Fried Ice Cream Layer Cake

This past Saturday I had a house full of food, family and little dogs running around in mini sombreros. It was a real hoot! My honey's birthday fiesta turned out to be one for the books! We enjoyed a catered nacho bar and for the first time ever I put birthday candles on flan - which is not something I'd recommend because they immediately start wobbling to-and-fro (and that will make for a very fast rendition of "Happy Birthday To You").

I whipped up baked churros with Biscoff and caramel dipping sauces, flan, and margarita pie cups. I'd also planned to make this fried ice cream layer cake, but ran out of time because I completely lost myself in a box of party decorations. Now, after making this cake, I'm lamenting my short attention span. I wish I could've shared! It's so delicious and tastes just like the fried ice cream I remember eating as a kid.

This confection (from the bottom-up) begins with a moist cinnamon cake layer. It's topped with a layer of vanilla ice cream and both layers are coated in a generous amount of dulce de leche. Crushed cornflakes and brown sugar are "fried" in a skillet with butter for a crunchy coating. It's finished with drizzled honey, whipped cream and cherries on top, which is how it was always served at our favorite Mexican restaurant.

I hope you'll give this a try for your next fiesta! It's a substantial dessert with the cinnamon cake layer, and it hits all the right notes with true fried ice cream flavor. And, compared to my flan fiasco, it's a little better at holding birthday candles upright. (Smile.)

Fried Ice Cream Layer Cake
[click for printable version]
Source: SprinkleBakes original recipe
Yield: One 9-inch double layer cake, 12-15 servings
Prep: 1 hour 30 minutes; total time with freezing: about 4 hours

Vanilla ice cream layer
1/2 gallon prepared vanilla ice cream
  1. Allow ice cream to soften slightly at room temperature. Pour ice cream into a large bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer at medium speed until smooth and consistent.  Visual cue:  it should be very thick like a milkshake.  
  2. Line a 9x2-inch round cake pan with plastic wrap so that it overhangs all sides of the pan. Pour in vanilla ice cream and smooth with a rubber spatula. Fold the overhanging plastic wrap over the ice cream and transfer the pan to the freezer. Let chill until completely frozen, about 2 hours or overnight (preferred).

Cinnamon cake layer
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup full fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup full fat sour cream
1/2 tablespoon ground (powdered) cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment.
  2. Beat together sugar and butter until lightened. Add the eggs one at a time, then increase mixer speed to high for two minutes or until batter is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, salt, baking powder and soda; beat for another minute and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Stir together yogurt and sour cream in a small bowl. Beginning and ending with flour, alternately add the flour and yogurt mixture. Beat well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add cinnamon. Beat again briefly.
  4. Spoon batter into the pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake springs back when pressed in the center. Let cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes; turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.  Cover and transfer cake to the freezer; allow to chill until very firm about 1 hour.

Edit 6/2016: After making this again, I found that I had bunches of leftover cornflake toppings. You may consider halving the first 4 topping ingredients, or save the extra fried cornflakes in an airtight bag for sundae toppings.

3/4 cup (6 oz.) unsalted butter
1 cup (7 oz.) packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups (about 8 oz.) crushed corn flakes
13.4 oz. can dulce de leche
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 cups whipped cream
14-16 maraschino cherries
  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add brown sugar and stir; raise heat to medium-high.  Stir occasionally. When mixture begins to bubble add crushed cornflakes and salt. Mix/mash ingredients together using a spatula. Fry topping for 5-6 minutes until mixture is lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from heat and spread mixture on a large baking sheet to cool completely, 30 minutes to  1 hour.
  2. Remove the cinnamon cake layer from the freezer and frost the edges with some of the dulce de leche.  Holding the cake with a hand on each flat side, roll the edges of the cake in the fried topping until well covered. Place the cake on a serving platter and cover the top with more dulce de leche. 
  3. Remove the frozen ice cream layer from the freezer and unwrap.   Now for the messy part – if you have food service plastic gloves, I suggest you put them on now, or use two zip-top bags to cover each hand. Pick up the disc of ice cream and roll the edges in the fried topping (as before with the cake, but do not coat the sides of the ice cream with dulce de leche yet); do this repeatedly until the edges are completely embedded with flakes.  Place the ice cream layer on top of the cake layer.  Use the remaining dulce de leche to frost the sides of the cake and the sides of the ice cream layer, filling in any gaps between the two (do not frost the top of the cake with dulce de leche).  Hold the frosted cake (still on the serving plate) over the baking sheet of fried topping and press handfuls of the topping onto the sides of the cake. 
  4. Drizzle a little honey over the cake and press a handful of fried topping onto the top of the cake. Drizzle more honey and repeat with another handful of topping.  Repeat until all the fried topping is heaped on top of the cake.  End with a final drizzling of honey.  The edge of the serving platter will most likely be covered in fried topping at this point, so brush away the excess and tidy around the edges of the plate with a damp paper towel.
  5. Place whipped cream in a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.  Pipe rosettes of cream around the top edge of the cake. Top each rosette with a maraschino cherry.
  6. Keep frozen until time to serve. Allow cake to soften slightly before slicing into pieces.  Freeze leftovers.

link Fried Ice Cream Layer Cake By Published: Fried Ice Cream Layer Cake Recipe


  1. OMG! This is a perfect cake for summer. I thought fried ice cream was a product product of Asian american influences.
    ANyway I really need to make this, you are so creative

  2. Haha, thanks Belinda! I think you're right, but there's all kinds of claims to how it originated.



  3. A wonderful cake! That topping is exquisite.

    Your pug is such a cutie pie!



  4. I'm in awe of your creativity! This is totally amazing. Growing up we went to "Chi Chi's" for our birthdays and they had fried ice cream. It was always my absolute favorite part of the meal. This looks outstanding.

  5. THIIS IS INCREDIBLE! What a genius idea!

  6. This turned out terrific! "Fried" ice cream was one of those childhood mysteries for me! I think you've outdone Chi-Chi's on this one and taken it up to another level! Speechless on the mini sombreros. Ole!

  7. Ohhhh nooo you didn'tttt. Amazing!

  8. What a delightfully fabulous fiesta! I love everything from the fried ice cream cake to the fun party decorations.

    Oh and the mini sombreros?

    I want one. :)

  9. Oh darn it, I've just gone on a diet Heather and you post this!

  10. This is too awesome for words! Really it looks fabulous! I just need some kind of occasion to try it on :)

  11. I think everyone has a great memory of deep fried ice cream from when they were a kid! I love this non-fryer take on the idea.

  12. Fried icecream?! ... Yes please! A gorgeous looking cake :-)

  13. Hi Heather,

    This looks amazing! One question though: how long can you keep this cake in the freezer before serving? Won't the cake part become too icy if the cake is placed in the freezer for too long?

    By the way, love the pugs with the little hats!


  14. This must taste so very good , so yum .

  15. Ahhhh this cake has become a slight obsession of mine, it looks beautiful!

  16. Despite finding cups a nightmare to convert (PLEASE embrace metric -absence of g. weights is sole reason I don't buy your book!) this cake is SO TOTALLY my cinnamon-loving brother in summer I can't not treat him to it. As from UK, we haven't grown up with fried ice cream in any form, but who could argue with those flavours, eh?

  17. Omg, pug in a sombrero, too cute! Love the cake too, such a clever concept. ;)

  18. Wonderful cake, very beautiful!!

  19. I'm not usually a huge pug-person (if that's a thing lol) but your dog, especially in that hat, is SO cute!

  20. Looks incredible! I can't wait to make this cake! My only concern is how the texture of the cinnamon cake layer becomes after it gets frozen...Does it stay soft or does it harden?

  21. This is amazing... growin gup I loved fried ice cream

  22. Mexican Fried Ice Cream in a Cake...that's what I want for my birthday!

  23. Thank you for sharing this!!! My hubby's favorite dessert is fried ice cream. Can't wait to make this for his birthday! He's going to love you!

  24. This cake looks amazing!! And your pups in sombreros? OMG. The best.

  25. I love the puppy pics (as always). How adorable!

  26. No, no, and oh no, you didn't! I LOVE fried ice cream and once set my entire stovetop on fire trying to fry it. Oops. But IT WAS WORTH IT. And now I can't wait to make this while keeping all of my parts intact--thank you for this safe option! Heh.

  27. This is amazing. I absolutely need this for my next birthday cake.

  28. This is so festive, I love it!

  29. There used to be a Mexican restaurant in my nearby city that I use to go to when I was a teenager. They had the BEST fried ice cream! I haven't been able to find their version of the dessert anywhere. This recipe sounds like the one! The addition of the spice cake sounds heavenly! Can't wait to make it! Pinning!


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