Shaved Ice vs Snow Ice

Shaved Ice vs Snow Ice

What’s the Difference Between Shaved Ice and Snow Ice?

Snow Ice vs Shaved Ice

Shaved Ice and Snow Ice might seem like two different names for the same thing but they’re actually very different and have distinct characteristics that set them apart.

The most important thing to remember is that Shaved Ice starts off with an ice block and then fruit flavors are added on top of it while Snow Ice has the flavor built right into the ice block.

In this article, we’ll delve into the delightful world of Shaved Ice and Snow Ice, exploring what makes each of them unique.


Snow Ice: 

Snow ice is a relative newcomer to the frozen treat scene.  Also known as snow cream or shaved snow, it boasts a unique texture and flavor profile that sets it apart from shaved ice:

Texture: Snow ice is incredibly smooth and creamy. It’s made by freezing milk and fruit flavors at extremely cold temperatures into a solid block, which is then shaved into thin, ribbon-like sheets. The result is a velvety and luscious texture that’s often compared to freshly fallen snow.

Flavor: Like shaved ice, snow ice can be flavored with a wide range of syrups. However, its creamy base offers a different taste experience, with a rich and indulgent quality that complements the flavors.

Customization: While not as customizable as shaved ice in terms of texture, snow ice makes up for it with its ability to incorporate diverse flavors into the base mixture. You can find a variety of fruit-infused and decadent options.

Origin: Snow ice hails from Taiwan, where it quickly gained popularity before spreading to other parts of the world. It’s known for its silky texture and innovative flavors.


Shaved Ice:

Shaved ice is a classic summer treat loved by people of all ages. It consists of finely shaved or scraped ice that resembles delicate snowflakes. Here’s what you need to know about shaved ice:

Texture: Shaved ice has a light and fluffy texture, often described as “snow-like.” The ice is shaved into fine, feathery layers, creating a delightful melt-in-your-mouth experience.

Flavor: Shaved ice is known for its ability to absorb and hold flavors exceptionally well. It’s typically served with a variety of colorful and flavorful syrups that infuse each bite with a burst of taste.

Customization: Shaved ice is highly customizable. You can choose from a wide range of syrup flavors, mix and match, and even add toppings like condensed milk, fruit, or ice cream to create your own unique concoction.

Types of Shaved Ice: Shaved ice variations are found worldwide, with regional specialties such as Taiwanese Shaved Ice, Hawaiian Shave Ice and Korean Bingsu, each offering its twist on this icy delight.

Shaved Ice vs. Snow Ice: The Key Differences

  1. Texture: Shaved ice is airy and fluffy, while snow ice is silky and creamy.
  2. Flavor Absorption: Shaved ice absorbs syrups, while snow ice combines flavors within its creamy base.
  3. Customization: Shaved ice offers more varied toppings, while snow ice offers diverse flavor options in the base.
  4. Origin: Shaved ice has various regional adaptations, while snow ice originated in Taiwan.
  5. Shavers: Snow Ice requires a special shaver with a very sharp razor blade that shaves ice blocks into fluffy ribbons.  So you can’t make Snow Ice with a regular ice shaver BUT you can make Shaved Ice with a Snow Ice Shaver!


Which one is better?

This all comes down to personal preference and in the realm of frozen treats, both shaved ice and snow ice have their unique appeal. Shaved ice delights with its airy texture and syrup-soaked flakes, while snow ice enchants with its creamy richness and innovative flavors. Whether you’re a fan of the classic or looking for a modern twist, these icy delights offer a cool escape from the summer heat. So, the next time you’re craving a frozen treat, consider the difference between shaved ice and snow ice and savor the one that suits your taste buds best!

Taiwanese Shaved Ice

Taiwanese Shaved Ice

Taiwanese Shaved Ice: A Cool and Refreshing Delight

Taiwanese Shaved Ice

What is Taiwanese Shaved Ice?

In the scorching heat of summer, there’s nothing quite like indulging in a delicious treat that not only cools you down but also tantalizes your taste buds.

Taiwanese Shaved Ice, also known as “Bao Bing or Tsua Bing” is a delightful dessert that has gained immense popularity not only in Taiwan but across the globe.

In this article we’ll take you on a journey through the origins, variations, and irresistible flavors of Taiwanese Shaved Ice.


Are Taiwanese Shaved Ice and Snow Ice the Same?

Nope, not even close!

Snow Ice uses a specially made ice block with fruit flavors and milk that is shaved razor thin to create a fluffy snow like texture.

Taiwanese Shaved Ice on the other hand is more similar to Snow Cones and Hawaiian Shave Ice.  Shaved Ice uses an ice block which is then topped with delicious treats like fruit and red bean (if you’re into that kinda thing).

Types of Shaved Ice

The History of Taiwanese Shaved Ice

Taiwanese Shaved Ice has a rich history dating back to ancient times in China.  Sometime around the 7th Century this ice delight was enjoyed by the elite and was considered a royal treat.

Over the centuries and with the advent of modern freezing and refrigeration, it evolved and became a favorite street food.


Shaved Ice Ingredients and Recipe

Shaved Ice Block

It all starts with a big block of clean ice that fits perfectly into a Taiwanese Shaved Ice Machine.

Syrups and Toppings

Without toppings, shaved ice would be, well, just ice.  Toppings are what really makes Taiwanese Shaved Ice stand out and can include everything from traditional red bean paste to exotic fruits like mango and lychee, there’s a wide array of choices to customize your dessert.

Popular Shaved Ice Flavors

Classic Red Bean Shaved Ice

The classic Taiwanese Shaved Ice features sweet red bean paste, condensed milk, and chewy rice cakes. It’s a nostalgic favorite that warms the heart.

If Red Bean for Dessert Doesn’t Make Your Mouth Water, then Stick with Fruit!

Fruit Explosion

For those who crave freshness, the Fruit Explosion is a must-try. Generous servings of fresh fruits, such as strawberries, kiwis, and pineapples, are layered over shaved ice and drizzled with fruit syrups.

Matcha Madness

Matcha enthusiasts will adore the Matcha Madness variation. It combines the earthy goodness of matcha green tea with sweet mochi and red bean, creating a delightful contrast of flavors.


How to Make Taiwanese Shaved Ice

Making Taiwanese Shaved Ice is easier than you might think.

All you need is a good-quality ice shaver, your favorite syrups, and toppings.

First, Freeze Your Ice Block:

Find a suitable container, pour in your clean water and freeze your ice block for 8-12 hours.

Next, Put the ice block in your Ice Shaver and start shaving!

Now, layer on the Goodness

In a bowl or dish, layer the shaved ice with your chosen toppings. Be creative and mix flavors for a unique experience.

Finally, Drizzle with Syrup

Generously drizzle your favorite syrup over the top. The syrup adds sweetness and flavor to every bite.


Wrapping Up

Taiwanese Shaved Ice and Snow Ice are both iconic desserts that can cool you off on a hot day but are definitely NOT THE SAME!

Shaved Ice is more than just a dessert; it’s an experience where you can travel back into time and enjoy this thousand year old treat.  Whether you enjoy the classic version or explore the innovative variations, it’s a treat that never disappoints.

Get ready to embark on a culinary journey to Taiwan without leaving your home kitchen. Try your hand at making Taiwanese Shaved Ice, experiment with different flavors, and share this cool sensation with your friends and family.



What is the origin of Taiwanese Shaved Ice?

Taiwanese Shaved Ice dates back to ancient times in China and was initially enjoyed by the elite.

What’s the Difference between Taiwan Shaved Ice and Snow Ice?

Shaved Ice uses a regular Ice Block while Snow Ice uses an ice block made with milk and fruit flavors.

What are some popular toppings for Taiwanese Shaved Ice?

Popular toppings include sweet red bean paste, fresh fruits, mochi, and condensed milk.

Is Taiwanese Shaved Ice only popular in Taiwan?

Nope, it has gained popularity worldwide and you can find it in various countries due to its delicious and refreshing nature.

What is Taiwanese Shaved Ice Called in Chinese?

In Taiwan, most people call it 剉冰tsua bing

In China, most refer to it as 刨冰bàobīng

Taiwanese Shaved Ice vs Bing Su

Bing Su is from Korea while Shaved Ice and Snow Ice are from Taiwan.




Best Rolled Ice Cream Machines

Best Rolled Ice Cream Machines

Best Thai Rolled Ice Machines

Best Rolled Ice Cream Makers

When it comes to creating delicious rolled ice cream, having the right equipment is essential. Whether you’re looking for a machine to use at home or commercial grade equipment, there are plenty of options on the market today. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best rolled ice cream makers available and sharing our top picks. From easy to use ice cream pans to high-tech machines, you’re sure to find something that meets your needs and fits your budget. Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or just looking for an exciting new way to enjoy frozen treats at home, these are the best rolled ice cream makers available today.

At Home Ice Cream Cold Plates

For home use, the best option is an at-home ice cream cold plate. These plates are easy to use and great for making small batches of delicious frozen treats. Simply freeze your desired ingredients in a pan, then pour them into the cold plate and let it do the rest! The result is smooth, creamy ice cream that you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home.

Best at Home Rolled Ice Cream Makers:














Mid-Range Machines

If you’re looking for something a little more sophisticated than a frozen pan but don’t want to break the bank with commercial equipment, then try this mid-range rolled ice cream makers.

They have an automatic cooling system like the commercial ones but aren’t meant to be used for 12 hours a day, seven days a week like the professional ones. They also come with a wide variety of features, like different temperature settings for different flavors and textures.

These units are great for making regular ice cream or Thai Rolled Ice Cream at home.

Best Mid-range Ice Roll Makers











Commercial Ice Cream Machines

For those who need to make rolled ice cream on industrial levels, commercial ice cream machines are ideal. These units have the most powerful cooling systems and come in sizes that can satisfy any production demand. Some high-end models are even capable of making multiple flavors at once. Additionally, most commercial machines come with a wide variety of features and functions, such as adjustable temperature settings and digital displays. If you need to make hundreds of servings in a day at an ice cream shop, these are the best rolled ice cream makers for you.

Professional Equipment

Using the best professional ice cream-making equipment has other advantages as well. These machines will give your store instant legitimacy and many customers will show up just to take a look at your equipment. Be sure to keep the “Stir-Fried” ice cream-making machines close to your front windows to help attract customers!

To use your machine’s commercial setting, you’ll want to look into buying an industrial-grade rolled ice cream maker. These machines are designed for large batches and can churn out hundreds of servings per hour. Professional units come with features such as adjustable temperature settings, digital displays, and multiple outputs to handle different flavors at once. They also typically have reinforced cooling systems for maximum efficiency.

Best Brands

Some of the top brands in the market are Kolice and Vevor  which can both be found on Amazon with Free Delivery.  Both also offer units with one or two pans depending on how many you need.  Some store owners prefer to have multiple standalone units with one pan so that they can space them throughout their kitchen while others prefer the double pan models.

Counter Top vs Standalone Machines

Most of ice roll machines are standalone, meaning that you don’t need to put them on anything. They usually also have wheels on the bottom if you’re going to be moving them around.

Kolice also offers a countertop ice roll maker that can sit on a table or counter. Countertop models are generally cheaper than standalone models but will also take up more counter space.

Best Commercial Thai Rolled Ice Machines:


Counter Top
















Best Thai Rolled Ice Machines Review

There are a variety of options available to make rolled ice cream at home or in a commercial setting. From frozen pans to mid-range and commercial machines, you can find the perfect option for your needs. We recommend researching the features and capabilities of each unit before investing in one so that you get the most out of your purchase. With the right ice roll maker, you’ll be able to create delicious frozen desserts in the comfort of your own home or business.

How to Make Thai Rolled Ice Cream: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Make Thai Rolled Ice Cream: A Step-by-Step Guide

how to make thai rolled ice cream

Making Stir Fried Ice Cream

Rolled Ice Cream or “Stir-Fried Ice Cream” is an amazing ice cream variation that’s fun to make at home or, for the entrepreneurs out there, an amazing business opportunity.  If you’re new to this Asian treat, click here to read all about it.

Making ice cream rolls is a fun and unique way to enjoy this exotic treat. It’s easy to make, requiring only a few simple ingredients and minimal time. Plus, it looks just as impressive as it tastes! This step-by-step guide will show you exactly how to make homemade ice cream rolls quickly and easily. In this article, we’ll cover two ways to make this exotic dessert.

The first one is an easy method that you can do at home and the second one is a professional method that uses the Thai Rolled Ice Cream Maker.

Homemade Rolled Ice Cream

The key to making Thai Rolled Ice is that you need a frozen plate that you can mix and “stir fry” your ingredients on. To do this at home, you need to freeze a metal plate or tray. We recommend using one like this:

homemade thai ice cream pan

Once your plate is frozen, you can start making your Rolled Ice Cream! The ingredients are simple: sweetened condensed milk, cream, and any flavorings or toppings of your choice (we love adding fruit, chocolate chips, and more).

Start by combining the condensed milk, cream, and flavorings in a large bowl. Mix until fully combined. Next, pour the mixture onto your frozen plate and begin to “stir-fry” with two metal spatulas. This will create small patches of ice cream on the frozen plate. Continue to move the mixture around until it’s frozen and you have a large, even layer of ice cream on your plate.

Then, use your two metal spatulas again to scrape up the edges of the rolled ice cream. This will help create perfect rolls when you are ready to serve. Place the rolls on a plate or baking sheet and put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes to set.

Make Thai Rolled Ice Cream with a Machine

If you want to make professional Ice Cream Rolls then you’re most likely going to need to invest in a machine. There are two types of machines that you can use. A smaller, at-home model, and a big commercial Ice Cream Roll Maker.

At Home Thai Rolled Ice Cream Maker

The make-it-at-home model is smaller and cheaper than the big commercial ones but isn’t meant to be used all day like in an ice cream shop. It uses a standard refrigeration method to cool the plate and runs on 120 watts of power.

Commerical Thai Ice Cream Roll Maker

The professional model is the way to go if you want to open a Rolled Ice Cream shop. This machine has an advanced cooling system that keeps the temperature of the plates cold enough for your ingredients to freeze quickly and consistently. It also has a bigger plate, so you can make more Thai Rolled Ice Cream at once.

Thai Rolled Ice Cream Maker

The process of making Rolled Ice Cream with either machine is the same as the method outlined above. Simply mix your ingredients, pour them onto the frozen plate, and “stir-fry” it until it’s frozen. Then, use two metal spatulas to scrape up the edges and form perfect rolls.

Thai Rolled Ice Cream Ingredients

Thai Rolled Ice Cream is made of:

  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Cream
  • Flavoring or topping of your choice, such as fruit, chocolate chips, etc.

Rolled Ice Cream Recipe


  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Flavorings or toppings of your choice (fruits, chocolate chips, etc.)


  1. Combine the condensed milk, cream, and flavorings in a large bowl and mix until fully combined.
  2. Pour the mixture onto a frozen metal plate or tray and start “stir-frying” with two metal spatulas.
  3. Continue to move the mixture around until it’s frozen and you have a large, even layer of ice cream on your plate.
  4. Use two metal spatulas again to scrape up the edges of the rolled ice cream.
  5. Place the rolls on a plate or baking sheet and put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes to set.
  6. Serve with any desired toppings and enjoy!


Tips & Tricks:

  1. For an extra creamy texture, you can use a higher fat-content cream.
  2. If you’re making the ice cream with a machine, use the lowest setting to prevent the ice cream from melting too quickly.
  3. To keep your plate cold, store it in the freezer between uses.
  4. Feel free to get creative and try different flavor combos! Just make sure to add any additional ingredients after the ice cream has been formed and frozen.
  5. Assemble your rolls immediately before serving; otherwise, they will start to melt!
  6. Have fun and enjoy!

Should You Store Rolled Ice Cream?

Ice Cream Rolls should be served immediately as it tends to melt quickly. However, if you have leftovers or need to store the ice cream for any reason, you can simply put them in an airtight container and store them in the freezer for up to a week

Wrap Up

Stir-Fried Ice Cream is a delicious and unique way to enjoy homemade ice cream. With the right ingredients and tools, you can easily make your own with this simple recipe. Whether you’re using a machine or not, remember to have fun and experiment with different flavors for an even more enjoyable experience! Enjoy!

Further Reading:

Everything You Need to Know About Stir Fried Ice Cream

Everything You Need to Know About Thai Rolled Ice Cream

Everything You Need to Know About Thai Rolled Ice Cream

Thai Rolled Ice Cream

Craving something cold and creamy? Then this is the perfect treat for you! Originating from Thailand, this delicious dessert has quickly become a worldwide sensation. But what exactly is it and why do some people call it stir-fried?

We’ll look into the history and process of making Thai Rolled Ice Cream and explain why it’s becoming a global phenomenon.

So grab a spoon and let’s get started learning about this amazing frozen delight!


This type of ice cream is sometimes called stir-fried ice cream, Thai Roll Ice Cream or “Ai Tim Phad” in Thai.

Stir-Fried Ice Cream was invented in Thailand in 2009 and first came to prominence a popular street food. This amazing treat quickly spread throughout the country and eventually made its way to other parts of Asia. Now, it’s become a global sensation with designated shops popping up all over the world.

How Is It Made?

The process of making it is truly a sight to see. It starts with a base of fresh cream and a choice of ingredients like fruits, syrups, nuts, and more. All of these are mixed in a metal pan that’s cooled to -15° C using liquid nitrogen.

This causes the mixture to freeze and creates a smooth ice cream texture that can be rolled into individual pieces.

Once the mixture has frozen, it’s ready for the fun part — rolling! The chef uses two metal spatulas to grab the frozen treat and roll it into thin strips. It takes a bit of skill and practice to create the perfect rolls, but once mastered it’s an impressive show for anyone watching.

Click here for more information on how to make your own Ice Cream Rolls!

Roll Ice Cream Ingredients

Ice Cream Base

The ingredients for making the best-rolled ice cream are simple – just milk, sugar, and flavorings. Milk is an essential part of the recipe, providing a creamy base for the other flavors to be blended into. Sugar helps sweeten the finished product and can be adjusted to taste.

Additional Flavors

Flavorings such as vanilla extract or chocolate syrup can also be added for more of flavor. The key to making the ice cream is to freeze the mixture quickly so it can be rolled into thin sheets and turned into intricately-pattern spirals. This involves pouring the liquid onto a pre-frozen surface and then scraping it off with a flat metal spatula. The resulting product has a unique, creamy texture that is sure to tantalize the taste buds!

Thai Rolled Ice Cream Ingredients

Thai Rolled Ice Cream Machine

What makes this frozen dessert unique is that the ingredients are combined with a frozen plate that is -15° C! To achieve this super low temperature you need a special machine that uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the plate.

Making Rolled Ice Cream

The Machine is an easy-to-use device that helps make delicious homemade rolled ice cream. It features a large cold plate to quickly freeze the ingredients, helping you get creative with your recipes. The rollers on top of the machine use rapid rotations to evenly mix and spread out all of the ingredients, ensuring a smooth and consistent final product.

This machine is perfect for creating the traditional Thai style of rolled ice cream, as well as other variations like gelato and sorbets. With this ice cream maker, you can easily make professional quality ice cream in your own home or at your restaurant.

Thai Rolled Ice Cream Machine

Opening a Your Own Business

This delicious dessert can be enjoyed at home or a restaurant or dessert shop. Entrepreneurs from around the world have been cashing in on this opportunity to open their own frozen dessert business. It is the perfect business idea for those looking to start their own business with minimal capital investment.

There are a few things that you need to consider when starting your Ice Cream Business. The first step is to select the type of ice cream you want to make and serve. You can choose from traditional flavors such as vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, matcha, and more. You can also create unique combinations of flavors or even invent your recipes.

You will then need to decide on the location for your business. A great place to start is a busy shopping mall or food court. This way you can get maximum exposure to potential customers and maximize profits. Alternatively, you could rent a small shop or kiosk, or open a stand in your local park.

Finally, you will need to purchase the right equipment for making and serving Thai Rolled Ice Cream. With the most important being the machine. This allows you to quickly make different flavors of ice cream, as well as custom-designed decorations on top. It is easy to use and can be cleaned easily.

These are just a few steps that you need to consider when starting your own Thai Rolled Ice Cream Business. With the right planning and execution, it can be a great success.

stir fried ice cream

What Makes this Frozen Dessert so Popular?

Appealing to both adults and children alike, this refreshing snack that can be enjoyed on hot days. But its popularity isn’t just because of its taste and texture. Watching a master chef create the rolls is a mesmerizing show that continues to draw people from all over the world.

Thai Rolled Ice Cream has quickly become a must-try dessert and it doesn’t look like its popularity will be slowing down anytime soon. So if you’re looking for something new and exciting to try, then this delicious treat should be at the top of your list!

Stir-Fried Ice Cream

Rolled Ice Cream is sometimes called “Stir-Fried” because of how it’s made. If you watch a professional making it, you can see them chopping up and stirring the ice cream just like they would for a plate of delicious Thai Food. It’s this unique process that helps create the signature texture and flavor of Thai Ice Cream.

This dessert is also incredibly customizable, allowing you to choose whatever fruits, nuts, and toppings you would like to add. Whether it be mangoes, strawberries, almonds or anything else – your imagination (and taste buds) are the limit when it comes to creating your perfect ice cream treat.

make rolled ice cream

Can You Make Thai Ice Cream at Home?

Homemade Ice Cream

Absolutely! This can be made at home with a few simple tools.  All you need is a high-quality ice cream maker and the right ingredients. The machine should also have an adjustable temperature control so that you can properly melt and spread the mixture to get the perfect texture and flavor. Once you’ve got the basics down, you’ll be ready to make your own delicious ice cream creations at home!

Making this unique dessert at home is a great way to impress friends and family with your cooking skills. Not only will you be able to enjoy some amazing ice cream, but it’s also fun and easy to make.

Thai Rolled Ice Cream vs Traditional Ice Cream

When comparing these two, there are several factors to consider. For starters, the texture and flavor of Thai rolled ice cream is much more intense. This can be attributed to the stirring process that helps break down the ice crystals and makes for a smoother treat. Additionally, because you can customize your rolls with whatever toppings you’d like, Thai Rolled Ice Cream is more versatile than traditional ice cream. In terms of presentation, Thai Rolled Ice Cream also has an edge with its vibrant colors and captivating show that’s part of the process.

Overall, Thai Rolled Ice Cream offers a more unique and exciting experience for both adults and children alike. It’s no wonder that it has become so popular.

Where Can You Find Thai Rolled Ice Cream?

If you don’t feel like hopping on a plane and flying to Bangkok then, don’t worry, you can still find amazing Thai Ice Cream throughout the US.

It can be found at many locations across the US. Famous eateries such as Jaxx’s Rib Shack in New York City, Ping Pong Dim Sum in San Francisco, and Phuket Thai Cuisine in Miami all offer their own version of this iconic treat.

However, you don’t have to venture too far to enjoy this delicious dessert. Many smaller, independent restaurants and shops are popping up all across the country. So if you’re looking for a tasty treat that’ll make your taste buds dance, then look no further than some of America’s favorite Thai Rolled Ice Cream vendors.

Wrapping up Thai Rolled Ice Cream

Thai Ice Cream is a delicious and unique treat that has become popular around the world for its intense flavor, customizable toppings, and captivating show. Whether you’re looking to impress friends and family or just want to try something new and exciting, this amazing dessert should be at the top of your list! With the right tools and ingredients, you can even make your own Rolled Ice Cream creations at home. So go ahead, take the plunge, and start rolling! Your taste buds will thank you!

thai rolled ice cream toppings<br />

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Thai Rolled Ice Cream Healthier than Regular Ice Cream?

Unlike traditional ice cream, this treat typically contains fresh fruits and vegetables blended into the mixture. The fresh ingredients provide additional antioxidants and vitamins that are often missing from traditional ice cream. Also, a lot of recipes contain fewer calories and sugar than most varieties of regular ice cream. This means that people can enjoy a scoop or two without having to worry about going over their daily calorie or sugar limits.

What is it Called in Thai?

In Thai it looks like ไอติมผัด and is said like “Ai Tim Phad”. Phad means “fried” like the fried noodles in Pad Thai. So it is a literal translation for “stir-fried ice cream”.


Further Reading:

How to Make Ice Cream Rolls

Thai Shaved Ice – Nam Kang Sai

Shaved Ice vs Snow Cones: What’s the Difference

Shaved Ice vs Snow Cones: What’s the Difference

Shaved Ice vs Snow Cones

Shaved Ice vs Snow Cones

What’s the Difference between Shaved Ice and Snow Cones?

Are you in the mood for a refreshing summer treat but can’t decide between shaved ice or snow cones? While they look similar, these two summer treats are quite different.  In this article we’ll dive into the differences between shaved ice and snow cones including their unique history, ingredients, flavors and more!

What is Shaved Ice?

Shaved Ice

Shaved ice is a dessert made by shaving a block of ice into thin, delicate flakes. These flakes are then piled high into a cup or bowl and topped with flavored syrup. The result is a light and fluffy treat that melts in your mouth. Shaved ice is often associated with Hawaii, where it is known as “shave ice.”

What is a Snow Cone?

Snow Cone

A snow cone is made by crushing ice into small pieces which results in a coarser texture. The crushed ice is then shaped into a cone and topped with flavored syrup. Snow cones are often found at carnivals and fairs and are a popular summertime treat.

Snow cones originated in the United States,  more likely Louisiana. The first documented account of snow cones dates back to the 1850s, where it was served by vendors at the New Orleans French Market. This treat gained popularity in the early 1900s and has since become a beloved treat throughout the US and other parts of the world.

Hawaiian Shaved Ice vs Snow Cones

Hawaiian shaved ice is a popular frozen dessert that originated in Hawaii. It is made by shaving a block of ice into delicate, thin flakes and then topping it with flavored syrups. The result is a light and fluffy treat that is perfect for hot summer days. Hawaiian shaved ice is often served in a cone or cup and can be topped with a variety of toppings, such as fresh fruit, candy, or condensed milk. It is a refreshing and tasty dessert that has become a beloved part of Hawaiian culture and is enjoyed by people all around the world.

Taiwanese Shaved Ice vs Snow Cones

Taiwanese shaved ice, also known as “bao bing” or “tsua bing” in Mandarin, is a popular frozen dessert that originated in Taiwan. It is made by shaving a block of ice into thin, delicate flakes, similar to Hawaiian shaved ice. However, Taiwanese shaved ice is typically served with a wider range of toppings, including fresh fruit, sweetened condensed milk, red bean paste, mochi, and more.

In addition to the variety of toppings, Taiwanese shaved ice is also known for its unique flavors. Many Taiwanese shaved ice shops offer a range of syrups and toppings that are specific to their shop, creating a unique experience for customers. Some popular Taiwanese shaved ice flavors include mango, strawberry, green tea, and black sesame.

Taiwanese shaved ice has become popular all around the world, and it is a refreshing and delicious treat that is perfect for hot summer days. Whether you’re in Taiwan or somewhere else, be sure to try this tasty dessert the next time you have a chance!

Shaved Ice vs Italian Ice

Shaved ice and Italian ice are both frozen desserts that are popular around the world, but they differ in a few key ways.

Shaved ice is made by shaving a block of ice into delicate, thin flakes using a special machine. The flakes are then piled high into a cup or cone and topped with flavored syrups and other toppings, such as fresh fruit, candy, or condensed milk. The result is a light and fluffy dessert that is perfect for hot summer days.

Italian ice, on the other hand, is a frozen dessert that is similar to sorbet or granita. It is made by blending together fruit puree, sugar, and water, and then freezing the mixture until it becomes icy and slushy. Italian ice typically has a smoother texture than shaved ice, and it is often served in a cup or cone without any additional toppings.

Another key difference between shaved ice and Italian ice is their cultural origins. Shaved ice is often associated with Hawaii and other tropical locations, while Italian ice is traditionally associated with Italy and Italian-American communities in the United States.

In terms of flavor options, both shaved ice and Italian ice offer a wide range of flavors, although the specific options may vary depending on the vendor or location. Some popular shaved ice flavors include strawberry, mango, and blue raspberry, while Italian ice flavors often include lemon, raspberry, and cherry.

Overall, while both shaved ice and Italian ice are delicious frozen desserts, they differ in texture, cultural origins, and flavor options. Whether you’re in the mood for a light and fluffy treat or a smooth and icy dessert, there is something for everyone to enjoy!

Difference in Texture

The texture is one of the most significant differences between shaved ice and snow cones. Shaved ice has a soft, delicate texture that melts in your mouth, while snow cones have a coarser texture that is closer to crushed ice. Shaved ice is often described as being “fluffy” or “feathery,” while snow cones have a more granular texture.


Another difference between shaved ice and snow cones is the way the flavor is distributed. Shaved ice is made up of delicate flakes that are packed into a cup or bowl, and then flavored syrup is poured over the top. As a result, the flavor is evenly distributed throughout the entire cup of shaved ice. In contrast, snow cones are shaped into a cone, and the syrup is poured on top. This means that the flavor is mostly concentrated at the top of the cone, with less flavor at the bottom.


Both shaved ice and snow cones can be topped with a variety of toppings, such as fresh fruit, candy, or condensed milk. However, the type of toppings used on each dessert can vary. Shaved ice is often topped with tropical flavors like mango, pineapple, or coconut, while snow cones are more commonly topped with candy or fruit-flavored syrups.

Which is Healthier?

When it comes to comparing shaved ice and snow cones, it’s important to understand that both desserts are made from shaved ice. Therefore, the health benefits and drawbacks of each depend on the specific flavor juices and toppings used.

In general, shaved ice and snow cones can be a healthier alternative to other frozen desserts, such as ice cream or gelato, because they are often lower in fat and calories. However, this depends on the type of syrup and toppings used.

Some snow cone and shaved ice syrups are high in sugar and artificial flavors, which can increase the calorie count and decrease the overall nutritional value of the dessert. However, many vendors now offer more natural and healthier options, such as using real fruit juices instead of artificial flavors and using low-calorie sweeteners like stevia or honey.

When it comes to choosing between shaved ice and snow cones, the main difference is in the texture and consistency. Snow cones are made from coarser, crushed ice and are often served with a small amount of syrup on top. Shaved ice, on the other hand, is made by shaving a block of ice into delicate, thin flakes and is typically served with a larger amount of syrup and toppings.

While the texture and amount of syrup may vary, the fact remains that both shaved ice and snow cones are essentially the same thing: shaved ice. Therefore, the healthiness of each dessert depends solely on the specific ingredients used.

If you’re looking for a healthier option, it’s best to choose shaved ice or snow cones that are made with natural fruit juices and low-calorie sweeteners. Additionally, opting for toppings such as fresh fruit or nuts can add nutrients and flavor without adding unnecessary calories.

Which Type of Shaved Ice Is Best?

Choosing between shaved ice and snow cones ultimately comes down to personal preference. If you’re looking for a light, delicate treat that melts in your mouth, then shaved ice is the way to go. However, if you prefer a coarser texture and want a more concentrated flavor at the top of your dessert, then a snow cone may be more your style.

Other Delicious Types of Ice Desserts

Bao Bing (Taiwanese Shaved Ice): Bao Bing is a popular dessert in Taiwan that is made by shaving ice into delicate, paper-thin flakes and then topping it with a variety of sweet toppings, such as fresh fruit, condensed milk, and flavored syrups.

Xue Hua Bing (Taiwanese Snow Ice): Similar to Bao Bing, Xue Hua Bing is another type of Taiwanese shaved ice that is made by freezing milk or flavored liquids and then shaving them into delicate, snow-like flakes. It is often topped with fresh fruit, jelly, and other sweet treats.

Korean Ice Cream: Korean ice cream is known for its unique flavors and textures, such as green tea, red bean, and sweet potato. It can be served on a stick, in a cone, or as a soft-serve swirl.

Gelato (Italy): Gelato is a type of Italian ice cream that is made with milk, sugar, and a variety of flavors, such as chocolate, pistachio, and fruit. It is known for its dense and creamy texture, and it is often served in a small cup or cone.

Mochi Ice Cream (Japan): Mochi ice cream is a Japanese dessert that consists of a small ball of ice cream wrapped in sweet and chewy mochi rice cake. It comes in a variety of flavors, such as green tea, strawberry, and chocolate.

Thai Fried Ice Cream

Thai fried ice cream, also known as rolled ice cream, is a popular dessert that originated in Thailand and has since spread to other parts of the world. It is made by pouring a liquid ice cream base onto a very cold surface, such as a metal plate, and then chopping and mixing in various ingredients, such as fruit, nuts, and candies, as it freezes.

The mixture is then spread out into a thin layer and scraped into rolls using a spatula. The rolls are then placed into a cup or bowl and topped with additional toppings, such as whipped cream, chocolate sauce, or caramel sauce. Thai fried ice cream is known for its unique texture and presentation, and it can be customized with a wide variety of flavors and toppings to suit different tastes.

Wrapping Up Shaved Ice vs Snow Cones

While both shaved ice and snow cones may seem similar at first glance, they are quite different in terms of texture, flavor, and toppings. Whether you prefer the delicate, fluffy texture of shaved ice or the coarser texture of a snow cone, both are delicious summertime treats that are sure to cool you down on a hot day.

We hope that you found this article informative and helpful in making your decision between shaved ice and snow cones. If you have any further questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to us.