Flaming Baked Alaska Cupcakes

Just call me the cupcake arsonist.

This is the second time I’ve intentionally set fire to this cutesy confection. What’s the appeal?  Maybe I feel the cupcake could use a break from its curlicued reputation.  Or maybe it appeals to my inner juvenile delinquent who loves to play with matches.  All I know for sure is, this is one incredibly delicious show-stopping dessert!  It’s a perfect dramatic finale for any dinner party.

Baked Alaska is a layered dessert consisting of cake, ice cream and sweet meringue, so it wasn’t terribly difficult to translate into cupcake form. To begin, you’ll need a “naked” cupcake – no wrappers!  They’d catch fire, and we certainly don’t want burning paper on our delicious treat.

You have two options to obtain your “naked” cupcakes: 1.) Bake cupcakes without liners in a greased and floured cupcake pan.  2.) For easy clean-up, use your least cutesy cupcake papers and just peel them away before you begin assembling the cakes. I’m all for the latter – one less pan to wash.  Inexpensive parchment paper liners will do just fine.

To make the blue-flame magic happen, turn down the lights and sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of warmed brandy over each meringue-coated cupcake. Ignite with a grill lighter or a long fireplace match.  Please note that I used a little more brandy on these cupcakes for photography purposes.  I needed a longer burn time so I could get a good picture of the flame. (I ate one of these cupcakes after photographing and it was a little strong – made my tongue tingly!).

Back when I made Flaming Strawberries on Cupcakes, I didn’t know heating the liquor would help it catch fire easier. Try it!  It makes all the difference!

Other goings-on:

  • My pal Meaghan of The Decorated Cookie has a new book available called Sugarlicious! I recieved my copy last Thursday, and it is a delight to read!  Lots of edible crafty goodness in there. I recommend!
  • Slight freak-out at the realization that in just a few short months, I’ll be making a wedding cake that serves 200 people!  Jesus take the wheel. 
  • Bon Appetit included me and some of my bloggy pals in their Red Velvet round-up. Check it out here!
  • I’m still working on answering your letters! (Just an update in case you haven’t received your reply yet.)
  • My fur-baby Churro hurt his paw while playing outside, which resulted in a trip to the pet ER.  He’s doing better, but gosh – was I ever worried! I really don’t know how parents of human children do it.  You have my utmost respect!

Flaming Baked Alaska Cupcakes:

Yield: 10-12 cupcakes                                                                                                            [click for printable version]

Cake/Ice cream:

Use your favorite cupcake recipe, or my Basic Vanilla Cupcake recipe (below)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons milk

2 cups of your favorite ice cream for filling cupcakes

1. Heat oven to 350°F and line cupcake pan with papers.

2. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until lightened in color and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions. Beat in vanilla extract.

3. Add flour mixture and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour. When completely incorporated, divide batter evenly amongst liners, filling them 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, but check them after 15. 

4. Peel away cupcake liners and discard.  Cut a small divot out of the top of each cupcake, large enough to hold about 2 tablespoons of ice cream.  Fill each divot with ice cream and place filled cupcakes in the freezer while preparing the meringue.

Meringue/ flambe:

6 large egg whites

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2-2 cups brandy, warmed on the stove top 

Note: Warm the brandy just before serving the cupcakes.

1. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. 

2. Gradually beat in the sugar until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Transfer half the meringue to a large piping bag fitted with a large star tip.

3. Preheat oven to hottest setting (this is usually broil).

4. Remove the cupcakes from freezer. Set each cupcake on their own small plate, and then set the plates on one or two large baking sheets. Immediately pipe meringue swirl on top of the cupcakes, covering/enveloping the ice cream completely. Use an off-set spatula to coat the lower part of the cupcakes with meringue.  

5. Place cupcakes under broiler until meringue is lightly browned – be sure to give this step your undivided attention!  Remove from the oven and present to guests.  Gently pour 2 tbsp. brandy over each cupcake. Ignite the brandy with a long kitchen match and let burn until the flame subsides

6. When the flames die down, serve immediately.

Note: As a safety precaution, keep cupcakes on the metal baking sheet until flame subsides. 

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
9 years ago

So awesome, and the perfect use for an animated gif! These are phenomenal!

Shannon
Shannon
9 years ago

These are so lovely. I am assisting a friend on a wedding cake this summer and am already anxious about it.

Leslie
Leslie
9 years ago

Love the little moving photo! Those sound amazing!
And omg..poor little puppy πŸ™ He is darling!

Cookbook Queen
Cookbook Queen
9 years ago

Seriously?! A moving photo!! You amaze me constantly, you adorable baking wizard!!

Poor puppy baby…I just know you are spoiling him though like a good mommy would!!

cookies and cups
cookies and cups
9 years ago

Poor little Churro!!
Those cupcakes are the coolest! Love the animation on the photo too πŸ™‚

Heather (Heather's Dish)
Heather (Heather's Dish)
9 years ago

WOW I love these! You are probably the most creative blogger ever!

booksinmycuppa
booksinmycuppa
9 years ago

this looks like something worth a try! πŸ™‚

Rosa's Yummy Yums
Rosa's Yummy Yums
9 years ago

Those look terrific! You are so creative and talented.

Poor Churro… Congrats on being included in BA's roundup.

Cheers,

Rosa

Mary @ Bake Break
Mary @ Bake Break
9 years ago

Beautiful pictures – really truly amazing. Great idea too, a mini baked alaska sounds a lot more fun than a big one!

Renata
Renata
9 years ago

WOW!! Hats off to you! Not only for the delicious baked Alaska, but for the awesome photos and the animated fire! Love it!

Megan
Megan
9 years ago

First of all these cupcakes look so tasty! And I love the fire-gif. So snazzy!

Whew. I'm glad little Churro is ok. How scary!

Jenn
Jenn
9 years ago

This comment has been removed by the author.

Heather
Heather
9 years ago

Thank heavens Churro is ok, that mini cast is sure to get some sympathy. These flaming beauties take the cake, Heather! You remain my hero! XOXO

Jenn @ Icing on the Cake
Jenn @ Icing on the Cake
9 years ago

Wow, I love the idea of flambeing cupcakes!

I, too, am freaking out about making a wedding cake. I am making my first one in 2 1/2 weeks to serve about 140 people. So nervous! But I'm sure yours will look and taste great! πŸ™‚ Go get 'em!

Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

woooow che meraviglia! complimenti davvero, un bacio πŸ™‚

Sandra
Sandra
9 years ago

This is amazing!!! I will have to try this cupcake for a special occasion soon!!!. Hope your puppy feels better.

Mollie @eatrunread
Mollie @eatrunread
9 years ago

These are fascinating and gorgeous! Probably too much effort/a major fire hazard for me to do myself, but MAJOR props to you! πŸ™‚

Julie E
Julie E
9 years ago

I love that you named your dog Churro! I hope he's feeling better. My friend named his boxer Beef and you're is the only other food named dog I've come across.

Lauren at Keep It Sweet
Lauren at Keep It Sweet
9 years ago

I think you read my mind because I was just thinking about baked alaska the other day…. but this is so much better!

Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

Too Cool for School, Sprinkles!! And…congratulations on the Bon Appetit roundup, I'll have to look for it.

AllThingsYummy
AllThingsYummy
9 years ago

Wow, those cupcakes are awesome.

Kristen
Kristen
9 years ago

These are way too awesome, Heather!

Organically Mo
Organically Mo
9 years ago

Yummy! Those cupcakes look delicious! I used to think Baked Alaska was a seafood dish, for some weird reason! lol

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
9 years ago

Haha! That does sound like seafood. πŸ™‚

Kulsum@JourneyKitchen
Kulsum@JourneyKitchen
9 years ago

gosh you are SO talented. I wish someone made this for me

Nichole @TastyAlchemy
Nichole @TastyAlchemy
9 years ago

I'm always game for desserts on fire. They look great. Get well soon, Churro!

Heather@Kids in the Sink
Heather@Kids in the Sink
9 years ago

I just recently found out what a baked Alaska was and thought I should try it. This smaller version looks so delicious! And I'm down to settings on fire!

Heidi
Heidi
9 years ago

Very awesome! This would be a fun Valentine dessert for sure. πŸ™‚

Rachel @ Baked by Rachel
Rachel @ Baked by Rachel
9 years ago

Love that you set fire to things… you did it with strawberries once too right? Your poor puppy πŸ™ I hope the cutie is better soon!

Raj @ Flip Cookbook
Raj @ Flip Cookbook
9 years ago

This is awesome! πŸ™‚ A whole new take at "You light my fire". lol

Meg @ write meg!
Meg @ write meg!
9 years ago

Sweet! I've never had baked Alaska but am thoroughly intrigued.

zainab
zainab
9 years ago

i really am becoming fan of your recipes

Clare
Clare
9 years ago

Wow, they look amazing! I love Baked Alaska & cupcakes – sounds like a perfect combination!

Vee
Vee
9 years ago

you are truly talented and I cant wait for your book to come out. I do have a question, where did you find those chocolate sticks in the pics? I've searched everywhere for those.

london bakes
london bakes
9 years ago

Love everything about these!

Rosa
Rosa
9 years ago

ItΒ΄great! I love it.

Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

Oh hugs to churro, what an adorable cast! I love this idea, and I like to set things on fire…it entertains the husband and kid! ha

Paula
Paula
9 years ago

Oh, poor fur baby! I hope his paw heels quickly. Your cupcakes look awesome!

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

The moving image in this post is awesome! Such a great idea – a cupcake can only be improved by adding ice cream and flames πŸ™‚

Gloria
Gloria
9 years ago

Dear Cupcake Arsonist: Beautiful job! These looks so magical! And I am so sorry to hear about little Churro. To tell you the truth, I have a son and I've had pets, and although I might sound terrible as a mother saying this: it is sometimes WORSE when an animal is sick or injured because they are so helpless and can't tell you what's wrong and how much they are hurting! I will say a prayer for little Churro.
Best,
Gloria
p.s. he looks awfully cute in his little footie cast though!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
9 years ago

Awww your poor baby!!! I hope everything heals up nicely!! Also, this cupcake recipe rocks my world!!

Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

Cool! These flaming cupcakes are so awesome! I love that you made ice cream cupcakes into baked alaskas!

Lili
Lili
9 years ago

I don't know how you did that animation but I am completely blown away by it, not to mention the whole idea of a flaming baked Alaska cupcake in the first place, so awesome! And awwww I completely understand the worries about your sweet little Churro, I am the same way too! It's so sad to see his little cast, but it is kind of cute too, now that we know he is okay that is. xoxo ~Lili

Jennifer {Mother Thyme}
Jennifer {Mother Thyme}
9 years ago

These are just amazing! Not only do these have a beautiful presentation but I bet they taste absolutely delicious as well! Something I would just love to try.

Lexi
Lexi
9 years ago

Aww! Poor sweetie. I hope he feels better soon. He is so adorable in that blue cast!

Karyn
Karyn
9 years ago

Words can not describe the awe that I am in. I thought your flaming strawberries last year were spectacular and this year, you have really outdone yourself! Amazing!

Krissy's Creations
Krissy's Creations
9 years ago

Beautiful Cupcakes Heather! I love how it makes the Baked Alaska such a simple dessert. I will most definitely be making these!

Jessica @ How Sweet
Jessica @ How Sweet
9 years ago

Could you be any more amazing?!

Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious
Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious
9 years ago

Your cupcakes are amazing but more importantly, your dog with the cast is just too cute. He just might be stealing the cupcakes thunder on this post.

Suzanne Perazzini
Suzanne Perazzini
9 years ago

Such a spectacular way to finish a dinner party.