Fried Ice Cream

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This no-fry Fried Ice Cream delivers the classic Fried Ice Cream flavor without the fuss and mess. This recipe is convenient and delicious, with the crunchy cornflake topping and creamy vanilla ice cream center!

If you love Mexican desserts, you’ll need to try our classic Tres Leches cake. Moist and flavorful. Or give our alfajores cookies a try next!!

Fried ice cream on a white plate with chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and a cherry.

Why Fried Ice Cream Is The Best

Does anyone else judge restaurants based on their dessert menus?

I may be crazy, but friends…dessert is important (which is why I have over a thousand dessert recieps on the website here.

When going to a Mexican restaurant, some people look for churros or apple empanadas…I always opt for fried ice cream when available.

Fried Ice Cream is a classic dessert often reserved for dinners out, but now you can easily make it at home. 

  • Store-bought ingredients keep this recipe quick and easy.
  • There are options for those with or without equipment like an ice cream maker or food processor. So you can enjoy this recipe with whatever you have in your kitchen.
  • The base recipe is tasty as-is, but you can customize the ice cream flavors or toppings with whatever you like.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Ingredients needed to make fried ice cream.
  • Ice Cream – Fried Ice Cream is typically made using firm vanilla ice cream. Steer clear of gelato and frozen yogurt, which are too soft.
  • Cornflakes – I like to use unsweetened cornflakes to control the sweetness when I blend in sugar and cinnamon.
  • Butter Cookies – Adding crushed butter cookies is optional. But they add an ultra-crunchy texture to the coating that takes this recipe to the next level. Other delicious options are pecans, coconut, or Golden Oreos.
  • Granulated Sugar – If you’re using sweetened cornflakes, you can skip adding additional sugar. 
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Butter – For this sweet dessert, unsalted butter tastes the best. 
  • Optional Toppings – Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Chips, Whipped Cream, Chocolate Syrup, Maraschino Cherries

Easy Instructions

Step by step photos showing how to make fried ice cream.

Divide Ice Cream – Use a large ice cream scoop to divide 1 ½ quarts of ice cream into about 9 equal portions. Place these into a 13” x 9” foil-lined baking dish, and place it in the freezer for about 1 hour. 

Blend Coating – Meanwhile, pulse cornflakes in a food processor until they’re your desired crumb size. Then, add cookie crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon. Pulse briefly to blend everything. 

Toast Cornflakes & Cookie Crumbs – Once the ice cream has hardened and the coating is blended, heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Next, add the cereal mixture and toast for about 5 minutes. Stir frequently with a wooden spoon to prevent burning. Remove the mixture from the heat and pour it into a large shallow dish, like a pie plate.

Coat Ice Cream Balls & Serve- Take the ice cream balls from the freezer, and roll them in the warm cereal mixture to thoroughly coat the outsides. Serve the No-Fry Fried Ice Cream immediately, and don’t forget to add your favorite toppings.

Tips and Tricks

  • Measure out the cereal before crushing it up for the most accurate measurement. 
  • If you don’t have a food processor, pour the cornflakes into a resealable plastic bag and squeeze out as much air as possible. Then, seal the bag and place it on your counter. Next, crush the cereal with a rolling pin or the bottom of a heavy bowl or pot.
  • For a no-mess solution to creating cookie crumbles, follow the same steps for crushing cornflakes in a resealable plastic bag.
  • Dogs- your pup may want a bite, but there is too much sugar and lactose in this ice cream. Instead, make them a batch of our easy homemade dog ice cream so they can have a frozen treat too!
Homemade fried ice cream with a bite taken out.

Serving Suggestions

Store-bought ice cream is an excellent option for a convenient dessert recipe. However, it’s impossible to beat the flavor of homemade ice cream.

  • Even if you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can still whip up some No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream. It’s a classic and way tastier than what you’ll get at the grocery store. 
  • If you have an ice cream machine, you can make this Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream. It’ll quickly become your go-to because of its versatility and decadence. 
  • For a twist on this Fried Ice Cream recipe, use rich Chocolate Ice Cream. The cinnamon compliments the chocolate perfectly. 
  • A surprising take on this recipe is to use Cookies and Cream Ice Cream. Skip the cinnamon, but load up the crunchy cookie exterior for the best flavor. 
  • Don’t forget the chocolate. Whether you use chocolate syrup or magic shell, you’ll love how easy it is to make!

A drizzle of honey is also a delicious topping for fried ice cream.

Fried ice cream served on a white plate with a side of cinnamon tortilla chips.

Can I fry this recipe?

To fry this recipe, roll the ice cream in egg whites and coat them with the cereal topping (you can skip the toasting step here).

Return the coated ice cream to the freezer until you’re ready to fry.

Heat about 4-inches of vegetable oil to 375°F in a deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan or dutch oven. Gently drop a few coated ice cream balls into the oil, and fry for 15-20 seconds until golden brown.

Dig in immediately before they melt!

Make Ahead of Time

If you’re following the no-fry method, you can shape and freeze the ice cream balls ahead of time.

However, the coating will only adhere if pressed into the ice cream while still warm, or if the ice cream balls have sat out on counter for a few minuts.

On the other hand, if you plan on deep frying the ice cream, you can shape and coat the ice cream balls and fry them once you’re ready to serve. 

Fried ice cream with chocolate syrup and bite taken out.

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Fried Ice Cream

5 from 2 votes
By: Aimee
This no-fry Fried Ice Cream delivers the classic Fried Ice Cream flavor without the fuss and mess. This recipe is convenient and delicious, with the crunchy cornflake topping and creamy vanilla ice cream center!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings: 9 servings


  • 1.5 quart vanilla ice cream
  • 6 cups corn flakes
  • 10 butter cookies crushed*
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • cinnamon sugar tortilla chips optional
  • whipped cream chocolate syrup, maraschino cherries, optional
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  • Line a 13×9 baking dish with foil. Using a large ice cream scoop, portion out about 9 equal sized scoops of ice cream. Return ice cream to freezer for one hour.
  • While the ice cream is freezing, crush corn flakes in a food processor using the "pulse" option until desired crumb size. After pulsing your cereal several times, add in the cookie crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon. Pulse a few times until blended. Set aside.
  • After the hour of freezing, heat butter in skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add in cereal mixture and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat, pour contents into shallow dish (I use a pie plate) and set aside.
  • Remove ice cream balls from freezer. Roll in warm cereal mixture until coated and serve immediately with desired toppings like chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and cherry on top, as well as cinnamon sugar tortilla chips.


  • Ice cream- we love using our homemade vanilla ice cream, but of course store bought is great too. Just make sure the ice cream is firm enough to roll and scoop, and not too soft. Experiment with other flavors too!
  • For the cereal, measure it out BEFORE crushing!
  • Cookies- these are optional, but add a delicious flavor to the crunchy coating. Pecans, coconut, and golden Oreos are also delicious options. Feel free to skip if desired.
  • How to Fry. We love this easy no fry method, but you could fry these ice cream balls too. Instead of cooking the topping on the stove top, roll the frozen ice cream balls in the topping (some people roll the ice cream in egg whites first…you’ll need 2-3 egg whites beaten). Heat a large saucepan (dutch oven) with about 4-inches of vegetable oil until it reaches 375 degrees. Keeping the ice cream frozen until ready to fry. Drop in hot oil for about 15- 20 seconds, until golden brown, serving immediately.


Calories: 581kcal, Carbohydrates: 82g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 16g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 103mg, Sodium: 302mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 47g
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: Mexican
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!
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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

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Posted on March 9, 2023

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