How to Make Crispy Homemade Fried Ice Cream

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If you’re a dessert lover, you’ve probably heard of fried ice cream. This delicious treat is an irresistible item often found on the menu in Mexican restaurants.

But did you know that you can make fried ice cream at home? It’s easier than you might think, and the results are just as delicious as what you’d get in the restaurant. See how you can whip up homemade fried ice cream with a crispy, crunchy exterior and a creamy, dreamy interior.

Fried ice cream with a cherry on top.

Fried Ice Cream Frenzy

My husband and I are absolutely obsessed with the fried ice cream from our favorite restaurant down the street. Del Carmen seriously knows what they are doing.

Since eating out all the time is rough on the wallet and the waistline, I knew I had to find a way to make fried ice cream at home. This way, I can make smaller portions, choose an ice cream with our preferred ingredients, and save money by buying each ingredient needed in bulk.

We can now enjoy this delicious treat from the comfort of home, and reserve visiting Del Carmen for a special date night.

Reasons to Love this Fried Ice Cream Recipe

  • Easy to make: Don’t let the “fried” name intimidate you. This recipe is easy to follow, with no complicated techniques or equipment required.
  • Delicious: The combination of the crispy, sweet coating and the creamy, cold ice cream makes for an irresistible treat that’s sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.
  • Customizable: You can easily switch up the toppings to suit your preferences, whether you prefer a classic chocolate sauce and whipped cream or something more unique, like honey and cinnamon.
  • Impressive: Serving homemade fried ice cream to friends and family is sure to impress them, and they’ll probably assume some kitchen wizardry occurred.
  • Fun: Making fried ice cream at home is kinda fun once you get the hang of it!
  • Great for Parties: Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or a casual get-together, serving homemade fried ice cream is a great way to add some excitement to the dessert menu.
Corn flakes, ice cream, and other ingredients in bowls.

DIY Fried Ice Cream Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make this tasty dessert recipe. The measurements are in the recipe card below.

  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Butter
  • Cornflakes, crushed
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Granulated sugar
  • Whipped cream
  • (Optional toppings) chocolate syrup, honey, cinnamon, maraschino cherries

How to Make Fried Ice Cream at Home

Scoop out 1 cup of ice cream at a time and shape it into a ball using your hands. Continue this process until you have 4 evenly-sized ice cream balls.

Ice cream balls on a plate.

Place the ice cream balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze until they are firm.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the crushed Cornflakes, granulated sugar, and ground cinnamon to the skillet and stir until the Cornflakes are evenly coated with butter.

Corn flakes on a plate.

Pan fry the mixture over medium-low heat for 4-5 minutes, or until the Cornflakes turn golden brown. Make sure to stir frequently to avoid burning.

Remove the skillet from heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature.

Coating ice cream in corn flakes.

Take the ice cream balls out of the freezer and roll them in the cooled Cornflake mixture, making sure to coat each ball evenly.

Ice cream balls coated with corn flakes.

Return the coated ice cream balls to the freezer until you’re ready to serve.

Ice cream coated in corn flakes.

Just before serving, take the ice cream balls out of the freezer and add your desired toppings, such as a drizzle of chocolate syrup, a spoonful of honey, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a dollop of whipped cream, and a maraschino cherry on top.

Homemade fried ice cream on a plate.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Eating fried ice cream on a plate.

More Cinco de Mayo Dessert Options

If you’re planning a dessert table for Cinco de Mayo, here are some other dessert ideas to include.

  • Cinnamon Sugar Chips: These sweet, crispy chips are perfect to serve next to fried ice cream. Simply brush flour tortillas with melted butter, sprinkle with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar, and bake in the oven until crispy.
  • Churros: Churros are a classic Spanish dessert that pair perfectly with fried ice cream. These fried dough pastries are coated in cinnamon sugar and can be served alongside the ice cream for a sweet and crunchy treat.
  • Fruit Salsa: A fresh and light fruit salsa can provide a nice contrast to the richness of the fried ice cream. Chop up some fresh fruit, such as strawberries, kiwi, and pineapple, and mix it with lime juice and honey for a tasty and colorful side dish.
  • Mexican Hot Chocolate: Mexican hot chocolate is a rich and spiced version of the classic hot chocolate that’s perfect for sipping alongside fried ice cream. The addition of cinnamon and chili powder adds a warm and spicy kick to the drink.
  • Dulce de Leche: Dulce de leche is a caramel-like sauce that’s commonly used in Latin American desserts. Drizzle it over the fried ice cream for a decadent and indulgent treat.
Fried ice cream on a plate with cherries, chocolate syrup, and caramel sauce.

Recipe Swaps and Variations

  • Ice Cream Flavor: While vanilla ice cream is the classic choice for fried ice cream, you can switch things up by using other ice cream flavors. Chocolate, strawberry, and coffee-flavored ice creams would all be delicious options to experiment with.
  • Coating: Instead of using Cornflakes for the coating, you can try other types of cereal or even crushed cookies, such as Oreos or graham crackers.
  • Toppings: You can customize the toppings to your liking. Some other options to consider include crushed nuts, shredded coconut, or caramel syrup.
  • Gluten-Free: If you need a gluten-free version of the recipe, you can use gluten-free cereal or crushed gluten-free cookies for the coating.
  • Dairy-Free: For a dairy-free version, you can use a non-dairy ice cream, such as coconut or almond milk ice cream, and substitute the butter with coconut oil.
Fired ice cream with chocolate syrup and a cherry.

Kitchen Tools Needed

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Baking sheet: Or a freezer-safe plate for the ice cream balls
  • Large skillet
  • Spatula
  • Bowls
  • Freezer
  • Ice cream scoop
  • Parchment paper
  • Whisk

How to Store

If you have any leftover fried ice cream, you can store it in the freezer for later. Place the leftover ice cream balls in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag and store them in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

It’s best to store the ice cream balls without the toppings, if possible. Before serving, let the balls sit at room temperature for a bit before adding the toppings. Adding toppings directly to the frozen ice cream balls may cause them to become too hard, so it’s best to add toppings just before serving.

Recipe Notes and FAQ

How do I prevent the ice cream from melting too quickly when making the ice cream balls?

To prevent the ice cream from melting too quickly, it’s a good idea to have the parchment paper covered plate or baking sheet prepared and chilled before making the ice cream balls. This will allow you to quickly transfer the ice cream balls to the plate/sheet and move them to the freezer before they melt too much.

Forming the ice cream balls is difficult. Do you have any tips?

Forming the ice cream balls can be uncomfortable, so it’s a good idea to use latex gloves to make the process easier. If you prefer not to use gloves, you can also work quickly and run your hands under warm water to prevent the ice cream from sticking to your hands.

Do the ice cream balls need to be perfectly shaped?

No, the ice cream balls do not need to be perfectly round. They can be roughly shaped, and the most important thing is to work quickly to prevent the ice cream from melting.

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Yes, you can make the ice cream balls ahead of time and store them in the freezer. Just make sure to add the toppings just before serving to prevent them from becoming too hard.

Homemade Fried Ice Cream Recipe

Fried ice cream with a cherry on top.
Make delicious homemade fried ice cream with this easy recipe! Vanilla ice cream balls are coated in a crispy Cornflake mixture and topped with your favorite toppings for a sweet and satisfying dessert. Ready in just 5 easy steps!
Jennifer Soltys
Prep Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Serving Size 4 servings


  • 4 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 cups Cornflakes crushed
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon ground

Optional Toppings


  • Form ice cream into 4 balls 1 cup at a time and freeze them until firm on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
    4 cups vanilla ice cream
  • In a skillet, melt butter and add crushed Cornflakes, granulated sugar, and ground cinnamon. Pan fry over medium-low heat until golden brown, stirring often. Remove from heat and cool.
    3 tbsp butter, 3 cups Cornflakes, 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Roll the ice cream balls in the cooled Cornflake mixture to coat well. Freeze again until ready to serve.
  • Add toppings of your choice, such as whipped cream, chocolate sauce, honey, cinnamon, and a cherry, just before serving.
    Whipped cream , Chocolate Syrup, honey, cinnamon, maraschino cherries
  • Enjoy your delicious homemade fried ice cream!


  • To prevent the ice cream from melting too quickly, prepare a chilled parchment paper covered plate or baking sheet before forming the ice cream balls. This will help transfer the ice cream balls quickly to the freezer before they melt.
  • To make the ice cream ball forming process more comfortable, use latex gloves, or work quickly with clean hands and run them under warm water when needed.
  • The ice cream balls don't need to be perfectly shaped. Roughly shaped ice cream balls are fine. The key is to work quickly to prevent the ice cream from melting.

Scream for These Ice Cream Desserts

Pin this image to your dessert board to save and share!

Fried ice cream on a plate next to cherries and an orange napkin.

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Let me know how this fried ice cream turns out for you. Leave a comment on the blog or tag me on Instagram @jensoltys.

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