Remaking a Classic 1950s Dessert: Baked Alaska Cups

Written by Liz –

Baked Alaska Cups recipe

If you’re like me, you have nostalgic taste buds and you remember Baked Alaska being a fancy dessert your mom only made for special dinner parties. It went very well with an Old Fashioned cocktail, Beef Wellington and brightly colored polyester pantsuits. She probably learned how to make this dessert from her mom, who impressed her 1950s dinner guests even more than her daughter did.

This dessert is a version of ice cream cake that’s finished by flash-baking it in a very hot oven to brown the outside, keeping the inside frozen. It originated in Switzerland & France, then migrated to America with several modifications, like replacing the outer pastry crust with whipped egg-whites with sugar, otherwise known as meringue. The dessert picked up its current name by a pastry chef in New York, who made it famous during the time the U.S. acquired the Alaska territory.

Our Baked Alaska Cups recipe uses brownies for the cake portion, strawberry ice cream, then classic meringue in individual serving cups — canning jars work very well for this! And it’s easier than you think. You can make them ahead of time, then store the cups in the freezer until dessert time. Just pop them in a 500-degree oven for 2 minutes and your guests can enjoy their own retro-chic treat. The combination of frozen ice cream and brownie with hot meringue is sublime.

Baked Alaska Cups

Ingredients for 6 servings:


PLACE six 8-ounce custard cups on baking sheet; set aside.

SPRAY 11 x 7-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; line pan with foil, allowing foil to hang over edges of pan. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.

Baked Alaska Cups recipe

PREPARE brownie mix (or your favorite brownie recipe) according to package directions; spread in prepared pan. Bake according to package directions. Cool completely in pan; lift brownie from pan using foil overhang. Cut into six rounds with a 3-inch diameter cookie or biscuit cutter. (If you’re using canning jars, you can use the jar to cut the brownies to correct size: turn jar upside down, press into brownies, turn back over and press brownie down with spoon, as shown above).

Baked Alaska Cups recipe

PLACE each brownie round in the bottom of the custard cups. Top with ½ cup of slightly softened ice cream and smooth to sides of cup, as shown above. Place on baking sheet and freeze for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.

Baked Alaska Cups recipe

BEAT egg whites in an electric mixer with whisk attachment on medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar; continue to beat until soft peaks form, as shown above. Slowly add sugar and vanilla; continue beating until glossy peaks form.

Baked Alaska Cups recipe

REMOVE cups from freezer. Spoon the meringue evenly over the top of each cup (roughly ½-3/4 cup each), covering the top completely and swirling the meringue into a high dome, as shown above.

PREHEAT oven to 500° F.

Baked Alaska Cups recipe

BAKE for 2 minutes or until meringue is browned, as shown above. Serve immediately.

More ice cream pie recipes:

Caramel Coconut Cookie Ice Cream Pie recipe Caramel Macchiato Ice Cream Pie recipe
Caramel Coconut Cookie
Ice Cream Pie
Caramel Macchiato
Ice Cream Pie


  1. AnnaB
    Posted May 27, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Are these jars safe to go from freezer to 500 degrees?? Thank you 🙂

    • Posted May 27, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Yes! Canning jars are safe for both freezer and 500 degrees, as well as going between. I made this recipe using small canning jars no problem.

  2. Posted May 28, 2013 at 6:40 am | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Liz,
    Thought your recipe looked cute…I make Baked Alaska all the time…my signature dessert. However cute yours maybe…I would never take glass from the freezer and put into a hot oven…setting yourself up for a disaster!!

  3. Bonny Cole
    Posted July 16, 2013 at 10:48 am | Permalink | Reply

    Not really, mason jars are made to do that. They are usually taken from boiling water to fridge with no problem. And custard cups, the same thing. I’ve never had a problem with it.

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