Recreating 11 Viral Food Trends

Sometimes you can harvest new recipe ideas right from your TikTok, Instagram, or Twitter feed. The ones that go viral however, I often eye suspiciously at first, thinking to myself, “all right, it looks fantastic, but how does it taste?” Or “is that really possible?” Can you make a cheesecake that really jiggles like Santa’s belly? Or can you really make a potato chip that’s transparent?

The following eleven recipes you really can make at home. Some are relatively easy to make, like the cloud bread or Sprite pie, while others like the island cake or the jiggly cake take a little more patience and skill. All of them, however, are stunning and fun to make or try. So let’s go through them one by one.  

1. Raindrop Cake

Raindrop cake, or mizu shingen mochi (水信玄餅) in Japanese, was originally created in 2014 by the Kinseiken Seika Company in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan. People would make special pilgrimages to the shop to experience this delicate “cake” firsthand since this dessert obviously wasn’t transportable. 

Round, transparent, and jiggly, the raindrop cake delights and amuses more for its whimsicality than its actual taste. 

I initially found the recipe for raindrop cake on Mosogourmet’s YouTube channel, but since that time it has gone viral on a few different well-known sites. 

You can watch me making and tasting my gorgeously transparent raindrop cake below:

Clear….and it wiggles!

2. Japanese Jiggly Cheesecake

This dessert is not your grandmother’s cheesecake. Wonderfully jiggly and light, it tastes more like a chiffon cake than a traditional New York-style cheesecake. 

And while this recipe also originated in Japan, due to its happy jiggliness, it quickly traveled the globe. I’ve based my recipe off the Buzzfeed video where they attempted to make it five different times in order to get the ultimate DIY jiggly cheesecake.

You can try to recreate the Japanese Jiggly Cheesecake recipe here. But you might want to watch me making it first:

This cake jiggles delightfully….

3. 100-Hour Brownies

Who would spend 100 hours making brownies!?? Insane, right?  When I heard there was a hundred hour brownie recipe, I became very curious to see if it could possibly be worth it. I mean, who wants to wait four whole stinkin’ days for a brownie, especially when you have kids!

You can access my 100-Hour Brownie recipe here. Or, if you just want to watch me baking for a hundred hours non-stop (wink-wink) you can watch below:

Seriously? A hundred hours!?

4. Pull-Apart Pineapple

While this one is not a recipe, it is a pretty stinkin’ cool technique for eating a pineapple. After watching a couple of viral videos which purported that it was as simple as pulling out each little fruit, I was skeptical, but immediately knew I had to try it, so I went to the store and bought myself some pineapples for experimenting. 

Would the pull-apart pineapple technique be as easy as it looked? Were all pineapples created equally, or was there a “best” pineapple (i.e. level of ripeness) for utilizing this technique? 

Watch my pineapple pull-apart video below to see. As a bonus, I’ll also show you two other ways to open a pineapple that absolutely do work.

Looky that!

5. 15-Hour TikTok Potatoes

So if I can do a hundred hour brownie recipe, a mere fifteen hour potato recipe must be a snap, right?

And, in truth, the actual steps in the process are fairly straightforward. Essentially you’re going to take some Yukon gold potatoes, slice them, toss them in some melted duck fat and salt, then layer them into a loaf pan. 

From there you will bake them, press them, and cool them. Finally, you’re going to cut them into cubes and deep fry them. Yum!

The TikTok recipe I followed comes from @poppycooks. You can follow the recipe I adapted from her below:

Divine inspiration.

6. Dalgona Whipped Coffee

There’s a reason why thousands have made Dalgona coffee and posted it on platforms like TikTok and Instagram — it’s a recipe that delivers an aesthetically pleasing, delicious, and thoroughly novel drink. Originally from South Korea, invented during the first wave of coronavirus lockdowns, it has since spread all over the world. 

Now the really interesting thing about this drink is that rather than having your milk or foam on top, you’ve got your coffee foam on top and the milk on bottom.

And you can whip it up in your own kitchen, allowing yourself to be very fancy, very gourmet without having to run out to a coffee shop. 

And all you’ll need are three ingredients: milk, sugar, instant coffee powder (and water.) 

You can follow along with me below. As a bonus, you can watch me making matcha and chocolate versions too! For my recipe, I used the LA Times’s.

What is this magic!?

7. Sprite Pie

Another viral sensation I recently tried my hand at was this Sprite pie popularized by @kitchentool on TikTok. 

At first I viewed this pie skeptically — after all, who pours sprite into a pie crust and expects to get a tasty pie? — but when I dug deeper I realized that this pie is just a variation on a water pie, or desperation pie that was common during the Great Depression and in wartime. 

These desperation pies, instead of using milk and eggs, call for water, sugar, butter, a little bit of vanilla and some flour. So for this pie we’re going to be substituting Sprite for the water portion. 

Now because Sprite is a carbonated soft drink, I was very curious to see what a sprite pie tastes like — how much of that lemon-lime flavor would remain.  I also wanted to see if the effervescence in the soda would affect either the taste or consistency of the pie.

Finally, I was curious to see if all that extra sugar would make this pie too sweet. You can watch me making and tasting the pie here:

You’re pouring what into that pie crust!?

8. Cloud Bread

Whenever a recipe takes Instagram or TikTok by storm, I always get curious to see if the taste of the finished product can stand up to the visuals. And when I saw Cloud Bread for the first time on TikTok, I knew I had to make it to see if this gorgeous, fluffy cloud actually tasted any good. 

Cloud bread is, in fact, a high-protein bread alternative. It’s made by whipping egg whites and cream of tartar (or, in this case, corn starch and sugar) to get a soft, fluffy meringue-like texture. Often this mixture gets folded into the egg yolks, along with a full-fat dairy product—like yogurt—then spooned onto a baking sheet and baked. 

When the “bread” first comes out of the oven, it will have a crisp, melty, meringue-like texture. But if you allow it to cool fully, it will be chewier and breadier. 

I used @abimhn‘s TikTok recipe which was inspired by @linqanaaa‘s. You can watch me make and taste cloud bread below:

What does a cloud taste like?

9. Smooth PB & J Sandwich

Another viral food trend over the past couple of years has been the smooth food sensation. These dishes, often created with Instagrammers in mind, have glossy surfaces and smooth textures. Dubbed “smooth food,” the trend delights with its pleasing visual aesthetic. 

So, in thinking about creating my own smooth food recipe, I was inspired by the little jelly desserts that you can find in Southeast Asia. These are the desserts that my Mom made — oftentimes they have coconut, or pandan as the featured ingredient. They’re layered jellies — and they’re absolutely beautiful! And so I thought I would use that inspiration as the basis for this sandwich!

You can watch me making and tasting the smooth PB & J below:

So smooth….

10. Island Cake

Who doesn’t dream of flying off to some distant South Pacific Island and lazing under a coconut tree? Well, errrr, me, but I would love to eat a cake that looks like one!

When I first saw this cake going around the internet I immediately knew I had to try it. I followed Kitchen Journal by Kalpana’s tutorial which was amazingly thorough and spot on. 

A couple of important considerations before you attempt this cake, though. First of all, you’ll need to have patience. You’ll need to make sure you’ve gotten the chocolate ganache to the right consistency so that it seals the cake completely. Otherwise, the gelatin will infiltrate the cake and you’ll have a disaster on your hands. You’ll also need to exercise patience with the gelatin itself, allowing it to cool enough that it doesn’t melt the ganache and destroy everything.

The second consideration which isn’t technical: having a certain artistic sensibility wouldn’t be bad either, so that your final creation really does look like an island and not some crude brown blob floating on gelatin. 

For the island portion, to save time, I used store-bought cake, but you can make your own from scratch easily enough.

You can follow along with me in my video below:

Magical….

11. Clear Potato Chip

Another genre of viral videos from the past few years has been the “clear” phenomenon. Whether it’s clear pies, clear eggs, or clear chips, people seem to be fascinated by food you can see through. 

The clear potato chip was invented by Hamid Salimian, chef at Diva at the Met in Vancouver and served to patrons as an amuse bouche. According to a 2012 article in the Vancouver Sun, “he puts a dab of crème frâiche on a plate or stone, tops it with chopped chives and finishes with a heap of rasped truffles and the glass potato.”

As you can imagine, the recipe itself is fairly straightforward — you’ll be making a potato gel using potato stock and potato starch which get dried out and then finally deep-fried. 

You can follow the link to the original Glass Potato Chip Recipe, here. To follow along with me, you can watch my clear potato chip video here:

Looks like ice!

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