Shaved Snow: not a snow cone, nor shave ice

shaved snow on glutto digest

What is shaved snow? 

Shaved snow (also known as snow ice, snow fluff, snow cream, shaved ice cream, or shaved cream) is a flavored block of frozen milk or non-dairy cream that is shaven into thin, fluffy ribbons. The ice shavings are supposed to be incredibly fine so that they melt slowly and release their sweetness into your mouth. These shavings are covered with a variety of sweet toppings like fruits, red beans, boba, chocolate chips, etc.  It has a light, smooth and creamy texture with a wide variety of flavors ranging from matcha green tea to strawberry shortcake.

Make sure not to confuse this frozen treat with other common ice-based desserts like snow cones and shave ice.  Snow cones are ground-up ice shavings covered with sweet colored syrup, while shave ice (or shaved ice in the mainland) is a Hawaiian dessert made of finely crushed ice covered in condensed milk, fruits, beans and other sweet toppings.

Shaved snow is said to have been invented in Taiwan at one of the largest night markets in the world, the Shilin Night Market. It is often enjoyed on hot summer days and has become a popular go-to dessert to satisfy those cravings for something sweet and refreshing.

Is shaved snow dairy-free?

Shaved snow is made with blocks of frozen milk or non-dairy cream so it can be dairy-free, depending on which base is used. If you are allergic to dairy, you should ask the specific place you plan to visit if their desserts contain dairy since different locations may use different ingredients.

Where can I get it?  

Shaved snow can usually be found in areas dense with Taiwanese or Asian restaurants.  Check out this interactive map to view places where you can enjoy this smooth frozen dessert.

How can I make it?  

It’s pretty straightforward and easy to make shaved snow, as long as you have the right equipment.  If you want to make this light frozen dessert at home, take a look at the following simple instructions on how to make those sweet fluffy ribbons like a pro.

shaved snow glutto digest

shaved snow


  • 1 large block of frozen milk (low-fat or soy)
  • toppings: fruits, sweet beans (optional)
  • sauces: chocolate, caramel, syrups (optional)


  1. First, shave the block of frozen milk with the shaved snow machine into a bowl
  2. Top the shaved snow with your favorite toppings
  3. Enjoy!

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Hello! I'm Kristina

Kristina Reynolds is the Founder & CEO of Glutto and an alumna of the University of California, San Diego. She writes articles & posts for Glutto Digest with insights from fellow industry experts. Furthermore, she is the author of The Fittest Food Lovers: How EVERY BODY Can be Incredibly Fit and Still Enjoy Food, a collaborative philanthropic book with proceeds going to charities that fight world hunger.

4 Responses

  1. Thanks for making it clear that snow cones actually use ground-up ice shavings that are covered with sweet colored syrup. My husband and I are planning to shop for snow cone flavor concentrates. We want to make sure that before we place our order, we have the essential tools that we’ll need to make snow cones. I will make sure to find a place where we can order ice shavings.

    1. Ellen, if you are looking for some of the best shaved ice flavorings, regular & all natural, then you will want to check out Snowie in Salt Lake City Utah! They manufacture equipment and flavorings in house. I think I have tried them all and hands down, Snowie is the best flavorings. They do not leave that nasty after taste that the cheaper brands will in your mouth. Hope this helps!

  2. Question;

    All i need to make shave snow is to freeze a block of milk? How does one get the different flavors such as mango, thai tea, green tea, and taro? Last question, do you know the required measurement

  3. Is there any where in Daytona Beach Florida or Orlanda Florida where a person can purchase shaved ice machine or the shave ice cream.

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