Fried ice cream is one of my favorite summer treats at the fair (and that’s saying something, because there are a lot of delicious fried treats at the fair). Sure, I love the contrast between the cold, frozen ice cream and the hot, crunchy coating, but I also love it because it’s the only time I ever eat it — it always seemed like such a difficult and intimidating thing to prepare at home.

That is, until I discovered the magic that is No-Fry Fried Ice Cream — aka your new favorite way to consume ice cream this summer. This recipe brings all the flavor and crunch of a traditional fried ice cream with none of the deep-frying mess or splattering oil. Here’s how to do it.

How to Make Fried Ice Cream Without Any Frying at All

In this recipe, we’re using an oven-baked mixture of crushed cornflakes, brown sugar, spices, and melted butter to replicate the light texture of real-deal fried ice cream. I recommend using a high-quality brand of ice cream, such as Häagen-Dazs, because the consistency tends to hold its shape better.

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You’ll roll the frozen ice cream balls in the cereal mixture until coated, then return them to the freezer to set. Then, enjoy as is or kick it up a notch by dressing the ice cream balls up with chocolate sauce (or caramel) sauce and freshly whipped cream.

If you’re prepping this as a party dessert, the coated ice cream balls can be prepared up to 48 hours in advance: Simply freeze them on a baking sheet covered with plastic wrap.

Fried Ice Cream


  • 4 cups

    (32 ounces) vanilla ice cream

  • 3 cups

    cornflakes cereal, crushed

  • 1/4 cup

    lightly packed light brown sugar

  • 2 teaspoons

    ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground nutmeg

  • Pinch fine salt

  • 1 stick

    (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • Chocolate sauce and whipped cream, for serving (optional)


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350ºF. Meanwhile, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop the 4 cups of vanilla ice cream into 8 balls (about 1/2 cup each) onto 1 of the prepared baking sheets. Freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Make the coating while the ice cream freezes.

  2. Crush the 3 cups cornflakes into crumbs. Place in a large bowl, add the 1/4 cup lightly packed light brown sugar, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and a pinch of salt, and stir until well combined.

  3. Melt 1 stick unsalted butter. Add the butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to the cereal mixture and toss to coat evenly. Transfer to the second baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Bake, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely, then transfer to a clean bowl.

  4. Roll the ice cream balls in the cereal mixture to coat, then place back on the baking sheet. Freeze at least 30 minutes before serving with whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce if desired.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The ice cream balls can be prepared 1 to 2 days ahead of time. Serve straight from the freezer.

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