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Pistachio and strawberry ice cream top a fudgy brownie base that's frosted with meringue and torched to create this baked Alaska. This concept is said to have emerged when a British physicist known as Count Rumford was experimenting with egg whites during the Revolutionary period and found them to be poor conductors of heat. Make sure to bake the brownie base and layer the ice creams the night before prepping the meringue.

Recipe Summary test

45 mins
45 mins
11 hrs 30 mins
11 hrs 120 mins
1 4-layer baked Alaska


Original recipe yields 16 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist
Brownie Crust:
Ice Cream Dome:
Meringue Topping:


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (175 degrees C). Line the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan with parchment and spray the sides with cooking spray.

  • Melt butter, semisweet chocolate chips, and unsweetened chocolate in a medium mixing bowl set over a double boiler, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and let cool while working on the next step.

  • Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small mixing bowl.

  • Whisk sugar, eggs, instant coffee, and vanilla together in another bowl until well combined. Pour in the chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Add in the flour mixture and stir until fully incorporated. Pour batter into the cake pan.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until edges are set and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool completely in the pan, at least 30 minutes.

  • In the meantime, transfer ice cream to the refrigerator to warm for 15 minutes. Line a 9-inch glass mixing bowl with plastic wrap, leaving a few inches of overhang on the sides.

  • Remove one of the pints of pistachio ice cream and press into the bottom of the prepared bowl using a small rubber spatula. Smooth into an even layer and freeze for 15 minutes. Repeat the process with both pints of strawberry ice cream, freezing for 15 minutes between each pint.

  • Fold the overhanging plastic wrap over the top layer of ice cream. Freeze until solid, 10 hours to overnight.

  • Turn brownie out, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

  • Gently whisk egg whites with superfine sugar and cream of tartar over top of a double boiler until eggs are warm to the touch the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Pour meringue into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip at a low speed until foamy. Increase speed and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in vanilla.

  • Unwrap chilled brownie and place on a serving tray or cake stand. Grab the plastic wrap overhang and lift the ice cream dome out of the bowl, dunking the bottom of the bowl in warm water to help it release. Place dome flat-side down on top of the brownie.

  • Quickly frost the dome with the meringue in a swirl pattern, covering the ice cream completely.

  • Toast the meringue using a brulee torch, or broil until browned. Serve immediately.

Cook's Notes:

Brownie crust can be made the day of and chilled for a minimum of 1 hour.

If not serving immediately, freeze the cake before torching. You can also assemble the ice cream-brownie dome first, freeze, and frost with meringue later.

Nutrition Facts

438 calories; protein 7.2g; carbohydrates 46g; fat 26.9g; cholesterol 100.5mg; sodium 198.8mg. Full Nutrition