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A baked alaska on a cake stand

Baked Alaska with Raspberry Sorbet & Lime Ice Cream

This Baked Alaska is a showstopper of a dessert. You can be as fancy as you’d like, making the ice cream and sorbet from scratch, or using store-bought. And your meringue can be crazy or tame, but lighting it on fire is not optional in my book!


  • 1 quart Raspberry Sorbet or your favorite store-bought sorbet
  • 2 quarts No-Churn Lime Ice Cream or your favorite store-bought ice cream mixed in a bowl until the consistency of soft-serve
  • One 10-ounce store-bought pound cake
  • Swiss Meringue completely cooled

Hibiscus Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp dried hibiscus flowers
  • Thai Chile Simple Syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 fresh Thai bird chiles more or less to taste

Raspberry Sorbet

  • 8 cups (940g) fresh or frozen raspberries thawed if frozen
  • 1 clean whole egg in the shell for determining when the sorbet base is ready to freeze
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • About 1 cup Hibiscus Simple Syrup exact amount will depend on sweetness of berries (recipe above)
  • About 1 cup Thai Chile Simple Syrup exact amount will depend on sweetness of berries (recipe above)

No-Churn Lime Ice Cream

  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp lime zest
  • 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 8 oz mascarpone
  • 1/4 cup (30g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

Swiss Meringue


  • Transfer enough raspberry sorbet to fill the cavities of a 6-cavity silicone half-sphere mold with 2.75-inch diameter cavities. Use a small offset spatula to smooth the sorbet to a level finish. Freeze for at least 2 hours before assembling the baked Alaska.
  • Line a 9 x 4 x 4-inch Pullman loaf pan with parchment paper, so a significant amount hangs over the long sides. Add a thin layer of raspberry sorbet to the bottom of the pan and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Freeze the remaining sorbet for another use in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
  • Remove the pan from the freezer after 2 hours. It’s time for the next layer. Add about half of the lime ice cream in an even layer over the first sorbet layer.
  • Unmold 2 of the half spheres of raspberry sorbet and stick them together to form a full sphere. Place the sphere of sorbet into the layer of lime ice cream. Repeat with the remaining 4 half spheres. Cover with the remaining lime ice cream. To make a cake base, cut a super thin layer of pound cake and trim off the browned edges. Place it on top of the lime ice cream and trim the cake to fit the pan, adding more cake as needed. You can use any thin cake you like. Using a layer of cake for the bottom helps to keep the baked Alaska from sliding around on the serving plate and makes serving easier.
  • Place the loaf pan back in the freezer and freeze until frozen solid, at least 4 hours.
  • Remove the loaf pan from the freezer and invert it over a serving plate or cold marble slab. If the ice cream won’t come out, heat the pan by wrapping it with a hot towel or wave it with a blowtorch.
  • Remove the parchment paper. Cover the baked Alaska with the meringue using a large offset spatula. To create curls, take a blob—yes, a blob—of the meringue between your fingers and press it against the meringue on the cake. Pull the blob away from the cake, it will break off in a wispy curl. The thicker the blob you lay down as a foundation on the cake, the bigger the curls will be. It may take a few times to get the hang of it, but then you’ll be off and running. Plus, it’s fun. Freeze until ready to serve.
  • Right before serving, toast the meringue with a kitchen blowtorch: hold the blowtorch about 3 inches from the cake, so just the tip of the flame is hovering over the cake. Keep the torch moving so it doesn’t burn the meringue. The tip of the curls will set fire, which is not as scary as that sounds but you need to blow them out as you go. The burnt tips are a lovely contrast and add a wonderful flavor.
  • Slice the baked Alaska with a knife that’s been dipped in hot water to cleanly cut slices.

Raspberry Sorbet

  • To make the hibiscus simple syrup: In a small saucepan, bring the sugar, water, and hibiscus to a simmer. Allow to simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved. Turn off the heat and let sit until cool. Use or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
  • To make the Thai chile simple syrup: In a small saucepan, bring the sugar, water, and chiles to a simmer. Allow to simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved. Turn off the heat and let sit until cool. Use or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
  • To make the raspberry sorbet: Puree the raspberries in a blender; if using frozen thawed raspberries, include the juices. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the seeds. You should end up with about 3 cups of raspberry puree. Add 1/4 cup lemon juice.
  • Put your raspberry puree in a container that has room to add more liquid and is deep enough that you can submerge the egg in its shell. Gently place the egg in the container. At this point it will probably sink straight to the bottom, so don’t just drop it in. If it heads to the bottom, remove it and add about 1/2 cup of the hibiscus simple syrup. Stir and try the egg again.
  • This time, when you put the egg in, it should be suspended in the liquid, maybe not to the surface yet, but hovering just below. Remove the egg.
  • Add 1/2 cup of the Thai chile simple syrup and stir. Place the egg in the sorbet; now you can see it starting to emerge. It needs to be about the size of a quarter above the surface to indicate that there is enough sugar in your solution. Add more of the hibiscus and Thai chile simple syrups, a couple of tablespoons at a time, until you have the right level.
  • Once the egg is floating high enough, remove it. Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and proceed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The raspberry sorbet can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

No-Churn Lime Ice Cream

  • First, make the lime curd. In a large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, lime juice, salt, egg yolks, and half of the lime zest. Add the butter and set over a double boiler. Use a rubber spatula to stir the lime curd constantly until it starts to thicken. It should coat the spatula and cling to it before you remove it from the heat.
  • Strain the curd through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl, then stir in the remaining lime zest. Cover the bowl and set it inside an ice bath to cool the lime curd until completely cold. The lime curd can be made ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
  • When ready to make the ice cream, in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the mascarpone, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the heavy whipping cream and whip the mixture until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute.
  • Mix one-third of the mascarpone mixture into the chilled lime curd. Fold half of the remaining mascarpone mixture into the lime curd until nearly blended, then add the remaining mascarpone mixture until completely incorporated. Pour into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

Swiss Meringue

  • Bring about an inch of water in a saucepan to a simmer. Combine the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Place the bowl over the simmering water and stir the egg mixture with a rubber spatula until it is hot and all of the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and place the bowl onto the stand mixer, fit with a whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until very thick, glossy and stiff peaks when you lift the beater. Add the vanilla, mix well.
  • Use immediately.


Propane gas torches are highly flammable and should be kept away from heat, open flame and prolonged exposure to sunlight. They should be used only in well-ventilated areas. Follow torch manufacturer's instructions for use.
Adapted from "Zoë Bakes Cakes: Everything You Need to Know to Make Your Favorite Layers, Bundts, Loaves, and More" by Zoë François © Ten Speed Press 2021. Provided courtesy of Zoë François. All rights reserved.