Cheaters Fried Ice Cream


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 Cheaters Fried Ice Cream (yeah, that was my super inventive label for it =). A fried ice cream that has everything normal fried ice cream has to offer, but one that doesn’t have 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 rather if you’d like to get the same oily flavor. 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. Either way, 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 it’s frying method. Enjoy and indulge a little!

cheaters fried ice cream

easy fried ice cream

cheaters fried ice cream3


Cheaters Fried Ice Cream

5 from 2 votes

Yield: 3 Servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes


  • 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


  1. Pour cornflakes into a large Ziplog bag, seal bag and use a rolling pin to crush cornflakes. Melt butter in a non-stick 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. Remove from heat, pour mixture in a shallow dish and allow to cool slightly. Use a fork to break mixture down if desired.
  2. Remove ice cream from freezer, scoop out desired serving size (you should be able to get 3 baseball size ice cream balls, or more if you do a thinner coating or smaller size ice cream balls) and shape into a ball with clean hands (yeah, it will be seriously cold, like rolling a snowball without gloves so work quickly. If you don't care to have a uniform shape then you can simply just scoop out the ice cream and drop into toasted corn flake mixture without shaping), then 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. Serve immediately topped with optional toppings, or place in freezer in an airtight container (without toppings) and chill until serving.
  3. *You could also replace some of the corn flakes with sweetened shredded coconut or finely chopped pecans.
  4. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy


  • Kari@Loaves n Dishes: I do love fried ice cream, and I especially love how simple you’ve made it. I so have to try this! January 23, 2013 at 6:30pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Kari, I hope you have a chance to make it! January 24, 2013 at 3:43pm Reply

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks: good thinking! and no fry oil (i.e. stink up your house for days) necessary! January 23, 2013 at 6:35pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes – exactly =), no stinky oil just the smell of toasted butter. January 24, 2013 at 3:43pm Reply

  • Charul @ Tadka Masala: The pics look so gorgeous! And I never thought that making fried ice-cream could be this easy! Thanks for sharing the recipe. :) January 24, 2013 at 9:53am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sometimes we do things the hard way don’t we when really there could be a simpler version =). I hope you have a chance to try this out! Thanks for your comment Charul! January 25, 2013 at 9:50pm Reply

  • Patricia @ ButterYum: Mmmmm. I haven’t had fried ice cream since a favorite mexican chain went out of business. Pinning this one – Ole! January 24, 2013 at 1:53pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much for your comment and pin Patricia! Don’t you hate when that happens – when the good restaurants close. One of my favorites closed when I was in az since the economy was slowing down. I still miss their food. January 24, 2013 at 3:44pm Reply

  • Irene: I’ve GOT to try this! Might even try mixing some panko crumbs in it. Thanks for the idea, now there’s even less chance of having sad melted ice cream beneath the crunchy exterior! January 24, 2013 at 4:36pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You’re welcome Irene, thanks for your comment! January 25, 2013 at 9:49pm Reply

      • Irene: I just tried this after dinner and it was great!!! Had some raw sugar left after making your amazing blueberry muffins and added it in and it was sooo yum. Thank you! February 15, 2013 at 4:30am Reply

        • Jaclyn: Thanks for taking the time to let me know Irene! February 16, 2013 at 12:08am Reply

  • Lisa: Love love love fried ice cream – can’t wait to try this one – thanks! :) January 25, 2013 at 11:54am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you do get a chance to try this simple recipe out Lisa and I hope you love it! January 25, 2013 at 9:47pm Reply

  • Kayle (The Cooking Actress): Ooooh yes! I adored fried ice cream and am looving this cheater’s version! January 25, 2013 at 12:48pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Kayle! January 25, 2013 at 9:51pm Reply

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious: To. die. for.

    What else can I say? January 28, 2013 at 12:42am Reply

  • Kris: Wow…this looks fantastic. January 28, 2013 at 3:21pm Reply

  • Keegan: This looks really great! January 29, 2013 at 8:33pm Reply

  • Maggie @ A Bitchin’ Kitchen: Whoa. I’ve never tried fried ice cream (mainly because I always eat waaaay too much of the chips and salsa and burritos that by the time dessert comes around I’m stuffed), but clearly that needs to change! This looks fantastic! January 29, 2013 at 9:13pm Reply

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  • Taco Night Recipes – GOODEness Gracious: […] we will finish off the night with this Cheaters Fried Ice Cream that Jaclyn shares on Cooking Classy. This festive recipe makes the typically labor-intensive […] March 23, 2013 at 6:02am Reply

  • Unfried, Fried Ice Cream | Coconut Oil Cooking: […] from Cooking Classy5 cups corn flakes cereal1/4 cup Kelapo coconut oil2 tsp ground cinnamonVanilla bean ice cream, firm […] April 22, 2013 at 8:51am Reply

  • Bianka: Could I use graham cracker crumbs with or instead of the corn flakes? May 4, 2013 at 4:48pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yeah that should be fine. Hope you love this ice cream! May 4, 2013 at 5:36pm Reply

  • J.R.: I just wanted to let you know that I tried your recipe this weekend and it was a HUGE hit.

    To be honest, I made one big change: I used Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal instead of corn flakes + cinnamon.

    We’re already planning on making more this weekend. lol July 22, 2013 at 6:10pm Reply

  • Candi Hinves: Hmm… wonder if a person could put half of the crumbs down in an 8×8 pan, spread ice cream over top & cover with the other half of the crumbs – freeze until hard again, then cut into squares & serve as ice cream sandwiches… yummy! October 28, 2013 at 2:31am Reply

  • PotatoesAreEpic: NOM nom nom nom nom….. December 17, 2013 at 5:50am Reply

  • Susie: so excited to find this recipe. just made this with my 11 year old. I scooped while she rolled, and we made so many, we were able to feed 5 of us and put just as much in the freezer for later. THank you so much!! January 27, 2014 at 8:07pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to hear you made these with your 11 year old! How fun, I love cooking with my kids! You’re very welcome Susie and thank you for taking the time to leave a comment! January 27, 2014 at 9:19pm Reply

  • Debbie: Wow, this was really good. I used product 19 cereal , and added some brown sugar as it tasted a bit salty. Amazing. February 4, 2014 at 6:55pm Reply

  • Let’s Fry Some Ice Cream, Shall We? | Owen Foodies: […] you know that only two kiddos have tried fried ice-cream before? We indulged in a new recipe Fried Ice Cream (without the fry) to keep it healthier for a teenager’s diet and less mess in foods […] April 18, 2014 at 10:20am Reply

  • Shannon: Thank you for this! Our favorite Mexican restaurant recently closed. Your recipe is the closest we’ve come to replicating their beloved fried ice cream. Much appreciated! :) May 5, 2014 at 6:56pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked this recipe Shannon and were able to find something like what you enjoyed at a favorite restaurant! I always hate when that happens, when the good ones close! May 19, 2014 at 10:15pm Reply

  • Tawnya: Making these today for our monthly freezer meal cooking club. The house smells amazing with toasted cereal and cinnamon!! June 14, 2014 at 1:15pm Reply

  • LisaMarie: I put the cornflakes in the food processor and added the cinnamon at the same time to blend better. Used cast iron skillet to toast, burned a few but had a congo line of kids waiting! Make them ahead of time, put in freezer till ready. A big hit! August 11, 2014 at 11:41am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad they were a hit Lisa Marie! Thanks for your comment! August 13, 2014 at 9:11pm Reply

  • Debbie: So happy I found this recipe, it tastes almost exactly like the real thing, and you don’t have to burn the house down making it !!

    Thank you for posting October 3, 2014 at 4:32pm Reply

  • Shamiso: THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH for posting this!!!i love fried ice cream but was scared to try it,thanks to u jus found an easy to make dessert January 30, 2015 at 6:11am Reply

  • Katrina Milam: Even easier:Crush cornflakes, microwave with butter for 1 minute. Stir in honey serve over a scoop of ice cream, top with whipped cream and/or marachino cherry and/or chocolate May 11, 2015 at 6:27pm Reply

  • carol: I love to make this dessert in my restaurant one day & I would be honored if I could keep the name….cheaters fried ice cream. For now I think & thank you for a amazing dessert , I’ll try it out with my kids first before I use it in my catering. July 17, 2015 at 11:38am Reply

  • Deanna: I will definitely have to try this. However, I’ve come up with a ‘poor man’s fried ice cream’ cinnamon toast crunch cereal crushed mix with honey, then roll your ice cream in! It super fast and super easy! And tastes amazing. August 21, 2015 at 9:07pm Reply

  • Veronica: Oh my. I never thought of doing it this way. I love fried ice cream. I was planning on making it myself this weekend but I wasn’t looking forward to the steps to preparing it. Now I am. Thanks for the post. August 28, 2015 at 5:08am Reply

  • brandie: I like the receipe coating was just not sweet enough or my sweet tooth. November 25, 2015 at 12:14pm Reply

  • jeanne: I made this with my 12-year-old son and it turned out delicious. The hardest part was managing to roll the ice cream into the topping without smashing it. overall it was easy and a fun cooking experience. Thanks for the recipe! September 27, 2017 at 8:45pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you and your son enjoyed it Jeanne! September 28, 2017 at 10:54am Reply

  • Brenda: How long before I take it out before serving? January 10, 2018 at 2:21pm 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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