Baked-Alaska Tree

baked alaska tree
Photo: Chris Simpson
Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
8 to 10 Serves

This jaw-dropping confection takes Baked Alaska to new heights. While this is an ambitious project that will require at least a full day of freezing time, don't let the tall peak intimidate you—it's surprisingly straightforward to make. Scoop softened chocolate and peppermint ice cream into a cone mold you can fashion at home. Freeze until firm, then coat your very own tree in crushed store-bought wafers and snowy meringue. Burnish it with a kitchen torch tableside, and wait for a flurry of wows.


  • 9 ounces chocolate-wafer cookies, such as Famous

  • 1 ⅓ cups sugar

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3 pints chocolate ice cream, softened

  • 2 pints peppermint ice cream, softened

  • 4 large egg whites

  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. Open a standard manila file folder. Roll it into a cone with an 8-inch diameter; tape to seal. Cut off excess to make a flat base with a 7 1/2-inch diameter. Roll a similar-size piece of parchment; fit inside cone. Place cone in a pot, tip down (to hold it upright). Pulse wafers in a food processor with 1/3 cup sugar; add butter and salt and pulse to moisten crumbs.

  2. Spread chocolate ice cream into cone in a 1-inch-thick layer (leaving center hollow). Freeze 15 minutes. Fill with peppermint ice cream. Pat 1 1/2 cups crumbs evenly on top. Freeze upright, point-down in pot, at least 8 hours and up to 3 days. Invert on a serving plate; remove mold and parchment. Let stand until slightly softened, 5 minutes. Pat remaining crumbs over outside of cone. Return to freezer.

  3. Whisk egg whites and remaining 1 cup sugar in the heatproof bowl of a stand mixer and place over a pot of simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar dissolves and egg whites are warm to the touch, about 3 1/2 minutes. Place bowl in stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment and whip, starting on low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high, until egg whites are foamy. Add cream of tartar and continue to whip until stiff, glossy peaks form. Fold in cornstarch and vanilla. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip (such as Ateco #806)

  4. Starting at bottom of tree, and holding tip perpendicular to it, pipe upward, dragging meringue into teardrop shapes for a snowy effect. Lightly brown meringue with a kitchen torch. To serve, cut a piece from tip to base, then slice crosswise. (Cake can be made up to 3 days ahead; freeze it whole before piping on meringue.)

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