Baked Feta Pasta and Beyond: A Brief History of TikTok-Fueled Viral Recipes

Before everyone went wild for a cheesy tomato pasta, these other dishes had brushes with viral popularity
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Finnish food blogger Jenni Häyrinen developed her recipe for baked feta pasta two years ago, but now, thanks to TikTok, it’s gone viral on an international scale. The recipe is simple: bake some cherry tomatoes and a block of feta cheese in olive oil, and then stir in cooked noodles. It’s appealing to the eyes and easy enough for even a culinary rookie to make.

https://www.tiktok.com/@feelgoodfoodie/video/6922938178559069446?referer_url=https%3A%2F%2Fdk79lclgtez2i.cloudfront.net%2F&referer_video_id=6922938178559069446

“Timing is everything and the right people need to share it,” Häyrinen says in an email. “Because of the pandemic, a lot of people need to make a quick lunch or dinner at home on a daily basis.”

Whatever it was, people have taken to it. Thousands of TikTok users have tried the recipe, making it go viral seemingly overnight. Häyrinen adds that the keys to having a recipe go viral are “ingredients that are easy to get anywhere, simple recipe so that anyone can cook it, and it’s instagrammable and also simply delicious.” The feta cheese pasta is just the latest to take over TikTok—recipes have been going viral on the app since its popularity exploded at the beginning of 2020. We rounded up some favorites you may have missed.


Whipped coffee

https://www.tiktok.com/@imhannahcho/video/6804149721406393605?referer_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tasteofhome.com%2Farticle%2Fwhipped-coffee%2F&referer_video_id=6804149721406393605

Whipped coffee is essentially whipped instant coffee or espresso over ice and milk. Hand mix or whisk sugar, water, and instant coffee in a mixing bowl until it’s whipped. Pour milk over a glass of ice, and then spoon the whipped coffee on top of the milk. Mix if you want, and suddenly you have a drink that looks like only a Starbucks barista could make it.


Takis in a pepper with cream cheese

@thecaseyferguson

Reply to @512nawffsyyd Episode 1‼️ I’m in love❤️ #fyp #foryoupage #jalepeno #creamcheese #takis #beautiful #thankyou

♬ Hatchback Slowed – § Infinity ✯

This snack recipe seems to originate from @okay.jennnn, who put Dinamitas into jalapeños, but soon the snack took off on TikTok with users adding cream cheese and sometimes switching out the jalapeños for bell peppers. Users also swapped Dinamitas for Takis or flaming hot Cheetos. You probably need a strong stomach and tongue to handle any combination, but TikTok users seem to love it. After burning her eyes with her jalapeño fingers, one TikTok user tried the snack and claimed, “This is literally fire.”


Cloud bread

@matthewinthekitchen

Tik Tok’s famous cloud bread is so easy to make! Recipe from @linqanaaa #fyp #cloudbread #baking #easyrecipe #bread #cooking #egg #easybaking #foodie

♬ She Share Story (for Vlog) – 山口夕依

When quarantine began, suddenly everyone was baking bread at home. Soon the homemade bread turned into cloud bread, an Instagrammable version with essentially only three ingredients. Whip three egg whites and add 30 grams of sugar, whisk again, and then add 10 grams of cornstarch and whisk again. Add vanilla and food coloring to give it extra flavor (literally and aesthetically). Bake at 350 degrees and you have a fluffy blue or pink or green cloud of bread.


Birria tacos

https://www.tiktok.com/@annapaul_/video/6899939204634119426?is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v2

The birria de res tacos that went viral late last year are unique to the TikTok recipe genre in that they take several hours to make, but users seemed to be up for the delayed gratification. In a video that’s been liked 3.9 million times on the platform,  Australian TikToker Anna Paul instructs users to brown beef in a pot and then add beef stock and bone broth and water. Add an onion and clove of garlic, a red chili pepper, carrots, bay leaves, and thyme. Let it cook for an hour until the veggies are soft. Take the veggies out and put them in a blender with tomatoes, bay leaves, cumin, and blend. Then sift the sauce back into the original pot to “get out all the chunky bits” and let it cook for three hours. The beef is now nice and tender, and you can dip your tortillas into the sauce. Finally, add some cheese and onion and lettuce to your taco, and fry to perfection. Of course, here in L.A. we can always leave the work to the local birrieria.


Oreo mug cake

@eitan

Watch “Quarantined Qooking” On Instagram -> @EITAN #lifeathome #coronavirus #coronatime #cooking #recipe #quarantined #oreos #cake #mugcake #food #yum

♬ original sound – Eitan Bernath

This one is easy enough even a child (or you) could do it. It’s the Oreo mug cake and it only has two ingredients: Oreos and milk. Simply crush up Oreos into a mug and add three to four tablespoons of milk. Add in some baking powder if you want the cake to be fluffier. Microwave for 90 seconds and you now have a cake in a mug. Add more Oreos or whipped cream on top if you want to give it some extra flavor and presentation.


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