Mexican “Fried” Ice Cream

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It’s incredibly easy to make this creamy, cinnamon-infused vanilla ice cream sandwiched between sweet and crunchy corn flake layers, then topped off with chocolate sauce!

Mexican "Fried" Ice Cream

If you’ve ever had doubts that we live in gluttonous times, please consider the fact that we have such a thing as fried ice cream. As if ice cream wasn’t indulgent enough, someone decided it would be a good idea to batter it and fry it. Well, they were right – it’s a great idea. I’ve had 2 types of fried ice cream: one Japanese variation and one Mexican. At a Japanese restaurant, their fried ice cream is usually green tea ice cream coated in a tempura batter. Mexican fried ice cream is usually ice cream coated in corn flakes or cookie crumbs with cinnamon thrown into the mix somewhere.

In high school, there was a restaurant called Los Gringos Locos where we used to go for taco tuesdays, tableside guac, and fried ice cream. This was my first encounter with fried ice cream, and it was basically life changing. Their version was a generous scoop of cinnamon flavored ice cream coated in corn flakes and deep fried. To make it over the top, they served it in a cinnamon sugar tostada shell and topped it with a generous drizzle of chocolate sauce. It was absolutely heavenly. With that being said, I am definitely too lazy to make fried ice cream myself, which brings me to this recipe. This captures all the wonderful flavors and textures of what I remember, but avoids the step of actually deep frying individual scoops of ice cream. Winner!

Mexican "Fried" Ice Cream

The crushed corn flakes get a light coat of butter and sugar, which get toasty and caramelized, closely mimicking the taste and texture of the deep fried coating. (And since we’re not deep frying, this dessert is considered healthy, right? RIGHT!) The ice cream and cool whip is scented with cinnamon, which really drives this dessert home in the flavor department. I topped it all off with a healthy drizzle of chocolate sauce because that’s how Los Gringos did it, and it was amazing. Another big plus is that you’re making one pan for everyone to share instead of having to make little individual desserts for everyone. So simple!

Mexican "Fried" Ice Cream
Look at that golden corn flake and buttery goodness

Any time you want to make a low maintenance dessert that tastes amazing, give this one a try! It requires a little down time to let everything freeze and set, but the actual prep is quick and simple. You can also experiment with different flavors of ice cream and maybe toppings. Brainstorming here- chocolate ice cream with crush pretzels instead of corn flakes plus peanut butter drizzle…? I think that’s a winner right there – no one steal my idea! Just kidding, try it and let me know how it turns out!

Mexican "Fried" Ice Cream
Don’t skip the chocolate drizzle!
Mexican "Fried" Ice Cream
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Ingredients
  1. 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  2. 3 cups crushed Corn Flakes
  3. 3/4 cup white sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 1 (1.5 quart) container vanilla ice cream
  6. 1 (8 oz) Cool Whip
  7. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  8. 1/4 cup honey
  9. 1/4 cup chocolate syrup, optional but highly recommended
  10. Whipped cream, optional
Instructions
  1. Let vanilla ice cream and Cool Whip thaw at room temp for 30 minutes, or until soft enough to easily mix.
  2. In large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add crushed corn flakes, sugar, and salt, and mix. Stir continuously for about 5 minutes or until cereal is lightly toasted (golden brown). Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix vanilla ice cream, Cool Whip, and cinnamon.
  4. Spread 1/3 of Corn Flake mixture in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Spread ice cream over corn flake mixture. Top with remaining corn flake mixture. Drizzle honey over the top.
  5. Cover and place in freezer overnight (at least 4 hours).
  6. Cut and serve with chocolate drizzle and whipped cream if desired.
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