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4th of July Baked Alaska

4th of July Baked Alaska

It’s 90°F in the shade and I just can’t bring myself to fire up the oven today. So, the only reasonable thing to do is make a 4th of July Baked Alaska with homemade ice cream and top it with flaming meringue. If you don’t want to make your own ice cream, then just get your favorite store-bought brand and layer them up in a loaf pan. I used strawberry, coconut, and blueberry ice creams to create the red, white, and blue stripes. Okay, they’re pink, cream and purple, but the intention was right and I say close enough.

Update 1/19/23: This post lead to a dream come true for me. Dorie Greenspan is one of my favorite humans and the baker/cookbook author who has had a profound influence on my career. When she asked me to participate in her New York Times article about Baked Alaska, I gleefully accepted. Dorie had been reading about the oldest woman alive, a nun named Sister Andre, who was 117 years old at the time and had proclaimed her love of baked Alaska. Dorie flipped the colors of my baked Alaska to better represent Sister Andre’s home in France. Yesterday Dorie wrote to me again, this time to share that Sister Andre had passed away, she was 118 years old. In honor of her exquisitely long life, well lived, I made this Chocolate and Coffee Baked Alaska, using ice cream and bits and pieces from my pantry. RIP Sister Andre!

4th of July Baked Alaska

You can go as crazy or quiet with your meringue as you’d like, but lighting it on fire with kirschwasser (cherry flavored booze) shouldn’t really be optional. If you don’t want the booze, just use your blow torch and you’ll have the same effect without the alcohol.

Happy 4th of July!

4th of July Baked Alaska
4th of July Baked Alaska
4th of July Baked Alaska
4th of July Baked Alaska, one of Zoë François's favorite 4th of July desserts.

4th of July Baked Alaska

Layers of strawberry, blueberry and coconut ice cream, covered in meringue and torched to perfection. A beautiful dessert and no oven required!
This recipe requires you to plan ahead! You'll need to make three different ice cream recipes, freeze the ice cream layers in between, and macerate the strawberries two hours ahead of time. You can watch me assemble this in my Instagram story.
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Course: ice cream


  • 4 cups Strawberry Ice Cream (store bought or homemade) Recipe here. I added sliced, macerated strawberries to the ice cream as I was taking it out of the ice cream maker.
  • 2 cups Coconut Ice Cream (store bought or homemade) I added 1 cup shredded, sweetened coconut to my vanilla ice cream recipe just as it was finishing churning in the ice cream machine.
  • 2 cups Blueberry Ice Cream (store bought or homemade) I used the strawberry ice cream recipe, but used blueberries instead.
  • Swiss Meringue for covering the cake Swiss meringue recipe here.
  • 1/4 cup Kirschwasser optional

Macerated Strawberries

  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries cut them no more than 1/4-inch-thick
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp lime or lemon juice


Macerated Strawberries

  • Combine the strawberries, sugar and lime juice in a small bowl and allow to sit for 2 hours, until the strawberries have released much of their juices. Strain when ready to use.

Assemble the Baked Alaska

  • You can watch me assemble the baked Alaska in my Instagram story. Line a frozen 9-inch Pullman Loaf Pan with parchment paper.
  • Spoon 1/3 of the strawberry ice cream into the loaf pan, spoon some of the macerated strawberries onto the ice cream, repeat this two more times. Run a knife in the ice cream to distribute the strawberries, then smooth the top. Cover and freeze for at least an hour.
  • Add the coconut ice cream to the pan and smooth it over the strawberry ice cream. Freeze for at least an hour.
  • Spread the blueberry ice cream over the coconut layer, cover and freeze for several hours, until it is firm. This can be done days in advance of serving it.
  • Invert the pan over the serving plate (be sure the plate is large enough to catch the kirschwasser when you pour it over the top) and if the ice cream won’t come out, heat the pan by wrapping it with a hot towel or wave it with a blowtorch.
  • Cover the cake with the meringue. I used an Ateco 790 Decorating Tip and a Leaf Decorating Tip. Freeze the cake for at least an hour before serving.
  • Just before serving, warm the kirschwasser in a pan over low heat for about 2 minutes. Carefully light the kirschwasser on fire with a long match or torch flame. Carefully and slowly drizzle the flaming alcohol evenly over the entire cake and watch it toast the meringue. It will burn off on its own. This step is optional — you can always just torch the meringue with your blow torch to skip the alcohol.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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4 thoughts to “4th of July Baked Alaska”

  1. Looks great. I may just use Breyer’s vanilla ice cream, divided into three portions. Leave one plain, add mashed strawberries to 1/3, blueberries to the other 1/3. Soften the ice cream to add the fruit. Maybe some food coloring.

    Thanks for the idea

    1. Hi Kate! The alcohol burns off, but there is still a bit of a taste from the kirschwasser. Zoë suggests just using a blow torch to torch the meringue and skipping the alcohol altogether for your little one. Cheers!

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