How Ice Cube Trays Can Help You Make Ice Cream

There's no more delightful sweet treat to indulge in during the warmer months than ice cream. This cold, creamy, and delicious confection is something that people of all ages from toddlers to the elderly can enjoy together. Licking that sugary scoop never fails to bring a smile to one's face.

Ice cream has global appeal and different countries around the world put their own unique twist on it. Americans truly love their ice cream, with the average person devouring roughly 23 pounds of it per year, according to the International Dairy Foods Association. That means frozen dessert manufacturers in the U.S. have stayed pretty busy, producing approximately 6.4 billion pounds of ice cream and frozen yogurt in 2019.

Ice cream can be served in a variety of ways, such as in cones or cups, or it can be blended to craft a milkshake that you sip from a straw. You can even place it in a glass and douse it with your favorite brand of root beer or cola to make an ice cream float. If you're looking to create your own ice cream at home, you don't need a fancy machine — you can enjoy some with the help of the ice cube trays already sitting in your freezer.

Ice cube ice cream: easy and freezes fast

When you set about gathering the ingredients to make homemade ice cream and you don't own an ice cream maker or just want to minimize the effort you expend, ice cube trays are one hack that can aid the process. Speed is the name of the game for mitigating ice crystal formation and avoiding a wet, soggy end product when freezing ice cream, and ice trays are the perfect vehicle to quickly freeze something (per Serious Eats).

Concocting the best ice cream involves finding the right balance of air and crystal formation, and ice cube trays, in addition to rapid freezing, offer the ideal small portion size for reducing crystallization. Once your ice cream ingredients have been stirred together, it's as simple as pouring the base into the cubes of the trays and then transferring it to the freezer (via First We Feast).

Don't Waste The Crumbs notes that most ice cream recipes require two ice cube trays when employing this method. They recommend freezing the ice cream for at least six hours. Once the ice cream has frozen, the next step is to dump the cubes into a food processor or blender and let the device work its mixing magic. Now you've just replicated summer magic without the benefit of an ice cream machine.