Baked Alaska is an easy dessert to make, and it's quite versatile. The cake and ice cream can be cut or molded in a variety of shapes and sizes. Make small, individual baked Alaska desserts or one large cake. If you want a dome-shaped cake, soften the ice cream and then freeze it in a large bowl; unmold it onto a round cake and then cover it with the meringue. Or use small store-bought sponge cake shells to make single-serve desserts.
The meringue acts as insulation which protects the ice cream from the heat. The meringue should be at least 1/2 inch in thickness over the ice cream and completely cover the ice cream and cake with no gaps or openings.
- 2/3 cup superfine sugar (see notes)
- 5 egg whites (room temperature)
- 1 layer sponge cake (or a yellow, chocolate, or white cake, about 8 x 8 inches)
- 1/4 cup jam (seedless raspberry, strawberry, etc.)
- 1 brick ice cream (very firmly frozen)
Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 450 F.
Cut the cake a little larger than the brick of ice cream, about 1/2 inch larger on each side. Place the cake on an oven-safe platter or tray. If the cake is a loaf size, cut the ice cream brick a little smaller.
Warm the jam and brush it over the cake.
Place the brick of ice cream on the sponge cake. Move the cake and ice cream to the freezer. Freeze for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until very firm.
Beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually add the sugar to egg whites and beat until meringue forms stiff peaks.
Spread the meringue over the ice cream and the cake, taking care to seal completely, so no ice cream or cake is exposed. It should be about 1/2 inch in thickness over the ice cream and cake.
Bake for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until the meringue is light brown. Serve and enjoy!
Raw Egg Warning
Consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs poses a risk of food-borne illness.
- If you don't have superfine sugar, put 3/4 cup of granulated sugar in a food processor. Process the sugar for about 1 to 2 minutes, or until fine. Measure 2/3 cup to use in the recipe.
- Eggs are easier to separate when they're cold. Separate the whites into the mixing bowl, and let stand until they come to room temperature. Save the yolks for another recipe.
- Egg yolks can be frozen. For every 4 yolks, beat about 1/8 teaspoon of salt (for main dishes) or 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar or corn syrup (for sweet dishes) into them. Label the container with the number of egg yolks and the date.
- The meringue is browned quickly in a hot oven, so it might not be cooked to the safe temperature of 160 F. Fresh eggs may contain Salmonella which can cause foodborne illness. Children, older adults, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems are at greater risk for foodborne illness. If you aren't sure about your eggs, use pasteurized eggs or egg white powder to make the meringue for this recipe.