How many calories are in Chinese fried ice cream?

Chinese fried ice cream is a popular dessert that combines the cold sweetness of ice cream with the crispy texture of fried batter. This inventive treat is commonly found in Chinese restaurants and takes ice cream into delicious new territory. But how many calories are actually in this fried frozen delight?

Chinese fried ice cream is made by coating scoops of ice cream in a battered outer shell. The batter contains ingredients like flour, eggs, sugar, and sometimes cinnamon or vanilla for extra flavor. The coated ice cream is then briefly fried in hot oil to create a crispy crust. After frying, the dessert is often topped with honey, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, or colorful fruit like strawberries or kiwi.

While fried ice cream tastes decadent, the calorie count ultimately depends on the specific ingredients used in the batter coating and ice cream. In general, a standard order of Chinese fried ice cream contains around 300-400 calories. But the amount can vary significantly based on factors like:

  • Ice cream flavor – Richer flavors like chocolate or cookie dough will be higher in calories than lighter options like vanilla.
  • Batter ingredients – More sugar, eggs, and oil in the batter adds extra calories.
  • Portion size – Larger scoops encased in more batter will have a higher calorie count.
  • Toppings – Sugary sauces and whipped cream can pile on the calories.

When dining out, it’s difficult to calculate the exact calories in fried ice cream, since ingredients and portion sizes can vary between restaurants. But there are some general estimates based on popular flavors and preparation styles:

Calories in Fried Vanilla Ice Cream

Vanilla ice cream tends to be lower in calories than other decadent flavors. A standard 1/2 cup serving of vanilla ice cream has about 145 calories. When coated in a simple fried batter and topped with fruit, a single vanilla fried ice cream portion likely contains around:

  • Ice cream: 145 calories
  • Batter coating: 150 calories
  • Total: 295 calories

Calories in Fried Chocolate Ice Cream

Chocolate ice cream has more calories than vanilla, averaging about 220 calories per 1/2 cup serving. Taking into account the batter and toppings, a chocolate fried ice cream order may contain approximately:

  • Chocolate ice cream: 220 calories
  • Batter coating: 150 calories
  • Whipped cream: 50 calories
  • Chocolate sauce: 120 calories
  • Total: 540 calories

Calories in Fried Strawberry Ice Cream

Strawberry ice cream lands in the middle calorie-wise, with around 160 calories per 1/2 cup. Topped with fresh fruit, an order of strawberry fried ice cream may clock in around:

  • Strawberry ice cream: 160 calories
  • Batter coating: 150 calories
  • Sliced strawberries: 65 calories
  • Total: 375 calories

Factors That Impact Calories

As you can see, fried ice cream calories can range from 300 to over 500 per serving depending on the specifics. Here are some key factors that affect the calorie count:

Ice Cream Flavor

The ice cream flavor makes a major difference in calories. Here are some common ice cream flavors and their calorie counts per 1/2 cup serving:

  • Vanilla: 145 calories
  • Chocolate: 220 calories
  • Strawberry: 160 calories
  • Cookies and cream: 200 calories
  • Mint chocolate chip: 167 calories
  • Rocky Road: 205 calories
  • Butter pecan: 196 calories

Richer, dense flavors like chocolate have more calories than light options like vanilla. The fat and sugar content varies widely between flavors, which impacts the total calorie count.

Batter Ingredients

While ice cream makes up a large portion of calories in fried ice cream, the coating matters too. Batters made with more eggs, oil, sugar and butter will increase the calorie count versus lighter batters.

For example, a heavy batter with multiple eggs, 2 tablespoons of oil and 1 tablespoon of sugar adds roughly 150 calories. A lighter batter with just one egg, 1 tablespoon of oil and no sugar may have just 90 calories. Choosing fried ice cream made with a lighter batter is one way to cut some calories without sacrifering taste.

Portion Size

Larger portion sizes mean higher calorie counts. A small 2-3 ounce scoop of ice cream coated in a thin layer of batter will have fewer calories than a heaping 6-8 ounce scoop deep fried in a thick batter.

Many restaurants serve massive servings of fried ice cream that are often 500-600 calories or more. Opting for a petite-sized portion is one easy way to take in fewer calories while still enjoying this tasty treat.


What goes on top of the fried ice cream makes a significant calorie impact. Here are some common toppings and their calorie counts:

  • Whipped cream (2 tablespoons) – 50 calories
  • Chocolate sauce (2 tablespoons) – 120 calories
  • Caramel sauce (2 tablespoons) – 110 calories
  • Strawberry sauce (2 tablespoons) – 65 calories
  • Fresh strawberries (1 cup) – 65 calories
  • Banana slices (1/2 medium banana) – 50 calories

Opting for fruit or light drizzles of sauce instead of heavy whipped cream and chocolate drizzle can shave off calories.

Low Calorie Fried Ice Cream Options

If you want to indulge in fried ice cream while limiting calories, there are several tweaks you can request:

  • Order a petite or child-size portion.
  • Choose vanilla, fruit or other light ice cream flavors.
  • Request less batter or extra light batter if possible.
  • Swap whipped cream for fresh fruit as a topping.
  • Ask for light drizzle of chocolate sauce instead of full drizzle.
  • Share your order with a friend to limit portions.

You can also make some healthier substitutions if you make fried ice cream at home. Some ideas include:

  • Use Greek yogurt or low-fat ice cream.
  • Try batter made with whole wheat flour and baking powder instead of eggs.
  • Fry in just 1 tablespoon of oil instead of full-frying.
  • Top with sliced fruit and minimum sauce drizzles.

With a few simple tweaks, it’s possible to enjoy this yummy dessert while avoiding diet-derailing calorie counts.

Nutrition Facts

Beyond just calories, here is the full nutrition breakdown for a typical order of fried ice cream at a restaurant:

Fried vanilla ice cream (1 order)

  • Calories: 295
  • Fat: 18g
  • Carbs: 29g
  • Sugar: 17g
  • Protein: 5g

As you can see, a single serving provides nearly 20 grams of fat, accounting for most of the calories. There are also a significant amount of carbs from the batter and sugar in the ice cream.

While fried ice cream is high in calories, fat, and sugar compared to many other desserts, it can be enjoyed in moderation as part of an overall balanced diet. Those looking to closely manage calories may want to opt for a petite serving or share with a friend.

Alternatives to Fried Ice Cream

If you’re looking for something similar to fried ice cream but with fewer calories, here are some alternatives to consider:

Baked Alaska

This light and fluffy dessert features ice cream encased in meringue then briefly baked. A serving has around 330 calories depending on ice cream flavor.

Ice Cream Sandwich

Stick to a single ice cream sandwich made with chocolate wafers or cookies. Keep it under 200 calories by controlling portions and ingredients.

Ice Cream Cupcakes

Enjoy a petite ice cream cupcake with around 115 calories. Top with fruit instead of frosting to limit calorie count.

Ice Cream Float

Make a float by topping 1 scoop of ice cream with sparkling water instead of soda to cut the calories in half. Keep it under 275 calories.

Ice Cream Cone

Opt for a kiddie-sized cone with a small scoop of ice cream. Keep calories around 170 by sticking to one regular cone and a single small scoop.


Try fruit sorbet as a lower calorie frozen dessert alternative to ice cream. 1/2 cup is about 140 calories.

Healthy Cooking Substitutions

When making fried ice cream at home, there are lots of simple ingredient swaps that can lighten up the calorie count while still yielding something delicious. Try these substitutions:

  • Use half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour in the batter.
  • Substitute egg whites instead of full eggs.
  • Try almond milk instead of whole milk.
  • Use part skim mozzarella instead of full fat cheese.
  • Sub in plain nonfat Greek yogurt for sour cream.
  • Opt for a light spread instead of butter.
  • Use avocado oil or grapeseed oil instead of olive oil for frying.
  • Swap brown sugar for white sugar.
  • Replace ice cream with lower fat frozen yogurt.

Getting creative with substitutions can help reduce the calorie density of fried ice cream, letting you indulge for fewer calories. Play around to find options you love!


Chinese fried ice cream is a uniquely tasty dessert with a calorie count that ultimately depends on the portion size, ice cream flavor, batter ingredients, and toppings. A single serving ranges from 300-600 calories on average.

The best way to enjoy this treat while limiting calories is to opt for a small portion of light ice cream coated in a thin, lighter batter. Top with fresh fruit and minimum drizzle instead of heavy cream and thick chocolate sauce. You can also make healthier substitutions when cooking fried ice cream at home.

Fried ice cream makes for a delicious occasional treat. Just be mindful of portions and ingredients to keep calories under control.

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