonderful large kitchen! Mine is tiny with no room to set out such a fun display.

    • Thank you Carole, We have a lot of cooks and activity on family weekends so my son & I carefully designed it so lots of things can happy at once without getting in each other’s way. The island is a dream!

  3. Yum…these mini cupcakes look delish! How fun it is to see all of your kitchen vignettes!!

  4. A friend and I were out shopping and she bought loads of watermelon dishes, etc. for an upcoming birthday. I’ve got to share this great looking set up with her!

  5. cdfolse says:

    I definitely need to make these cupcakes this summer. Thanks for sharing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Cyndi Raines says:

    What a cute idea! Watermelon cupcakes! Yum! ๐Ÿ‰๐Ÿ˜

  7. Sharon Mann says:

    What fun, I love the old Volkswagen van…I used to own one. The watermelon art on the clock is awesome! Happy Day

    • Thanks Sharon! There is actually a boat around here that is a real VW bus attached to a pontoon boat, it’s hilarious! I am determined to capture a pic of it so I can share

  8. Without question you are one of the most creative people on earth! Where you find the time, strength, energy, and wealth of ideas is way beyond me!!!!! More power to you, girl! Perhaps itโ€™s that salt water air and sunshine! I imagine the combination of those 2 elements would serve to invigorate the brain and body of anyone open to creativity! I donโ€™t even think watermelon flavored Jello is sold in this region. The cupcakes are a cute idea with a different flavor which makes them a SuperTreat!!!

  9. lulu says:

    My take away here is the idea of having snacks readily available for the hands that are always reaching for something to eat. Great idea!

  10. Rita C. says:

    Those cupcakes are so cute! I like your color combo better than what your original recipe called for, more realistic.
    Love the idea of changing the station out monthly for better rotation of the collections – good justification for buying (at least in our own minds, lol).

  11. Marilyn says:

    Those watermelon cupcakes look so delicious. You did such a great job with the cupcake.

  12. Marion says:

    Those dishes are lovely. The watermelon ones are special. I love the table vignette you have displayed. Thank You for sharing.

  13. debra cantales says:

    I want to come to your house! You always have something yummy, and those mini cupcakes look delish!

  14. Jenna, you are the perfect hostess with everything set up for munching! The watermelon cupcakes are such a cute idea and I am sure they are delicious! Wishing you a sunny week!

  15. Jenna, love how organized you are with you stations on the island. Love the fish, awesome and perfect for the beach. Iโ€™m afraid if I spent much time there youโ€™d find me at the snack station ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Mary says:

    I bet your grands make a beeline for your snack station when they arrive Jenna! Love your seasonal station and adorable cupcakes! Try Pillsbury Cream Cheese frosting next time you’re in a pinch. I think it tastes the best of the canned varieties. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. thequeenbeebaker says:

    Love all of your decor

  18. thequeenbeebaker says:

    Love all of your decor! You are all ready for summer. These cupcakes are absolutely adorable. Such a fun idea!

  19. Fabby says:

    What a beautiful setting and those cupcakes are so adorable and cute !
    Thank you for your recipe share. I was doing my rounds at Tablescape Thursday party and so happy I found you.
    Happy Father’s Day.

  20. Thank you for sharing your tasty recipe on Oh My Heartsie Girls WW last week!
    This week it is being featured, hope you will stop by and share again!!
    It has also been Pinned to Pinterest!!
    Now wishing you a great week ahead!!

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