Mexican Fried Ice Cream

Two weekends ago Matthew had a craving for a childhood favorite, Chi-Chi’s fried ice cream.  Does everyone remember Chi-Chi’s?  It was a popular Mexican chain restaurant.   In 2004 Chi-Chi’s closed all their restaurants after many incidents, but their salsa can still be found in stores.  As a kid I remember going to Chi-Chi’s quite fondly with my parents,  Matthew’s memories are the same.  One of the best memories of this trip for him was the fried ice cream.  I never had fried ice cream (ever) so I was intrigued by his description of it.  After he linked me to many pictures of the ice cream online with lots of happy faces and love hearts, I got the hint: I had to make him fried ice cream.   Because it was his birthday soon enough, I promised him for his birthday I would have him a fried ice cream sundae.  With a little practice, I think I got it just right.   I asked Matthew to supply a quote of what he thought of it and he told me “magical cinnamon crisp amazingment”.   So let’s make some…

Few things:
Working with ice cream and taking pictures  is not easy.  I felt a little stressed out.
You can serve the ice cream in a bowl, but to get the true authentic feeling try serving in a tortilla bowl – I included directions below for that too.
This post is picture heavy because ice cream is so pretty.
I made this for his birthday dinner, and then the next day made it for a afternoon snack.  Please stop me.




Fried Ice Cream


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 4 ounces vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4 cup corn flakes crushed
  • 2 quarts vegetable oil for deep frying


  1. Mix sugar, cinnamon and crushed corn flakes in bowl.
  2. Scoop 1-to-2 inch ice cream balls and roll ice cream in sugar mixture.
  3. Pat down to shape balls and transfer to wax paper.
  4. Put ice cream balls in freezer. Let in the freezer for at least one hour to set.
  5. Heat vegetable oil to 350 degrees.
  6. Take ice cream balls out of the freezer and drop in oil for 2 seconds. Immediately remove.
  7. Serve in tortilla bowl, covered with whip cream, chocolate syrup and a cherry!
  8. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

To make a tortilla shell bowl:
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Microwave 10 inch flour tortilla shells for 15 seconds to get them soft and flexible.
Spray each tortilla with non stick spray on both sides.
Turn cupcake pan upside down and center each tortilla in between 4 cups.
Bake 9-12 minutes - until slightly brown on edges - watch them carefully before they burn.

Measure your corn flakes out.  Because of this recipe, I’ve come to love corn flakes again.

You want to crush them up into tinier pieces, so I like to put them in a plastic baggy and just pinch them with  my fingers. 

Prepare your cinnamon, sugar, cornflakes mixture. I totally made a mess.

Grab your vanilla ice cream.  Try to get it out of the freezer right when you’re ready to begin.

Scoop 1 to 2 inch balls of ice cream.

Drop into corn flake mixture and roll around.  I like to pat them with my hands to roll into a more “perfect” ball shape.

Throw on your cookie sheet that you have wax paper down on.  Now you have to work quick, time is not on your side.

I made enough ice cream balls for 2 big sundaes.

Ok, they are starting to melt, but one more picture quick.

Ok into the freezer, now let them set for at least 1 hour.

If you have a deep fryer – 350 degrees.
If you don’t have a deep fryer like me, you can totally do this on the stove.  If I had a deep fryer I would make french fries and bbq wings every single day so it’s best I don’t have one.

Grab a thermometer and put it in the pot, I use a candy thermometer as it goes high.  You need to know when the oil is 350 degrees.  If you don’t have a thermometer, throw a piece of corn kernel in the oil and when it pops into popcorn, then you know it’s 350 and ready to go.

Now this takes some time to get this hot. Mine takes about 15-20 minutes of crazily watching the thermometer.

225.. 125 degrees to go.  Please be careful with this, the oil is spitting a bit and is very very very hot.
Once it’s 350 degrees, drop a ice cream ball into the oil for 1-2 seconds.  Yes, that quick!  Do  not do any longer or it will melt.  You literally drop it in, pull it right back out with a spoon.

I like to put them directly on a paper towel to get the excess oil off.  Then you start to build your sundae.  Again you should do this pretty quickly, but the ice cream won’t melt as fast once it’s been fried so you have a little more time.

Throw your fried ice cream balls into your tortilla bowl. 

Spray whip cream on top.  Matthew then took the whip cream canister and squirted more in his mouth.  Boys.  Girls would never do that (ahem).

Oh and Hershey’s chocolate syrup! We got the “Lite” version because obviously we are worried about our figures when are eating fried ice cream with whip cream on top.

Add a cherry! Please do! Add 2 if you’d like! Add 3!

Oh baby, baby, then just spoon it into your mouth.  Just take a minute and enjoy this.

You beautiful ice cream you.

Keep spooning it in.  Crack off some of the tortilla shell, use that as a spoon too.  Go wild. 

To make the tortilla shell bowl, it’s quite easy.  
Grab a 10 inch flour tortilla and lightly spray both sides with cooking spray.

Grab a cupcake pan and turn it upside down.

Push your tortillas into the cupcake so it touches 4 of the cupcake holders.  Press it down – this is what shape your tortilla bowl will become.

Put it into the oven.  (Omg, my oven is a mess, I know, embarrassed, but  think about how much love it’s received, we spill too much corn meal for pizza).   You want to keep a eye on these, generally mine usually take 12 minutes, so watch yours anywhere from 9-12  minutes.  Once they have a slightly brown edge, they’re done.

When they come out of the oven, you’ll see how they have hardened.  Let them cool so you can touch them.

Pretty cool and easy, right?

Enjoy your fried ice cream! It’s a winner.


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