The Best Mais con Yelo Recipe with a Twist

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Mais Con Yelo

A savory-sweet balanced dessert that is directly translated from Spanish as Corn with Ice, it is a special treat Filipinos crave especially during the summer. Along with Halo-Halo, Gulaman (gelatin) and Buko Pandan, it is in-demand and served in local restaurants or in canteen stalls that line up the streets (carinderia). Mais Con Yelo is known for its simple preparation. The quality of the basic ingredients: corn, milk, ice and toppings

Basic Ingredients for Mais Con Yelo:

  • Mais. For the traditional Mais con Yelo, the recipe calls for both cream style corn, canned corn or fresh corn from the cob. The difference of preferring to use canned over fresh is its availability.
  • Canned corn is more likely to be available at your supermarket or local market than fresh corn because it grows in season. Using either canned corn or fresh corn will not affect the taste of your Mais Con Yelo. If you are using corn on the cob, it is necessary to clean your corn with water before using a sharp knife to get the kernels out clean.
  • Cream Style Corn can be savory but because of the added cream and sugar, it then becomes a complimentary dessert ingredient. It requires to be made before assembling the Mais Con Yelo so that it has time to cool. Chill
  • Milk is the ingredient that binds the flavors together. You can use evaporated milk, condensed milk, soy milk, coconut milk or any nut milk available.
  • Shaved Ice. Included in the dessert’s name, it will not be Mais Con Yelo if there is no yelo (ice). The best recommended ice for this dessert is newly-shaved ice from fresh water, which is not too frozen but also not on the verge of melting. It has to be soft enough to absorb the milk and different flavors coming from the corn and toppings.
  • Toppings. These ingredients are optional for Mais Con Yelo but they improve the taste experience of the dessert nonetheless. Popular toppings are cornflakes, pinipig (glutinous rice grains), fresh corn, leche flan (Philippine caramel custard) or coconut meat also known as macapuno. You can also combine different toppings for enhanced texture such as leche flan and macapuno or all of the above mentioned.

How to Make Traditional Mais Con Yelo

Cooking Time: 5 minutes


  • 1 tall glass or sundae glass
  • 1 spoon


  • 5 tbsps or 1-1 1/2 cups of chilled Cream Style Corn
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups of shaved ice
  • 5 tbsps to 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 5 tbsp to 1 cup of canned corn/fresh corn from the cob (depending on preference)
  • 1 to 3 tbsps of white sugar

Optional: 1-2 tbsps of condensed milk

     Leche flan slices

Procedure in making shaved ice:

  • To make pure shaved ice, boil water twice before pouring it into an ice cube tray.
  • Put the tray in the freezer to set for 1 1/2 to 2 hours for best results.
  • Once ready, remove ice cubes from the tray and transfer it to an ice machine, food processor or blender. Control the power depending on how fine you want your ice to be.
  • Place shaved ice in a bowl and put it in the freezer until assembly for the Mais con Yelo begins.

Step 1: Fill a tall glass with 5 tbsps or 1 to 1 1/2 cups of cream style corn.

Step 2: Prepare 2 to 2 1/2 cups of shaved ice and layer them on top of the cream style corn.

Step 3: Add the canned or fresh corn on top of the ice.

Step 4: Put another layer of ice on top of the corn.

Step 5: Repeat the corn and ice layering, alternating between the cream style corn and the canned/fresh corn until you run out of both, with ice as the top layer.

Step 6: Add the white sugar to the top layer of ice.

Step 7: Pour 5 tbsp to 1 cup evaporated milk and 1-2 tbsp condensed milk directly over the ice.

Tip: If adding the condensed milk makes the mais con yelo too sweet, exclude sugar from the recipe.

Step 8: Top the mais con yelo with pre-made leche flan cut into slices for decor and an extra flavor. Serves 1-2 people.

Tip: For an inexpensive replacement, cornflakes are popular toppings of Mais Con Yelo.

Procedure: How to Make Cream Style Corn

Cream Style Corn


Cooking Time: 15-30 minutes




  • 1 1/2 cups, frozen/fresh corn or 2 corn on the cobs
  • 1 tsp of butter
  • 1 cup and 3 tbsps water
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 half and halfs tbsps milk or cream
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper for tasting

Step 1:  Heat 1 tsp of butter in a pan. When it bubbles, add the 1 1/2 cups of corn kernels and saute for 3 to 4 minutes.

Tip: If you’re using 2 corn on the cobs, clean the corns before using a sharp knife to remove the kernels.

Step 2: After cooking for 3 to 4 minutes on medium heat, season the corn with salt and pepper.

Step 3: Add 1 cup of water to the cooking corn and cover the pan. Cook for 8 to 10 more minutes on low heat until creamy.

Step 4: Check with the fork if the corn is tender. If it is then add 1 tbsp of cornstarch mixed with 3 tbsps of water. Stir well with corn.

Step 5: Cook the mixture for another 2-3 minutes until all ingredients are mixed well.  Turn off the heat.

Step 6: As soon as the heat is turned off, add the 2 half and half tbsps of milk or cream. This gives the finished cream corn a silky texture.

Step 7: Store in a container at room temperature or in the refrigerator before assembling the Mais Con Yelo.

Tip: If you are making this in advance and putting it in the refrigerator, don’t add the milk or cream yet. Only add it when you about eat it because the milk or cream has a tendency to spoil if they’re left for a long time.

The Con Yelo with Other Fruits

Mais Con Yelo is a versatile dessert. The main ingredient of mais or corn can be exchanged for any available fruit of the season. Next to corn, the favorites are buko-mais, banana, mango and pineapple, among others.

Buko Mais Con Yelo

buko mais con yelo


With the addition of coconut, this mais con yelo variety is an aromatic treat.

Cooking Time: 5 minutes


  • 1 tall dessert glass or sundae glass
  • 1 spoon
  • 1 cup


  • 1/2 cup of corn frozen/fresh corn, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup of condensed milk
  • 1/2 coconut meat, diced
  • 1/2 cup of evaporated milk
  • 1 cup shaved ice
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Optional:1 tsp pinipig

How to Make Buko Mais Con Yelo:

Step 1: In a cup, mix 1/2 cup evaporated milk and 1/2 cup condensed milk. Set aside.

Step 2: In a tall dessert glass or sundae glass, fill the bottom with 2-3 tbsps of frozen or fresh corn.

Step 3: Carefully layer the shaved ice on top of the corn.

Tip: You can also do this with cream-style corn (see recipe above)

Step 4:  Add another layer, this time coconut meat, on top of the shaved ice.

Step 5:  Do this repeatedly until you run out of corn and coconut meat and finish off with a layer of ice on the top.

Step 6: Pour evaporated and condensed milk mixture over the ice.

Step 7: Top Buko Mais Con Yelo with pinipig. Serves 1.

🞿🞿 Pinipig are pounded rice flakes of glutinous rice that is used for toppings of various desserts in the Philippines

Saba Banana Con Yelo

saba banana con yelo

Saba is a type of banana used for Philippine and Southeast Asian cooking with the same energy value as potatoes or sweet potato (camote). Because of their natural sweetness, they are eaten either cooked or raw and are served in both desserts and savory dishes.
Cooking Time: 5 minutes



  • 5 pcs, saba bananas, sliced sideways
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 can evaporated milk, 12 oz.
  • 2 cups crushed ice
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup jackfruit, cut in strips

Optional:1 tbsp vanilla extract

How to Make Saba Banana Con Yelo:

Step 1: Boil 3 cups of water in a saucepan under medium heat.

Step 2: Add 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 white sugar (or 1 tbsp vanilla extract) and stir until completely dissolved.    

Step 3: Add saba bananas and mix once. Cover the saucepan and let it simmer for 15 minutes or until glossy. Once the bananas are coated in the syrup, remove from heat and let them cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 4: Ready the 4 bowls on the table and begin placing the ingredients on each. Spoon 1/2 cup of bananas each in 4 serving bowls.

Step 5: Spoon 1/2 cup of shaved ice on top of the bananas and pour 1/4 cup of the 12 oz can of evaporated milk on the ice.

Step 6: Place 2-3 strips of jackfruit on top. Serves 3-4.



With the ingredients of milk, sugar and shaved ice to enhance a simple or basic fruit, Con Yelos are surely a healthy alternative to tapioca shakes and ice cream when all you crave is an inexpensive taste of sweetness. Mais Con Yelo and its variants are subject to adjustments based on what is available. The above recipes are guides to the endless possibilities of making the Mais Con Yelo your own. Try different ways and see what ingredients or measurements work for you and this little snack can be a whole new awesome experience.

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