Recipe for Fried Ice Cream Without Frying
April 14, 2021
no fry fried ice cream on plate with whipped cream and topped with caramel and churro

Recipe for Fried Ice Cream Without Frying

If you're looking for a Mexican recipe for fried ice cream you might be disappointed to learn that Fried Ice Cream is not actually Mexican at all! And to keep it on the healthier side…..this one's not even fried! BUT it's still delicious and totally worth making for your next dinner party.

A healthier version of fried ice cream? I think so!

Origin of Fried Ice Cream

The real origins are still somewhat of a mystery, but there are records of the tasty dish first arriving at the Chicago World Fair in 1893, the same fair where the ice cream sundae appeared. Makes you wonder what people did with their ice cream before the fair!

There are also many listings for fried ice cream dishes in the American Japanese Tempura restaurants of the 1960's.

Is Fried Ice Cream Mexican?

But we know for sure it was adopted by the Mexican chain Chi-Chi's in the 1980's as their signature dessert dish and adjusted with cinnamon and tortillas to fit the “culture”.

Whoever the real inventor of this delicious dish, we thank you! It is definitely NOT a traditional Mexican dessert. Dipping frozen scoops of ice cream into batter and deep frying it is a decidedly American invention!

But we will embrace the Mexican version for the crispy corn flake shell with sugar cinnamon and caramel, reminiscent of a fresh churro. {Which is an absolutely legit Mexican dessert BTW}

It's not the first delicious “Mexican” food we've claimed as our own…..did you know the crunchy taco came from America as well? In fact most of what we THINK is Mexican food is actually Tex-Mex.

How Do You Make Fried Ice Cream

Our recipe for Fried Ice Cream is pretty simple. First, you need to scoop the ice cream into proper serving sized balls and refreeze them.

My kids thought these muffin sized scoops were too big – not enough crust to ice cream ratio. So if you'd like smaller servings try a mini muffin tin, or just smaller scoops in the larger tin.

Ice cream scoops frozen in a muffin tin

Start with your favorite vanilla ice cream. Growing up in Oregon I'm a Tillamook fan through and through.

Using a regular ice cream scoop, create nice balls and place them in a sprayed muffin tin. Pop the tin back into the freezer for another few hours until the ice cream is frozen hard. I love these tins with 6 cups from Dollar Tree. I've used them several times for serving food and keeping party activities, like this play dough contained.

No Fry Fried Ice Cream

I just couldn't get past the deep fried part and decided to try a new way. If I have misled you to this point I am sorry. I'll walk you through how to fry your ice cream IF you still REALLY want to. But this no fry version is, in my opinion, better tasting AND better for you……so my question to you is….why would you still want to? : )

Prepare the Crust

Melted butter and brown sugar for Mexican fried ice cream recipe

Crush your corn flakes in zipper bag with a rolling pin, heavy glass, or aluminum can until you are left with fine crumbs. The finer the better in my opinion. Then melt your butter in microwave or stovetop and mix in brown sugar and cinnamon until well blended. Pour over your cereal crumbs and mix well until crumbs are evenly coated.

Bake the Crumble

baked corn flake crust

Spread your coating crumble into a dish and bake it for approximately 5 minutes until the crust becomes crunchy.

Roll the Scoops

Frozen ice cream scoop rolled in corn flake crumbs

After you let the crumble cool down completely, roll each of your ice cream balls in the crunchy crust and return to the muffin tin.

Refreeze Ice Cream

No fry fried ice cream balls freezing again

After all ice cream scoops are covered, place the muffin tin back into the freezer and allow the ice cream to firm back up before serving. This dessert is best made well in advance of your event, and can even be done 3 days or so in advance.

How to FRY your Ice Cream

I promised I'd tell you in case you really want to fry it…..

At this point you need to heat 2 quarts of oil, heated to 375° in a large pot or deep fryer. Dip each ice cream ball for about 10 seconds until golden brown and place back in muffin tin. Re freeze your fried ice cream for another few hours before serving.

Plate and Serve

no fry fried ice cream on plate with whipped cream and topped with caramel and churro

To plate this delicious recipe for fried ice cream {that's not actually fried} start with a bed of whipped cream, drizzle with caramel, and top with a mini churro. I promise you won't be disappointed!

If you try making this no fry fried ice cream at home I'd love to hear about it in the comments below. And if you share photos, I want to see it too! Please tag us @partieswithacause on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. We love celebrating all your hard work! 


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Recipe for fried ice cream without the oil!

No Fry Fried Ice Cream

Deliciously crunchy and sweet dessert with a Mexican flare
Prep Time20 minutes
Freeze Time3 hours
Total Time3 hours 20 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cinco de Mayo, Easy recipe, Healthier version, Ice cream
Servings: 12 scoops


  • muffin tin
  • Ice Cream Scoop
  • Baking Pan


  • 1 quart Vanilla Bean Ice cream
  • 2 cups Corn flakes cereal crushed
  • 2 Tb Melted Butter
  • 1 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 3 Tb Brown sugar

Optional Toppings

  • Whipped cream
  • Caramel sauce
  • Cinnamon churro pieces
  • Strawberry or raspberry garnish


  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Scoop 1/2-2/3 cup of ice cream into balls and place in sprayed muffin tin
  • Place tin in freezer for at least an hour for the ice cream to harden

Crumble Coating

  • Crush corn flakes in zipper bag with a rolling pin, heavy glass, or aluminum can until you are left with fine crumbs
  • Mix melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon together in a small bowl and pour over cereal crumbs
  • Combine mixture well and spread on the bottom of an ungreased cookie sheet
  • Bake coating crumbs til browned, approximately 5 minutes, careful not to over bake
  • Remove one ice cream scoop at a time from freezer and roll in crumble coating until covered, then replace to freezer
  • Repeat with remaining ice cream balls until finished, keeping ice cream in freezer until serving
  • Serve on plate with whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce, and top with a piece of cinnamon churro. Enjoy!


Can be made ahead up to 3 days in advance if properly covered in the freezer. 

Explore Mexico From Home

I have been fortunate enough to travel to 28 countries and counting. Exploring the world, learning about other people, food, and cultures gives me so much joy. Through my travel experiences my heart has grown with more compassion and empathy toward humankind. 

In an effort to instill this kind of cultural appreciation and understanding in our children, we've been virtually traveling around the world for years. Someday I hope to have these adventures with my family in person, on location. Until then, these lessons have been a wonderful primer I hope will only deepen their appreciation of each culture, if and when we do arrive. 

In an effort to help more families enjoy these adventures, we've gathered up our favorite videos, books, recipes, crafts, and activities from each country to share them with YOU. 

I hope your family will come to enjoy your virtual travel adventures through these magic doorways into other lands as much as we have. You can find out more about our Mexico Cultural Celebration Guides HERE. And don't forget to start your adventure off on the right foot with your FREE printable passport! Come Celebrate the Globe® with me! 

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    Gingerbread houses in a row as table runner centerpiece for a Christmas Cookie Exchange Party I’m Bri of Parties With A Cause. I’m a mother to three crazy awesome kids, interior designer, & party planning junky. I love reading, globe trotting, and frozen yogurt. And I’m elevating the party experience one cause at a time! Read More

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