Baked Alaska

For this popular dessert to be a success it must be assembled and cooked at the last minute. Make sure that the ice cream is as hard as possible, that the ice cream and sponge are completely coated in meringue, and that the oven has reached the recommended temperature. Watch the Baked Alaska closely as it cooks, and remove it from the oven as soon as the swirls of meringue are golden brown.


serves 6 - 8
2 egg whites
150 g (5 oz) caster sugar
1 quantity Vanilla Ice Cream

for the cake

fat for greasing
2 eggs
50 g (2 oz) caster sugar
few drops of vanilla essence
50 g (2 oz) plain flour, sifted
30 ml (2 tbsp) melted butter, cooled


1. Make the cake several hours before you intend to serve the dessert.

2. Line and grease a 20 cm (8 inch) sandwich cake tin.

3. Set the oven at 180°c (350°f) gas 4.

4. Combine the eggs, sugar and vanilla essence in a heatproof bowl. Place over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk until the mixture is thick, pale lemon in colour, and has doubled in bulk. This will take 6 - 8 minutes.

5. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue to beat until cooled and very thick.

6. Working swiftly and lightly, fold in the flour, then the butter. Spoon into the prepared tin and bake for 20 - 30 minutes or until cooked through and firm to the touch. Cool on a wire rack.

7. When almost ready to serve the Baked Alaska, set the oven at 230°C (450°F) gas 8.

8. Put the egg whites in a clean, grease free bowl and whisk until very stiff, gradually whisking in half the sugar. Fold in the remaining sugar.

9. Place the cold cake on an ovenproof plate and pile the ice cream on to it, leaving a 1 cm (1 1/2 inch) clear border all around.

10. Cover quickly with the meringue, making sure that both the ice cream and the cake are completely covered.

11. Draw the meringue into swirls, using the blade of a knife or a palette knife.

12. Immediately put the Alaska into the oven and bake for 3 - 4 minutes until the meringue is just beginning to brown.

13. Serve at once.

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