How to Make Hawaiian Shave Ice at Home

Simple and refreshing, Hawaiian shave ice is an iconic dessert that can be easily recreated at home. With the help of this guide and a KitchenAid® Stand Mixer with Shave Ice Attachment, you can learn how to make shave ice and have this tropical dessert whenever you like.

Blackberry Hawaiian shave ice topped with kiwi Blackberry Hawaiian shave ice topped with kiwi

What is Hawaiian Shave Ice?

Hawaiian shave ice combines finely grated, snow-like ice with sugar and fruit-based syrups and toppings to create a refreshing and customizable treat. The recipe likely evolved from a version of kakigori that was originally brought to Hawaii by Japanese immigrants in the 1800s. The frozen dessert soon became an island staple and is served at restaurants, general stores and stand-alone shave ice stands. Though “Hawaiian shave ice” is the dessert’s correct and authentic name, some fans use “shaved ice” as an alternative moniker.

How is Hawaiian Shave Ice Made?

Hawaiian shave ice is made by shaving blocks of ice into a fine, powdery consistency. This makes shave ice different from snow cones, which use crushed ice. The ice is then gently scooped into a bowl or cup and doused in colorful flavored syrups. Some people enjoy adding toppings like ice cream, mochi, fresh fruit or a “snow cap” made of sweetened condensed milk. 

Red KitchenAid® Stand Mixer with Shave Ice Attachment Red KitchenAid® Stand Mixer with Shave Ice Attachment

Make Homemade Hawaiian Shave Ice in 4 Steps

You can enjoy this tropical treat from the comfort of your own home using a KitchenAid® stand mixer and Shave Ice Attachment.


  • 3 cups of water

  • Flavored syrups

  • Fruit, nuts or candies for toppings


  • Shave ice machine, like the KitchenAid® Mixer with Shave Ice Attachment

  • Ice molds 

  • Scoop

  • Cups, plastic cones or bowls for serving

PREP TIME: 12 hours

Because you will need the ice to be completely frozen through, the prep time for Hawaiian shave ice is about 12 hours. If you already have ice frozen in the ice molds, you’re ready to start making.

MAKE TIME: 5 minutes

Once you’ve gathered all of your ingredients, you can make Hawaiian shave ice in minutes. KitchenAid® Shave Ice Attachment can allow you to create over 1 pint (500mL) of fine shave ice in 60 seconds.1

1. Excludes prep time, based on plain ice using fine blade.

Hand removing ice from an ice mold


Using ice molds included with your Shave Ice Attachment, make the ice by filling the molds with water and freeze for at least 12 hours. Make sure not to underfill the molds to ensure you have the right amount of ice for the recipe.


Fill and freeze ice molds ahead of time to keep ice blocks on hand for when you want to make Hawaiian shave ice.

Sliced mangoes and herbs on a cutting board


Keeping all of your ingredients in the same place will speed up the making process and keep your shave ice nice and frozen. Have serving bowls or cups, ice scoops and flavored syrups set up next to your shaved ice machine for a quick and easy Hawaiian shave ice creation.

Red KitchenAid® Stand Mixer with Shave Ice Attachment


Remove your frozen ice from the molds and add them to your shave ice machine. Select the fine blade for the Shave Ice Attachment to ensure the right snow-like consistency. Release the lever on the attachment and turn your stand mixer up to a high setting. Hold a bowl under the machine opening to catch falling shaved ice. You will want about 6 oz. of shaved ice for each serving. 

Pineapple and cherry Hawaiian shave ice


Using your scoop, gently mound your ice into your bowl, cup or plastic cone. Then, generously douse your ice with flavored syrups. You can experiment with different flavor combinations to create a Hawaiian shave ice that is completely unique to your taste. Once your syrup has been added, top your shaved ice with chopped nuts, fresh fruit or even a snow cap of sweetened condensed milk.


Your KitchenAid® stand mixer with shave ice or ice cream attachments opens the door to sweet possibilities. Whether you want to create frosty treats like Korean bingsu, raspados, sorbet, gelato or frozen yogurt, KitchenAid brand has the stand mixer attachments and accessories to help you satisfy your sweet tooth.

Black KitchenAid® Stand Mixer with Shave Ice Attachment with two servings of Hawaiian shave ice Black KitchenAid® Stand Mixer with Shave Ice Attachment with two servings of Hawaiian shave ice

Can You Make Homemade Hawaiian Shave Ice Syrup?

Make your own Hawaiian shave ice syrup using sugar, water and concentrated flavors or fruit. You can customize the syrup to your unique taste and experiment with different ingredients and flavor combinations. You can also add toppings like fresh fruit or toasted coconut to add more texture to your shaved ice.

Tips for Making the Perfect Hawaiian Shave Ice

Some tips for creating delicious and refreshing Hawaiian shave ice are to:

  • Have the appropriate equipment, like the KitchenAid® stand mixer with a Shave Ice Attachment, to ensure the right consistency.

  • Add ingredients like a scoop of ice cream or tapioca pearls to the bottom of your cup or bowl for a flavorful surprise.

  • Focus on creating soft and fluffy ice instead of a chunky and crunchy texture.

  • Create holes deep into the ice so the syrup can soak into the ice and provide the best flavor possible.

  • Add toppings to bring additional flavors and textures into the mix such as a creamy snow cap, soft sweetened red beans or crunchy slivered almonds.

Explore KitchenAid® Stand Mixers and Attachments

With a KitchenAid® blender or stand mixer with attachments, delicious desserts like shaved ice, granitas, milkshakes and fresh ice cream can always be within reach.