Shaved ice desserts are hotter than ever. Here are five to try this spring

With sunny picnic weather, cravings for frozen treats are sure to follow.

Ditch the big ice cream tubs and metal spoons and try some of these lightweight iterations of shaved ice instead.

These frozen desserts are most popular in Asia, where humid summers hit hard.

But even though this is a global list, relax: These desserts can easily be replicated at home with the right equipment and are widely available at restaurants specializing in their respective cuisines.


Originating from South Korea, this frozen dessert has taken TikTok by storm. Made primarily from fluffy shards of ice and milk, bingsu is often served with sweet ice cream and chewy bites of tteok (glutinous rice cakes). Common flavors include green tea, red bean, and strawberry. Other favorites reflect the country’s bountiful summer harvest of watermelon and watermelon, as bingsu is best enjoyed in warm weather. Keep an eye out for its distant cousin “hwachae” on your next TikTok scroll. This treat uses whole ice cubes instead of crushed ice. Find large portions of bingsu right next to Strathfield station in Sydney.


Made in neighboring Japan, kakigori is often confused with bingsu. The base of the Japanese iteration is just ice and water, making for a more refreshing spoonful. They are most often topped with matcha powder and condensed milk and are built into tall mounds. Kakigori is often accompanied by mochi balls, fresh fruit and various other accessories.

Peanut ice cream

This Malaysian dessert literally translates to “bean ice cream”. Also known as “Ice Kakang” or “ABC”, this frozen treat was designed to satisfy your sweet tooth and quench your thirst. It is usually served with beans, herb jelly, creamed corn, tapioca pearls (sago), and coconut milk. The earthiness of the beans complements its sweet Southeast Asian counterparts, resulting in a soothing and balanced sweet treat.

Hello Hello

This rainbow treat is the national dessert of the Philippines. The name roughly translates to “mix-mix,” encouraging you to mix varying colors and textures in your bowl. The recipe varies by family and region, but some common base ingredients include condensed milk, ube ice cream, pieces of leche flan, pandan jelly, and, of course, shaved ice. Head to Western Sydney for a taste of authentic halo-halo. Calli’s Grill in Rooty Hill offers a large family portion…that you can have all to yourself. We won’t judge.

Ice gola

Known by many different names, frozen gola is the (not so) most popular street dessert in India and throughout South Asia. These sweet treats are often confused with frozen soda (because they’re served on a stick), but we promise: They’re still technically made with crushed ice. Shaped using a hand-operated compress and drizzled with a myriad of sugar syrups, these colorful treats are a quick and tasty way to cool off during the Indian summer.

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