So Hot Right Now

10 Food Trends That Took Over TikTok in 2020

From tiny pancakes to towering ice cream cakes and humongous opinions, we savored them all.

December 23, 2020
Photo by Julia Gartland

There are so many things to say about the stranglehold TikTok had over the culture this year. As our social, professional and entertainment lives collapsed into the same space, most of us split our time between staring at the screen of our computers and the screen of our phones. TikTok was the app that seemed to win the largest portion of our increasingly feeble attention spans. The app touts 50 million active daily users in the U.S..

TikToks, those 15 second snippets of online video content, have virtually taken over, appearing on Instagram, Twitter, and in family group chats (I watch about 20 TikToks a day and I don’t even have the app).

TikTok plays host to an array of microgenres. The videos can be funny, they can be poignant, informative, inspiring, utterly meaningless, completely niche, etc., etc. Like any good media platform, it allows people to find content that speaks to them. Even our Food52 community found ideas and entertainment on the app this year. There was this chicken tendon removal hack that surprised us and this DIY trick for a terracotta effect that we put to the test. Nik Sharma even hopped on the train and investigated a strawberry washing method that had TikTok users buggin’ out. We even tested out an upholstery cleaner that we noticed making the rounds online.

While these are some of the TikToks that caught our eye, it turns out food related content had a big year on the app. TikTok just summarized their year, charting some of the most popular trends of the past twelve months. They even compiled a list of the Top 10 recipes, trends and hacks. Here’s what they found.

1. Pancake Cereal

We covered this one back in May. The trend's name belies pretty much everything you need to know about it: make tiny pancakes, put them in a bowl, cover with milk and eat as cereal. Think it sounds cute? Well, it is!

2. Whipped Coffee

Remember that fluffy, cloudy, pillowy coffee that had us all agog during the early days of quarantine? Well, I definitely do. Turns out most of TikTok does as well. We even posted our own tutorial. Check it out here.

3. Banana Bread

There’s no 2020 without banana bread. The cozy classic clogged allll the timelines this year as we stayed inside and turned to baking.

4. Oddly Satisfying for the BBQ lovers

This one’s news to me, but apparently there’s a trend where barbecue makers and lovers alike gather to watch extremely satisfying videos of slow-cooked meat being pulled ever so slowly apart. Honestly, sign me up!

5. Donut Cereal

This one’s just kind of like pancake cereal but with… tiny donuts. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, right?

6. Ramsay Reacts

Everyone’s favorite kitchen hothead got the TikTok treatment. Using the app’s duet feature the famous chef spliced videos of himself berating chefs alongside some questionable recipes.

7. Cream cheese and Bell Peppers

Apparently, this was a thing? One user introduced this unlikely combination and, supposedly, it took off. Apparently, it’s keto. No comment.

8. Ice Cream Cake

This trend reminds me of childhood birthday parties, so to watch this phenomenon enter the digital age makes my seven-year-old self smile.

9. How to make chocolate… from scratch

Ok, this one is actually so awesome. This guy takes a cacao pod and turns it into a bar of chocolate all from his home kitchen. I highly recommend watching.

10. DIY Hazelnut Spread

We’ve been touting the homemade nutella route for a while now, but this video gives the recipe the TikTok treatment (read: childish) playful humor, flashy cuts and step by step process shots).

Did we miss a TikTok trend that sent you running to the kitchen? Let us know in the comments below.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Ellen
  • Deirdre Nectow
    Deirdre Nectow
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Valerio is a freelance food writer, editor, researcher and cook. He grew up in his parent's Italian restaurants covered in pizza flour and drinking a Shirley Temple a day. Since, he's worked as a cheesemonger in New York City and a paella instructor in Barcelona. He now lives in Berlin, Germany where he's most likely to be found eating shawarma.


Ellen January 2, 2021
What of serving cake with a wine glass? That's crazy stuff that kind of makes sense.
Deirdre N. January 1, 2021
This is so cool. I had no idea about how cacao looked!
Kyle December 31, 2020
Would like to know what is the terrific looking dessert that is the first picture under the title: 10 Food Trends That Took Over TikTok in 2020, photo by Julia Gartland? Is the recipe somewhere to get? Would really like info please.