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Recipes

Your Ice Cream Needs Browned Butter–Cinnamon Toast Crunch

It tastes just like deep-fried ice cream (minus the frying). 
By Published June 23, 2022

Remember Chi-Chi’s? More importantly, do you remember Chi-Chi’s fried ice cream?

If not, my sincerest sympathies.

But don’t worry! Thanks to former ATK Test Cook Sarah Ewald, we get to experience the joys of that beloved deep-fried ice cream to this day.

 (Without having to actually deep-fry ice cream.)

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It started back in 2019 with Sarah’s recipe for Fried Ice Cream Cake. This cake goes all out: a brownie layer topped with vanilla ice cream, toffee bits, chocolate syrup, and a cherry on top.

But wait, there’s more. . . 

The outside of the cake is coated in Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal that has been toasted in browned butter–the perfect homage to the Chi-Chi’s fried ice cream I loved as a kid.

The cake is delicious. But when I’m having a fried ice cream emergency (which happens more often than you'd think), I just make that buttery, crunchy cinnamon cereal coating. Sprinkle on top of your favorite ice cream and you’ve got the ultimate ice cream topping.

Maybe keep a box of tissues nearby for those happy tears.

Browned Butter–Cinnamon Toast Crunch Topping

Makes 1 cup 

If you don’t have a food processor, you can simply crush the cereal in a zipper-lock bag. 

  • 1 cup (1½ ounces) Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 


1. Process cereal in food processor until finely ground, about 15 seconds. 

2. Melt butter in 10-inch skillet over medium heat and cook, swirling skillet and stirring constantly with rubber spatula, until butter is golden brown and has nutty aroma, 2 to 3 minutes. 

3. Add cereal and cook, stirring often, until light golden, about 1 minute. Transfer cereal to plate and let cool completely.