Cheater’s Fried Ice Cream

01.22.2013

The perfect Fried Ice Cream – without the deep frying mess! Creamy vanilla ice cream is formed into rounds, then rolled through a sauteed cinnamon cornflake topping and finished with chocolate or caramel sauce — talk about decadence!

scoop of fried ice cream topped with chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, whipped cream and a cherry

Deep Fried Ice Cream My Way

Several months ago, I went to a local Mexican restaurant for dinner and finished with one of my favorite desserts, fried ice cream. As I sat there slowly savoring each bite and all of the delicious flavors it had to offer, I really thought about fried ice cream and asked myself, what is the purpose of frying it if you really are only frying the coating?

And yes, I’m sure some of you are sitting there saying, wait, fried ice cream is really fried in hot oil (no worries, that amazing reality hit me once upon a time too)? Well, I thought, I’m going to try a Cheater’s Fried Ice Cream (yeah, that was my super inventive label for it).

This homemade fried ice cream has everything normal fried ice cream has to offer, but it lacks all the tedious steps, lengthy prep times and oily mess that comes along with the real deal. I decided to try simply frying (more of sauteing really) the corn flake coating and then rolling the ice cream in the coating.

Plus, butter vs. oil, I will nearly always choose butter. I like the flavor of butter far more, so I went with butter instead. I’d imagine you’d be able to toast the corn flakes in oil instead if you’d like to get the same oily flavor.

I hope you have a chance to try this soon, especially if you’ve been scared away from preparing fried ice cream at home due to its frying method. Enjoy and indulge a little!

easy fried ice cream

Fried Ice Cream Ingredients

  • Corn flakes cereal
  • Salted butter
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Vanilla bean ice cream
  • Toppings (chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, whipped cream, cherries)

How to Make Fried Ice Cream

  • Crush cornflakes.
  • Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Stir in crushed corn flakes and cinnamon and increase heat slightly.
  • Cook mixture, stirring constantly until golden brown and fragrant (color will deepen and begin to smell lightly toasty and corn flakes should be crisp), about 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, pour mixture in a shallow dish and allow to cool slightly.
  • Remove ice cream from freezer, scoop out desired serving size and shape into a ball with clean hands.
  • Immediately drop shaped ice cream ball into corn flake mixture and roll to evenly coat.
  • Serve immediately topped with optional toppings, or place in freezer in an airtight container and chill until serving.

fried ice cream topped with whipped cream and a cherry on a white plate

Can I Use a Different Flavor of Ice Cream?

Yes! The beauty of making homemade fried ice cream is that you can use whatever ice cream flavor you want. Just make sure the ice cream flavor complements the cinnamon in the fried corn flake coating.

Can I Make Fried Ice Cream in Advance?

Yes, you can form the ice cream balls and roll them in the corn flake coating ahead of time. Wait to top the fried ice cream until just before you serve it, though.

Tips for the Best Fried Ice Cream

  • If you wanted to really cheat you could simply sprinkle the warm, buttery corn flake mixture over the top of the ice cream and serve it up like an ice cream sundae.
  • You can substitute some of the corn flakes for sweetened shredded coconut or chopped pecans for a slightly different flavor.
  • You don’t have to shape the ice cream with your hands — only if you want your fried ice cream to look perfectly uniform!

More Ice Cream Recipes You’ll Love:

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Fried Ice Cream

5 from 4 votes

The perfect Fried Ice Cream - without the deep frying mess! Creamy vanilla ice cream is formed into rounds then rolled through a sauteed cinnamon cornflake topping and finished with chocolate sauce or caramel sauce - talk about decadence! 

Servings: 3
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes

Ingredients

  • 5 cups corn flakes cereal*
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Vanilla bean ice cream , firm enough to shape but just soft enough to scoop (I prefer Breyers All Natural Vanilla)
  • Optional servings suggestions:
  • honey or caramel sauce , store bought or homemade
  • chocolate fudge sauce , store bought or homemade
  • sweetened whipped cream
  • cherries , fresh or Marachino, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Pour cornflakes into a large Ziplog bag, seal bag and then use a rolling pin to crush cornflakes. 

  2. Melt butter in a nonstick 10-inch fry pan over medium heat. Once butter is melted, stir in crushed corn flakes and cinnamon and increase heat slightly. Cook mixture, stirring constantly until golden brown and fragrant (color will deepen and begin to smell lightly toasty and corn flakes should be crisp), about 2 minutes. 

  3. Remove from heat, pour mixture in a shallow dish and allow to cool slightly. Use a fork to break mixture down if desired.

  4. Remove ice cream from freezer, scoop out desired serving size (you should be able to get 3 baseball-sized ice cream balls, or more if you do a thinner coating or smaller ice cream balls) and shape into a ball with clean hands. 

  5. Immediately drop shaped ice cream ball into corn flake mixture and roll to evenly coat, while pressing corn flake mixture around outer surface for a thicker coating as desired. 

  6. Serve immediately topped with optional toppings, or place in freezer in an airtight container (without toppings) and chill until serving.

Recipe Notes

  • Recipe Source: Cooking Classy
  • *You could also replace some of the corn flakes with sweetened shredded coconut or finely chopped pecans.
  • If you don't about having uniformly shaped ice cream balls, then you can simply scoop out the ice cream and drop it into the toasted corn flake mixture without shaping
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Fried Ice Cream, Ice Cream Recipe
Author: Jaclyn

52 comments

  • Vangie B.: I made this for my husband, stepson and I and it was totally delicious!! It was simple to make with a classy yummy taste.
    I WILL make again! Thank you for the recipe! October 1, 2018 at 10:57am Reply

    • Jaclyn: You’re welcome! Thanks for the reminder that I need to make it again soon :). October 1, 2018 at 1:16pm Reply

  • Marlene De Leonne: OMG Thank you!!
    We’re having a Mexican fiesta Saturday. My job: To bring fried ice cream. I read about the deep fry thing….UGH!! Then I saw your recipe. It looks great and also it looks authentic enough for me and my laid-back, have-fun, save-time family. We’re on it!!! August 16, 2018 at 6:58pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope your family loves it! August 22, 2018 at 11:25am Reply

  • Kobi Briggs: This recipe was amazing! We made it for a group of friends. It tasted fabulous. April 16, 2018 at 9:49am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad it was enjoyed! April 16, 2018 at 3:54pm Reply

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