Fried Ice Cream: The Perfect Indulgence Without the Mess

fried ice cream
fried ice cream

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


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 relishing the delicious flavors, I wondered why we need to deep fry it when only the coating gets fried. That’s when the idea for a “cheater’s” fried ice cream was born.

This homemade fried ice cream has everything the traditional version offers, but it skips the tedious steps, lengthy prep times, and oily mess. Instead of deep frying, I decided to sauté the cornflake coating in butter and then roll the ice cream in it. After all, butter tastes way better than oil!

I encourage you to try this soon, especially if you’ve been hesitant to prepare fried ice cream at home due to the frying method. This deliciously indulgent dessert is easy to make and will surely satisfy your cravings.

Photography credit: Jenn Davis from Two Cups Flour.


Fried Ice Cream Ingredients

  • Corn flakes cereal: These provide the traditional crispy crunch. Don’t substitute another type of cereal.
  • Butter: I prefer the balanced flavor of salted butter, but unsalted butter works too.
  • Ground cinnamon: Don’t skimp on the cinnamon here; it’s what gives the coating that classic, crave-worthy flavor.
  • Vanilla ice cream: You’ll need nearly half a gallon. Tillamook’s vanilla is a good option.
  • Optional toppings (chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, whipped cream, cherries): I say these are optional, but really, are they? They complete the fried ice cream, in my opinion.


How to Make Fried Ice Cream the Easy Way

  1. Crush cornflakes.
  2. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat.
  3. Stir in crushed corn flakes and cinnamon, and increase the heat slightly.
  4. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until golden brown and fragrant (the color will deepen, and it should smell lightly toasty and the cornflakes should be crisp), about 2 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, pour the mixture into a shallow dish, and allow it to cool.
  6. Remove the ice cream from the freezer, scoop out the ice cream, and shape it into a ball with clean hands.
  7. Immediately drop the shaped ice cream ball into the cornflake mixture and roll to evenly coat.
  8. Let it set in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, then serve with your desired toppings.



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 cornflake 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!


Can I Make It in Advance?

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

Tips for Fried Ice Cream

  • If you want to cheat even more, you can simply sprinkle the warm, buttery cornflake mixture over the top of the ice cream and serve it up like an ice cream sundae.
  • You can substitute some of the cornflakes for sweetened shredded coconut or chopped pecans for a slightly different flavor.
  • Shaping the ice cream with your hands is optional; only do it if you want your fried ice cream to look perfectly uniform!


More Mexican Dessert Recipes You’ll Love:

Recipe originally shared in Jan. 2013. Photos updated and recipe slightly modified to include an additional 1 cup of cornflakes to stretch the recipe.


Indulge in the perfect Fried Ice Cream without the hassle of deep frying. This cheat version replaces the traditional method with a sautéed cinnamon cornflake coating. You’ll enjoy all the delicious flavors without the mess and lengthy preparation. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ice cream flavors, and be sure to add your favorite toppings for an extra touch of decadence.

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