February 1: It’s Baked Alaska Day!

February 1 is National Baked Alaska Day. Baked Alaska is an intriguing dessert served with warm sponge cake, a layer (or several) of cold ice cream, all covered in toasted meringue. We show you how!

Whether you call it Baked Alaska, glace au fouromelette norvégienneomelette surprise, or omelette sibérienne, the best way to celebrate Baked Alaska Day is to have a slice. You could buy one, but why not make your own and make it a party!

Kids at birthday party with baked alaska cake

A Baked Alaska is science in action. The ice cream is between two insulators, meringue and sponge cake. The cake comes out warm, the meringue toasted but the ice cream stays cold!

The history of baked Alaska desserts.

Although “Baked Alaska” wasn’t in any cookbooks until the 19th century, the concept of serving cake and ice cream is part of a long culinary tradition.

The earliest known combination of hot and cold in a dessert was by the Chinese who baked a pie crust style pastry over an ice cream filling.

In the 1830s French chefs served omelette norvégienne, a layer of cake and a layer ice cream that was covered with meringue and then boiled.

In 1804, American physicist Benjamin Thompson experimented with the heat resistance of egg whites, and created meringue as an insulator.

Thompson, was also known as Count Rumford, Knight of the Orders of the White Eagle and St. Stanislaus and Privy Counsellor of State, and Lieutenant General in the Service of His Most Serene Highness the Elector Palatine, the Reigning Duke of Bavaria. He was an avid inventor. Besides meringue, he also invented the oil lamp, fire grate, double boiler, a coffee percolator, and the kitchen range and improved the construction of chimneys, furnaces, baths, and heating by steam.

At the 1867 World’s Fair in Paris, the chef at the Grand Hôtel served a “scientific dessert”. He used Thompson’s meringue idea and name his dessert Norwegian omelette in his honor. (The chef thought Bavaria was in Norway.)

The best way to celebrate Baked Alaska Day is to make one!

Easy breezy first baked Alaska ever recipe.

Don’t worry. If you’ve never made one before, we have an easy “practice” version so you can gain confidence in the science first.

Easy baked Alaska recipe

{DIY} Go for the gold baked Alaska recipe.

Homemade Baked Alaska cake

Feel confident? Then make one from scratch! We give you the recipe and show you how step by step.

Want more? See all of February’s Daily Holidays.

February daily holidays national days and special days

See all of February’s Daily Holidays so you can prepare your celebrations in advance.

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