Dye-Free Fruit Juice Snow Cones

Parked near our neighborhood in the summertime is a mobile snow cone truck.  Of course, driving by it every day means that my boys are always asking if we can stop and get a snow cone.  But I have a confession to make.  Watching my kids ingest massive amounts of food coloring makes me inwardly cringe.  Maybe it’s because I’ve read too many disturbing articles about red dye #40 or maybe it’s because I just generally like to parent from a place of paranoia, but I attempt to limit food coloring for my kids whenever possible.

Dye-Free Fruit Juice Snow Cones ~ all natural, no food coloring  |  {Five Heart Home}

But a dye-free snow cone?  We all know that a snow cone is fundamentally sugar and food coloring over ice (cue internal cringing).  Now y’all, despite what it sounds like, I actually don’t totally deprive my kids.  I believe that just about anything is okay every once in awhile.   I let them eat that neon frosting-covered cupcake at the birthday party, and at Halloween, they’re downing a veritable rainbow of Skittles and suckers with the best of them.  But now that they want to celebrate summer with a regularly scheduled snow cone, I decided that, rather than grit my teeth and become extremely uncomfortable every time their lips and tongues and intestinal tracts turn Smurf blue, I could just take matters into my own hands and whip up some yummy, sugary, dye-free snow cones at home.

It couldn’t be that hard to make our own, right?  But when I asked Google for homemade snow cone recipes, almost every single one of them involved Kool-Aid powder.  Now while I loved me some Kool-Aid back in the day, it’s not exactly dye-free.  But if people are flavoring snow cones with Kool-Aid, why not just pour some straight fruit juice over shaved ice and be done with it?  Juice is already sweet, yes?  And the verdict was…not sweet enough, Mama.  I suppose a homemade snow cone is pointless if they won’t eat it. Back to the drawing board…

Dye-Free Fruit Juice Snow Cones ~ all natural, no food coloring  |  {Five Heart Home}

Then I remembered the mint simple syrup in my fridge.  Why couldn’t I utilize the concept of simple syrup for little kids and big kids alike?  So that’s pretty much what I did.

This snow cone syrup is nothing more than simple syrup made with 100% fruit juice.  Seriously, people, I’m kind of embarrassed to even call this a recipe, but I at least wanted to share my method.  Now I’m not exactly saying that this syrup is healthy, because it’s loaded with sugar, but it is dye-free.  And depending on what type of fruit juice you choose, it can be very bright and colorful as well.  We used an all-natural fruit punch and grape juice, but there were lots of fun potential options in the juice aisle.

For my first batch of snow cone syrup, I used a 1:1 ratio of grape juice to sugar and BOY was it sweet!  My boys weren’t complaining but I thought we could tone down the sugar and it would still be plenty saccharine.  So for my fruit punch version, I used a 2:1 ratio of juice to sugar and it was still very sweet but not sickeningly so.  My advice would be this: taste your juice first and adjust your sugar amount accordingly.  If you have really tart juice to begin with, go for that full cup of sugar.  But most fruit juice is already fairly sweet, so in most instances, a half cup of sugar should more than suffice.


And there you have it…a snow cone concoction that satisfies all of our criteria: sweet and colorful for the kids, and dye-free for Mama’s sanity.  The flavors and colors are only limited by your imagination, and one batch of syrup will get you quite a few snow cones through the summer.  Happy July!

Dye-Free Fruit Juice Snow Cones

Dye-Free Fruit Juice Snow Cones


  • 1 cup 100% fruit juice
  • 1/2 to 1 cup sugar, depending on tartness of juice
  • Ice, shaved in a blender, food processor, or snow cone maker


  1. In a small pot, combine fruit juice and sugar.
  2. Set pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
  3. Turn to low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring until sugar completely dissolves.
  4. Pour syrup into a jar and cool completely, refrigerating for several hours before making snow cones.
  5. To make snow cone, mound shaved ice in a snow cone cup or bowl. Pour syrup over ice, to taste.
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More cool summer treats…

(Click title below photo to be taken to recipe)

Double Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream ~ a delicious treat that can be made dairy-free | FiveHeartHome.comDouble Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream {Dairy-Free}

Red, White and Blue Watermelon Salad with Watermelon Vinaigrette ~ a fruity summertime salad to celebrate the Fourth of July | FiveHeartHome.comRed, White, & Blue Watermelon Salad with Watermelon Vinaigrette

Frozen Orange Creamsicle Pie with a Pretzel Crust | FiveHeartHome.comFrozen Orange Creamsicle Pie with a Pretzel Crust

Tortellini Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Basil, and Fresh Corn ~ a perfect summer side dish or light supper! | FiveHeartHome.comTortellini Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Basil, & Fresh Corn

Homemade Strawberry Syrup for Strawberry Soda ~ easy, 3-ingredient syrup can also be used in cocktails or drizzled over ice cream, pound cake, waffles, etc. | FiveHeartHome.comHomemade Strawberry Syrup

Razz, White, & Blueberry Smoothie ~ perfect for the Fourth of July! | {Five Heart Home}Razz White & Blueberry Smoothies

…and see all of our summer recipes << HERE!

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  1. Hey there! Here from the Blog Hop! Just wanted to let you know I’m following you via Pinterest! I also Iiked your Facebook page :o) Hope you’ll get a chance to check me out!

  2. Sounds like a yummy treat for summer. Pinned! Thanks for sharing on Two Cup Tuesday!

  3. Where did you get your snow cone cups? You have some serious cooking skills! I am loving your blog!!

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      What a sweet compliment, Lisa! I threw away the box and I can’t remember the brand, but I found them at Target. I just looked up “snow cone holder” on Amazon and found some similar wire holders with silicone cups. Hope that helps!

  4. This sounds like I healthier alternative to your regular sno cone syrup. However, I have tried this before and it never seemed to work for me. The juice would always go straight to the bottom. Your recipe seems to fix that, as adding sugar makes it “stick” to the ice. I’ll have to try this! P.S. I don’t use a sno cone machine but rather my Ninja blender, which works great! The result is finely crushed ice! It’s works just as great as a sno cone maker.

    • Samantha at Five Heart Home Samantha at Five Heart Home says:

      Hi Tori! I’m glad that this recipe solved your problem of more “natural” snow cone syrups sinking straight to the bottom. And thanks for the Ninja blender tip…I’m sure future readers will find that to be helpful! 🙂 Hope you have a great weekend!

  5. I have never tried making snow cones at home, but this recipe looks quite simple to start with. I am going to try it this week, and see how good it tastes.

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