14 clever ways to use ice cube trays

Did you know that those ice cube trays hiding in the back of your freezer can be used for so much more than just making ice cubes? From freezing herbs to making mini ice lollies, these 14 clever ways make the most out of this common household item...

Red and white wine
(Image credit: Rex features)

Did you know that those ice cube trays hiding in the back of your freezer can be used for so much more than just making ice cubes? From freezing herbs to making mini ice lollies, these 14 clever ways make the most out of this common household item...

Did you know that those ice cube trays hiding in the back of your freezer can be used for so much more than just making ice cubes? From freezing herbs to making mini ice lollies, these 13 clever ways make the most out of this common household item.

We often forget that we've got ice cube trays in the freezer especially if our freezer is packed full of leftovers, ice cream and all sorts. Why not use them to make something more than ice cubes?

Try wine cubes with leftover wine - perfect for adding to sauces. Portion out buttercream icing so it's quicker to defrost, or puree those veggies and add cubes to smoothies - the possibilities are endless!

Click through to see 14 clever ways to use your ice cube trays...

Make wine cubes

(Image credit: Rex features)

Not sure what to do with those last few drops of wine? Pour them into your ice cube trays and pop into the freezer. You can add them to sauces like Bolognese, chilli con carne and white sauce to give them a kick of flavour.

If you're a fan of Sangria you could use them instead of ice cubes which can often water down the drink, making it lose its fruity taste.

Freeze herbs

Natural remedies

If you grow herbs in your garden or kitchen and you're not sure what to do with them all, just chop them finely and store in individual portions in an ice cube tray with a few drops of water. You can add them to sauces or defrost and sprinkle over meat and fish before cooking.

If you've got a bulk of different herbs to freeze e.g. basil, chives and coriander, and you haven't got enough ice cube trays to freeze them all, freeze one variety of herb at a time, pop out of the trays once completely frozen and store in a labelled plastic bag in the freezer instead.

Make mini ice lollies and ice creams

Cool chocolate with a fizz

Turn your ice cube trays into mini ice lolly makers. Just buy a pack of small wooden lolly sticks and you're ready to get creative.

Try lemonade ice lollies, fruit juices or you could make these fizzy chocolate cubes which are filled with homemade ice cream. The kids are going to love them!

Keep leftover stock or gravy

White Wine Gravy_IPN

If you've got some gravy leftover from your Sunday roast or stock left from the delicious chicken you cooked the whole family, make sure you keep it. Pour the gravy or stock into your ice cube trays and store in the freezer. Add your cubes to sauces or defrost in bulk to make gravy all over again!

Store leftover buttercream

Buttercream

Have you just baked and decorated a cake and not sure what to do with the leftover buttercream? Freeze it! Buttercream can be easily frozen, you can freeze it in a bag or you can make your life a little easier and freeze it in ice cube trays instead.

Once you've frozen it into cubes, pop them out and store in a labelled bag. Take a few cubes out at a time to defrost and this will save you having to wait ages to defrost a bulk of buttercream in one go.

Make coffee ice cubes

Money-saving tips

Love iced coffee? You're going to love it even more once you've made some coffee ice cubes to keep your drink nice and cool. Pour leftover coffee or espresso into ice cube trays (there's no need for waste!) and leave them to set in the fridge. Add to iced coffee or other drinks to give them a kick of caffeine.

Store leftover pesto

Pesto sauce

Frozen pesto cubes are sure to come in handy when cooking dinner. Add them to sauces for flavour, stir through warm pasta or defrost thoroughly before speading onto pizza dough - a little bit of pesto can go a long way you know!

Freeze baby food portions

Make own baby food

If you make baby food from scratch and you're not sure how to store the leftovers why not portion it into ice cube trays and freeze it? It'll save you time when it comes to defrosting and you can defrost a few cubes at a time instead of a whole bag or container full.

Make egg cubes

Eggs can make you more beautiful

Not sure what to do with those last few eggs in the fridge? Freeze them! Break an egg into a bowl and whisk until the yolk and whites have combined. Pour into your ice cube tray filling one or two sections. Try to stick to one or two cubes per egg so you know exactly how much to use in a recipe.

You could also seperate the whites from the yolks so if you're planning on making meringue or you need the yolks for a certain cake. It'll make life a little easier!

Make yogurt cubes with leftovers

Yogurt

Turn your yogurt into frozen yogurt by storing it in ice cube trays in the freezer. You can eat them as they are or add them to smoothies or sauces to make them creamy and delicious.

Cookie dough

Do you love making cookies? Well, keeping some ready-made dough in the freezer will mean you can whip up a batch of cookies whenever you please. Store the cookie dough in an ice cube tray and you've got the cookies pretty much made for you already!

Keep leftover fruit and veggies

Fruit and vegetables

(Image credit: Rex features)

If you've got some leftover fruit and vegetables in the fridge or from your roast dinner, turn them into purees and freeze in your ice cube trays. You can add these cubes to smoothies, juices, to sauces or even use as the base for making homemade baby food.

Freeze lemon juice

Cheap home alternatives lemon

Squeeze those lemons and freeze the juice and zest in cubes and add to pasta dishes, chicken tray bakes or even use once defrosted to make your favourite lemon drizzle cake - the possibilities are endless!

Make milk and cookies ice cubes

Food hacks: How to make milk and cookies ice cubes

You can make these sweet milk and cookies ice cubes in your nifty little ice cube tray. Just sprinkle in your crushed Oreos and a dash of milk and freeze. The kids will love popping them into their milk shakes or soft drinks.

Watch how to make your own

Jessica Dady
Jessica Dady

Jessica Dady is Senior Content Editor at Goodto.com and has over 10 years of experience as a digital journalist, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the best food hampers to cookbooks, from the best cake stands to baking sets, Jessica has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to must-have food products. A passionate baker, she spends much of her time creating celebration cakes for friends and family - particularly for her two lucky children.