Beyond Just Ice: 40+ Innovative Ways To Use An Ice Cube Tray At Home

By Navkiran K

When most people think of an ice cube tray, they typically think of the traditional rectangular plastic trays used to make frozen water cubes. They are an ever-present feature in all our refrigerators. But did you know these seemingly ordinary items have so much more potential?

With creativity and imagination, ice cube trays can be turned into treasure troves full of storage solutions and fun DIY projects! In this blog post, we shall explore some unexpected uses for these items that will have you repurposing them like a pro. 

From storing jewelry to crafting homemade candles, the possibilities are endless when using an ice cube tray. So, without further ado, let’s get started on discovering the magic within this humble household item!

1. Vinegar and lemon cleanser

You’ve just stumbled upon the ultimate life hack to keep unpleasant smells away from your garbage bin while also tackling the grime that comes from hard water. Enter the dynamic duo of vinegar and lemon, known for their seemingly magical acidic powers that can neutralize the toughest alkaline residues.

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With a stroke of witty, resourceful genius, you can create makeshift cleaning superheroes by freezing vinegar and dainty lemon slices in an ice cube tray. As they emerge from their frosty fortress, these handy vinegar-lemon ice cubes not only banish odors but also help in cleaning, leaving behind a trail of sparkling surfaces.

2. Storage for small items

Are you experiencing stress and anxiety due to the disorganization in your home? Fear not, for an ingenious ice cube tray hack is here to rescue you from the chaos! Who knew the secret to regaining control of your space could be hidden in a simple kitchen item?

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An extra ice cube tray can miraculously transform into an intelligent organizer for small items. You can create a chic jewelry box to house your dazzling beads, earrings, pendants, and more. Losing earrings will be nothing more than a distant memory, all thanks to this splendid little hack.

3. Paint holders

Everyone knows the challenges of painting – especially when it comes to keeping your colors organized and in their respective spaces. Fortunately, we know of a simple hack that will help you do that: using an old ice cube tray!

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These trays have small compartments, which are great for separating your paints. Not to mention, they also come with a lid which allows for maximum organization and protection against spills or other messes. Best part? It’s completely free since it’s likely something you own already.

4. Save some buttermilk

In today’s world of fast-paced convenience, it’s easy to let food go to waste. But there is a simple ice cube tray hack you can use to make sure your buttermilk doesn’t end up in the trash. All you need to do is pour the buttermilk into each compartment, leaving some room for expansion.

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Once frozen solid, transfer them into a labeled freezer bag and store them until needed. The best part about this trick? You won’t be throwing away valuable baking ingredients anymore – or wasting money on buying more than you need! When that cake craving hits again, just grab an ice cube of buttermilk.

5. Make herb cubes 

Another handy ice cube tray hack is using them to make herb cubes! Not only does this prevent your herbs from going bad due to overgrowth, but it also makes them easier to store and use. To make the herb cubes, start by gathering some fresh herbs like sage, rosemary, or thyme.

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Chop the herbs into small pieces before adding a teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil or melted butter. Then place each spoonful in an individual ice cube slot and freeze overnight. Voila! Now you have delicious pre-packed herb cubes ready for cooking whenever needed.

6. Strong coffee on the go

Here’s a great hack to save time and preserve your coffee’s flavor with an ice cube tray. Pour some freshly brewed coffee into an ice cube tray and allow it to freeze overnight. When you’re certain they’re hard enough, pop and store them.

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Now, whenever you need a fresh sip of strong mocha or latte, you don’t have to run to the nearest cafe or waste any leftover brew. Just drop one of those tasty little cubes into some hot water (or milk if you’re feeling decadent) and enjoy.

7. Quick smoothies

Summertime is the season of sun-kissed skin, carefree beach days, and, of course, the ever-tempting ice-cold beverage. But let’s face it, during those scorching hot days, we could all use a creative way to satisfy our cravings for a chilly and delicious drink. Well, simply pour your favorite fruit juice into an ice cube tray.

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Then freeze and take out the frozen gems to blend them into a thirst-quenching smoothie. Trust us; you’ll be unable to resist these fruit-filled delights. So grab your blenders and tray of fruity cubes, and conquer the heat like the cool summer master you were always meant to be!

8. Easy sushi making

Who knew making sushi was so easy? Simply find an old ice cube tray and a bit of adventurousness, and you’re ready to make delicious sushi at home. With this hack, all it takes is a few ingredients, and you’ll be a master in the kitchen. Start by covering the tray entirely in cling wrap.

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Then layer your favorite toppings and fillings, such as seaweed, rice, avocado slices, or even cream cheese, onto the cling wrap. Next, carefully roll up each section like you’re rolling authentic sushi! If desired, sprinkle with sesame seeds for extra flavor and texture before popping the whole thing into the refrigerator to chill.

9. Hot chocolate for cold days 

Who said you need fancy equipment to make the perfect mug of hot chocolate? All you’ll need is an ice cube tray, some quality chocolate, and a little bit of patience. We’re here to show you how this fool-proof hack will help make your homemade hot cocoa dreams come true.

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First, melt your favorite type of chocolate chips, bars, or discs until they’re nice and creamy. Then use either a spoon or a small ladle to pour the melted mixture into an ice cube tray. Finally, put the tray in the freezer. Now, you can use the cubes whenever you crave hot chocolate!

10. Seed starter tray

Why settle for plain old ice cubes when you can turn that dusty tray into an ice-cool horticultural hack? How, you ask? Well, you can turn it into a makeshift seed starter! It’s time to unleash your inner gardener and give those tiny seeds a snug and trendy crib to sprout in.

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With perfectly portioned compartments you can fill with soil and seeds, it won’t be long until you feel a sense of pride as your tiny saplings reach for the sky. Not only will you be quite the trendsetter amongst your green-thumbed friends, but you’ll also give that ice tray a new lease on life!

11. Freeze baby food

Having a baby can be overwhelming sometimes, and meal-time preparation can be one of the most challenging tasks for busy parents. But with a bit of advance planning, you can make your life much easier by ‘hacking’ the ice cube tray!

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Simply freeze pureed baby food into each segment of an ice cube tray. When it’s time to feed the little one, grab however many cubes are needed and defrost them, then add some milk or water to get a nice consistency. This way, you’ll always have individual portions ready ahead of time.

12. Bacon-dripping trays

Are you looking for a way to have delicious bacon drippings on hand whenever you need them? You’ll never guess what we discovered. Simply store them in an ice cube tray! After cooking the bacon, simply transfer the leftover grease into an ice cube tray.

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Once all slots are filled with dainty portions of liquid gold (aka bacon fat!), place the tray into the fridge or freezer for up to two weeks before using it again. Not only does this give you tasty flavor boosters at your fingertips, but it also makes measuring out tiny amounts much more manageable.

13. Homemade dishwasher cube

Although it’s usually used for making ice, there’s another great way to use an ice cube tray – making homemade dishwasher detergent! This handy hack can save you money and is a much safer alternative to store-bought cleaning products. What’s even better is that it doesn’t require any real skill or fancy ingredients.

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Just get some washing soda, citric soda, sodium percarbonate, essential oil (for fragrance), and half a lemon. Mix all the necessary ingredients together until fully combined in a bowl, and then portion the solution into an old (or new!) ice cube tray, with each section receiving equal amounts of the formula. 

14. Fruit cubes for water

Make your ice cubes more fun and flavorful by turning them into fruit cubes! It’s so easy to do. All you need is a bowl or container, some crushed or cut-up fresh or frozen fruit, and an ice cube tray. Start by filling each compartment of the tray with chopped-up pieces of your favorite fruits.

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We suggest using something like blueberries, strawberries, oranges, mangoes, apples – whatever you have in your refrigerator. Then pour juice over that (orange juice works best) until it covers all the pieces at the bottom of the tray completely. This will serve as a tasty syrup when served cold. 

15. Edible floral cubes

When planning your next formal event, step up your game with a luxurious hack that will take your host/hostess game to the next level: edible flower ice cubes. Imagine the delight of guests when they see these colorful little gems floating in their drinks!

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In addition to being beautiful and eye-catching, this ice cube hack adds a subtle flavor dimension to all your favorite drinks. There’s no need to go out and buy specialized ice molds — just use regular plastic or silicone trays. Simply fill each cube with cold water and add 1-2 petals of edible flowers.

16. Soothing aloe cubes

If you’re looking for an option to reduce inflammation, look no further than your freezer and an ice cube tray! Freezing aloe vera cubes is not only cool (literally!) but also a great way to get the most out of this amazing healing agent.

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Aloe vera is known for its amazing ability to soothe dry skin, provide relief from sunburns, reduce swelling and redness, and promote skin cell regeneration. Freezing ensures that you get the benefits on demand. Simply pop one out whenever needed and massage it over the areas affected.

17. Ice cream at home

When it comes to maintaining cool during the summer, why not get creative and make some delicious ice cream right at home? You can turn ordinary milk and cream into something special with ice cube trays. Start by getting your hands on a few ice cube trays, preferably those that make slender popsicles.

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You’ll also want some jars of your favorite flavorings, like vanilla extract or lemon juice – just remember that these tend to be super sweet, so use small amounts. Then, mix one cup of heavy cream or half-and-half with one cup of whole milk in a large bowl until thoroughly combined, add flavor, and freeze.

18. Make yogurt treats

Craving something sweet now and then is perfectly normal, but you don’t have to turn to unhealthy sugary snacks in order to satisfy your cravings. With a little bit of a creative approach, you can make a healthy yet delicious treat using an ice cube tray.

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Simply fill the compartments of the tray with plain yogurt and top off with some chopped fruits of your choice. You can go for mangoes, bananas, berries – anything you like! Once filled up, place it in the freezer for 6-8 hours or overnight until they’ve set.

19. Hydration for kids

We all know that it can be challenging to get kids to drink enough water. Luckily, this trick will make it easier for them (and for you!) Here’s how you can use an ice cube tray to keep your kiddos hydrated. Start by freezing natural food colors in an ice cube tray.

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Anything from juice concentrate to mashed-up fruit and vegetables works. Once they’re frozen, pop out the cubes and put them in a pitcher or glass of plain filtered water. The colorful cubes add interest without any added sugar or calories! Now there’ll be no excuse when it’s time for hydration.

20. Make clear ice cubes

Did you know there’s a way to make crystal-clear ice cubes with the help of boiling water? It’s true! The key lies in waiting for your water to cool after boiling and then freezing it in an ice cube tray. Boiling water gets rid of all of the impurities that cause cloudy ice.

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When cooled, regular tap water can produce crystal-clear results as well. For an extra hint of luxury, try adding slices of citrus fruit or edible flowers to your newly-frozen masterpiece before serving. This trick not only creates beautiful memories for loved ones at parties or special events but also adds a delicious flavor to drink.

21. Calming green tea cubes

Stop searching for the perfect skincare regimen, and look no further than these green tea ice cubes. Its contents help keep your body refreshed on a hot day and can also be used for a bit of at-home beauty therapy.

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Believe it or not, you can use green tea cubes to get glowing skin that rivals even the most luxurious spa treatments. Just brew some and let it cool down before filling the tray. Place this in your freezer, and use it on the skin when frozen. 

22. Make jello shots for the party

Are you looking for a simple and reliable way to make delicious jello shots for your next party? Then it’s time to break out the ice cube trays! This simple hack will surely be a hit with your guests, allowing you to whip up tasty and fun jello shots faster than ever.

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To get started, select your favorite flavors of Jello (or any other flavored gelatin). If you’d like to add an extra boozy flavor to your jello shots, pour a 1/4 cup of vodka or another spirit into the mixture before pouring it into ice cube trays. Feel free to experiment!

23. Easy ravioli maker

Have you ever tried to make your pasta with fillings? Even if you have experience in the kitchen, it can be a bit hard to get this dish right. That’s mainly because you have to ensure your fillings are securely tucked inside without spilling out or drying up.

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We’re here to share a pro-level pasta-filling hack that will help make your ravioli and tortellini dreams come true with minimal effort. All you’ll need is an ice cube tray! With it, you’ll get perfectly sized pieces by using the cavities of the tray as molds for each piece of ravioli or tortellini.

24. Chewy nugget ice

Turns out, you can make nugget ice right at home with nothing more than a regular old ice cube tray! To begin, find yourself an everyday plastic or silicone ice cube tray with small compartments and fill it up with your favorite carbonated water.

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Then place the tray in the freezer and wait a few hours until the cubes are frozen. The result? Deliciously chewy nugget ice — like your favorite restaurant drink or cold treat! You can also use this trick to make amazing slushies for those hot summer days when you’re short on time.

25. Make candles 

If you’re looking for a clever way to repurpose your ice cube tray, why not try making candles? It’s simple, fun, and an incredibly thrifty way to add a sense of coziness to your home. You can put used candle wax from previous candles in the ice cube tray molds.

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Try combining multiple colors by melting different colored waxes or using special tints like glittery gold or pastel blue — the possibilities are endless! Just pour the melted wax into each mold, insert a wick, wait for it to cool off, and voilà! You now have beautiful handmade candles that will transform any space.

26. DIY bath bombs 

With just one cup of baking soda, half a cup of citric acid, half a cup of Epsom salt, and 10-15 drops of essential oil and water – you’re only four steps away from the aromatic bliss that is bath bombs. Mix those ingredients in a bowl until they’re combined into a thick paste-like consistency.

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The next step is to press this mixture firmly into the compartments of your tray. All that’s left now is patience. Allow the mix to settle for around twenty-four hours before enjoying your freshly made bath bombs. Aside from taking advantage of aromatherapy benefits, use it for spicing up shoe and carpet odor.

27. Flavored yogurt treats

Did you know you can use an old ice cube tray to make delicious bite-sized treats? Believe it or not, one of the best ways to do so is by freezing flavored yogurt. All you have to do is pour the yogurt into each of the cubes and freeze for a few hours.

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Once they’re done, pop them out, and enjoy! This hack comes with plenty of benefits; first off, it’s incredibly easy. Plus, it only requires two ingredients: yogurt and an ice cube tray! Your frozen treats will also be low in sugar since the flavor comes from flavored yogurt rather than something sweeter.

28. Chocolate Strawberries 

What’s better than a delicious dessert? A delicious, nutritious dessert! Whether you’re on the hunt for a quick snack or something special to finish your evening meal, this old-fashioned ice cube tray hack is the perfect way to make healthy chocolate strawberries. First, gather your ingredients: melted chocolate, coconut oil, and ripe strawberries.

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Be sure the tray has compartments that are large enough for the strawberry halves to fit in. Next, mix the melted chocolate with some coconut oil in each compartment. You want a ratio of 1 part coconut oil to 3 parts melted chocolate so that it stays soft once cooled down. 

29. Artsy cubes for kids

If you’re looking for a creative option to keep the kids entertained at home, then look no further. This old ice cube tray hack is perfect for restless kiddos and sure to bring plenty of fun! Simply fill some trays with whatever colors of paint you have.

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Next, add some popsicle sticks in each section. Once the paint cubes are ready, pop them in the freezer and wait until they solidify. Then let your little Picassos have their way with them. They’ll be able to create colorful shapes by using various colored cubes while painting.

30. Freeze eggs 

If you’re looking for a unique and cost-effective way to store eggs in bulk, try this old ice cube tray hack. It will help keep your egg supply fresh for longer, and it’s surprisingly simple too! You only need an oiled-up ice cube tray, some eggs, and a Ziploc bag.

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Simply pour the eggs into the grease-coated tray and freeze until solid. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag or storage container so they can be kept at optimum temperatures until needed. This technique should extend the shelf life of your eggs by up to three months.

31. Frozen ice cubes stocks

Why settle for store-bought stock cubes that are often loaded with preservatives and additives when you can make your own from fresh produce? This is not only healthier, but it will also save you some coins. Try out this genius ice cube tray hack – it couldn’t be easier or faster!

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Boil your stock and allow the fat to solidify. Skim off the hard layer at the surface, then use a ladle to pour the stock into an ice cube tray to create small, single portions in individual compartments. Once frozen solid, pop them out and put them in a freezer bag.

32. Spooky Halloween decoration

Who doesn’t love a good old hack to make something extra special? If you’re looking for ways to add more excitement and eerie vibes to your upcoming Halloween celebrations, look no further than the ice cube tray. Introducing – the spooky ice cube!

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Just grab some gummy worms, spiders, or gummy eyes from your nearest store (or make them yourself!), pop them in an ice cube tray with water, and voilà – you have instant creepy crawly cubes ready for drinks. Such an exciting way of transforming any drink into a delicious seasonal favorite! 

33. Mini buffet for kids

Ah, the age-old problem of getting kids to enjoy healthy food! Allow us to start by saying that this ice cube tray hack is genius. We know of someone’s mom who used to do something similar when we were kids, so it’s not just functional but also reminds us of childhood nostalgia.

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The amazing thing about using an ice cube tray is that there are lots of sections, so you can separate different fruits and vegetables. Plus, the colors are super fascinating to kids. For example, one section could be filled with cut-up apples and grapes, while another could contain baby carrots and celery slices.

34. Rice crispy treats for kids

When it comes to pleasing kids with tasty treats, presentation is critical. That said, making Rice Krispies look attractive can be a challenge until you discover the miraculous power of an old ice cube tray! Simply spray your tray with a non-stick solution before adding the mixture, and voila.

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You have perfectly symmetrical blocks of cereal goodness just begging for attention. Those Rice Krispies will come out quickly after cooling down. Finally, arrange them into an impressive pyramid shape that will make even picky eaters happy! Who knew a simple hack could turn a regular snack into something more visually appealing?

35. Martini happy hour

If you’re looking for a hack to make the perfect martini, an old ice cube tray is your best friend. Freezing olives in an ice cube tray can be a great way to take your martini game up a notch. Simply fill an empty ice cube tray with pitted olives and cover them with water.

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Next, pop the tray into the freezer and let it sit overnight – or even better, for 24 hours just to make sure all the olive halves are completely frozen through. When it’s time for happy hour, simply remove one of your frozen olive cubes from the tray and drop it in your favorite spirit.

36. When life gives you lemons

One simple yet highly useful ice cube tray hack that could revolutionize your kitchen game is freezing lemon juice! It’s incredibly easy to do and can make life much easier when you want to add a splash of citrus flavor to any dish.

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You only need to squeeze the juice out of several lemons, pour it into a pitcher, and slowly fill each slot in the ice cube tray with a small portion. Don’t overfill, though – you don’t want one giant frozen lemon cube! Once they’re all done, put them in the freezer until required.

37. Frozen garlic butter

Who knew that something as simple as an ice cube tray could be such a game-changer in the kitchen? As it turns out, freezing garlic butter can make a huge difference when you’re cooking. When making any type of dish that requires butter and garlic, having pre-made cubes of garlic butter is helpful.

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It can help speed up the prep process and ensure each ingredient is evenly distributed throughout the dish. By freezing your garlic butter in small cubes before adding it to the pan, you may avoid large pockets of intense flavor or potential burning that could ruin an otherwise perfect dish.

38. Freeze warm water

If you want to make the best ice cubes ever, put down your traditional ice cube trays and go for a modern hack: freeze warm water! Warm water freezes faster than cold water. This phenomenon is called the Mpemba effect, and it works due to a decrease in mass caused by evaporation.

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With warm water, you get crystal-clear ice cubes that are perfect for making chilled drinks. Plus, they cool beverages down faster since they melt at a slower rate! So if you want to enjoy frosty drinks without waiting forever or dealing with cloudy cubes -try freezing some warm water next time around.

39. Drain cleaning hack

Ice cubes are also capable of helping you detect any clogs in your drain. Simply pour several ice cubes into the sink and turn on the faucet. If the water emerges murky, this generally means that the drains need a good clean to remove whatever’s blocking them.

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It’s like a built-in alert for when your drains need attention! This tried-and-tested hack can save you from ever having to guess if your drains require cleaning before taking action. Plus, it couldn’t be more straightforward – all it takes is some ice cubes. 

40. Evenly cooked and heated rice

If you’re looking for a hack to heat rice perfectly each and every time, forget about all the expensive kitchen gadgets. All you require is an ice cube tray! With just one ice cube, you can microwave rice evenly and control the texture of your end product.

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How does it work? The idea here is that the single ice cube provides just enough moisture to ensure that any type of rice heats thoroughly and maintains its fluffy texture. This simple process requires no extra effort and will save you from having to throw out overcooked or undercooked rice dishes. 

41. Easy game for kids

When it comes to keeping kids busy, why not mix things up a bit and go old school? This classic hack is still going strong as an entertaining activity that’s both fun and educational. It just takes a few readily available items like an ice cube tray and some Legos!

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Simply freeze some Legos you already have, either complete figures or individual pieces. The children can then wait for the cubes to melt so they can discover all the different Lego parts hidden within. Not only does this provide hours of exciting playtime for kids, but it also helps encourage patience.

42. Cubes for chilling

Who knew that this simple kitchen tool could be used to solve so many of our everyday problems? The great thing about this particular hack is it’s applicable to water, juices, and wine! If you’re looking for an excellent way to chill your drink without diluting it, freeze it.

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It’s as simple as it sounds since it only requires you to pour the beverage and freeze it. Once frozen, you can use these cubes in your next glass of chilled vino – no watering down required! These handy little cubes are also great for sprucing up recipes with flavor.

43. Cookie dough organization 

The classic problem of uneven cookie dough distribution is a true challenge for even the most skilled of bakers. But fear not, culinary comrades, for there is a trusty and ingenious solution to this age-old dilemma: the ice cube tray! Simply plop your dough into the compartments, ensuring a perfectly portioned cookie every time.

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This nifty hack has an even more compelling twist of freezing your dough morsels in their ice cube homes. You can then pop them out and bake your cookies on demand. Who knew ice cube trays could be the key to dessert harmony and domestic bliss when baking?