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Baked Alaska Sheet Cake

Recreate a classic dessert featuring layers of rich cake and creamy Tillamook Ice Cream covered in mounds of fluffy meringue. Assembling it in a rectangular baking dish is key for easy slicing and serving.

155minserves 10-15


  • Devil’s Food Cake:

    • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

    • ½ cup boiling water

    • ½ cup whole milk

    • 1 stick Tillamook Extra Creamy Unsalted Butter

    • 1 cup granulated sugar

    • 2 large eggs

    • 1 tsp vanilla extract 

    • 1 cup all purpose flour

    • ¾ tsp baking powder

    • ¼ tsp baking soda

    • ¼ tsp fine sea salt

  • Ice Cream + Meringue Topping:

    • One 48 oz container of Tillamook Neapolitan Ice Cream 

    • 4 large egg whites

    • ½ tsp cream of tartar

    • 1 cup granulated sugar

    • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Make the cake: preheat the oven to 350°F with an oven rack in the center. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan with nonstick spray.

  2. Place the cocoa powder in a medium heat-safe bowl. Add the hot water and whisk until fully combined. Add the milk and whisk to combine.

  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the buetter and sugar until light and fluff, 4-5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and mix to combine, then scrape the bowl well after each addition.

  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add one third of this mixture to the mixer, and mix on low speed to combine. Add half of the cocoa/milk mixture and mix until the batter is smooth.

  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Transfer to the oven and bake until a toothpick or skewer comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs, 30-35 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely in the pan. 

  6. When the cake is cool, soften the ice cream for 10-15 minutes. Scoop the full container of ice cream onto the surface of the cake. Try to build a single layer of scoops all over the surface before starting to stack any scoops.

  7. Cover the ice cream directly with a large sheet of plastic wrap, and use your hands to press it gently into a fairly even layer. Transfer the covered cake to the freezer for at least 1 hour, or until firm.

  8. Shortly before you’re ready to serve the cake, make the meringue topping. Fill a medium pot with about 2 inches of water, and bring it to a simmer over medium-low heat. Place a medium, heat-safe bowl on top of the pot (if your electric mixer bowl is heat-safe, use it, since later you’ll be using the mixer).

  9. Add the egg whites, cream of tartar, sugar, and vanilla and whisk constantly until the mixture reads 160°F on a thermometer. Transfer the heated mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer (if not already using). Fit the mixer with the whip attachment, whip on medium-high speed until the mixture reaches medium peaks, about 5 minutes. 

  10. Remove the cake from the freezer, and remove the plastic wrap. Spread the meringue into an even layer over the surface. If desired, use a kitchen torch to toast the meringue (if you don’t have a torch, don’t worry - the meringue has already been “cooked” when you heated it to 160°F). 

  11. Slice and serve immediately. Loosely cover any leftover cake, and freeze for up to 1 week

Meet the chef

Erin Jeanne McDowell

Erin Jeanne McDowell is an author and video host specializing in all things baking. Her first book, The Fearless Baker, was named one of the best baking books of the year (2017) by The New York Times. Her second, The Book on Pie, is a New York Times Bestseller. Her newest book, Savory Baking, is all about translating a love of baking to every meal of the day - not just dessert! She hosts the award-winning series Bake it Up a Notch for Food52, where she teaches in-depth baking lessons and troubleshoots common issues. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Food Network, Bon Appetit, and more.