With Summer coming to an end, it’s only right to write about one of my favorite ice cream treats! In the Philippines, they serve “Halo-Halo,” which translates to “mixed.” This dessert is the Filipino version of shave ice topped with evaporated milk and piled high with yummy toppings like sweet beans, coconut jellies, fruits, and ube (purple yam) ice cream! The best part about making halo halo is customizing it however you like – it’s like going to one of those ice cream places with the topping bars! Some of my favorite summer memories were spending Saturdays with my cousins in the pool. My aunt would walk over with a tray of cups of halo-halo. Instead of eating it in one sitting, my cousin and I would eat a bit of the top layer of ice cream at first, and then go back to taking turns jumping off the diving board, our cups of halo-halo sitting on the edge of the pool melting away. We’d go back to our cups once it was melted, then mix everything together until it was a slushy combination of crushed ice, ice cream, and mix-ins. We’d spoon the rest of the toppings and then drink the remainder of the halo-halo slushies. On those hot summer days, and especially in the tropical environments in the Philippines, this dessert hits the spot every time.

Halo Halo – A Filipino shave ice dessert

Halo-halo is a shaved ice dessert that can be customized to anyone’s liking. Some staple ingredients include ube ice cream or even ube halaya (ube jam), sweet beans and corn, and even flan!. Consider the recipe below as a guideline. The sky’s the limit with what toppings to add, as well as how many or how much of each topping to add to a cup of halo halo!


  • Cup filled with crushed or shaved ice
  • Evaporated milk
  • Sweet corn
  • Sweet red beans or red munggo
  • Nata de coco (coconut jellies)
  • Sweet plantains
  • Sweet beans
  • Shredded young coconut
  • Tapioca pearls or sago
  • Leche flan (topping)
  • Ube halaya (Ube jam/spread)
  • Ube ice cream(topping)


  • Layer mix-ins as desired at the bottom of the cup
  • Pack cup with shaved/crushed ice over mix-ins
  • Pour evaporated milk over ice
  • Top with ube ice cream and/or leche flan
  • Serve with a long spoon, mix everything together, and enjoy!

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