Frozen ice desserts topped with syrup and chopped fruits

HOW TO MAKE SNOW CONES

There’s nothing quite like an icy snow cone to bring back childhood memories of a warm summer day spent at the ballpark or fairgrounds. With just a few simple ingredients and a little crushed ice, you can recreate this nostalgic summertime treat in your own kitchen.

Read on to discover how to make snow cones in a few simple steps, the difference between snow cones and shave ice, as well as a couple of elevated “takes” on this classic frozen treat.

Frozen dessert topped with red sauce, dragon fruit and mint sprig

HOW TO MAKE SNOW CONES INSTRUCTIONS

Simple and fun, snow cones are the perfect treats to make with the kids. Once you learn how easy it is to make snow cones at home, you’ll be inspired to add your own twists and updates to this childhood favorite.

INGREDIENTS1

  • Flavored syrups 

  • Crushed Ice 

  • Sprinkles or small candies for topping

TOOLS 

1. Exact type and ingredient amounts will vary by taste or by recipe

PREP TIME - approximately 3 hours, for ice to freeze

The key to the best snow cones is making sure all your ingredients are super cold when you start assembling.

  • SYRUP: Make your syrups ahead of time and let them chill completely in the refrigerator so they won’t melt your ice. Store-bought syrups should be chilled as well. 
  • ICE: If you’re starting with ice from an ice maker, consider freezing the ice after it’s been dispensed so it’s extra hard and cold.

TIP: TYPE OF ICE

If your refrigerator has an ice and water dispenser, using the crushed ice feature will give you a head start. You’ll want to crush the ice further by placing it in a clean plastic bag and smashing it with a rolling pin, or giving it a quick spin in a blender or food processor.

Check out KitchenAid brand’s complete line of refrigerators with exterior water and ice dispensers.

MAKE TIME - 5 minutes

Once your ice is crushed and your syrups are chilled, assembling your snow cones is a snap. In about five minutes or less, you’ll be creating delicious snow cone cups for the block party or your family and friends.

 

Syrup being poured on an ice dessert surrounded by mango and KitchenAid stand mixer.

STEP 1: MAKE AND CHILL SYRUPS 

It only takes a few minutes to whip up a flavored syrup from scratch. Cook down a base of simple syrup (water and sugar) mixed with your favorite chopped up fruits on the stovetop. Once the mixture has thickened, puree it in a KitchenAid® blender and strain. You can also boil fruit juice down with a little sugar to thicken into a syrup. Be sure and consider flavorings like honey, vanilla, ginger and cinnamon too. Coffee syrups or liqueurs can also be used to create more “grown up” snow cone flavors. Unleash your creativity – the syrups and toppings you use on your snow cones are limited only by your imagination.

Use a funnel to pour the cooled liquids into plastic squeeze bottles. Then refrigerate until syrups are completely chilled.

STEP 2: SET UP YOUR SNOW CONE STATION

To keep everything moving and your ingredients as cold as possible, have your station set up and ready to go. If you’re using paper cups, place them in ice cream cone holders to help keep the cones upright. Or dress up snow cones in stemless wine glasses with some colorful garnishes, for a more sophisticated take.

Ice being crushed in KitchenAid® blender.

STEP 3: CRUSH ICE

As a rule of thumb, you’ll need about ½ cup of crushed ice per serving. If you’re crushing by hand, try to get the ice finely crushed, eliminating any chunks or larger pieces. Finishing the crushing in a food processor or blender will help create smaller and more uniform shards of ice. Keep the ice as cold as possible, if you’re away from your fridge, consider placing the crushed ice in a cooler or ice bucket as you continue to assemble your cones.

Blenders are generally recommended for crushing ice. The KitchenAid® K150 3 Speed Ice Crushing Blender crushes ice in less than 10 seconds2 and select KitchenAid® blenders have a special Ice Crush setting.

2. Half tray of ice.

STEP 4: ASSEMBLE SNOW CONE CUPS

Scoop ice into a cup or bowl and cover with syrup, a tablespoon or two should soak the ice. Add a little more ice, then a little more syrup for a final soak. Finally, top with small candies or sprinkles and voila – you’ve got snow cones.

Ice being captured in bowl from KitchenAid® stand mixer with shave ice attachment

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SNOW CONES AND SHAVED ICE?

Snow cones and shave, or shaved ice, are both frozen treats made with ice and topped with sweet syrups and often other toppings. Shave ice has its roots in Hawaii and differs from snow cones in the texture of the ice. Snow cones have crunchier ice, while shave ice is finer, fluffier and – ironically – resembles snow.

The “snow” in many shaved ice desserts is commonly shaved, or scraped, from a large block of ice. The fluffier texture of this type of frozen treat captures the syrup throughout the dessert, delivering sweetness in every bite.

You might think of shave ice as the hipper, more sophisticated cousin of the snow cone. There are frozen desserts that use shave ice as their base from every corner of the globe. The Raspado, has Latin roots and is topped with regional fruits and spicy, chile flavors. In addition to chopped fruits, Bingsu, a Korean shave ice treat, is topped with decadent sweetened condensed milk and earthy red beans, while the refreshing Italian Ice is made with shave ice, fruit and other sweet flavorings

Read How to Make Hawaiian Shave Ice to learn more.

SHOP KITCHENAID® SHAVE ICE ATTACHMENT

Now you can easily elevate a variety of desserts and drinks with the KitchenAid® Shave Ice Attachment. It attaches to your KitchenAid® stand mixer to create light, fluffy, snow-like shaved ice – ready to showcase your very own syrups, sauces and toppings. 

OTHER POPULAR FROZEN TREATS 

There are a number of popular frozen treats that are simple to create. Granita, an elegant, Italian frozen dessert, is made by hand. It typically blends fresh fruit and water which is then frozen, flaked with a fork – or bench scraper – and frozen again. Ice cream and slushies can be whipped up quickly with a KitchenAid® Ice Cream Maker Attachment or a blender, for crave-worthy treats.

Scoop of Pineapple Coconut Ice Cream in clear glass bowl

For an icy treat with an Asian vibe, try this Thai Tea Ice Cream made with the KitchenAid® Ice Cream Maker Attachment or this refreshing Tropical Fruit Slushie, made in a KitchenAid® blender.

Strawberry granita garnished with basil

Sweet, bright and light, this Watermelon, Strawberry, Basil Granita is finished with an earthy, herbal note and makes a great palette cleanser or simple dessert on a warm evening.

SHOP KITCHENAID® STAND MIXERS, ATTACHMENTS, BLENDERS AND MORE

Whether you’re crushing ice for a summer snow cone or churning cream and sugar into a rich, decadent ice cream KitchenAid brand has all the tools you need to turn a little sugar and ice into a statement making dessert. Amplify the creative possibilities in your kitchen with KitchenAid brand’s iconic stand mixer and stand mixer attachments – for frozen desserts – and so much more.

DISCOVER MORE ABOUT MAKING FROZEN TREATS AT HOME