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If you’ve never had fried ice cream before, then you must try it. There’s just something about how the warm crispy exterior contrasts the creamy cold ice cream that makes eating the dessert so much fun! It’s the perfect combination of creamy and crunchy. Even better, it’s perfect for making ahead of time as you can leave the coated ice cream in the freezer for 2 days.
While this dessert is often found at American Mexican restaurants, there are theories that this beloved ice cream dessert originated in Philadelphia in the late 1800s, 1983’s Chicago World’s Fair, and in Japanese tempura restaurants, but no one is certain where it originated from. Regardless of its origins, I can promise you that your family and friends will inhale it within seconds once this dessert recipe is set on the table! Want another tasty deep-fried treat? Try my churro recipe, old fashioned donut recipe, or funnel cake recipe.
What You Need to Make This Recipe
Ice cream — I use vanilla ice cream, but you can use any flavor. A high-quality ice cream made with real dairy is ideal.
Corn flakes — make sure to get unfrosted corn flakes. I highly recommend sticking with corn flakes as they give you the best crunchy exterior.
Cinnamon — ground cinnamon adds a delicious toasty flavor to the dessert.
Eggs — the egg whites help the cornflakes adhere to the ice cream. Save the egg yolks and make my lemon bars!
Oil — I highly recommend using a neutral oil to fry the ice cream in as you do not want the ice cream to take on the flavor of the oil.
How to Make Fried Ice Cream
1. Chill a small tray in the freezer or fridge for a few minutes before lining it with wax or parchment paper. Make 4 large scoops of ice cream and place them on the chilled tray. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, stir together the corn flakes, cinnamon, and 2 teaspoons of sugar in a small bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites with the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar until well combined and just barely frothy.
3. Roll a frozen scoop of ice cream in the corn flakes mixture to coat. Place in the egg whites and turn to coat.
4. Then, transfer the scoop back into the corn flakes, making sure the surface of the ice cream is completely coated. Return to the tray. Freeze for at least 3 hours or up to 2 days.
5. When ready to fry, fill a small pot with 3 inches of oil. Heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 360F. Place one of the ice cream balls on a slotted spoon and gently lower it into the hot oil. Fry one at a time for 8 to 10 seconds. Remove and gently tap the spoon on the pot, so excess oil drips off.
6. Place the fried ice cream on a serving plate. Drizzle with chocolate sauce and top with whipped cream and a cherry if desired. Serve immediately.
Pro Tips for Making This Recipe
- Keep an eye on the temperature of the oil. The exterior will crack if the oil is too high, and ice cream will ooze out into the oil.
- It’s best to serve fried ice cream immediately as they melt quickly. Keep the coated balls in the freezer until you are ready to eat them.
- To make scooping the ice cream more manageable, you can run the ice cream scoop under hot water.
- An ice cream scoop helps you get uniformly shaped ice cream balls. If you do not have an ice cream scoop, you can gently shape spoonfuls of ice cream with your hands. Wearing gloves will help keep the warmth of your hands from melting the ice cream too quickly.
- Do not rush the freezing timing. If you don’t fully freeze the ice cream scoops solid before you deep fry them, they will melt quickly in the oil.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does the ice cream not melt?
The ice cream does not melt when deep-fried as the scoop of frozen ice cream is large enough to stay frozen for the 10 seconds it is in the oil. This is why making sure the ice cream scoops are frozen solid and not too small before deep-frying is essential. Also, the combination of corn flakes and egg whites creates the perfect shell that helps keep the hot oil from penetrating through to the ice cream. So, make sure you thoroughly coat the entire scoop of ice cream before frying.
What else can I add to the coating?
If you don’t have corn flakes on hand, you can try using vanilla wafers, graham crackers, digestive biscuits, or chopped nuts.
What else can I serve with the ice cream?
While I’m a huge fan of chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and maraschino cherries, you can also garnish the ice cream with caramel sauce, sprinkles, fresh berries, honey, cinnamon sugar, and mini chocolate chips.
If you’ve tried this Fried Ice Cream recipe, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you!