Frozen Fruit Rolls - Modernist Cuisine

Frozen Fruit Rolls

Recipe • April 25, 2013

We recently watched a video on YouTube of a Thai street vendor making ice-cream rolls in just a few minutes. Ingenious! Of course, we had to try it on our new baking steel. The steel, placed atop a 10 lb block of dry ice, can cool down from room temperature to -9.4 °C / 15 °F in 10 minutes. Thus, you can quickly make ice cream with personalized mix-ins without setting up an ice-cream maker or procuring liquid nitrogen.

Get fancy by shaving the ice cream into rolls. To make ice-cream rolls, use a chilled, homemade ice-cream base, or melt down some store-bought ice cream. Some bases, such as sorbets, can freeze up too hard, too quickly. In these cases, add a ripe banana. The banana softens the frozen product and creates a pliable texture ideal for curling. In fact, in the recipe below, we’ve made curls using just frozen banana and kiwi. Experiment with other fruits that are naturally creamy, such as persimmon, cherimoya, and avocado.

Larissa Zhou, Food Scientist



banana ice cream roll square

This recipe was inspired by watching videos of Thai street vendors making “ice cream pad.”

banana ice cream roll 5 square

Spread the mixture in a uniform layer to ensure even freezing and rolling.

banana ice cream roll 3 square

In this recipe, we’ve used banana and kiwi, but you can use any variety of fruits.

Tips & Substitutions

Step 1
  • If you cool the baking steel in the freezer, keep it in the freezer overnight.
  • Using dry ice to cool the steel is much faster than using your freezer. The steel will cool to -9.4 °C / 15 °F in about 10 minutes.
  • Dry ice, while unnecessary to chill the steel, is crucial for maintaining low surface temperatures if you plan to make multiple batches of frozen fruit rolls or ice cream. The steel can become too warm after just a few uses. Dry ice will bring the steel back to the correct temperature in minutes.
  • You can also use liquid nitrogen to chill the steel. Pour liquid nitrogen onto a rimmed baking sheet. Use balls of tinfoil to elevate the baking steel above the liquid nitrogen, allowing the liquid to flow between the tray and the baking steel.
  • Make sure the steel doesn’t get too cold and freeze your treat solid. The steel can easily reach -40 °C / -40 °F if given enough time.
  • To measure the temperature of the baking steel, we used a ThermoWorks Surface ThermaPen.
Steps 2 & 3
  • For this recipe, we’ve chosen banana and kiwi, but there are many fruit options available. Try picking fruits that are naturally creamy, like avocado or persimmon, or fruits naturally high in pectin, like mango.
  • You can also use the baking steel to make something closer to a traditional ice cream. Just use an ice-cream base, and then fold in the fruit.
  • Use a metal spatula with a rubber handle.
Steps 4 & 5
  • Spread the fruit mixture into a thin layer. It is important to spread the fruit evenly in order to ensure that it freezes consistently.
  • To form the roll, start with the edge nearest you. Push forward with the spatula, all the way to the other edge.
  • If the roll is soft or clumps up, the mixture may be too warm. If the roll is brittle, the mixture may be too cold.
Previous Recipe

Classic Pizza Sauce Recipe

Next Recipe

Melty Queso Dip