Need a recipe for fried ice cream? We have the best dessert recipe because we made this ice cream in the air fryer — fried ice cream recipe without frying! (Maybe we should’ve called this cheater unfried ice cream?) It tastes just like the deep fried ice cream you get in restaurants! (We also included the deep fryer directions as well as the air fryer directions.)
How To Make Fried Ice Cream In Air Fryer
Can you fry ice cream in an air fryer?
YES! You can air fry ice cream! (For real.) Freeze, coat, and refreeze the ice cream like making traditional fried ice cream. Then, “fry” in the air fryer for a couple of minutes. Top with toppings and serve immediately.
This is one of our favorite desserts in the air fryer!
What is fried ice cream made of?
- Vanilla ice cream scoops (made into a ball of ice cream)
- Cornflake mixture (flour and corn flakes)
- Egg whites
- Toppings like caramel sauce / caramel syrup, hot chocolate / hot fudge (optional, or any other favorite toppings for ice cream)
- Whipped cream
- Maraschino cherries
- Plastic wrap / metal muffin tin
See the full printable recipe card and ice cream fry recipe below!
About a Mexican fried ice cream recipe…
We may be getting ahead of ourselves, especially if you’ve never had (or heard of) fried ice cream (it’s not an ice cream sundae!).
I first started hunting down the recipe for fried ice cream after I told my daughter about eating it at restaurants and she was like, “WHAT??? You can FRY ICE CREAM???”
But, I don’t have a deep fryer to make deep fried ice cream. Then, I saw some discussion online about how people were making fried ice cream air fryer style and I was like, “YESSSS! Let’s try it!”
So, we set out to answer the question: Can I make fried ice cream in an air fryer and how to fry ice cream in air fryer recipe…
About Fried Ice Cream Dessert (Making Air Fried Ice Cream)
What is fried ice cream?
Fried ice cream (aka: refried ice cream) is a delicious dessert that is probably exactly what you think. A fried ice cream ball is quickly fried to give the ice cream dessert a crunchy and hard outer coating and crispy shell while the ice cream is still soft on the inside. It is served with different syrups and ice cream toppings and topped with whipped cream and cherry to make the perfect combination!
Can you make fried ice cream in an air fryer?
YES! With the correct ice cream preparation, you can easily fry ice cream in air fryers and enjoy a healthier version of this fried ice cream treat. Not only is it one of the yummiest dessert recipes, it’s a fun recipe for kids to make!
Please read the correct can you air fry ice cream preparation directions (printable recipe card for fried ice cream recipe air fryer below!).
What does fried ice cream taste like?
Fried ice cream tastes like ice cream that has been given a cinnamon crunchy coating. It usually has a lot of cinnamon and can be topped with different things (like chocolate syrup and whipped cream).
If you’ve ever had Chi Chis fried ice cream (or other restaurant Mexican fried ice cream) or ice cream at your favorite local Mexican restaurant, this air fryer fried ice cream recipe tastes just like it! This is the real deal air fried icecream!
(Yes, I know calling back a ChiChis air fryer — fried ice cream is aging me. Don’t hold it against me.)
Does fried ice cream melt?
Fried ice cream does melt, that’s why you have to make sure that it is frozen hard before you fry it. (DO NOT skip the part where you freeze the ice cream a second time!) Then, you have to quickly fry the coated balls of ice cream in very hot oil (or the air fryer) to form the outer coating to a golden brown before the ice cream melts. It needs to be served immediately after frying and is fun to be into crispy tortilla bowls before adding the toppings!
How do you fry ice cream without it melting?
How does ice cream not melt when fried? There are two tricks to making sure that the fried ice cream doesn’t melt before it finishes frying: making sure your scoops of ice cream (ice cream balls) are frozen solid and, if you are using a deep fryer, heat oil until the oil is very hot. Quickly frying super hard ice cream (for just a few minutes) prevents it from melting. Drain immediately on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. If you’re using an air fryer, be sure to pre-heat the air fryer prior to using it fry ice cream. The first time may take a little practice!
Deep Fried Ice Cream In Air Fryer Recipe Tip: Buy the name brand ice cream that feels hard when you press on the carton at the grocery store (not the creamy vanilla ice cream). We had generic vanilla ice cream and it didn’t freeze as hard as the brand name ice cream. Even after being in the freezer, when we pushed on the generic brand container, it was still very soft. Following this simple tip will give you the best results!
This is an easy fried ice cream recipe, but you will have to do it in multiple steps so it is time consuming. Be sure to read through all the instructions on how to air fry ice cream before starting the recipe!
What is fried ice cream called?
Fried ice cream is really called fried ice cream. Some people also like to call it churro fried ice cream (because of the cinnamon sugar), fried ice cream rolls or tempura ice cream. It originally gets its name from deep frying or pan fried ice cream.
But, what about a fried ice cream recipe without corn flakes?
How To Make Fried Ice Cream Without Corn Flakes
Even though crushed corn flakes are the traditional coating for fried ice cream, you learn how to make fried ice cream recipe without cornflakes mixture. You can make fried ice cream with cinnamon toast crunch cereal (or any crunchy cereal), coconut flakes, flour tortillas, vanilla wafers, bread, tempura batter, fried ice cream with rice krispies or any other topping that you would like to be creative with and try!
If you’re air frying ice cream, you’ll want to let go of the coatings that are runny (like batter) and instead use the ones that stick to the ice cream better (cereals, etc.).
ALSO CHECK OUT THESE EASY RECIPES:
Air Fryer S’mores Ice Cream (super fun air fryer ice cream balls that taste like smores!!)
WAIT… there’s a fried ice cream machine?!
So, I also came across a bunch of questions online about a fried ice cream machine (instead of deep fried ice cream air fryer).
What is a fried ice cream machine?
There are fried ice cream machines that allow you to make and roll ice cream without having to wait for the ice cream rolls (balls) to freeze. The plate freezes the ice cream almost immediately. There are cheaper fried ice cream machines all the way up to more costly countertop versions that can help you roll ice cream balls, but they’re really not necessary.
The machines don’t really fry the ice cream, but instead freezes the ice cream so you can roll it (and then fry it, if you want).
I’ve never used one (they may be amazing), but honestly, if you plan ahead a couple of days you don’t really need one.
We froze our ice cream rolls (balls) for a couple of days (in different steps) before we “fried” them in the air fryer.
How do you make easy homemade fried ice cream?
OK! Since we’ve answers can you air fry fried ice cream, let’s move on to the air fryer ice cream recipe!
Here’s how we made our fried ice cream without frying…
This is an easy dessert recipe in that it’s not hard to make, but it is time-consuming so be sure to plan ahead!
You can also make the ice cream balls ahead of time and keep them in the freezer until you’re ready to fry them.
**Your ice cream may take more time to freeze hard than the times listed here. So be sure to check your ice cream and not just go by the times for these air fryer desserts!
RECIPE FOR FRIED ICE CREAM
We made our fried ice cream recipe with crunchy corn flakes, but you can play around with all different kinds of cereal coatings, cracker coatings, or bread crumbs. We even made s’mores fried ice cream with graham crackers coated ice cream balls and a drizzle of chocolate sauce! (And LOVED that ice cream recipe!)
We made larger ice cream scoops, but you can make easy air fryer ice cream balls any size you want (even bite-sized ice cream balls!).
Some people make this as air fryer fried ice cream with Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. If you’re looking for how to make fried ice cream without corn flakes, that’s a great alternative. But, the traditional way to make fried icecream is with Corn Flakes cereal.
Some people have even told me they’ve made fried ice cream with bread, with chocolate ice cream, or as an air fried ice cream sandwich, but I’ve never made it those ways. We use vanilla ice cream, but next time you can try your favorite ice cream flavor!
However, this recipe is for the Mexican fried ice cream in air fryer.
Here’s how to make fried ice cream in an air fryer (aka: air fried ice cream balls)…
Fried Ice Cream Recipe
This air fryer ice cream is so good you won't believe that it wasn't fried in oil! (But, just in case, we also included the oil fried ice cream dessert steps under NOTES.)
- 1 quart vanilla ice cream
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 3 cups corn flakes cereal, crushed
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 egg whites
- Spray whipped cream (optional, for topping)
- Chocolate syrup (optional, for topping)
- Maraschino cherries (optional, for topping)
- Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out 8 medium size round vanilla ice cream scoops into a muffin pan.
- Immediately place in freezer and freeze for at least 1 hour or until ice cream is frozen hard into balls.
- Place flour in small mixing bowl.
- After 1 hour, remove ice cream balls from freezer. Working quickly, one at a time, roll the balls in flour and quickly shape them into ball shapes. (Don't hold the ice cream too long or they will melt.) Place back into muffin pan.
- Repeat until ice cream balls are covered with flour and shaped.
- Place back into freezer for at least 1 hour or until frozen hard.
ONCE ICE CREAM BALLS ARE FROZEN
- Place cornflakes in a resealable bag and crush. (We use a wooden mallet we have for crab legs.)
- Pour crushed corn flake into medium size bowl. Add cinnamon and stir. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy. Set aside.
- Remove frozen ice cream balls from freezer. Working quickly, dip in egg whites and then into the cornflake-cinnamon mixture. Roll ice cream in mixture until completely covered. Place back into muffin tin.
- Repeat until all the ice cream is covered in cornflake cereal.
- Place back in the freezer and freeze for at least 3 hours (or overnight) until ice cream balls are frozen hard.
- When you remove the ice cream, if they need more coating, repeat steps 4-6 above and then freeze for 1 more hour.
ONCE ICE CREAM BALLS ARE FROZEN AGAIN
- Fold a piece of aluminum foil to fit the bottom of your air fryer. Fold up the edges of the foil all way around to form a lip/ make a tray. Place in bottom of air fryer.
- Preheat air fryer for 2 minutes at 400 degrees.
- Remove ice cream ONE AT A TIME from freezer and place in air fryer and "fry" for 2-3 minutes. (No longer!)
- Remove with spoon or tongs and immediately place in serving dish. Drizzle with chocolate sauce. Spray with whipped cream and top with cherry. (optional)
- Repeat with each ice cream ball and serve immediately.
- We found that name brand ice cream freezes harder.
- You can use other coatings. We've also used 1/2 cornflakes and 1/2 cinnamon toast crunch cereal.
- You can also make these ahead of time and keep them in the freezer in a freezer bag before frying.
FOR DEEP FRYING INSTEAD OF AIR FRYER:
- Heat a pot or deep fryer with oil to 375 degrees F.
- Carefully, drop coated ice cream balls into hot oil and fry for 8-10 seconds. Carefully remove with slotted spoon, drain, add toppings (optional) and serve immediately. (Repeat until all ice cream balls are fried.)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 226Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 154mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 1gSugar: 18gProtein: 5g
Nutrition information is estimated. Changes to the recipe and use of different brands may cause changes to the nutritional information to vary slightly from the ones provided here.
What’s the point of fried ice cream?
Fried ice cream is a fun way to experience this frozen treat. Fried ice cream has a warm and crunchy outer coating and that contrasts nicely with the cold, frozen ice cream on the inside.
FUN CHILDREN’S BOOK PAIRINGS WITH THIS FRY ICE CREAM RECIPE
These are great for a recipe and read with the air fryer deep fried ice cream recipe!
Air Fried Ice Cream Recipe Book Pairings For Kids:
Curious About Ice Cream
Splat The Cat: I Scream For Ice Cream
I Like You More Than Ice Cream
It It Warm Enough For Ice Cream?
What are your favorite fried ice cream recipes toppings? (We really love air fryer fried ice cream with cinnamon toast crunch and chocolate, too!)
we loved this ice cream recipe and had so much fun with it thank yoU!
Did not work melted all over
Oh no! That’s too bad! We’ve made it several times with this recipe. Did you follow the directions for the amount of time to pre-freeze in multiple steps? That REALLY makes a difference.
Is it possible to make and leave in the freezer (covered in coating) for 2 days prior to frying? Thanks
Yes! We often make more than we’re going to use and put them in freezer safe bags until we want to fry them.
Great recipe! I used keto ice cream and keto katalina cinnamon crunch cereal with no sugar. I also used Lakanto chocolate syrup on top. So, a healthy treat! I followed all the freezing steps. That was essential. It came out great in the air fryer. Thank you!