A fun way to enjoy ice cream is to fry it! Mexican Fried Ice Cream is tossed in cinnamon sugar after being quickly deep fried. Drizzled with chocolate sauce and homemade caramel sauce, this fried Mexican dessert takes ice cream from yummy to WOW! You won’t believe how simple it is to make deep fried ice cream with a few steps.
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I am so sad to admit that it took me so long to try Mexican fried ice cream. I once saw Emeril Lagasse make it on his show, Emeril Live, and I knew that I would love that dessert. Something about frying ice cream just melted my soul and spoke me to. It wasn’t until just last year that I made it for my Facebook Live video. Everyone got to see my reaction from eating it for the first time. Now I’m sharing my secrets with you for making successful deep-fried ice cream.
I feel like I need to disclose though… fried ice cream is not a legit Mexican dessert. Disappointing, I know right?! But I’m guessing the reason why they sell deep fried ice cream at some Mexican restaurants is that they toss it in cinnamon sugar (which I totally applaud!). I asked my husband if this was a legit fried Mexican dessert, and he said no. But still! It’s in Mexican restaurants so we’re rolling with it.
How to Make Mexican Fried Ice Cream
One of the biggest questions that comes up when you’re talking about frying a frozen substance is “how do you keep it from melting?” Probably the most memorable, and enjoyable, things about eating fried ice cream is having a crunchy, golden crust but then that ice-cold center! It’s a delicious blend of hot fried food but refreshingly frozen ice cream.
It’s achievable to not have mushy fried ice cream! Just follow this tip and you’re golden.
Your ice cream needs to be rock solid at all times!
This means working fast and freezing your ice cream for at least an hour in between each stage. This prevents the ice cream from melting and keeping that hard-core center, we want while frying.
I like to scoop out my ice cream, as many as I want to make for the time being, and place the scoops on a silicone lined baking tray, parchment works well too. Put the tray back into the freezer as soon as your done scooping and allow it to freeze for about an hour.
Secondly, you have to properly bread your ice cream scoops before frying.
Breading seems like a weird word to use when we’re not dredging this in breadcrumbs, but it is what it is. I even don’t use flour. I’m blowing your mind right now, I know.
A lot of recipes call for cornflakes for the ice cream scoops to be rolled around in, but I like using rice crisp cereal. I find that cornflakes are too sweet and we’re already rolling these deep fried ice cream balls in cinnamon sugar when they’re done, and my homemade ice cream is pretty sweet, to begin with (check out my recipe here).
Rice crisp cereal works great because it still has a great crunch to it, covers the ice cream well, and is versatile to use!
In order to get my cereal to the consistency I want it to be before rolling the ice cream in it, I pulse it through my food processor. This way I get even coverage and it creates a sort of shield around the ice cream to keep it fully together and acts as insulation for the frozen ice cream.
Typically, I put my ice cream in an egg wash, into the cereal, back into an egg wash, and then back into the cereal for the second time. I find that doing two layers of cereal coating really helps keep the ice cream together while deep frying. You’ll find that if there is a break in the coating, once the ice cream starts heating up, it’ll leak out and your frying oil will start doing some freaky things.
So be safe and coat your ice cream well.
After coating your ice cream with cereal and an egg wash really well, place the ice cream back into the freezer for another hour. This just helps the ice cream to freeze up, as your warm hands will have helped to soften the ice cream a bit while putting the coating on.
How to Fry Ice Cream Successfully
The fun part about making Mexican fried ice cream is when you have to start frying the ice cream scoops.
Frying ice cream is no different than frying any other foods. You want to fry until golden brown and delicious and then season afterward. Simple.
Only you have to do it fast!
One of the biggest rules when it comes to cooking successfully in the kitchen is a simple phrase “mise en place.” It’s French “everything in its place.” This means that we have all of our tools together and our station set up before frying (or cooking in general) so that we’re not grabbing things last minute and causing a fire in our kitchen. I talk about this and other great tips for being efficient in your kitchen in this post.
Here is what you’ll need
- Pan with hot oil (I like using vegetable or canola oil if I can’t use peanut oil)
- Paper towel-lined plate
- Cinnamon sugar in a medium-sized bowl
I’ve made it a point to go over the basics of frying in every fried post I do, but they’re totally worth repeating.
- Make sure that your oil is hot enough to fry.
- Season food right as it comes out of the oil.
- Drain the fried food before serving.
Let me go over each one and how you need to adapt it for deep-fried ice cream.
Make Sure That Your Oil is Hot Enough to Fry
I can’t stress enough how important it is to fry with hot oil, not only for this Mexican fried ice cream but food in general. If you don’t fry with hot enough oil, your food will become oil logged and it won’t have that delicious crunch that is beloved of fried foods.
For deep-fried ice cream, it is imperative that you fry with hot enough oil, otherwise it’ll be a soupy mess.
To check to see if your oil is hot enough, you have two methods. You can use a thermometer which is great for seeing exactly how hot your oil is which helps with consistency. However, you don’t have a thermometer, no worries. I sprinkle some water into the bottom of the pot and once I hear popping, I know that my oil is now hot enough to fry. I then just keep an eye on the color of my foods and adjust accordingly.
Season Food Right As It Comes Out of the Oil
The best time to season food when frying is immediately after it’s out of the oil. This allows whatever seasonings to stick to the fried food really well. If the food cools before seasoning, chances are that the seasonings will fall off and the fried food won’t taste as good.
For deep-fried ice cream, have a medium-sized bowl with cinnamon sugar ready in order for you to place the fried ice cream into it and roll around. The cinnamon sugar will stick really well and give you that nice flavor!
Drain the Fried Food Before Serving
Nobody likes overly greasy food. The best way to remedy this is to allow fried food to drain on a paper towel before serving. This allows the excess oil to be absorbed by the towel and not the food.
This can be tricky with Mexican fried ice cream because if you’re making quite a few ice cream balls, they’ll start melting quickly. One way to remedy this is to place the fried and draining deep-fried ice cream into the freezer while the others are frying. You’ll have to work quickly but it keeps from a mess occurs.
If you aren’t making a ton of fried ice cream, just have your favorite sauces ready and some whipped cream and you’ll be ready to rock!
What Type of Ice Cream to Use
When it comes to making fried ice cream, the world really is your oyster when you have to pick out flavors. I like staying with more neutral-flavored ice creams, that way my sauces aren’t competing with my ice cream.
With this recipe, I made this Mexican fried ice cream with just a plain vanilla ice cream. You can also use other flavors like dulce de leche, salted caramel, and cinnamon.
As far as sauces go, chocolate is my ultimate go-to. Caramel works really well, especially with the ice cream flavors mentioned above. You could also do a fruity sauce, like my mixed berry compote (just blend and strain).
I hope that you found making Mexican fried ice cream easy enough to make at home and that you tried some delicious flavor combinations! If you particularly enjoyed this recipe, be sure to leave a 5-star rating with your comment down below!
Here are some other ice cream recipes to try out!
This How to Make Homemade Ice Cream post is the starting point to making any homemade ice cream.
This would be delicious to enjoy with a Berry Compote.
See more dessert ideas here.
If you’re enjoying this deep-fried ice cream as part of Cinco de Mayo/ Dia De Los Muertos celebrations, be sure to check out these recipes:
- Shredded Pork Chile Verde
- Chipotle Chicken Street Tacos
- Mexican Street Corn Dip
- Authentic Key Lime and Hibiscus Agua Fresca
- Shredded Pork Chilaquiles with Eggs
- Easy Bacon Ranchero Beans
- Horchata Mexican Drink Recipe
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- 2 cups ice cream, scooped
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 4 cups rice crisp cereal, pulsed into crumbs
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp sugar
- Chocolate sauce and caramel sauce for garnish
Scoop ice cream using an ice cream scoop and place onto a lined baking tray. Place in freezer to harden ice cream for one hour.
Beat eggs together for an egg wash. Pour into a wide bowl, same for rice cereal. Take scooped ice cream, and working quickly, cover ice cream scoops with two coats of egg wash and cereal crumbs. Place back onto lined sheet pan and freeze for another hour.
Preheat a medium sized pot with vegetable oil. Combine cinnamon and sugar together in a medium bowl and place right next to oil.
Working in batches, when the oil is hot, place ice cream scoops in oil, one by one, and fry until golden brown (about 90 seconds). Immediately place ice cream into cinnamon sugar and toss around to fully coat.
Serve immediately with sauce and whipped cream.
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Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1/2 cup
Amount Per ServingCalories 534Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 169mgSodium 221mgCarbohydrates 88gFiber 3gSugar 32gProtein 13g