Halo-Halo - Hawaiian Filipino Dessert

Total Time
1hr 30mins
Prep 1 hr
Cook 30 mins

Refreshing, exotic, and fun! Great for a party. Don't let the eclectic mixture of ingredients scare you away. This is my husband's Filipino grandmother's recipe--she was of Ilocan descent and migrated to Hawaii, so her version reflects her cultural diversity.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Cook tapioca until pearls become translucent (add tapioca to boiling water, lower heat to medium, watch for 15 minutes or more, stirring occasionally).
  2. Rinse tapioca in cool water (careful, it's sticky) and set aside.
  3. Prepare Jell-O using half of the water called for and refrigerate until stiff.
  4. Put the fruit (except bananas) and coconut into drink cooler (for party) or large bowl (to serve with a meal).
  5. Cut Jell-O into 1/2" squares.
  6. Add bananas, tapioca, and Jell-O to fruit mixture.
  7. Prepare ice cream by emptying container into a large bowl and smoothing into paste (i. e. use potato masher, hands, etc.) Scoop ice cream into fruit mixture.
  8. Cover fruit mixture with crushed ice.
  9. If using cooler, cover with lid.
  10. Wait 30 minutes and stir to combine all ingredients (including ice) well.
  11. Serve with ladle in paper cups with spoons.
  12. (lasts 5 hours in cooler--stir before each serving).
  13. Leftovers can be refrigerated for the next day.
Most Helpful

My best friend is filipino and this is not the halo halo I am used to although it sounds yummy. I also work at a hospital with tons of filipinos and the bring halo halo for desert when we do pot luck. If you want to try more traditional halo halo then couchpotatochins suggestion is good. I have also seen and tasted toppings such as creamed corn, different beans, fresh or canned fruits (jack fruit, lychee, mandarin oranges, berries) and instead of jell-o they use different canned gelatin squares, like coconut. I have never seen halo halo with ice cream in it either. Usually you layer shaved ice, toppings and then condensed mik, coconut milk, or creamed corn on top... ...sounds a little weird but I dare you to try it, very yummy.

Flava Luva May 12, 2009

I would just like to note that this isn't how we halo-halo is made here in the Philippines. Authentic halo-halo is never prepared with cantaloupe, papaya, honeydew or strawberry jell-o. Anyone who wants to try this recipe might mix all the fruits and the jell-o in ice cream glasses first, then add the shaved ice, pour milk and add sugar to taste, then top with a scoop of the vanilla ice cream before serving.

couchpotatochin January 03, 2009

This was good but not great. I like the halo halo mixture that you could buy in a bottle from an oriental store much better. Im sure some people would like this, but DH and I thought it was ok.

azchef39 December 14, 2006