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(UnFried) Gluten-Free Fried Ice Cream

Gluten-Free Fried Ice Cream – Our un-fried gluten-free fried ice cream recipe is so easy and delicious. You’ll love the cinnamon-y crunch of the coating with the creamy ice cream!

Front view of gluten-free fried ice cream topped with whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and a maraschino cherry

Have you tried fried ice cream before?

It sounds like a misnomer or impossible feat, but the name does actually refer to ice cream that gets fried! How do you fry ice cream without melting it? Well, it first gets coated with a cinnamon crumb coating, which crisps up in seconds in a deep fryer. The end results is a crispy crumb “shell” that gives way to creamy vanilla ice cream inside. It’s a textural wonder!

Our “un-fried” gluten-free fried ice cream recipe accomplishes the same delicious, utterly delightful textural feat without any deep frying or hot oil in sight. Instead, we make our gluten-free crispy coating on the stovetop, which saves us the step (and clean-up!) of frying.

It only takes minutes to make, and it’s completely delicious and unexpected. Such a fun cool treat for summer or after a spicy Tex-Mex meal.

Here’s what you need for our easy UN-fried gluten-free fried ice cream recipe…

Overhead view of ingredients for gluten-free fried ice cream coating

Here’s What You Need To Make Gluten-Free Fried Ice Cream:

  • Vanilla Ice Cream. You’ll need a quart of your favorite vanilla ice cream. I love vanilla bean ice cream for the pretty flecks in every scoop of ice cream, but any brand you like will do. Additionally, you can use dairy ice cream or dairy-free ice cream to make fried ice cream. My kids love NadaMoo’s coconut milk vanilla ice cream.
  • Gluten-Free Cornflakes. Next up is the base for our gluten-free fried ice cream coating. You’ll start with gluten-free corn flakes. Make sure the brand you use is certified gluten-free, since Kellogg’s corn flakes are NOT gluten-free. (They’re made with malt, which is derived from barley and contains gluten.)
  • Sugar or Brown Sugar. Next up is some sugar. I like using cane sugar for fried ice cream topping because it stays a bit more crisp, but brown sugar has a great flavor, too. Use whichever you prefer!
  • Cinnamon. Then, you’ll need lots of cinnamon. We use a full tablespoon, which might seem like too much, but it’s *just* right. Yum!
  • A Tiny Pinch Of Salt. Lastly, to balance the flavor, I add a small pinch of salt. You don’t need much to make a big difference in flavor!
  • Butter. Then, to help us crisp up the cornflake crumbs, you’ll use a little butter. If you’re making this dairy-free, you can use vegan butter (or coconut oil) instead of regular butter.
  • Yummy Toppings. For your final flourish, it’s time for toppings! Don’t miss our favorite toppings below.

How To Make Gluten-Free Fried Ice Cream, Step By Step:

  1. Crush The Corn Flakes. Start by crushing the corn flakes until there are no full flakes left. You don’t want them to be a fine powder, just small crunchy bits to create the coating. You can crush them in a bowl with the back of a measuring cup, pulse them a few times in a food processor, or place them in a bag and smash them with a rolling pin or back of a measuring cup. They all work!
  2. Melt The Butter. Next, melt the butter in a large pan over medium-low heat.
  3. Toast The Topping. Add the gluten-free corn flake crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and salt to the melted butter. Stir to coat well with the melted butter and toast 3-5 minutes, stirring regularly so the sugar doesn’t burn.
  4. Cool The topping. Remove the fried ice cream coating from the heat and transfer to a shallow bowl. Let them cool 5-10 minutes before scooping your ice cream. (The crumb topping will crisp even more as it cools.)
  5. Prep A Pan. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside as the crumb mixture cools.
  6. Scoop & Roll The Ice Cream. Remove the ice cream from the freezer a few minutes before you’re ready to roll the ice cream. Working one scoop at a time, scoop a 1/2 cup ball of ice cream and add it to the corn flake mixture. Gently roll and coat the ice cream ball with the crispy crumbs, then place on your prepared baking sheet. Repeat until you have 8 coated ice cream balls.
  7. Freeze. Transfer the fried ice cream balls to the freezer for at least 10-15 minutes before serving.
  8. Serve. Plate each fried ice cream ball and top with whipped cream and your favorite goodies. Store leftover fried ice cream covered in the freezer up to 1 week. (The topping will begin to soften after 3-4 days.)
Small white pitcher of homemade chocolate syrup
Adding whipped cream to gluten-free fried ice cream

Yummy Toppings To Try On Fried Ice Cream:

  • Whipped Cream. A dollop of whipped cream is such a cheerful garnish to fried ice cream. I love how the light, creamy whipped cream pairs with the crispy coating and cold ice cream. YUM!
  • Chocolate Sauce. Use your favorite store-bought chocolate sauce or our quick 5-ingredient homemade chocolate sauce. I love this combo!
  • Caramel. Add a little pour or drizzle of caramel along with the chocolate sauce or just stick with caramel. It’s delightful!
  • Honey. The first time I had fried ice cream, it was served with a drizzle of honey. I love the way the honey thickens up a bit when it’s paired with the cold ice cream.
  • Maraschino Cherries. What feels more fun than a pretty maraschino cherry? We love the dye-free cherries from Kroger or Tillen Farms, but you can use whatever brand you like.
  • Strawberries Or Strawberry Sauce. Keep things fresh with some fresh strawberries or homemade strawberry sauce (or raspberry sauce while we’re at it!). The fruit flavor is gorgeous next to the crispy topping and creamy vanilla ice cream.
Front view of gluten-free fried ice cream topped with whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and a maraschino cherry

FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The BEst Gluten-Free Fried Ice Cream

Is Fried Ice Cream Mexican? Who Invented Fried Ice Cream? There’s a LOT of debate about this yummy treat’s origins. Some point to the Philadelphia World’s Fair in 1893, while others trace fried ice cream back to Japanese restaurants using the tempura technique in the 1960s. Modernly, fried ice cream rose to popularity across the U.S. when the Tex-Mex restaurant Chi-Chis restaurant added it to their menu. It became associated with American-ized Mexican restaurants, but is not an authentic Mexican recipe.

Yummy Variation To Try: Add Coconut! One of my favorite variations on this gluten-free fried ice cream recipe is mixing in some sweetened shredded coconut into the topping. I add 1/2 cup shredded coconut along with the other topping ingredients & toast it on the stovetop The flavor is LOVELY!

How To Store Leftover Fried Ice Cream. Leftover gluten-free fried ice cream will keep in a freezer bag or airtight container in the freezer up to 1 week. The crumb coating will begin to soften after 3-4 days, so it’s best eaten within that time frame.

Front view of gluten-free fried ice cream with one bite scooped out of it

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Front view of gluten-free fried ice cream topped with whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and a maraschino cherry

(UnFried) Gluten-Free Fried Ice Cream


  • Author: Emily Dixon, Sweets & Thank You
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Gluten-Free Fried Ice Cream – Our un-fried gluten-free fried ice cream recipe is so easy and delicious. You’ll love the cinnamon-y crunch of the coating with the creamy ice cream!


Ingredients

Scale

For The Fried Ice Cream Coating:

  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups corn flakes (certified gluten-free, as needed!)
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • Tiny pinch (less than 1/8 teaspoon) salt

For The Fried Ice Cream:

  • 1 quart (4 cups) vanilla ice cream

Optional Toppings:

  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate syrup or chocolate sauce
  • Fresh strawberries or strawberry sauce
  • Raspberry sauce
  • Caramel sauce
  • Honey

Instructions

  1. Crush The Corn Flakes. Start by crushing the corn flakes until there are no full flakes left. You don’t want them to be a fine powder, just small crunchy bits to create the coating. You can crush them in a bowl with the back of a measuring cup, pulse them a few times in a food processor, or place them in a bag and smash them with a rolling pin or back of a measuring cup. They all work!
  2. Melt The Butter. Next, melt the butter in a large pan over medium-low heat.
  3. Toast The Topping. Add the gluten-free corn flake crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and salt to the melted butter. Stir to coat well with the melted butter and toast 3-5 minutes, stirring regularly so the sugar doesn’t burn.
  4. Cool The topping. Remove the fried ice cream coating from the heat and transfer to a shallow bowl. Let them cool 5-10 minutes before scooping your ice cream. (The crumb topping will crisp even more as it cools.)
  5. Prep A Pan. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside as the crumbs cool.
  6. Scoop & Roll The Ice Cream. Remove the ice cream from the freezer a few minutes before you’re ready to roll the ice cream. Working one scoop at a time, scoop a 1/2 cup ball of ice cream and add it to the crumb coating. Gently roll and coat the ice cream ball with the crispy crumbs, then place on your prepared baking sheet. Repeat until you have 8 balls of ice cream. (You will likely have leftover crumbs.)
  7. Freeze. Transfer the fried ice cream balls to the freezer for at least 10-15 minutes before serving.
  8. Serve. Plate each fried ice cream ball and top with whipped cream and your favorite goodies. Store leftover fried ice cream covered in the freezer up to 1 week. (The topping will begin to soften after 3-4 days.)

Notes

Yummy Variation To Try: Add Coconut! One of my favorite variations on this gluten-free fried ice cream recipe is mixing in some sweetened shredded coconut into the topping. I add 1/2 cup shredded coconut along with the other topping ingredients & toast it on the stovetop The flavor is LOVELY! 

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Chill Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: No-Bake
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex

Keywords: gluten-free fried ice cream, gluten free fried ice cream recipe, fried ice cream coating, unfried ice cream, fried ice cream without deep frying

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