How to Make an Olympic Torch Ice Cream Dessert

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ice cream olympic torch dessert

What’s Up, Hungry People

If you’re anything like me, you are eagerly awaiting the premiere of the Opening Ceremony for the Winter Olympics! Every four years (or every two between the Winter and Summer Olympics, depending on when you’re reading this), I love to track where the Olympic torch will be as it journeys from Greece to light the flame that officially launches the games. This year, the Olympic torch made a delicious pass through my kitchen—in the form of an Olympic Torch Ice Cream Flambé.

There are two ways this dish can be served—one is “kid-friendly” and involves no pyrotechnics. The second way, as demonstrated in my video, involves blow torches and alcohol lit on fire. And while this post will outline the best way to make this flaming ice cream, I encourage anyone who attempts this recipe to use EXTREME CAUTION because, yes, you are literally playing with fire.

For my ice cream cones, I created a simple paper label to really drive home the Olympic Torch aesthetic. You can print your own version of my Olympic labels below!

The tops of the ice cream cones are adorned with meringue, which adds a delightful toasted marshmallow flavor. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if you don’t torch your meringue, but for appearances, it certainly does help!


Olympics Ice Cream Label Free here!

I attempted the lighting of my torch several times before I got it just right. From dipping the top in alcohol to light it (doesn’t work—the alcohol gets too cold), to adding alcohol in the meringue (a similar issue with it being too cold to ignite), and then almost burning down my blog studio when I made my first attempt at pouring the flaming liquid onto a cone with the paper label intact, resulting in a fireball that spread from the ice cream to the gold prop paper… but when I finally got it just right, the success was exhilarating.

And that’s why I’m here to figure these recipes out for you! And like I said before—it’s fine if you don’t want to play with fire this Olympic season. These ice cream ‘torches’ are just as appealing and delicious without all the flames.

I hope you enjoy making and serving this eye-catching dessert as much as I enjoyed testing and perfecting it. Whether you’re hosting an Olympic watch party or just looking for a unique treat, the Olympic Torch Ice Cream Flambé is sure to be a highlight. Remember to follow the safety tips closely to ensure a fun and safe experience. Enjoy the games, and of course, your homemade Olympic torch!

Here’s What You Need

  • Ice cream: Adds creamy texture and flavor to the cones.
  • Ice cream cones: Serves as the edible container for the ice cream.
  • Egg whites: Provides structure for the meringue topping.
  • Sugar: Sweetens the meringue and helps stabilize it.
  • Vanilla extract: Adds a subtle flavor to the meringue.
  • Cream of tartar: Stabilizes the egg whites and increases their heat tolerance.
  • High-proof liquor: Used for the flambé to create a dramatic effect.
ice cream flambe

Let’s Cook

First up, let’s tackle the ice cream. Leave your ice cream out on the counter for about 10-20 minutes to soften—it makes it way easier to scoop. Grab your ice cream cones and scoop in about 3-4 tablespoons of your favorite ice cream into each. Make sure to press the ice cream down into the cone and fill it right to the top. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to layer different flavors, just remember to freeze each layer for about 30 minutes before adding the next. This keeps your layers distinct and pretty. Once filled, freeze the cones solid, which should take about 8-10 hours.

Making the Meringue

Now for the meringue magic! Whip your egg whites using a hand mixer or a stand mixer until they’re nice and frothy. Kick things off by adding 2-3 tablespoons of sugar to get them foamy. Next, toss in the vanilla and cream of tartar—these guys will help stabilize your meringue, making it perfect for piping. Gradually add the rest of your sugar and keep whipping until you see soft, glossy peaks that cling to your whisks. This should take around 5-10 minutes.

Piping and Freezing the Meringue

Once your meringue is ready, grab a piping bag fitted with a star tip—or a makeshift one from a gallon bag with the corner snipped off. Fill it halfway with your meringue and start swirling on top of each frozen ice cream cone. Aim for a nice pointed top to mimic a torch! After you’ve got your cones looking sharp, pop them back in the freezer to get the meringue solid, about 1-2 hours should do the trick.

Torches Ready to Toast

If you’ve opted to add labels to your cones, make sure they’re all set up now—but remember, you’ll need to strip these off before we bring the heat. Ready to see some flames? Grab your crème brûlée torch and gently toast the meringue until it’s golden. Keep the torch moving about 3-4 inches away from the meringue to avoid burning. If you catch a little fire, don’t panic—just blow it out and adjust your distance.

Flambé with Caution

It’s showtime! When you’re ready to serve, heat your chosen high-proof liquor until it’s shimmering but not boiling—you can do this in a skillet or quickly in the microwave. Pour the warm liquor into a safe container, preferably something easy to pour from like a glass or ceramic pitcher. Before lighting it up, make sure you’re completely ready—no paper labels or flammable items nearby. Light the liquor with a long match, and carefully pour it over the ice cream to create that stunning flambé effect.

Remember, handling fire safely is crucial, so take all necessary precautions.

Flambé Tips & Tricks

  • Choosing the Right Alcohol: Select a high-proof liquor for effective flambéing. Liquors like rum or brandy that are at least 80 proof work best because they ignite easily and safely, providing a dramatic flame without a prolonged burning time. This is critical for achieving that spectacular flame without compromising the safety or quality of the dessert.
  • Safety First with Flambé: Always remove any flammable materials, including paper labels, from the vicinity before igniting the liquor. Ensure you have a fire extinguisher or a large damp cloth nearby in case you need to extinguish flames quickly. Flambé in a well-ventilated area away from any flammable objects.
  • Achieving the Perfect Meringue: For the best meringue, ensure your bowl and beaters are completely clean and dry. Any residue of fat or water can prevent the egg whites from achieving the desired volume. Add the sugar gradually after the whites have formed soft peaks to avoid deflating the mixture.
  • Avoiding Common Pitfalls: If your meringue isn’t stiffening, it might be due to grease or yolk contamination in your whites, or possibly because the sugar was added too soon. Make sure the egg whites are at room temperature to maximize volume when whipping.

As we gear up for the excitement of the Olympics, what better way to celebrate than with a recipe that captures the spirit of the Games? This Olympic torch ice cream flambé not only brings a bit of the spectacle into your home but also offers a delicious treat that’s sure to impress. Whether you choose the fiery spectacle of the flambé or keep it simple and safe for everyone to enjoy, this dessert is a fantastic addition to any Olympic viewing party. Remember to handle the flames carefully and enjoy the process of creating something as fun as it is tasty. Let’s get those torches ready, Hungry People, and make this Olympic season one to remember!

toasted meringuw

Olympic Torch Ice Cream Flambé

The Starving Chef
Go for gold with this ice cream flambé – just in time for the Opening Ceremonies.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 3 hours
Freezing Time 10 hours
Total Time 13 hours
Course Ice Cream
Cuisine Ice Cream
Servings 4



  • 6 ice cream cake cones
  • 3 cups your favorite ice cream flavors (I used strawberry, vanilla and chocolate), softened
  • 1 cup bourbon, rum or whiskey at least 40% alcohol / 80 proof liquor
  • 4 egg whites room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup sugar


  • Soften the ice cream on the counter for 10-20 minutes so it is easy to scoop. Fill the ice cream cones with your choice of ice cream, about 3-4 tablespoons each. Press the ice cream into the bottom of the cone and fill to the top. Place only a small mound on the top of the cone. Freeze until solid, approximately 8-10 hours. If adding multiple layers or flavors to a single cone, freeze the cones for about 30 minutes between each layer to keep the flavors separate, then freeze solid.
  • When the ice cream is frozen solid, prepare the meringue. Using a hand mixer or tabletop mixer, whip the egg whites until frothy and then gradually add about 2-3 tablespoons of sugar. Continue to whip until foamy, then add the vanilla and cream of tartar. Gradually add the rest of the sugar and continue to whip the meringue at high speed until soft, glossy peaks form and the meringue holds its shape on the whisks, about 5-10 minutes.
  • Use a piping bag with a star tip or a gallon baggie with a small corner cut off. Fill the bag about halfway with meringue and pipe the meringue in swirls on top of each ice cream cone, pulling straight up to achieve a pointed top. Freeze the ice cream until the meringue is solid, about 1-2 hours.
  • Use a piping bag with a star tip or a gallon baggie with a tiny bit of corner cut off – fill the bag about half way with meringue. Pipe the meringue in swirls on top of each ice cream cone. Pull straight up to achieve a pointed top. Freeze the ice cream until the meringue is solid, about 1-2 hours.
  • Fit the ice cream with paper labels, if using. You can serve the ice cream cones as is at this point, or you can follow the steps below for toasted and flambé options.
  • Use a crème brûlée torch to toast the outside of the frozen meringue. Hold the torch about 3-4 inches away and keep it moving to prevent burns. If the meringue catches fire, quickly blow it out and adjust your distance with the torch. Once all the meringue toppings are toasted to your liking, pop them back in the freezer for another hour, or until ready to serve.
  • When ready to serve, heat the liquor in a skillet over medium heat or in the microwave for about 30 seconds, until shimmering. Pour the warmed liquor into a flame-proof container (glass, ceramic) with an open top and a good pouring side. You may want to test the pour before you light it on fire to prevent any spills or accidental fire damage.
  • Place the ice cream cone you wish to flambé on a glass or ceramic plate. Use a long match to ignite the liquor. The flames may be light in color—the higher the alcohol proof, the brighter and longer the alcohol will burn.
  • When ready to serve, very carefully pour the ignited alcohol over the top of the ice cream. The alcohol will burn off after a few seconds. Feel free to flambé the same cone, for special effect, as desired. Bonus points if you flambé during the Olympic ceremonies. Enjoy!


Keyword ice cream
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