Maybe you've heard about using coffee cubes to chill iced drinks without dilution or that leftover wine can be frozen and used later in sauces and soups. But did you know just how wide the world of ice cube tray hacks extends? Social media is filled with so many recipes for foods made in ice cube trays that you could practically live off ice-cube-shaped foods if you had to. (It's hard to imagine a world where you'd have to do that, but the point stands!)
Because social media is flooded with ice cube tray hacks, we've done the legwork for you and rounded up some of the best. A word to the wise: Rigid plastic ice cube trays aren't ideal for many of these recipes. Use silicone ice cube trays so foods slide out easily and so cleanup is easy (we're partial to these Tovolo silicone ice cube trays). Without further ado, here are eight of our favorite ice cube tray recipes from social-savvy foodies.
1. Mini Pancakes
No disrespect to frozen pancakes, but they're no substitute for fluffy, crispy pancakes hot off the griddle. Unfortunately, most of us don't have the time or energy in the morning to measure out ingredients and mix up fresh pancake batter. Making a big batch of batter and freezing it in ice cube trays lets you skip the prep so you can fry up a few mini pancakes in just minutes whenever the craving strikes. Check out @justataste's TikTok for a demonstration and then try it out with your favorite batter recipe plus add-ins like blueberries or chocolate chips.
2. Pizza Bites
Use ice cube trays to make easy appetizers with this recipe for pizza bites from TikToker @dliciously.inspired. Start by laying a sheet of store-bought crescent roll dough or pizza dough over the tray. Fill each cube with sauce and mozzarella and top with another layer of dough and press the dough layers together. Freeze the tray until the pizza bites are frozen through, push the entire frozen piece out and slice apart the individual pizza pockets. Bake right away or pop them back in the freezer for later!
It's bad enough to spill water all over the inside of your freezer. You really don't want to spill pancake batter or sticky lemon juice everywhere. If you don't have a stable place inside the freezer to set an ice cube tray, put it on a baking sheet before putting it in the freezer. You'll be able to balance the baking tray on other stuff inside the freezer, and it'll catch any spillage from the ice cube tray.
3. Gourmet Chocolates
Fancy chocolates in glass cases at upscale bakeries always look amazing, but it's too bad that they often cost half of your weekly grocery budget! Make your own DIY chocolate creations using melted milk chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips, ripe berries and crunchy add-ins. Creating them in ice cube trays yields perfectly bite-size desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth. And mixing in a little coconut oil, like @itsbrittwilliams does on TikTok, makes the chocolate extra luscious and smooth.
4. Spinach Cubes
Granted, pureeing spinach and liquid to make frozen spinach cubes can barely be considered a "recipe," but it's one of those classic kitchen hacks that's always worth repeating. It's the perfect way to use up a bag of fresh spinach before it goes bad and get some extra nutrients into your smoothies. On TikTok, @kateshiks_ke uses water in spinach cubes, though coconut water is another option.
Don't forget that you can preserve fresh herbs in ice cube trays! Cover them with olive oil before freezing and then drop them into soups and stews later on.
5. Cheesecake Bites
Cheesecake is widely beloved for a reason, but why not amp up your next batch by making it bite-size? TikToker @abbeystaubinn shows off a simple but totally mouthwatering recipe for frozen blueberry cheesecake bites. All it takes are graham cracker crumb mix, standard cheesecake filling and a few frozen blueberries. Layer all three into an ice cube tray, freeze and dig in when the mixture hardens. Yum!
Need an Ice Cube Tray Upgrade?
If you're in the market for new ice cube trays, consider one of these! Whether you prefer classic cubes or a more unique form (cat-shaped ice, anyone?), you'll find something to suit your needs.
6. Foolproof Sushi
Shaping perfect little logs of sushi rice by hand is fine when you're making dinner for one. If you're making sushi for a crowd, the ice cube tray hack is a huge time-saver. Plus, the rice balls will all turn out perfectly consistent. Check out @iamcharisseyu's TikTok for the technique. Consider laying plastic wrap over the tray before pressing in the rice to keep everything from sticking (cooking spray will also help!).
7. Coconut Ice Cream
Keeping coconut milk ice cubes in your freezer makes it easy to whip up coconut "ice cream" at any time. TikToker @glowwithella blends cubes with frozen banana, plain ice, syrup and milk to create a creamy concoction that's as thick as real soft-serve. Use plant-based milk to make it vegan and top your frozen coconut concoction with chopped pineapple, nuts or chocolate sauce.
8. Smoked Ice
A recipe for...ice? Sounds fake, but hear us out! If you have access to a smoker and love whiskey cocktails, this is a must-try experiment. Sticking a pan full of water into a low smoker for a few hours infuses it with flavor. Use a deep pan like TikToker @jortskitchen does so water doesn't fully evaporate in the heat. Adding frozen cubes of this water to a bourbon or scotch cocktail should enhance the smoky notes of the liquor.
Craving something adorably bite-size? We hope these tray tips from social media foodies provide plenty of inspiration. Stock up on a few new ice cube trays (or use what you've got on hand) and start having fun with your food! If you simply can't get enough ice cube ideas, we've got you covered. Check out our fun and flavorful ice cube ideas for even more!