Best (Un) Fried Ice Cream Recipe Without Frying

(Un) Fried Ice Cream – crunchy, cool, and creamy deliciousness of deep-fried ice cream without frying! No Fry fried ice cream is an easy take on a traditional fried ice cream recipe that will delight friends and family! A make-ahead frozen treat that’s perfect for parties.

You don’t have to find a  carnival or food truck, to enjoy fried ice cream! You can easily make this frozen treat yourself. You can make it using store-bought ice cream, or for a fun activity make your own homemade Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Recipe.

Be sure to sign up for my email… to get new recipes and ideas in your inbox!

a serving of fried ice cream recipe without frying

 

Fiesta Fun Family Night With (Un) Fried Ice Cream!

The oven-baked cinnamon cereal coating is a delectable, crunchy contrast to the velvety vanilla ice cream in (un) fried ice cream. Drizzle with your favorite ice cream topping, a dollop of whipped cream, and garnish with a cherry or fresh berries. Everyone will be enthralled when you serve a delicious dessert like this magical (un) fried ice cream!

Does this (un) fried ice cream recipe pull you back to the days of Chi-Chi’s, El Torito, or other Mexican restaurants when fried ice cream was a novelty? Many of us were first introduced and then mesmerized by this fantastical frozen delight after enjoying a variety of delicious Mexican-inspired dishes!

Writing about it makes me want to get in the kitchen and make this (un) fried ice cream recipe to pair with yummy chorizo dip, my time-saving Easy Chicken Enchiladas,  and a refreshing Paloma!

Two servings of fried ice cream on a tray

Why You’ll Love This (Un) Fried Ice Cream Recipe

  • Besides a great tasting dessert, this no fry version of fried ice cream is calorie friendly (compared to fried ice cream) yet full of flavor!
  • No more searches for “fried ice cream near me” and paying $5 – $7 for each serving.
  • Simple to make and much lower in fat and calories than traditional fried ice cream recipes.
  • No messy splatters or leaky batters to ruin a large batch of oil.
  • This is the perfect recipe for people who want fried ice cream without using corn flakes. 
  • Gluten-free cereal and dairy-free or vegan ice cream to adjust for dietary restrictions.
  • An excellent make-ahead treat, (un) fried ice cream is easy!
  • Fried ice cream without frying is fun for birthdays; just add sprinkles to the whipped cream and a birthday candle!

ingredients for fried ice cream recipe without frying

What You Will Need For (un) Fried Ice Cream

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy here.

Assemble the tools to make this (un) fried ice cream without frying: baking sheets½ cup or ¼ cup ice cream scoop, food processor or rolling pin, and parchment paper. Grab two basic ingredients and get started!

  • Cinnamon Toast Cereal – coarsely crushed and toasted. This (un) fried ice cream recipe will work with any of your favorite cereals, but cinnamon toast cereal will give you more of a traditional fried ice cream flavor.  Who says you can’t make fried ice cream without corn flakes?
  • Vanilla Ice Cream – you can also use any flavor ice cream on hand. Again, vanilla is the traditional flavor, but YOU DO YOU!! Try some fun flavor combos for gourmet fried ice cream!
  • Optional Toppings – whipped cream or homemade cinnamon whipped cream, maraschino cherries, chocolate syrup, honey, caramel sauce, butterscotch, sprinkles, toasted pecans, mini chocolate chips, or toasted coconut.

how to make (Un) Fried Ice Cream photo collage

How To Make No-Fry Fried Ice Cream 

(full printable recipe at the end of this post)

  1. Start your (un) fried ice cream recipe by putting one parchment-lined baking sheet in the freezer and using the other to bake the crushed cereal.
  2. Shape ice cream into ½ or ¼ cup balls and place on the lined baking sheet in the freezer.
  3. After the shaped ice cream has been in the freezer for at least an hour, roll and press one ice cream ball at a time into thoroughly cooled cereal crumbs and put back into the freezer covered until ready to serve.

To Serve: Place (un) fried ice cream on a plate, drizzle with syrup or sauce, and garnish with toppings. 

(Un) Fried Ice Cream with sprinkles and birthday candle

Notes & Tips For No Fry Fried Ice Cream 

  • The frozen metal baking sheet from the freezer will keep the ice cream balls from melting while scooping others.  
  • Working fast in a cool room is optimum when shaping and rolling the balls for (un) fried ice cream.
  • You can crush the cereal with a food processor or place it into a ziptop bag and roll over it with a rolling pin.
  • Toasted chopped nuts and/or shredded coconut can be added to the crushed cereal mixture for enhanced flavor.
  • When rolling the ice cream balls in the crushed cereal, I usually work with 2-3 balls at a time, returning them to the freezer quickly, then get 2-3 more.
  • If your ice cream doesn’t usually get too hard in the freezer or you don’t have a deep freeze, I recommend turning your freezer down a bit when making this (un) fried ice cream recipe, so the ice cream hardens properly. 

fried ice cream recipe without frying with chocolate drizzle on top

(Un) Fried or Fried Ice Cream  FAQs

What is fried ice cream? 

Fried ice cream is a “magical” treat that is said to have been introduced at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. A hard frozen ball of ice cream coated in pie dough, tempura batter, or a flour and egg-based batter was dropped into boiling oil or lard and fried long enough for the coating to brown. The ice cream center is still frozen when served right away. Current variations of fried ice cream recipes use crushed cereals, cakes, or cookies and have a drizzled topping and whipped cream.

What is Mexican fried ice cream?

Mexican fried ice cream uses crushed tortilla chips with cinnamon as the crunchy outer coating. This version of deep-fried ice cream is usually drizzled in caramel.

Fried ice cream became associated with Mexican food in the U.S. in the 1980s primarily through Chi-Chi’s, a chain of Mexican restaurants that served the fried frozen dessert.

What’s the difference between cheater’s fried ice cream and (un) fried ice cream recipes?

Neither version of (un) fried ice cream is deep-fried; they differ in how the crunchy coating is prepared. My (un) fried ice cream recipe uses toasted crushed cereal, but the crushed coating is sauteed in butter for the cheater’s fried ice cream. 

fried ice cream on a plate with chocolate syrup

Other Frozen Dessert Recipes You’ll Love

When it comes to frozen desserts and treats, ice cream is at the top of the list. But here are a few more cool desserts to choose from:

Like This Un Fried Ice Cream Recipe? Pin It!

pinterest-image 

close up of fried ice cream with bite taken drizzled with honey

Originally posted in March 2011. UPDATED APRIL 2022. We spiffed up this post with more info and better pictures! No changes to the original recipe.

a serving of fried ice cream recipe without frying

Best (Un) Fried Ice Cream

Yield: 8 large or 16 small
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Minimum Freezer Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Crunchy, cool, and creamy deliciousness of deep-fried ice cream without frying! No Fry fried ice cream is an easy take on a traditional fried ice cream recipe that will delight friends and family! A make-ahead frozen treat that's perfect for parties.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups toasted cinnamon cereal, coarsely crushed
  • ½ gallon vanilla ice cream
  • Optional toppings: whipped cream, maraschino cherries, chocolate syrup, honey, caramel ice cream topping, caramel ice cream topping

Instructions

      1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
      2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Place one in the freezer. (This will help to have a cold surface to scoop/roll the ice cream balls onto later)
      3. Spread crushed cereal on the other parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes; cool completely.
      4. Shape Ice Cream into balls ( ½ cup scoop for about 8 large balls or 16- 1/4 cup balls) placing them on the cold pan. Place ice cream balls in the freezer for 1 hour or until firm.
      5. Place cooled cereal crumbs in a bowl. Place ice cream balls in the cereal one at a time*. Roll and press to evenly coat ice cream with cereal, return to the freezer until ready to serve.
      6. To Serve: Place ice cream on a plate and drizzle with chocolate syrup, honey, or caramel topping. Garnish with whipped cream and a cherry.

Notes

You need to work fast when working with ice cream.  A cool room will help.

A cold metal pan from the freezer really helps to keep the ice cream ball from melting while scooping others.  

You can crush the cereal with a food processor, or place the cereal into a ziptop bag and roll over it with a rolling pin.

When rolling the ice cream balls in the crushed cereal, I usually work with 2-3 balls at a time, returning them to the freezer quickly and grab another 2-3 to work on.

It’s best to use a freezer that gets ice cream pretty hard. I would recommend turning your freezer down a bit if your ice cream doesn’t usually get too hard in the freezer, you want the ice cream balls nice and firm.

These are fun for birthdays, just add sprinkles to the whipped cream and a birthday candle!

 Store in a covered container if not serving right away. Best if served within 1-2 days.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 337Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 193mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 2gSugar: 33gProtein: 5g

Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients used and are just estimates. We encourage, especially if these numbers are important to you, to calculate these on your own for most accurate results.

Making this recipe? Share it with us on Instagram using the hashtag #TidyMom so we can see what you're creating in the kitchen!

Easy (un) fried ice cream with birthday candle