Freezer Week

This $6 Tiny Ice Cube Tray Is the Best Thing I’ve Ever Purchased in the Middle of the Night

published Aug 13, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
product review for an ice cube tray
Credit: Morfone

If I could sum up the first few months of new parenthood, I’d characterize it as a time of panic-buying items on Amazon in the middle of the night. One of those items — bought in a bleary-eyed, sleep-deprived haze — actually turned out to be a small, unexpected source of joy, and has since earned a permanent spot in my freezer. I’m talking about this set of tiny ice cube trays.

As for why I was fervently searching for ice cube trays at 3 a.m. — in January, no less? My son was born with a tongue tie, which meant that in his early days of life we trekked to my midwives’ office to have a small procedure done to release it. I was advised ahead of time to get some tiny ice cube molds and freeze my breastmilk in there, to rub on his mouth while it was healing. Did I remember to order them in a timely manner? No, of course not. (I did just have a baby, after all!) Amazon Prime to the rescue, though.

The trays are made of BPA-free, food-grade silicone. They also come with soft lids that lay over the top, which means that your cubes don’t absorb any other smells from the freezer and makes the trays stackable (read: space-saving). And, my favorite part, the trays are dishwasher-safe, which is a huge plus for a busy new parent.

After the ice cube molds served their original intended purpose, I cleaned them out and filled them with water and set them back in the freezer, not thinking much about them for a while. But then the weather warmed, and I started to crave iced coffee. Normally, in spring and summers past, I’d pick up a bag of ice on a grocery run. But just as we were emerging from our postpartum cocoon, COVID-19 began to spread across the United States. We remained hunkered down at home, relying on grocery delivery services to get our essentials. And that’s when I remembered I had those ice cube trays in the freezer.

Tiny Ice Cubes Make for the Best Iced Coffee

I popped out a bunch of the cubes into a glass, pulled two shots of espresso (an espresso machine was also on the list of panic purchases) over them, and topped it all with a little oat milk. It was divine. The small, hexagonal ice cubes are aesthetically pleasing — they look like cute little gems — but, more importantly, they’re just the right size for iced coffee. Upon meeting the hot espresso, the cubes begin to melt a bit, giving off a bit of water to make something akin to an iced Americano. But they don’t completely melt, so you still get the satisfaction of crunching on ice after your coffee is long gone.

As a new mom, nothing is more sacred than my first cup of coffee after a long night of feedings and diaper changes. But now, with my newfound perfected iced coffee, I look forward to that ritual of my morning cup even more.

And coffee isn’t the only thing I’m using these ice trays for: As we embark on starting solids, the trays are the perfect vessels for freezing small amounts of veggie and fruit purées. I can batch-cook some food for our little guy on the weekend, freeze it all, and pop out cubes to thaw as I need them throughout the week.

Luckily these ice cube molds come in a set of two: one for mom, one for baby! Because I love my son, but I am not giving up my perfect ice cubes anytime soon.