Baked Alaska is a show-stopping dessert! The rich ice cream cake with chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla flavors are all topped off with toasted meringue.
When it comes to Frozen Desserts, it’s hard to think of anything more eye-catching than a Baked Alaska. The simple Vanilla Pound Cake and rich ice cream are all served under a beautiful meringue topping that makes this dish the perfect finishing touch to a special occasion.
This is probably one of the most impressive ice cream desserts you’ll ever make. Baked Alaska is made with a cake base, layers of ice cream, and a browned meringue topping. The beautiful meringue and distinct layers in every slice make it look intimidating, but you don’t have to be a world-class chef to make this recipe. In fact, you’ll be amazed at just how easy the directions are!
The only thing you have to worry about in this recipe is time. Baked Alaska needs a lot of time to set in the freezer before you can serve it. So, you’ll want to get started well in advance and make sure you have enough time for all the steps. Other than that, it’s a simple matter of layering the ice cream, adding the cake, and then finishing the dish off with meringue.
Depending on how ambitious you’re feeling, you can make your own Pound Cake, Vanilla, Chocolate, and Strawberry Ice Cream, or you can simply purchase the ingredients from the store and assemble them. Either way, you’ll have quite an impressive dish once you are finished.
It’s the perfect impressive dessert to serve for special events or big dinners. You can take it out of the freezer after dinner and watch your guests’ jaws drop at the beautiful, but surprisingly simple dessert.
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TIPS FOR MAKING YOUR OWN BAKED ALASKA
- Ice cream filling: Start this step by spraying a 3-quart bowl with vegetable oil and lining it with a large piece of plastic wrap. You want the plastic wrap to be large enough it can fold over the dessert later. Scoop the strawberry ice cream into the bowl. Then use the back of the spoon to spread it into an even layer. Repeat the same step with scoops of vanilla and chocolate ice cream.
- Pound cake: Cut a cool pound cake into 1 inch slices. Then layer them over the top of the ice cream, so that the slices cover the whole bowl. Fold the plastic wrap over the top so that it completely covers the cake. Put the bowl in the freezer for 4 hours to set.
- Meringue: Near the end of the 4 hours you can make the meringue topping. Start by separating the eggs from the egg whites. Then add the egg whites and cream of tartar into your stand mixer. Beat them together at high speed until foamy. Add the sugar ¼ cup at a time until stiff peaks form.
- Assemble: Take the bowl from the fridge and remove the plastic wrap from the base of the cake. Place it on a baking sheet with the cake facing down and remove the rest of the plastic wrap. Add the meringue starting from the center and working your way to the edges in a swirling pattern with little meringue peaks. Put it back in the freezer for 4 hours until the dish is firm.
- Baking time: Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Then bake for 3-5 minutes. The high temperature and quick bake time should toast the meringue without melting the middle. Take it from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
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VARIATIONS ON BAKED ALASKA
- Ice Cream Flavors: The filling for your Baked Alaska can be made with any of your favorite ice cream flavors. Try layering in different kinds like coffee, mint chocolate chip, cookie dough, peanut butter, pistachio, or banana ice cream. You can mix and match as many different varieties as you’d like to scoop into the bowl. Alternatively, you can also just pick one flavor to use for the whole recipe instead of having separate layers.
- Cake: You can also experiment with different kinds of cake for the base of the recipe. Sponge Cake, Chocolate Cake, or Classic Vanilla Cake could all be sliced to go on the bottom.
- Boozy Baked Alaska: For Baked Alaska with a little alcoholic kick, you can mix rum into the ice cream filling. Before you add the ice cream flavor to Baked Alaska, scoop it into a separate bowl and stir it. Stir the ice cream with a wooden spoon until it’s softened enough to mix in 2 tablespoons of dark rum. You can do this for just one ice cream flavor or add alcohol to all three.
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HOW TO STORE BAKED ALASKA
- Serve: After browning the meringue topping in the oven, give the dish 5 minutes to set before you slice and serve it. The ice cream will melt fairly quickly, so don’t leave Baked Alaska out of the freezer for more than half an hour.
- Freeze: Unfortunately, this recipe won’t keep well long-term. If you have any leftovers you can wrap them in plastic wrap to store in the freezer for 1-2 days.
For the Meringue:
- 6 large egg whites , room temperature
- 1 pinch cream of tartar
- 1 cup sugar
- Spray a 3-quart bowl with vegetable oil spray and line with plastic wrap.
- Add the strawberry ice cream and smooth into an even layer.
- Add the vanilla ice cream and smooth into an even layer.
- Add the chocolate ice cream and smooth into an even layer.
- Cut the pound cake into 1 inch slices and cover the top of the ice cream completely with cake.
- Fold plastic wrap over the top of the slices and if needed add an additional piece of plastic wrap to cover completely.
- Freeze for 4 hours.
For the Meringue:
- To your stand mixer add the egg whites and cream of tartar.
- Beat on medium-high speed until foamy then add in the sugar ¼ cup at a time until it holds stiff peaks and is shiny.
- Remove the plastic-wrapped ice cream from the bowl and unwrap.
- Place onto a baking sheet, loaf cake side down.
- Add meringue to the top and sides in a swirly fashion making small peaks.
- Freeze for 4 hours.
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
- Bake for 3-5 minutes until just browned.
- Let cake sit for 5 minutes before slicing.