Fried Ice Cream

Fried Ice Cream

Raise your hand if you’re doing something to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this coming weekend. Maybe you’re going to make a Mexican-themed dinner… treat yourself to a margarita (or margarita cupcakes)… or sit down to watch your favorite show with a bag of chips and a jar of salsa? This year, I finally made it my business to make fried ice cream at home. For as long as I’ve known him, my Chief Culinary Consultant has been in love with fried ice cream and asked me a long time ago if I could try making it. I have vague memories of a Chi-Chi’s outing with my mom during my pre-teen years that may or may not have involved fried ice cream. I can kind of remember, but not well. Suffice it to say, I’m a fried ice cream newbie. Also, apparently a bit of a procrastinator. I think the wait was worth it, though, judging by the ooh’s and aah’s as we dug into this with two spoons.

Fried Ice Cream

It took me awhile to wrap my head around how I could actually fry something that was supposed to be frozen and not end up with a melting, globby mess. Turns out, fried ice cream relies on the same work-fast-then-freeze-then-freeze-again techniques that are necessary when making things like ice cream sandwiches and homemade Klondike bars. In the end, assembling the fried ice cream wasn’t much work at all; there’s just a bit of waiting around between steps to make sure everything is frozen solid. I did read that most restaurants that serve fried ice cream keep the ice cream balls frozen at a temperature well below that at which ice cream is normally stored. Since I didn’t have the ability to do this with a regular household freezer, there was a little melting when I plated the fried ice cream, but as you can see, the center stayed pretty solid.

I was thrilled with how this fried ice cream turned out and it received two huge thumbs up from my Chief Culinary Consultant, who’s a fried ice cream pro. The outside is warm and crunchy, then once you break through the crust there’s cold, creamy vanilla ice cream waiting for you. A deliciously perfect complement of flavors and textures.

What’s your favorite Mexican dessert?

Fried Ice Cream

Two years ago: Chocolate Biscuit Cake {Royal Wedding Groom Cake}

Fried Ice Cream

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 5 hours

An easy recipe for making fried ice cream at home!

Ingredients:

1 quart vanilla ice cream
5 cups cornflakes, crushed
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened and unsweetened are both fine)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 eggs
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon milk
Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying

Directions:

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop out balls of ice cream a little more than a ½ cup in size and place on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze for 2 hours, or until the ice cream is very hard.

2. Meanwhile, in a shallow bowl, combine the crushed cornflakes, coconut and cinnamon. Roll the balls of ice cream in the coating, packing them together into a smooth ball. Return the coated ice cream to the baking sheet and freeze for at least 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and milk. Remove the ice cream from the freezer and roll each one in the egg mixture to coat, then immediately roll in the cornflakes mixture again, ensuring there is a thick, even coating on each ice cream ball. Return them all to the baking sheet and freeze for at least 2 hours.

4. When ready, add oil to a depth of about 3 inches in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot. Heat the oil to 400 degrees F. When the oil is ready, carefully drop the ice cream balls into the hot oil and fry for only about 30 seconds, until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined to drain briefly and serve immediately. Drizzle with honey and/or chocolate sauce and top with whipped cream, if desired.

(Recipe adapted from Food Network and Simply So Good)

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52 Responses to “Fried Ice Cream”

  1. Tieghan on April 30, 2013 at 12:23 am

    Fried ice cream! OMG! LOVE!!
    I had know idea this was mexican, but holly yum!! This looks incredible!

    Reply

    • lily on May 4th, 2013 at 7:34 pm

      i remember getting this at don pablos too bad that palce closed now i can make it at home

      Reply

  2. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on April 30, 2013 at 3:11 am

    I’m definitely going to celebrate Cinco dy Mayo this weekend! Hopefully this fried ice cream will be a part of that celebration :)

    Reply

  3. fardous on April 30, 2013 at 5:50 am

    girl i like this rep , i will try it for my sis bd , thank u

    Reply

  4. Jessica @ Portuguese Girl Cooks on April 30, 2013 at 6:59 am

    Wow! What an awesome cinco de mayo dessert!

    Reply

  5. Corinne on April 30, 2013 at 7:00 am

    I’ve always had it drizzled with a honey/cinnamon combination…it’s so delicious that way!

    Reply

  6. Terry on April 30, 2013 at 7:35 am

    Oh yum!!! Haven’t had any in years!!!!….and had totally forgotten about Chi Chi’s ~ thank you for remembering!

    Reply

  7. Rayna on April 30, 2013 at 7:35 am

    This looks decadent! I’ll order it as a special treat sometimes, but I’ve never thought to make it myself. I can’t wait to try it!

    Reply

  8. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on April 30, 2013 at 7:59 am

    You are plain me! I used to love Chi Chis restaurant!! I used to go there all the time in my 20′s and yes I would get the fried ice cream. Dam it was good and dam do I miss it! Your recipe sounds amazing, I’m afraid to attempt it because if I make it, I may make it way to much!!

    Reply

  9. Dana on April 30, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Awesome. I love, love, LOVE how you make all these processed foods from scratch. You rock! :)

    Reply

  10. Tracey on April 30, 2013 at 8:29 am

    I absolutely love this!! I’ve never had fried ice cream but I think it’d be super fun to make at home. Definitely happening this summer!

    Reply

  11. Kara on April 30, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Ok, you have convinced me that I can do this!

    Reply

  12. Aimee St.Germain (Cooking the Strip) on April 30, 2013 at 8:48 am

    I always wondered if “fried ice cream” was really fried, or if there was some trick that gave the illusion of frying with the crispy outside. Thanks for solving this mystery for me – the recipe sounds delicious to boot!

    Reply

  13. Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat on April 30, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Wow! This sounds fantastic! This is totally my kind of dessert…lol!

    Reply

  14. Linda on April 30, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Ok, we are really lazy at our house. I learned how to make Fried Ice Cream, but found my kids not being patient enough so we have altered, and re-altered the recipe to an everyday delight. Scoop of ice cream. Roll in Frosted Flakes, sprinkle with Cinnamon Sugar and drizzle honey over it. Instant Gratification. Not as good as the real kind, but my grown up kids can all make it for themselves! And good for instant cravings.

    Reply

    • Karl Dailey on April 30th, 2013 at 2:51 pm

      I do it the lazy way, too…though I roll the ice cream in cruched Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal and then drizzle with honey. Very close to Chi Chi’s

      Reply

  15. Kevin (Closet Cooking) on April 30, 2013 at 9:18 am

    I have always wanted to try frying ice cream! It looks amazing!

    Reply

  16. Amber on April 30, 2013 at 9:22 am

    I LOVE fried (anything), I mean fried ice cream…especially drizzled with homemade hot fudge. I wonder how it would be if you used coconut oil instead of peant/vegetable oil??? Just a thought. Thanks for your ever growing list of tasty recipes.

    Reply

  17. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie on April 30, 2013 at 9:37 am

    I will be celebrating my birthday and star wars day the day before (may the fourth be with you – yes I have the best bday ever). But I will also be going to the Beale St Music festival all weekend. Hopefully be able to squeeze some Mexican food in between the festival turkey legs haha. I actually did make your margarita cupcakes the other day, but I added strawberry. Posting them tomorrow!

    Reply

  18. Maria on April 30, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Gotta try this! I haven’t had fried ice cream in years!

    Reply

  19. Christa B on April 30, 2013 at 10:38 am

    I am not a fan of coconut – is there something that can be used as an alternative? Or can it be eliminated all together w/o effecting the end result?

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 1st, 2013 at 10:40 am

      Hi Christa, You can use crushed nuts if you’d like.

      Reply

  20. marie @ little kitchie on April 30, 2013 at 10:42 am

    STOP IT. We have this every year at the state fair, and it is sooooo good. You are awesome to make it at home!!!

    Reply

  21. Lorrie on April 30, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Our favorite restaurants in Washington state used to make it this way, but would spoon on sweetened frozen (thawed) strawberry slices and whipped cream. You should try that too. Now that we are in southern California, we are lucky to find it on the menu at all. If we do, it’s like this.

    Reply

  22. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar on April 30, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Loooove this!! Can’t wait to try!!

    Reply

  23. Meagan @ Scarletta Bakes on April 30, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Wow! What a perfect, lovely, sweet treat for Cinco de Mayo week!

    Reply

  24. Deborah on April 30, 2013 at 10:49 am

    I love fried ice cream, and yours is calling my name!!

    Reply

  25. Marcie @ Flavor The Moments on April 30, 2013 at 11:07 am

    What a blast from the past! I used to eat fried ice cream at El Torito’s all the time in my twenties. It’s something I’ve been thinking about again recently, so thank you for the recipe!

    Reply

  26. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl on April 30, 2013 at 11:52 am

    It’s funny you posted this, I have a fried ice cream recipe that I’m posting this week too. My husband was obsessed with fried ice cream from Chi-Chi’s as a kid so he had me made it last week, we all fell in love again!

    Reply

  27. Jen on April 30, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    i do this, but i only roll once and don’t fry it. it’s ALMOST as good and I don’t have to be paranoid that i’m going to melt the icecream.!

    Reply

  28. Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onion on April 30, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    I loved fried ice cream growing up, its getting really hard to find a place that makes it up her in Canada. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply

  29. Valerie on April 30, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    I remember going there in the mid 80′s right after they opened one in Syracuse….I remember it being wrapped in fritos though. I remember really liking the cinnamon sauce.

    Reply

  30. sally @ sallys baking addiction on April 30, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    mmm fried ice cream is my weakness Michelle. Well, I have a lot of dessert weaknesses but nothing compares to melty fried ice cream. So good!!

    Reply

  31. Nicole @ Mediterranean Baby on April 30, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    I have always wanted to make this!! Thank you!

    Reply

  32. Kelly @ livelovepasta on April 30, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    Wow…that looks fantastic! I love love love fried ice cream!

    Reply

  33. Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen on April 30, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    I have always wanted to try fried ice cream! This looks so yummy!!

    Reply

  34. natalie @ wee eats on April 30, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    drooling. so bad. right now.
    unfortunately I SUCK SO BAD at frying things! SO BAD! I can never seem to balance the temperature of the frying oil so it’s like TOO HOT then TOO COLD then TOO HOT… maybe i’ll just find a friend with a deep fryer and go for it :)

    Reply

    • Jessica Donnovan on May 14th, 2013 at 9:59 pm

      That’s me too Natalie!

      I can’t seem to find that temperature that I can form the thing I’m cooking. Like for example, when cooking omelettes. There’s that temperature that the egg will not mature as soon as it should for your to put the ingredients and everything but for me, it matures real fast that I end up mixing everything on the pan ahaha :)

      Anyway, this fried ice cream recipe is one of my goal for this month. I should be able to do this. I didn’t know those are crushed cornflakes and cinnamon. I’ll still go for chocolate syrup for the topping. Well, it really depends on the ice cream flavor. If it’s vanilla, chocolate or even double dutch. Chocolate add on will still be the best.

      Kudos!

      Jessica

      Reply

  35. Teresa on May 1, 2013 at 6:59 am

    I never knew this was a Mexican thing. I’ve only had the Japanese variety-tempura fried ice cream. Great technique, thanks!

    Reply

  36. Courtney@BakeMeBetter on May 1, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    I love fried ice cream! What do you do with your oil after? Do you throw it away or save it for another fried recipe?

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 2nd, 2013 at 10:39 am

      If I know I’ll be frying again in the relatively near future, I’ll save it.

      Reply

  37. Jenny on May 1, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    This reminds me when my dad would take us for fried ice cream at the only authentic Mexican restaurant we had when I was little. Looks really good.

    Reply

  38. Laura Dembowski on May 2, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    I think I’ve only had fried ice cream once but I remember loving it. I love the coconut in the coating. Can’t think of a better way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo!

    Reply

  39. John on May 5, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Wow, this looks insanely good :)

    Reply

  40. sue odom on May 5, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    I worked at Chi Chi’s and they actually used crushed cinnamon graham crackers for the coating

    Reply

  41. Debbie Heuston on May 8, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    I always wondered why ChiChi’s went out of buisness. It was a favorite place for whole family to go.! I was always to stuffed from the grande burrito to have desert.But I did have a few tastes of it. And was amazed they could fry icecream ! The place was always packed! Anyone know why it closed?

    Reply

  42. Gina on October 7, 2013 at 1:17 am

    I have a suggestion why not pack the ice cream ball in or in between 2 bags of ice ,the frozen bags you get in convenience stores. Or fill up an ice bucket and store the ice cream in that.

    Reply

  43. Tara on April 23, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    Just made this today. So delicious! I think it is also one of the most difficult food photos I have taken so far.

    Reply

  44. Megan on May 2, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Is there anything else I can use instead of cornflakes?

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 12th, 2014 at 10:07 am

      Hi Megan, I’m not sure, that’s all I’ve used!

      Reply

  45. Caroline on July 26, 2014 at 12:22 am

    LOVE ice cream & LOVE this recipe. May I have permission to repost one of your photos (with credit/link) in one of my articles for Spoon University?

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 26th, 2014 at 7:40 pm

      Hi Caroline, Thanks for the request. If you’re simply using a photo with a link back to the original blog post (and not re-printing the recipe), then that is okay.

      Reply

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