Fried Ice Cream is a favorite restaurant dessert that you can recreate at home! Skip the mess, and the stress, of the deep fryer and see how to easily make an at home version of this classic Mexican food dessert. Cinco De Mayo gets even better when you finish the meal with homemade fried ice cream!
Fried Ice Cream
Growing up in the southwest, I always loved going out for Mexican food – in part because of the fried ice cream for dessert. Fried ice cream combines a crunchy, flavorful crust with cool and creamy ice cream. It creates such an incredible combination of tastes and textures that it’s really a stand out dessert.
Traditional fried ice cream is deep fried in oil. This recipe takes a healthier and easier approach but still has the classic flavors of this fun dessert.
How To Make Fried Ice Cream
At your favorite restaurant, the fried ice cream is likely made using a deep fryer. I personally don’t enjoy frying any foods, much less foods that melt. Well good news my friends, you can recreate a delicious (faux) fried ice cream easily at home.
What You Will Need
Reminder, the full printable recipe, with exact measurements and instructions, is found at the bottom of the page. This portion of the post is for discussion, helpful tips and answering common questions about the recipe.
- Ice Cream: I used vanilla but you can use any flavor you like. Non-dairy ice cream can be used to make this recipe dairy-free/vegan.
- Corn Flakes Cereal: Kellogg’s corn flakes are not gluten-free, but if you need gluten free you can try other brands.
- Salted Butter: I find salted butter balances the sweetness of the recipe but unsalted butter would also work. Use vegan butter or coconut oil for a dairy-free/vegan recipe.
- Light Brown Sugar: The brown sugar and cinnamon combination are classic flavors in fried ice cream so I wouldn’t substitute these ingredients.
- Ground Cinnamon
- Ground Nutmeg
- Large baking sheet
- Measuring cups and spoons and/or kitchen scale
- Ice cream scoop or large spoon
- Large skillet
- Mixing spoons
- Mixing bowls
Steps To Take
Begin by preparing a baking sheet. Then divide ice cream into evenly shaped balls and freeze for at least 30 minutes. While the ice cream is freezing, prepare the topping as directed and allow to cool.
Remove the ice cream from the freezer, and gently roll the ice cream balls in the mixture to coat. Then return to the freezer prior to serving. Garnish with chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, whipped cream and or a cherry.
You will need to work quickly when shaping the ice cream into balls. Shape the balls with 2 spoons or between some plastic wrap using your hands to shape.
You can also line a muffin tin with plastic wrap and shape the ice cream to the muffin cup.
How do you store fried ice cream? Store any leftover ice cream in an air-tight container in the freezer for 1 week. *The ice cream will keep longer but the cereal tends to get soggy the longer it is stored. If stored for longer it will still taste fine but will lose its’ crunch.
Can these be made ahead of time? Absolutely! Follow the recipe but wait to add the toppings until just before serving. I’ve found the cereal topping to stay crunchy after freezing for up to 4-5 days. Making these a day or 2 ahead of time should be fine.
Can I make fried ice cream for a crowd? To adapt this recipe for a crowd, evenly spread the ice cream in a 9×13 inch baking dish and top with the toasted cereal mixture. Simply cut into squares and add toppings when you’re ready to serve! Make sure you use a freezer-safe baking dish!
More Recipes To Try
While I fully support dessert first, don’t forget about dinner as well! Here are some of my favorite Mexican recipes, perfect for celebrating Cinco De Mayo…
Mexican Meal Recipes
- Cheese Enchiladas: One of my all time favorite Mexican dishes.
- Nachos: These are a go to meal around here, they are quick, easy and super flexible when it comes to ingredients.
- Chicken Enchilada Casserole: The great taste of enchiladas, in an easy to make casserole recipe.
- Tostadas: While we love Taco Tuesdays, we think Tostada Thursdays should be a thing as well.
- One Pot Taco Pasta: All our favorite Mexican flavors, in pasta form!
- Taco Casserole: Cheesy, beefy, crunchy – all in one easy dish.
- Mexican Spanish Rice: The perfect side for all of the above dishes!
Mexican Inspired Sweets
- Churro Cheesecake: A creamy cheesecake filling between a crispy, cinnamon sugar layers.
- Tres Leches Cake Recipe: A moist and airy cake with a perfect mix of spices.
- Churro Cupcakes: All the great flavors of churros, in cupcake form.
- Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream: Made with Mexican hot chocolate and a touch of spice, this takes chocolate ice cream to the next level.
Cheers – Drinks With Your Meal
- Frozen Margaritas: Did you know you can make the BEST frozen margaritas in an ice cream maker. You most certainly can!
- Margaritas On The Rocks: Not a frozen marg fan? Here’s a great on the rocks recipe.
Fried Ice Cream
- 1.5 quarts vanilla ice cream
- 4 cups corn flakes cereal
- 6 tbsp salted butter
- 2 tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- Optional toppings: whipped cream, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, cherries
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the ice cream into 8 ice cream balls, ½ cup each. Shape the balls and place them on the baking sheet. Freeze for 30 minutes-1 hour.
- While the ice cream is freezing, crush the cereal into small crumbs. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Once the butter has melted add the crushed cereal mixture. Cook the cereal, stirring often, until it becomes deep brown and toasted, 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Once it cools, spread the cereal out in a large dish.
- Remove the ice cream from the freezer. Place the ice cream balls in the cereal mixture and gently press the cereal mixture all around the ice cream balls to coat. Place the ice cream back on the baking sheet and return to the freezer for another 15 minutes before serving.
- Top with whipped cream, chocolate or caramel sauce, and a cherry if desired.