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Baked feta pasta
Photograph: Morgan Olsen / Time Out

Revealed: the most popular TikTok food trends of 2021

These are the dishes that dominated the social media platform last year

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

There are plenty of reasons why TikTok might not be the best place to find cooking inspo. For one, content creators tend to prioritise stuff that looks nice over food that tastes good or is even reasonably easy to make. Plus, how are you supposed to learn how to cook something from a sub-one-min video? It’s beyond us.

But what we absolutely cannot deny is that so-called ‘FoodTok’ is full of bizarre – and often mouthwatering – concoctions. In 2021, in fact, TikTokers viewed content with the hashtag #TikTokFood a whopping 43 billion times. Plenty of dishes went viral, from simple stuff like ‘baked oats’ to the diabetes-inducing ‘ice-cream cake’.

All those 2021 trends have all been compiled by UK kitchen retailer Magnet in a trend report, which outlined the 50 most-viewed food trends on TikTok. Here’s the top ten, with a brief description of what each one actually is:

1. Cloud bread (#CloudBread, 3.3 billion views) – a high-protein alternative to bread made out of egg whites, sugar and cornstarch/cream of tartar. Basically a meringue. 

2. Whipped coffee (#WhippedCoffee, 2.4 billion views) – whip together coffee powder, sugar and hot water, then lop it on top of some hot or cold milk. 

3. Pancake cereal (#PancakeCereal, 1.6 billion views) – tiny pancakes that you eat with milk in a bowl, just like – you guessed it – cereal.

4. Frozen honey (#FrozenHoney, 1.6 billion views) – as it says on the tin. A kind of ice lolly. 

5. Dalgona candy (#DalgonaCandy, 1.4 billion views) – a Korean street snack with a symbol carved into it. Inspired by Squid Game.

6. Feta pasta (#FetaPasta, 1.1 billion views) – bake a block of feta with some tomatoes and oil, then mush it with pasta.

7. Ice-cream cake (#IceCreamCake, 1.1 billion views) – a cake with an ice-cream component or a cake entirely made out of ice cream. We’re not sure, could be either.

8. Nature's cereal (#NaturesCereal, 933.4 million views) – a bowl of various berries and/or other fruits in coconut water.

9. Baked oats (#BakedOats, 929.2 million views) – essentially an oat-based cake. 

10. Tanghulu (#Tanghulu, 740.7 million views) – a kind of candied fruit snack that looks like fake fruit, but it’s actually real.

While we’re here: we tried our hand at five viral TikTok recipes to see if they’re worth the hype.

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