National Baked Alaska Day occurs annually on February 1 to celebrate and encourage everyone to treat themselves to the tasty dessert made of ice cream, sponge cake, and meringue. Baked Alaska was first called ‘Alaska Florida’ because of its contrast in temperature when it was first invented.
History of National Baked Alaska Day
National Baked Alaska Day invites you to indulge in this delicious ice cream–topped sponge-cake dessert.
Baked Alaska is made by placing slices of sponge cake at the bottom of a pie pan, filling it with your favorite ice cream flavor before covering it completely in whipped meringue mixture, and baking for 3-10 minutes. It is baked in the oven at a very high temperature of preferably 500°F to allow the meringue to solidify slightly, and brown.
The story behind its existence is that In 1867 there was a heated public debate over the agreement to purchase Alaska from Russia for $7 million by Secretary of State William Seward that led Chef Charles Ranhofer of Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York City, who was already notorious for naming new and old food after public figures, to capitalize on the uproar by introducing what we now know as Baked Alaska to Delmonico’s menu.
The frozen-hard ice cream covered with meringue on a base of warm sponge cake is what gives this dessert its unique characteristic of drastic temperature contrast.
On National Baked Alaska Day everyone is expected to enjoy a sweet bite of this yummy retro dish that is often served in flames.
Serving cream and cake together dates back to the Renaissance. The cooks of the era were considered the first to decorate their baked food with a whipped topping.
National Baked Alaska Day timeline
Baked Alaska is invented to capitalize on the controversy that ensues after Secretary of State William Seward agrees to purchase Alaska from Russia for $7 million.
Baked Alaska dessert is dubbed so by a chef at the famous Delmonico’s restaurant in New York City to celebrate Alaska’s annexation.
Alaska’s statehood is confirmed when it was admitted into the Union.
In 2005, Ben & Jerry’s created the world’s largest Baked Alaska, weighing 1,140 pounds and measuring 4 feet tall, to protest the drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
National Baked Alaska Day FAQs
When is National Alaska Day?
National Alaska Day is marked on June 28.
Which president served Baked Alaska?
Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States (1891-1809), is rumored to be the first to serve ice cream at a banquet.
How much does a Baked Alaska cost?
A Baked Alaska that can serve six people costs $30.
National Baked Alaska Day Activities
Make a Baked Alaska
How else can we celebrate Baked Alaska Day if not by making one? Place slices of sponge cake at the bottom of a pie pan, filling it with your favorite ice cream flavor, before covering it completely in whipped meringue mixture, and baking.
Profess your love on social media
Help people grow a love for Baked Alaska to celebrate National Baked Alaska Day! Celebrate the distinct taste and contrast in temperature we all love in Baked Alaska, with tasty pictures to drive people to long for it. Use the hashtag #BakedAlaskaDay.
Take a trip to Alaska
Adventure in Alaska! Aside from the fact that this dessert is named after it, the state is full of food troves and natural wonders waiting to be discovered! One way to observe National Baked Alaska Day is to take a trip down to Alaska
5 Things You Should Know About Baked Alaska
The key ingredient
American physicist Benjamin Thompson's discovery of meringue is what gives Baked Alaska its unique characteristic of a contrasting hot top layer and cold base.
It wasn't always meringue
This dessert, in its early versions, used pie crusts instead of meringue.
Jean Giroix's Influence
Giroix, a chef at Hotel De Paris, Monte Carlo, popularized the dish in 1895.
It’s also known as Norwegian Omelette
Baked Alaska’s lesser-known name, Norwegian Omelette or Omelette Norvegienne, also gives tribute to this dessert’s appearance as a cold, snow-covered mountain.
It was first named Alaska Florida
Baked Alaska was originally named Alaska Florida when it was first invented by Chef Charles Ranhofer of Delmonico's restaurant, New York City.
Why We Love National Baked Alaska Day
Baked Alaska is yummy! It sometimes consists of delicious homemade vanilla or chamomile ice cream with a yummy lemon sponge underneath and a thick, fluffy layer of meringue that engulfs the entire cake in a blanket of shiny, sugary, stiffly whipped peaks. Oh, delicious!
It reminds us of Alaska
Yes! Alaska holds a sacred place in our hearts for its beautiful animals and incredibly amazing landscape. It’s only right that we love the yummy dessert more when we remember Alaska.
The story behind its invention
We love the story of the invention of Baked Alaska! Already notorious for naming dishes after famous people and events, Chef Charles Ranhofer capitalized on the heated controversy surrounding the purchase of Alaska from Russia by naming this desert after it, and we love it.
National Baked Alaska Day dates