Say hello to the perfect fried ice cream recipe. It’s crunchy on the outside, creamy inside, and oh-so-scrumptious in every bite.
If you’re looking for the ultimate indulgence, you just found it! It’s one of your favorite Mexican desserts, just like authentic Mexican restaurants make.
Easy Fried Ice Cream Recipe
There’s nothing quite like frozen balls of ice cream coated in crushed cornflakes and deep-fried until golden. It’s kind of the perfect dessert.
The contrast between the crunchy, warm coating and the cold, creamy ice cream is heavenly.
It’s like a mix of homemade ice cream and a crispy, cinnamon sugar-coated churro. And believe it or not, it’s not even difficult to make.
It requires only five ingredients and about 25 minutes of hands-on work. Let’s get frying!
What Is Fried Ice Cream?
If you’re here, you probably know exactly what fried ice cream is. But in case you stumbled here on accident, here’s a quick description.
Fried ice cream is a classic Mexican dessert of ice cream covered in breading or batter, then deep-fried to perfection.
The deep-frying process is quick, so the ice cream doesn’t have time to melt. The result is a dessert that’s hot and crunchy outside and cool and creamy inside.
Often drizzled with chocolate or caramel sauce, fried ice cream also comes topped with whipped cream and a cherry. Yum!
You’ll only need five key ingredients for this recipe:
- Vanilla ice cream. Or whatever your favorite ice cream flavor is.
- Crushed cornflakes. Serves as the crust that coats the ice cream.
- Ground cinnamon. Adds flavor to the cornflakes. Add as little or as much as you like.
- Egg whites. Eggs are the glue, holding the cornflakes to the ice cream.
- Oil. For deep-frying. Use oil with a high smoke point, such as peanut oil. That allows you to deep-fry quickly.
How to Make Fried Ice Cream
Fried ice cream is pretty easy to make, although it calls for some freezing time. So be sure to plan ahead.
1. Scoop and freeze the ice cream. Make 1/2-cup-sized ice cream balls using an ice cream scoop. Dip the scoop in hot water if the ice cream is too hard.
If you want the balls to be perfectly round, use your (glove-covered) hands to shape them.
2. Place the scoops on a baking sheet. After you’ve shaped the ice cream, transfer the balls to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Freeze until they solidify (about an hour).
2. Prepare the coating. In a shallow bowl, combine the crushed cornflakes and cinnamon. Whisk the egg whites in another until they’re slightly foamy.
3. Coat and freeze. Dip the ice cream balls in the egg whites and roll them in cornflakes.
Important: Be sure the balls are completely coated! If not, they’ll be exposed to oil during frying and melt. Roll them in the cornflakes twice, if needed.
4. Refreeze the ice cream balls. Once coated, freeze the ice cream balls again to firm them up (about 3 hours).
This step is crucial! The ice cream must be frozen solid to withstand being submerged in hot oil for several seconds.
5. Deep-fry. Preheat the oil in a deep-fryer or a tall, heavy-bottomed pot to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Fry the ice cream for 10 to 15 seconds.
And remember: While deep-frying, keep the rest of the balls in the freezer.
6. Garnish, serve, and enjoy! Garnish the fried ice cream with your choice of toppings, serve, and enjoy! Serve fried ice cream immediately after deep-frying.
Tips for the Best Fried Ice Cream
My tips section is a little lengthy, but be sure to check them all out. They’re all important and will ensure your fried ice cream comes out perfectly.
- Wet the ice cream scoop with hot water. Just a couple of seconds of warm water will make it much easier to scoop the ice cream.
- Don’t fry all the balls at once! Instead, add however many scoops your fryer can accommodate. Keep the rest in the freezer. Over-crowding will cause the oil’s temperature to drop, resulting in melted ice cream or soggy crust.
- Monitor the oil’s temperature. The crust will crack if it gets too hot, exposing the ice cream.
- Shape by hand for the best results. Be sure to use plastic gloves to keep the ice cream from melting. (And to keep your hands clean!)
- Not in the mood to deep-fry? Just sprinkle the cornflake mixture on top of the ice cream, and voila.
- Serve immediately after deep-frying. Don’t deep-fry until you’re ready to serve.
- Try some variations. Try substituting crushed vanilla wafers, graham crackers, nuts, or coconut for the cornflakes. Try different flavors of ice cream — strawberry, chocolate, butter pecan, etc.
How Come the Ice Cream Doesn’t Melt?
There are a few factors that contribute to the ice cream not melting when you deep-fry fried ice cream.
- Size and frozen status. The balls are large and fully frozen by the time you fry them. That allows them to withstand a few seconds in hot oil. That’s why it’s imperative that you give the balls time to freeze fully.
- Coating. If you completely coat the ice cream with egg whites and cornflakes, the coating protects the ice cream. Be sure not to leave any ice cream uncoated. Roll them twice to be sure!
- Time in the oil. No matter how frozen or coated ice cream is, it WILL melt with enough heat exposure. Fortunately, you’ll only leave the balls in the oil for 10 to 15 seconds. That isn’t enough time to melt them.
Can I Use a Different Flavor of Ice Cream?
The wonderful thing about making your own dessert is you get to play with the flavors. You can use whatever flavor of ice cream you like!
Think of this recipe as a guide to help you achieve fried ice cream success. But feel free to customize it as well.
The fun part about ice cream is always picking the toppings! So while this dessert is already pretty decadent, toppings are still a must.
Here are some great ideas:
- The classic. Caramel sauce, whipped cream, and cherries!
- Fresh berries. They’ll add a nice tart contrast to the sweet dessert.
- Banana slices. Along with other toppings (like whipped cream!), bananas will completely transform your fried ice cream. Add cherries, chocolate, and nuts to make a fried ice cream banana split.
- Rainbow sprinkles. These make this dessert even more appetizing to the kids and the kids at heart.
- Chopped nuts. Nuts add an extra layer of crunch. Toast them beforehand to bring out their flavor more.
- Crushed candy. Ideal for sweet tooths! I love how it adds another layer of both taste and texture to the dessert!
Can I Make Fried Ice Cream in Advance?
You can absolutely make fried ice cream in advance! Prepare the ice cream balls as instructed. Simply leave the deep-frying until you’re ready to serve.
You can keep the covered ice cream balls in the freezer for up to 2 days before frying them.
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