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What is No-Fry “Fried” Ice Cream?

With origins tracing back to the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, fried ice cream has been a favorite of ice cream lovers for a long time. Traditionally, fried ice cream takes your favorite frozen treat, coats it in a batter, and deep-fries it until you have a crunchy outer layer with a smooth, creamy center.

Today, you’re likely to find fried ice cream at your favorite Asian or Mexican restaurants. But you can also make it at home to impress your family or dinner guests. We’ve got your perfect fried ice cream recipe—without frying. All you need is a few scoops of ice cream and your favorite cereal to make an easy, impressive dessert everyone will love.

Key Ingredients

Our no-fry “fried” ice cream requires only a few simple ingredients you may already have. To get started, you’ll need:

  • Corn flakes (or a similar cereal)
  • Vanilla ice cream (or your favorite ice cream flavor)
  • Your choice of toppings

How to Make Homemade No-Fry “Fried” Ice Cream

  1. Place a large scoop of ice cream (about 2–1/2 inches in diameter) on a rimmed baking sheet lined with wax paper. Repeat to make a total of 8 ice cream balls. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 1 hour, or until frozen.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine coarsely crushed frosted corn flakes with 2 tablespoons of melted butter and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and mix well.
  4. Coat a second rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Place your corn flake mixture on the baking sheet and bake 5 to 7 minutes, or until it’s a light golden brown and crisp. Allow to cool completely.
  5. Remove ice cream balls from the freezer and roll in the corn flake mixture until coated on all sides. Place ice cream balls back on the baking sheet and freeze for 1 hour, or until ready to serve.
  6. Finish with the toppings of your choice and serve!

Get the full recipe here.

Tips for Making No-Fry “Fried” Ice Cream

Here are a few tips to help you make your perfect no-fry “fried” ice cream.

Work with 2-3 Balls of Ice Cream at a Time

You can make multiple no-fry “fried” ice cream treats at once! Your baking sheet should fit a few balls of ice cream on one sheet. Rolling the balls in the corn flakes in batches will help speed up the process and make sure everyone gets their own dessert!

Crush the Cereal

To get the perfect coating for your no-fry “fried” ice cream, you want to make sure your corn flakes are perfectly coarse. To get the right texture, you can crush your cereal using a rolling pin or a food processor. Just make sure not to crush them too fine! The crunch is what gives you that fried effect without having to use a deep fryer.

Proper Freezing and Storing Techniques

The perfect no-fry “fried” ice cream comes down to the star of the show — the ice cream! That means making sure your frozen treat has been stored properly from start to finish.

An important first step is making sure the ice cream you’re using isn’t freezer burned (that’s when your ice cream gets those ice crystals on top). We offer tips on preventing freezer burn to keep your ice cream in perfect condition.

Once you’ve made sure your ice cream isn’t freezer burned, you’ll want to keep your scoops of ice cream frozen throughout the entire process. No one wants a melty ball of ice cream! When you aren’t actively working with your dessert (coating it with your corn flake mixture, for example), you want to make sure you keep your ice cream balls in the freezer to stay frozen. Even once they’re coated, you don’t need to serve them right away! Keep them frozen until you’re ready to add your additional toppings and enjoy.

No-Fry “Fried” Ice Cream Variations

Want to personalize your homemade no-fry “fried” ice cream? You can mix and match flavors and toppings to make a dessert designed for every member of your family!

Use Different Cereals

We recommend using frosted corn flakes, but you can use your favorite cereal to make this dessert’s crunchy coating. Consider using a flavored corn flake, or choose a crispy cinnamon cereal to add a little extra flavor.

Choose Your Favorite Ice Cream Flavor

We love vanilla ice cream with this dish, but why stop there? Any flavor of ice cream would go great with this dessert. Pair it with a pumpkin or eggnog ice cream for an on-theme holiday treat, substitute chocolate or caramel ice cream for a fun weekend dessert, or use a dairy-free option so everyone can enjoy!

Customize Your Toppings

One of the best parts of any ice cream dessert is the toppings. We love drizzling honey over our no-fry “fried” ice cream, but you could use chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, maraschino cherries or whipped cream to complete your dessert!

Frozen Dessert Recipes You’ll Love

If you enjoyed our homemade no-fry “fried” ice cream, you’ll love these other frozen dessert recipes!