Halo-halo is the ultimate summertime treat. It is a layered dessert consisting of sweetened beans, fruits, shaved ice drizzled with evaporated milk, and ice cream.

Halo-Halo (Filipino Shaved Ice Sundae)

I’ve always believed the best way to get to know other cultures and peoples is through food. We may speak different languages, practice different religions, and live in different environments, but we all have to eat.

I grew up in a very diverse suburban community. Tasting all sorts of different foods that I normally didn’t eat home sparked my curiosity and fascination for other cultures.

As a result, I found it super exciting to eat foods that were unfamiliar to me. I enjoy traveling simply because I want to taste everything that the world has to offer!

Today, Lab Noon is hosting this Virtual Midsummer Potluck for Peace. Over 20 food bloggers are participating in this event. We’re all contributing foods from different cuisines in hopes to spark conversation and share our cultures.

Halo Halo: Filipino Shave Ice Sundae

This is one of my favorite summertime childhood treats. While I was born and raised in Southern California, I spent all my childhood summers in the Philippines.

This colorful layered dessert is called halo-haloHalo-halo in Tagalog translates to “mix-mix.”

Halo-halo is the perfect recipe to share for today’s event. It showcases how completely different (and sometimes random) ingredients can come together to create something tasty and wonderful!

Halo-Halo (Filipino Shaved Ice Sundae)

To me, America is still a melting pot of different cultures and peoples. And, I love that! 

Growing up, I was exposed to different cuisines because friends were always so willing to share and introduce their foods to others.

I personally am always excited to share my favorite Filipino foods with newbies. (Especially pandesal, calamansi juice, and chicken arroz caldo!)

What is Halo-Halo?

There are countless variations of halo-halo. Ideally, it’s a layered dessert consisting of shaved ice, evaporated milk, ice cream, and variety of different mix-ins.

These mix-ins range from sweetened red beans, sweetened white beans, sweetened coconut strings, gelatins, and fruits such as jackfruit, plantains, and lychee. The elaborate versions usually include a serving of flan (leche flan).

Halo-Halo (Filipino Shaved Ice Sundae)

Halo-Halo (Filipino Shaved Ice Sundae)

How to make halo-halo:

The different ingredients are layered in a tall glass. It is topped with shaved ice. (I use this electric shaved ice machine from Amazon and I love it!)

It is important to use shaved ice, not crushed or ice cubes. Shaved ice easily mixes with the other ingredients (especially the evaporated milk that is drizzled on top). A scoop of ube ice cream is adding for the finishing touch. 

This is my super easy halo-halo that uses store-bought components.

(In reality no one really has the time to make all these components from scratch! You can even find a bottled version of all the different components in one jar to make it even easier.)

It’s a sweet and refreshing dessert that’s hard to tire of. Each bite is different.

Once you mix all the ingredients together, it’s an explosion of different flavors. One bite might have a ton of fruit. The next bite will have ice cream and sweetened red beans. It’s exciting sweet adventure!

Halo-Halo (Filipino Shaved Ice Sundae)

Recommended Tools

  • Shaved Ice Maker: Easy to assemble and easy to clean! This shaved ice machine is great for Halo-Halo, snow cones, and slushies. 

Halo-Halo (Filipino Shaved Iced Sundae)

Yield: serves 1, multiply as needed

Author Maryanne Cabrera


  • sweet red bean (munggo)
  • sweet white beans
  • coconut gel (nata de coco)
  • macapuno (gelatinous coconut string)
  • Fresh or canned jackfruit, cut into chunks
  • Shaved ice
  • Evaporated milk
  • Ube ice cream


  1. In a serving glass, layer sweet red bean, sweet white beans, coconut gel, macapuno, and jackfruit. Top with shaved ice. Drizzle about one tablespoon of evaporated milk over shaved ice. Top with a scoop of ube ice cream. Enjoy immediately!

Recipe Notes

  • These ingredients can be found at well-stocked supermarkets. My local Vons and Ralphs carries most of this canned/bottled ingredients in their Asian aisle.
  • Filipino markets such as Seafood City and Island Pacific will definitely have all these ingredients. Asian markets like 99 Ranch will also carry these products.

All images and text ©The Little Epicurean

Halo-Halo (Filipino Shaved Ice Sundae)

Halo Halo

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heather (delicious not gorgeous)

i love how vibrant that ube ice cream looks! i had halo halo once years ago, and wasn’t expecting everything in it, so it was a bit of a shock to me, lol. will have to try it again though, especially in this heat!

Corinne & Kirsty

OMG, this looks so good and such a great idea! It’s so hot outside, I could use something refreshing! No really. I had never heard of this but the recipe sounds delicious! xx corinne

Elise Cohen Ho

I love Halo Halo and have it as a special treat at one particular restaurant. I have not even thought about making it at home but now I am. :)

Diana Lucia

This looks so delicious! Can’t wait to try it!

Joanie @ One Dish Kitchen

This is one of the prettiest desserts I’ve ever seen. Such interesting ingredients, I love experimenting with different foods, especially from other parts of the world. I’ll have to look for these ingredients and give this recipe a try.

Alix Maza

We just made some over the weekend! Sadly, we didn’t have ube ice cream so we went for vanilla.

Alix | apintsizedlifeblog.com


Hi Maryanne, Just realized we kinda e-met at this virtual party before the fig road trip! It was really nice to finally meet in person and share all the figgy fun with you. Don’t be a stranger! :-)

    Maryanne Cabrera

    Hi Christine! So nice meeting you in person! I hope you have a great time on your European trip!


Looking forward to your recipes!

Winn Price

I am writing a novel. My character is is Manila in May of 1891. He is headed to Luneta Park. Would he find purveyors of Halo-halo be present in the late 19th century? What other snacks would be available during the grand promenade in the evening? What is the flavor source of the purple ice cream?

    Maryanne Cabrera

    I’m sorry, I’m not familiar with the history of foods of the Philippines. The purple ice cream is flavored with ube (purple yam).


Maryanne, it looks awesome! So much flavors packed on this recipe that makes this simply irresistible, definitely having this on my table!


This sounds yummy! I would definitely make it again! Thanks for sharing the recipe.


This looks wonderful! I’ll try it today. Thank you for sharing!

Erin Jade Ducanes

Oh it’s delicious ? thanks for this recipe


Hi love the glasses that you used to serve the halo-halo. Do you mind telling me where you got them? Thanks.

Anne Bakerim

MARYANNE, I often go to your site to read a new recipe, thanks for teaching me how to cook delicious and healthy food.


Hi! Im trying to make a website for my 6th grade class, and I would love to use one of your photos! Am I allowed to use them?

    Maryanne Cabrera

    Hi there. No, the photos on this website are protected under copyright and can not be repurposed for other uses.

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