How to Make Shaved Ice at Home with No Machine

Shaved Ice, aka Snow Ice, aka Bingsu, aka Kakigori is a refreshing light* refreshing dessert. It’s like fluffy snow, melting in your mouth with a hint of creaminess and sweetness. It’s exactly what snow should taste like. Note: You should NOT be eating the snow that falls out of the sky. I don’t know if you’ve ever done those experiments at school, but it’s pretty gross. *It’s as light as you want to make it depending on the toppings you’ve added. 

Mango shaved ice with condensed milk drizzled on top. Make at home with no machine.
There’s nothing more refreshing than a bowl of shaved ice.

As good as it is, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone out to eat it and said … man I can make this at home. For the record, it’s probably every single time. Well, now we can! We figured out a hack to make it super easy! So easy that you’re going to wonder why you’ve never made it before. 

The Process

You only need 2 ingredients (milk, corn syrup (glucose) for the ice. Then you’ll need additional ingredients for the toppings or bottomings (?) but we’ll get to that later. We added glucose (we used corn syrup) to the milk to help it stabilize. This will prevent cracking, give it a fluffier texture, and a hint of sweetness. The ratio for milk to glucose is 10:1. Stir those two ingredients together and put it into a freezer safe container. You can put it directly into the freezer safe container to save on some cleaning 😉 After that, freeze it until completely solid, at least 5 hours and overnight is best. 

Once it’s completely frozen, it’s time to shave the ice. We found that putting the ice into a bag or wrapping the top half with plastic wrap, then holding it with a towel was the easiest way. The plastic keeps the towel clean and the towel keeps your hands from getting frostbitten. Just fold back the plastic as you’re shaving. 

Using a grater, shave it straight into your serving bowl. For best results use the fine side, but if you want to go faster, then the larger side is fine too. In retrospect, it would’ve been easier if we had a flat grater. However, we only had a box grater and it still worked.

If you have a food processor with the grater attachment … then you’ll be done in seconds. Just pop it onto the grater and grate on high speed. You don’t want to move the ice too much otherwise it will lose the fluffiness. Pour it straight into the bowl. The milk block is pretty easy to chop, so cut it down to size if needed. If you know you are going to use the food processor, you may want to freeze the blocks smaller so it fits into the opening. You can even freeze them in ice cube trays. 

I like to load mine with heaps of mangoes on the top and bottom and drizzle with a ton of condensed milk.


This is where you can go crazy. We served ours with mangoes and a good drizzle of condensed milk. The options here are endless. The Korean bingsu is served with injeoulmi and bean powder, I call it sawdust but it tastes really good. Our favorite would be mochi, sago pearls, stewed peanuts, red bean, taro balls, grass jelly…. I think this list is going to be endless. If you want more Western, I guess you can do crushed oreos and chocolate?

The milk ice is is so soft and fluffy with the right amount of creaminess.
The milk ice is is so soft and fluffy with the right amount of creaminess.

Special Tools

That’s the beauty of this hack. You don’t need a machine! You’ll need a freezer safe container, even take out food containers can work. We found that if you use one too big it’s going to be hard to grate or fit into the food processor. You don’t want it too small either, otherwise it will melt too quickly. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to chop the milk down to size. 

Next you’ll need a grater or food processor with the grater attachment. That’s about it. 

Enjoy this refreshing dessert anytime now. What toppings do you like to add on yours?

If you liked this hack, check out our two-ingredient tofu pudding recipe and our easy black sesame paste dessert.

Milk Shaved Ice with No Machine

Shaved ice is the perfect summer treat. It is so light and refreshing. This recipe hack will show you how to make shaved ice at home with no machine!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Freezing5 hrs
Total Time5 hrs 5 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese
Keyword: bingsu, dessert, shaved ice


  • 1 L Milk
  • 100 ml Glucose or Corn Syrup
  • Any toppings you like!


  • Stir the milk and glucose together in a freezer safe container.
  • Freeze the mixture for at least 5 hours or overnight.
  • Once the ice freezes, wrap it around some plastic and hold it with a towel. Using a grater, start shaving your ice in serving bowl.
  • If you have a food processor with a grater attachment, cut ice into smaller pieces and grate using the machine.
  • Add your favorite toppings on the shaved ice! Enjoy!

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