Fried Ice Cream

May 4, 2019

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

Fried ice cream cut into to show ice cream center. It is drizzled with chocolate sauce, topped with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry.

Easy Fried Ice Cream without the Deep Fry!

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.

This homemade fried ice cream has everything the normal version 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, that’s a no brainer! Butter tastes way better so I went with butter instead for the sauteing.

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. You’ll love this deliciously indulgent, easy to make dessert!

Photography credit: Jenn Davis from Two Cups Flour.

Rolling vanilla ice cream into a ball on a plate.

Fried Ice Cream Ingredients

  • Corn flakes cereal – these give it that traditional crispy crunch. Don’t substitute another type of cereal.
  • Butter – I like the balanced flavor of salted butter here but unsalted butter would work too.
  • Ground cinnamon – no skimping on the cinnamon here, it’s what gives it that classic crave-worthy flavor.
  • Vanilla ice cream – you’ll need nearly a half gallon. Tillamook’s vanilla is a good option.
  • Optional toppings (chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, whipped cream, cherries) – I mean I say these are optional, but really are they? They complete the fried ice cream in my opinion.

Showing how to make fried ice cream, rolling a ball of ice cream in a cinnamon butter cornflake mixture.

How to Make Fried Ice Cream the Easy Way

  • 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.
  • Remove ice cream from freezer, scoop out ice cream and shape into a ball with clean hands.
  • Immediately drop shaped ice cream ball into corn flake mixture and roll to evenly coat.
  • Let set in freezer 10 – 15 minutes then serve with desired toppings.

Three fried ice cream balls on a white dessert plates.

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.

If you can find huckleberry I love it here (no toppings needed either), it’s not a Mexican flavor but it tastes like a blueberry crumble!

Three individual servings of fried ice cream coated in cinnamon cornflake topping, drizzled with chocolate sauce and garnished with a cherry.

Can I Make it in Advance?

Yes, you can form the ice cream balls and roll them in the corn flake coating a few days ahead, just keep frozen and wait to top the fried ice cream until just before you serve it though.

Tips for 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!

Close up image of fried ice cream on a dessert plate with fork on the left side.

More Mexican Dessert Recipes You’ll Love:

 

Fried Ice Cream

5 from 9 votes

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

Servings: 8
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 cups (162g) corn flakes cereal*
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 2 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Vanilla ice cream, firm enough to shape but just soft enough to scoop (approx. 32 oz)

Optional toppings

Instructions

  1. Crush cornflakes: Pour cornflakes into a gallon size resealable bag, seal bag and then use a rolling pin to crush cornflakes to small bits.

  2. Saute cornflakes and cinnamon in butter: Melt butter in a nonstick 10-inch fry pan over medium heat. Stir in crushed corn flakes and cinnamon and increase heat slightly. 

  3. 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. 
  4. Let mixture cool: Remove from heat, pour mixture in a shallow dish and allow to cool.

  5. Shape ice cream: Remove ice cream from freezer, scoop out desired serving size (you should be able to get about 8 individual servings, or 4 big restaurant size sharing servings) and shape into a ball with clean hands. 

  6. Roll ice cream in cornflake mixture: 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.

  7. Let set: Freeze for 10 - 15 minutes to re-solidify ice cream, keep frozen until ready to serve. Add toppings just before serving.

Recipe Notes

  • *You could also replace some of the corn flakes with sweetened shredded coconut or finely chopped pecans.
  • If you don't care 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.
  • Nutrition does not include toppings.
Nutrition Facts
Fried Ice Cream
Amount Per Serving
Calories 410 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Fat 24g37%
Saturated Fat 15g94%
Cholesterol 80mg27%
Sodium 339mg15%
Potassium 259mg7%
Carbohydrates 44g15%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 26g29%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 1195IU24%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Calcium 157mg16%
Iron 6mg33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Fried Ice Cream
Author: Jaclyn
Recipe originally shared Jan. 2013. Photos updated and recipe updated slightly to include an additional 1 cup cornflakes to stretch the recipe.

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64 Comments

  • Vanitha Bhat

    Looks amazing! The first time I had one was in a restaurant in Denver in the 80s, Chi Chi’s! I got to taste it only once and then they decided to shut down the place! I remember digging into the warm, just fried crust with a cool, icy cold, still solid but slightly starting to melt ice cream inside! It was always served with a drizzle of honey! I still love the fried ones. I have tried these without frying, but cannot forget the original! Plan to make them (bracing myself up!) sometime soon!

  • Ziyi

    Love this hassle free recipe! Now I can enjoy fried icecream without the hassle of deep frying them!:)

  • Naomi B.

    Seriously, is there no recipe you don’t knock out of the ballpark? These were UNBELIEVABLE and simple. Even my son who isn’t crazy about desserts loved these. Quick question though…I had a ton of the “crust” left. Is that supposed to be that way?

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Did you use up almost a half gallon of ice cream? If you press the coating on generously you should use all of it up with 8 or 9 medium size balls. Also measurement is taken before crushing. So glad you liked these though :)!

  • Rebecca Woolston

    I believe you’re in Salt Lake City, right? I’d love to hear where you were when you ordered the fried ice cream. I’m local too and have been looking for a great place! Thanks!

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I wrote this up 6 years ago :) but I was probably thinking of cafe sabor’s fried ice cream they have several locations throughout Utah now. I’m not a huge fan of the entrees but the fried ice cream and salsa was always good.

  • 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!

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      You’re welcome! Thanks for the reminder that I need to make it again soon :).

  • 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!!!

  • Kobi Briggs

    This recipe was amazing! We made it for a group of friends. It tasted fabulous.