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What Is Deep-Fried Ice Cream?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

Deep-fried ice cream is a dessert made by coating ice cream in breading and then frying it in hot oil or butter. The ice cream used for this treat is typically frozen to a very low temperature, which prevents it from melting when placed in the hot oil. Different types of breading can be used, though common coatings include crushed cookies or corn flakes, and they are sometimes dipped in batter before frying. Deep-fried ice cream is then served warm, with the inside still cold, and is often accompanied by whipped cream or melted chocolate sauce.

While the name “deep-fried ice cream” may seem like an oxymoron at first, the process is actually quite simple and requires that the ice cream is cold enough to withstand the frying process. This typically begins with scoops or balls of ice cream being separated and placed on a baking sheet, which is then put into a freezer. This allows each of them to reach very low temperatures; some people use special freezers to get the ice cream incredibly cold. The deep-fried ice cream begins so cold that even though it is exposed to very high heat it remains frozen and solid until serving.

Ice cream before being fried.
Ice cream before being fried.

Once these ice cream balls or scoops are cold enough, then they are typically given a coating that is essential for deep-fried ice cream. Different types of coating or breading can be used, though some of the most common choices are crushed up cookie crumbs or corn flakes. The ice cream balls are rolled around in this coating and may be dipped in an egg wash before more coating is applied to ensure a solid layer around the ice cream. Some prefer to use batter for deep-fried ice cream, and the same type of batter used to make tempura or funnel cakes is often chosen to provide a flaky texture.

After coating, these ice cream balls can be placed in the freezer again to ensure that they are sufficiently cold for frying. Melted butter or lard was used in the past, though modern recipes for deep-fried ice cream typically use oil that is brought up to a high heat. The frozen ice cream balls are removed from the freezer and immediately placed into the hot oil. They typically only fry for about thirty seconds or a minute, until the coating is golden brown, and are removed and then promptly served.

While deep-fried ice cream can be served on its own, many people prefer to add some type of toppings. Whipped cream is quite popular as is chocolate sauce, though honey or syrup can be drizzled onto the dessert. A similar process can also be used with ice cream bars or sandwiches, to coat them in a crust or batter and then deep fry them.

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    • Ice cream before being fried.
      Ice cream before being fried.