Shaved ice dessert garnished with fruit and mint

How To Make Piraguas: Puerto Rican Shaved Ice

On a hot summer day, you can surprise your guests or your family with the cool and refreshing taste of homemade Puerto Rican piraguas. With the KitchenAid® stand mixer1 and Shave Ice Attachment, you don’t have to travel any further than your kitchen to enjoy this frosty and fruity shaved ice treat. Use this guide to learn how to make piraguas, how to customize the dessert and how it differs from other shaved ice recipes like raspados.
 

1. Sold separately.

Shaved ice dessert topped with chopped fruit

What are piraguas?

A piragua is a Puerto Rican frozen dessert that consists of shaved ice and fruit-based syrup formed into a pyramid shape. Piraguas are sold by street vendors known as piragüeros in Puerto Rico, but can also be found in the United States in places like New York City and Central Florida. 

Traditionally, the dessert is made by shaving a block or puck of ice with a handheld shaving tool and topping the ice with fruit flavored syrup. You can make your own piraguas at home with a shaved ice machine and your favorite toppings and flavors.

KitchenAid® stand mixer with shave ice attachment surrounded by syrups and fruit toppings

Puerto Rican piragua recipe

Your KitchenAid® stand mixer can open the door to endless dessert possibilities with the help of different attachments1 like the Shave Ice Attachment. Quickly and easily make over 1 pint (500mL) of fine shaved ice in 60 seconds.2 You can use your stand mixer to help you create  delicious piragua recipes at home.
 

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

YIELDS

  • 3-4 servings

 

INGREDIENTS

For the shave ice: 

  • Ice pucks
     

For the syrup:

  • Fruit, like lemons, strawberries, mangoes or pineapples

  • Sugar

  • Water (more if using dense fruits)

TOOLS

  • KitchenAid® stand mixer with Shave Ice Attachment

  • Blender

  • Ice molds (to freeze ice pucks)

  • Saucepan

  • Cups for serving

  • Wooden spoon

  • Small bottle or carafe for pouring syrup

  • Straws and spoons

PREP TIME

If you haven’t frozen ice pucks in the provided ice molds, allow 12–24 hours for water to become completely frozen through.

TOTAL TIME

Though the Shave Ice Attachment can turn ice pucks into fluffy shaved ice in less than a minute, the total time to prepare piraguas is about an hour as you need to boil and cool the fruit syrup before serving.

Sliced peaches on a cutting board next to a knife

Step 1. Prep your fruit

Before adding your ingredients to your saucepan to create your syrup, prep your fruit to be cooked. Remove large or inedible seeds and/or stems and leaves.

Saucepan on a gas cooktop

Step 2. Combine syrup ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil

Add your fruit, sugar and water to your saucepan and turn on the heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once the sugar has completely dissolved and the fruit has softened (about 10 minutes), remove from heat and let cool.

Fruit mixture in a blender

Step 3. Add syrup mixture to your blender

Once your mixture has cooled, add it to a blender. Puree the ingredients to create a smooth consistency for your piraguas. 


TIP: For the best results, refrigerate your syrup until it is completely chilled.

 Bowl capturing shave ice from KitchenAid® shave ice attachment

Step 4. Shave your ice

Add your ice pucks to your KitchenAid® Shave Ice Attachment. Place a bowl beneath the attachment to catch the ice as it comes out. Select the coarse blade, then turn on the stand mixer to high speed to shave the ice to the proper texture.

Person placing spoon in shave ice dessert topped with chopped fruit and syrup

Step 5: Build your piraguas

Using a wooden spoon, fill your serving glasses with shaved ice to form the traditional pyramid shape. Then, pour your syrup over the ice to saturate it and enjoy.

 KitchenAid® stand mixer with Shave Ice Attachment creating shave ice

SHOP THE KITCHENAID® SHAVE ICE Attachment

The versatile KitchenAid® Shave Ice Attachment can help to turn your kitchen into a dessert-making haven.

Bowl of shave ice dessert covered in pink syrup

What are popular piragua flavors?

Piraguas are typically flavored with tropical fruit syrups like guava, lemon and strawberry. Some other popular flavors include:

  • Piragua de crema: Flavored with condensed milk, vanilla extract, evaporated milk and heavy cream.

  • Piragua de parcha: Flavored with syrup made from passion fruits (parcha).

  • Piragua de melao: Flavored with syrup from the sugar cane plant.

  • Piragua de ajonjolí: Flavored with a sesame seed-based syrup.

  • Piragua de coco: Flavored with coconut syrup.
     

When you make piragua at home, you can customize your syrup to your taste and experiment with unlimited flavor combinations.

 Person pouring syrup on a bowl of shaved ice surrounded by KitchenAid® stand mixer and chopped mangoes

What’s the difference between piraguas and raspados?

The main differences between the two icy treats is their culture of origin and their flavor profiles. Mexican raspados traditionally utilizes sweet, savory or spicy flavors–and sometimes all three. Puerto Rican piraguas typically lean towards more sweet or creamy flavors.

Learn more about what makes raspados different and how to make them.

Create Frozen Desserts with KitchenAid® Appliances

Your KitchenAid® stand mixer and blender can help you create frozen treats like piragua, raspados, granitas, sorbet, frozen yogurt or ice cream. Use stand mixer attachments* and food processors to chop, slice, puree and even dice fruits to top your homemade frozen treats. No matter what recipe you choose, KitchenAid brand has the appliances and accessories to explore your culinary curiosities.
 

*Sold separately.

Make more delicious desserts with KitchenAid