The Zero-Oil Method For Making Imitation Fried Ice Cream

After making fried ice cream in your air fryer, you may be wondering if an oil-free recipe is possible. If you're looking to enjoy the crisp, crunchy outer layer of this cool dessert without needing to add extra oil to tonight's menu, you have options.

To replicate the tasting experience of fried ice cream without sizzling oil, directly roll balls of ice cream into your favorite cereal instead. The cereal should be finely smashed and ground to mimic the coating of the more traditional serving of fried ice cream. Not only is this oil-free method an easy way to reduce some stress — bashing bits of cereal in a plastic bag and pouring them into a bowl for your dessert has cathartic benefits — but the resulting recipe may become a go-to treat to serve at home. Quick and easy to assemble, your cereal-coated ice cream balls can be placed into the freezer to harden and removed when it's time to bring dessert to the table. 

A classic dessert with a creative spin

Experiment with rolling different flavors of ice cream into your favorite breakfast cereals. From chocolate and peanut butter flavors to sweet bites of honey and cinnamon, the cereals you choose to coat your ice cream in will each lend distinct tastes to your version of an oil-free treat. Those who have sprinkled leftover bits of cereal, granola, or trail mix onto their bowls of ice cream will have an idea of where this is headed.

If you find that crushed cereal alone isn't sticking to your rolled-up scoops of ice cream, melt butter in a pan and add pulsed cereal crumbs to cook until golden. Sprinkle bits of flaky salt for a savory twist or add powdered ginger for a spicier touch. Once cooled, this buttery cereal mixture can be set onto a plate and used to roll the ice cream over. Similar to the usual dishes of fried ice cream, plates can be garnished with drizzles of caramel or chocolate sauce and topped with cherries to bring smiles to diners' faces — who may not even know that this dessert was prepared sans oil.