Recipes » Dessert Recipes » Best Baked Alaska

Best Baked Alaska

This 1960s retro recipe for Baked Alaska combines buttery rich pound cake, creamy ice cream, and fluffy meringue for an impressive dessert!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Finished Baked Alaska on a white serving plate.

This 1960s retro recipe for Baked Alaska will have you reminiscing about Beatles songs and go-go boots! It combines buttery rich pound cake, creamy ice cream, and fluffy meringue for a dessert that is not only delicious but also makes an impressive ending to any dinner.

This is a real oldie, but goodie. My delicious retro recipe for Baked Alaska.

Finished Baked Alaska on a white serving plate.

I remember my mama making this as a treat for us when we were children and to serve at dinner parties. I thought it was the most elegant dessert I’d ever seen and my mama was so elegant because she knew how to make it.

Actually, it is pretty cool to take a dessert with a nice warm meringue out of the oven, slice into it and find that cold ice cream in the middle. I still love it.

The Baked Alaskas pictured in this post are the perfect size for two people to share. They can also be made as individual servings – just use a smaller cutter for the cake and a smaller scoop of ice cream. Simple as that!

🤔 What is Baked Alaska and Where Did it Come From?


Baked Alaska is simply cake topped with ice cream, covered with meringue, and cooked just long enough to brown the meringue without melting the ice cream. It can be made with many flavor combinations but the classic is pound cake with vanilla ice cream.

According to online sources, Baked Alaska was created by chef Antoine Alciatore at the famed Antoine’s Restaurant in New Orleans in 1867 to mark the acquisition of the territory of Alaska by the United States.

Other sources suggest that it was chef Charles Ranhofer of Delmonico’s who created the dish in 1894 and originally called it Alaska-Florida referring to its contrast between cold and hot.

The recipe is also known to some as an omelette à la norvégienne, “Norwegian Omelette.” I can’t say which title or originator is correct and neither can anyone else apparently. But I can tell you that this is a really simple dessert which makes a nice ending for a special dinner. Or just because it’s Tuesday.

Even if you don’t cook very much, you can do this. I promise.

❤ Why You’ll Love This Recipe


  • It’s simple to make.
  • Baked Alaska makes a beautiful centerpiece for a dessert table.
  • It’s a delicious combination of flavors yet not too sweet or heavy.
  • You’ll only need 4 ingredients!

Equipment You’ll Find Useful

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You’ll need a baking sheet, parchment paper, an electric mixer (either hand-held or a stand mixer), and an offset spatula or piping bag for adding the meringue.

🛒 Ingredients You’ll Need


Ingredients needed to make baked Alaska.
  • Ice CreamFor the traditional recipe, use a quality brand of vanilla such as Haagen-Dazs.
  • Pound CakeEither homemade pound cake or purchased (Sara Lee is great!) works fine.
  • EggsFor making the meringue.
  • SugarFor sweetening the meringue.

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

🔪 How to Make the Best Baked Alaska


  1. Before you begin, preheat the oven to 425.

Prepare the Cake and Ice Cream Layers

  1. Place the cake rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  2. Top each cake round with a large scoop of ice cream. Place these in the freezer while you prepare the meringue.

Make the Meringue

  1. Beat the room temperature egg whites with an electric mixer at high speed until they form a stiff, but not dry, meringue. Add the sugar near the end of the beating time.
  2. Remove the prepared cake and ice cream layers from the freezer and cover each with meringue, making sure to seal the meringue all the way down to the parchment.

Bake Until Golden Brown

Finished golden brown baked Alaska.
  1. Bake in the preheated oven for 6-8 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown.

👉 PRO TIP: At about the 5-minute mark, start watching carefully and if you begin to see a little melted ice cream starting to flow out, take them out immediately.

  1. Remove from the pan with a spatula and serve immediately.
Finished Baked Alaska on a white serving plate.

🔀 Recipe Variations


Put your own unique spin on this classic dessert. Try new combinations like chocolate cake with pistachio ice cream (looks like the earth and grass with clouds above as you cut into it) or a white cake with peach ice cream and meringue. For Valentine’s Day, I like to use chocolate cake with strawberry ice cream!

🍽 How to Serve


This is the perfect dessert to end a celebratory dinner with ribeye steaks, potatoes au gratin, a tossed salad with homemade ranch dressing, and my cheesy herb bread.

Finished Baked Alaska on a white serving plate.

❓ Questions About Baked Alaska


How does the ice cream not melt in Baked Alaska?

There’s actually a very good scientific reason that the ice cream doesn’t melt! And it all comes down to insulation. Both the meringue and cake have a loose cellular structure that traps air inside and protects the interior from heat. Pretty neat, huh?

How do I know when the Baked Alaska is done?

When the meringue is browned, it’s ready! Be sure to keep a watch on it in the oven, and if you see any melted ice cream beginning to seep out, remove it immediately.

How long does Baked Alaska last?

Not long! It’s a dessert that should be served immediately. Although you can prepare the cake and ice cream in advance, once the meringue is applied it needs to go immediately to the oven and then straight to the table.

🧾 More Recipes You’ll Like


Banana Split Icebox Cake - an old fashioned dessert with layers of whipped cream, banana, strawberries, and pineapple. https://www.lanascooking.com/banana-split-icebox-cake
Strawberry S'mores Ice Cream - Delicious fresh strawberry ice cream with bits of chocolate, graham crackers, and mini marshmallows. https://www.lanascooking.com/strawberry-smores-ice-cream/
Creamy, cold and delicious homemade peach ice cream with sweet, fresh Georgia grown peaches and rich with eggs, heavy cream, and whole milk. https://www.lanascooking.com/homemade-peach-ice-cream/
Rich, decadent, homemade strawberry ice cream. A summer time treat! https://www.lanascooking.com/homemade-strawberry-ice-cream/

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📖 Recipe

Finished Baked Alaska on a white serving plate.

Best Baked Alaska

This 1960s retro recipe for Baked Alaska combines buttery rich pound cake, creamy ice cream, and fluffy meringue for an impressive dessert!
5 from 3 votes
Print It Rate It Save Text It
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 522kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

For each serving:

  • 6 3-inch rounds pound cake
  • 3 cups vanilla ice cream (6 scoops approximately ½ cup each)
  • 6 egg whites at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Place the cake rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Topr the cake rounds with a large scoop of ice cream. Place these in the freezer while you prepare the meringue.
  • Beat the room temperature egg whites with an electric mixer at high speed until they form a stiff, but not dry, meringue. Add the sugar near the end of the beating time.
  • Remove the prepared cake and ice cream layers from the freezer and cover each with meringue, making sure to seal the meringue all the way down to the parchment.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 6-8 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown.
  • Remove from the pan with a spatula and serve immediately.

Notes

  • When applying the meringue, take care to seal it all the way down to the parchment paper.
  • At about the 5-minute mark of baking, start watching carefully, and if you see any melted ice cream beginning to run out, remove them from the oven immediately.
  • Try other combinations like chocolate cake with pistachio ice cream, white cake with peach ice cream and meringue, or chocolate cake with strawberry ice cream.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 | Calories: 522kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 390mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 53g

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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— This post was originally published on March 13, 2009. It has been updated with new photos and additional information.

A serving of Baked Alaska on a white plate.

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13 Comments

  1. Dear Nana!
    Greetings from Shizuoka, japan!
    That paricular recipe reminds of home (France)!
    Actualy, would you believe we call it “Norwegian Omelette” in France!
    It’ the same recipe except that instead of baking it we flambee it!
    In restaurants they would bring it aflame to your table!
    Cheers,
    Robert-Gilles

    http:/shizuokagourmet.wordpress.com/
    (Just in case WordPress takes you to my Fantasy log!

  2. Gee I’m flattered!!!! Thanks so much for the compliments. Touches my heart. Deserts are only special if you are serving them to VERY SPECIAL people. My children are the MOST SPECIAL& wonderful people I know.
    Love, Neena

  3. I remember Mama making this when we were children, for company. I don’t think we ever were served baked Alaska.

    I remember a time when Mama came to school when I was in the first grade. Remember, Aunt Virgina was teacher to both of us in first grade. Mama came in, had on a white blouse with a portrait collar, and her blond hair in a french twist (chignon). I remember thinking that she was the most beautiful person in the whole world.

    And, I agree — she was (and is) the most elegant of hostesses. She could/can make a sandwich look like a presentation at the Ritz Carlton Dining Room.

    You’re right. It’s fun.

    Miss P