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Lemony Baked Alaska with Strawberries - Alex Guarnaschelli

Lemony Baked Alaska with Strawberries

Course: Dessert
Serving Size: 8 -10
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  • 9-inch cake pan
  • 1 sealable plastic bag or pastry bag
  • "star tip" pastry tip


  • 2 pints lemon sorbet


  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • 1 cup strawberries hulled and halved
  • ¼ cup sugar


  • 4 large egg whites room temperature
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup London dry gin (or 151 proof rum)


  • Preheat the oven to 350F.

Prepare the sorbet:

  • In a medium bowl 7-8 inches in diameter, “mash” the sorbet and form it into a dome inside the bowl. Smooth the top and cover with plastic. Freeze.

Start the cake:

  • Use 1 tablespoon of the butter to grease the cake pan. In a small pot, melt the remaining butter over medium heat. Cool. In a medium bowl, sift together the baking soda, salt, baking powder and flour.

Make the batter:

  • In another bowl, combine the sugar, vanilla, sour cream and the egg. Whisk until smooth. Add the flour mixture in small batches, whisking as you go to avoid the formation of lumps. Stir in the melted butter. Whisk until smooth. Add the chocolate. Stir to blend.

Bake the cake:

  • Transfer the batter to the greased baking pan. Gently tap the sides of the pan so the batter is evenly distributed. Place the pan in the center of the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.

Unmold cake:

  • Use a knife to scrape around the sides of the baking sheet and invert the cake from the pan onto a large, round, ovenproof serving platter. You are building a dessert on top of this cake so the platter should be larger than the cake.

Prepare the strawberries:

  • In a medium bowl, stir together the strawberries, sugar and vanilla. Refrigerate.

Make the meringue:

  • Raise the oven temperature to 400 F and a line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment whip the egg whites on medium speed. The whites will gain volume, 2-3 minutes. Beat in the cream of tartar and the sugar. Whip until “stiff peaks” form, 1-2 minutes more. The whites should be firm and look glossy. Transfer the whites to a disposable pastry bag (or sealable plastic bag) fitted with a “star” tip.

Assemble the dessert:

  • When ready to serve, remove the sorbet from the freezer and place the flat side right on top of the cake. Squeeze the egg whites from the bag in little spurts and cover the whole surface of the sorbet and cake with little egg white “spikes”. Have fun with it.

Bake and serve:

  • Place the dish in the hot oven and bake 3-4 minutes until the meringue hardens and browns slightly. Spoon the fruit around the meringue, pour the gin around the edges of the platter and carefully “light” the fruit liquid so it burns a ring around the dessert as you serve it.