14-8: Baked Alaska

Today is Independence Day here in the U.S., so let’s do one of my favorite desserts and recipes from this book, 14-8: Baked Alaska. Obviously Simply Delicious didn’t invent this dish–it’s an American dessert that’s existed since Civil War times and is so well known you can even make it as a Sim.

I have a history with this particular version of the dish, however. I first made it as my “showstopper” dessert for a big family dinner I cooked as a teenager (along with a similarly-aged family friend) many years ago.

I also taught about 200 K-8 kids (ages 5-13ish) how to make this recipe and several others as part of an after-school cooking class program that was one of my first teaching-related jobs. I’ve been waiting YEARS to write this one, so now it’s your turn with it.

Note that this recipe calls for an already-prepared cake bottom–meaning they assume you’ll figure out how to produce said cake bottom on your own (and aren’t factoring cake production into the prep time or ingredients). If you want to keep it simple, do what I did and pick yourself up a box cake mix.

Ingredients. As mentioned, I picked up a cake mix to make my cake bottom. You can pick up whichever kind you like, I just thought strawberry sounded good. You also can pick up whatever kind of ice cream you like–they say vanilla, but I remember making this the first time with chocolate.

Blurry picture of the jam being spread on the cake bottom. Cake was made first, and left to cool before being used for this recipe. The cake looks thin because I actually split the mix between two cake pans and made two thin layers instead of one.

Egg whites and sugar for making the meringue, which I’ll do in my stand mixer.

While the mixer beats the egg whites, I tried to pile the ice cream onto the layered cake. Non-dairy ice cream doesn’t always work the same as the real stuff.

Those are some very stiff peaks.

Spreading the meringue over the ice cream and cake. If you want to be fancy/proper about it, load the meringue into a pastry bag and pipe it on. If you don’t care because it’s just for you to eat, go ahead and be a bit more abstract with it.

After baking. I probably could have used one more egg white’s worth of meringue to cover the cake completely.

A slice–the meringue started to slide a bit, but otherwise it looks good. I think the strawberry cake made a decent bottom layer, especially when paired with the raspberry jam.

Where I took the slice from. It actually held up pretty well in the fridge over a few days while we worked on it slice by slice. If you want a fun, easy, classic American dessert for your socially distant summer celebrations, consider the Baked Alaska. ??

Grade: A+