How To Make Floating Island Dessert-Traditional- Modern- Filipino

floating island dessert

Floating island or ile flottante is a French dessert. It is made up of soft meringue clouds of whipped cream, floating on creamy vanilla custard. As evident from its name, this dreamy dessert can satisfy your sweet tooth with all its might. To make floating island dessert you didn’t need to be an expert chef. Anyone can make it easily and win the hearts of the audience.

What Is Floating Island Dessert Origin?

Floating island dessert history dates back to 1651. The dessert was first introduced by French chef, François-Pierre de la Varenne. However, what he introduced was the early version of the dish. Since then the dessert has seen a lot of changes and modifications.

The initial version didn’t include custard. Instead, it was egg yolks which were later on replaced by vanilla custard. In the 19th century, a French chef introduced a new version of the dish and gave it the name “floating island”. The name justified the look of dessert as the recipe included lady finger cake as the island. It was soaked in cherry liquor, topped with apricot jam, and floating in a pool of custard. Nowadays instead of Lady’s fingers, meringue is used as it floats better than wet ladyfingers.

The dessert is both aesthetically pleasing and mouth-watering. Though it’s a French classic, finesse doesn’t have boundaries. It is loved and devoured globally.

How To Make Floating Island Dessert?

Well, floating island dessert is very easy to make and yummy to eat. The Internet is full of different types of floating island recipes. However, We have the top three recipes for this dessert. So choose whatever version you want to enjoy.

The Old-Fashioned Floating Island Recipe

old fashioned floating dessert

The old-fashioned version of dessert had eggs in its recipe. Old-fashioned floating island dessert ingredients include

  • 5 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/5 cup sugar (Confectioners)
  • 2 1/2 cups of whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar (granulated)
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  • Beat egg whites well so it gets even and smooth.
  • Mix cream of tartar, and salt.
  • Gradually, add a cup of sugar while beating the mixture.
  • Continue beating until fluff appears.
  • Warm 1/2 cup milk in a pan and add granulated sugar. Stir constantly.
  • Gently, spoon out meringue and poach for 1 minute until they puff up.
  • Refrigerate the meringue.
  • In another bowl, blend egg yolks and add the remaining half of the milk. To make sure the mixture doesn’t get overcooked, transfer the mixture over simmering water. Also, keep stirring until the mixture coats a wooden spoon.
  • Add vanilla custard and let it mix well.
  • Set pan in ice to cool it down.
  • Pour in a large serving bowl.
  • Take out meringues from the refrigerator and sprinkle confectioner sugar.
  • Quickly glaze under a hot broiler for 2–3 seconds. Let it go lightly brown.
  • Carefully set these meringues on top of the custard.
  • Refrigerate the dish for several hours before serving.
  • Serve it cold, topped with Crème Anglaise au Kirsch or Raspberry Sauce.

Modern Floating Island Dessert Recipe

woman making dessert

The modern version of this dessert is easy and quick to make. All the ingredients are easily available and the final result is finger-licking good. Floating island ingredients for the modern version include eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, water, and milk.


  • To make this super easy floating island dessert, Separate egg whites in a bowl. Save the yolks for later. Whip the whites until foam is formed. A single drop of yolk in white will affect its consistency to make foam.
  • Gradually add sugar to the mixture and keep whipping. You may also add cream of tartar to give it a fine fluff texture.
  • Warm milk in a pan and add the above mixture, one spoon at a time. cook these meringues for one minute. They will get slightly brown.
  • Now to make a custard, add the remaining milk, vanilla, egg yolks, salt, and sugar. Stir it gently. Don’t let the mixture overcook or it will alter the taste of the dish.
  • When the custard is done, refrigerate both custard and meringue.
  • Prepare sugar topping by adding one cup of sugar to 1/4 cup of water. Let the mixture turn amber in color. Use a fork to make texture and remember, it dries quickly.
  • In a bowl, place meringue over the custard and top it with sugar garnish.
  • Serve and watch it getting finished in seconds.

Floating Island Dessert Recipe Filipino Style

floating island dessert
An enticing looking jar of purple vegan smoothie topped with berries, surrounded with purple and white spring flowers

Well, the Filipino-style floating island recipe is three in one dessert. It has three layers. The first one is Leche Flan, the second layer is purple yam(Ube Halaya) and the third upper layer is meringue frosting.


First, you have to make Ube Halaya. For that

  • Use 1 kg boiled and mashed purple yam.
  • Combine 1 cup of evaporated milk (370grams), 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 can of condensed milk (300ml). Boil it and when the sugar is fully dissolved, add purple yam.
  • Add 1/2 stick of butter and keep Stirring.

Second, make Leche Flan mixture. For that

  • Take 4 egg whites and 6 egg yolks and mix them well.
  • In another bowl add half a cup of water, 1 tbsp. cornstarch, 1 cup evaporated milk, and 1/2 vanilla. Mix the ingredients well.
  • Add the egg mixture to the second bowl and mix well until smooth.

Third, make Meringue Mixture. For that

  • Whip 10 egg whites and 1 tbsp. cream of tartar to make soft peaks.
  • Add 1 cup of sugar.
  • Mix 1 tbsp vanilla

Baking The Three Layers

  • First, preheat the oven to 375°c.
  • Prepare the Pan with grease. Spread Ube Yam in the bottom. Put a second layer of leche flan. Put this pan into another pan half filled with water.
  • Bake the mixture for 55 minutes. When the top is set, remove it from the oven and let it cool.
  • Then add meringue texture on top. Bake again for 20-30 minutes until its golden brown.
  • Let it cool down. It will puff up while baking.
  • Serve the dish cold.

Can You Make Ile Flottante In Advance?

You can make ile flottante 2 days in advance. Storing it for longer than that will affect the texture and taste of a dish.

In conclusion, the floating island is a delicious and easy-to-make dessert. Everyone should try this French classic dessert. There are a lot of recipe versions available on the internet. Pick up your favorite one!



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