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Fried Ice Cream Casserole

Ice cream coated in a sweet, salty, and crunchy bite!

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Nothing ends a meal or a day like the creamy delight of ice cream, or better yet, fried ice cream. While you may think that fried ice cream is from some summertime county fair, the majority of the time you’ll find this dessert at Mexican restaurants. How authentic it is, the jury is out on that one, but it’s delicious nonetheless. This Fried Ice Cream Casserole has all of the crunchy elements of its restaurant version, but cuts out the messy prep and can feed a crowd in a snap.

In America, fried ice cream was associated with non-standard American cuisine. The Mexican restaurant Chi-Chi’s had its hallmark fried ice cream served with cinnamon-dusted tortillas since its inception in 1975. Additionally, 1970s food reviews in newspapers cite Chinese, Japanese, and Polynesian restaurants serving fried ice cream on their dessert menus. Again, the authenticity of fried ice cream to any of these countries’ cuisines is questionable, but fried ice cream gives off a feeling, almost like you’re on vacation with a giddiness to eat dessert in a fun, over-the-top fashion.

Recreating fried ice cream like the restaurants is a low-key hassle. Scooping, rounding, coating, and frying each individual serving doesn’t seem feasible in a home kitchen, so that’s where this Fried Ice Cream Casserole comes in. Here, you have a layer of vanilla ice cream topped with a crunchy cornflake crumble. Chocolate sauce and whipped cream come in for good measure to create a real decadent delight of a dessert.

This version of the cornflake coating is crunchy and heartier than your average fried ice cream. The crumble doesn’t soften or get a wonky texture when frozen. To start, flour, sugar, crushed cornflakes, and salt are mixed together.

Melted butter gets poured in. As you stir the mixture, it’ll begin to form clumps, this is what you want.

Spread the crumble mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until golden.

Once the cornflake crumble is cooled, go about assembling the casserole.

You can use any ice cream flavor, but vanilla is the tried-and-true classic. Make sure the ice cream is softened slightly, that way the ice cream spreads easily into the prepared pan.

Next, the crumble topping gets sprinkled on top. Press the crumble gently into the ice cream to secure it into place.

As painful as it is, this dessert needs to be frozen for a minimum of five hours. It secures the crumble to the ice cream and firms the ice cream up, making a slice and servable dessert.

A slice of this Fried Ice Cream Casserole will be a textural explosion of contrast and interest. The ice cream with sweet, and creamy, and contrasted against the textural and flavor variations of the toppings. On top, the cornflake crumble is crunchy, hearty, and has the right amount of salt to balance all of the sweetness out.

Fried Ice Cream Casserole has all of the elements of a true decadent sundae.

This is a great treat to make for the event, as the ingredients can be doubled and feed an even larger crowd. The ice cream flavors can be altered as well and mix-ins can be folded in to make for a fun ice cream treat.

Yield(s): Serves 6 to 8

20m prep time

10m cook time

5h 30m inactive

Rated 4.4 out of 5
Rated by 10 reviewers
When you share or print a 12 Tomatoes recipe,
you're making mealtime meaningful.
100% of the Share to Care sponsor fees fund meals for families in need. Learn More
  • 3 cups crushed cornflakes
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 56 ounces (1.75 quart) vanilla ice cream
  • Whipped cream, for garnish
  • Chocolate sauce, for garnish
  • Strawberries, for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine cornflakes, flour, sugar, and salt.
  3. Pour in butter, mixing to combine. It will make small crumbles.
  4. Spread mixture onto a baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes until barely golden. Cool completely.
  5. In a 9-x-9-inch casserole dish spread the ice cream. Top with cooled crumble mixture.
  6. Let mixture set up in the freezer for a minimum of 5 hours. To serve slice up portions, drizzle with chocolate sauce and top with whipped cream if desired.

Recipe adapted from Family Fresh Meals.