First things first: does the world really need one? TikTok cookbook? After all, the key to the platform’s success and time-consuming appeal is consuming videos on a screen over and over again. Put viral recipes on a page and the energy stops cold.
Still, TikTok dishes represent a global economic force. After @grilledcheesesocial (blogger MacKenzie Smith) posted a short video of baked feta pasta in early 2021, sales of the cheese skyrocketed. The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association estimated feta sales jumped another £4 million in February and March last year. Dalgona coffee mania started during the pandemic because the four-ingredient whipped cream drink, originally from Macau but famous in Korea, emphasized instant coffee, a handy stock item.
People put these recipes on repeat because there are so many good, problem-solving, and fun to make and share too. Perhaps it is useful to take a look back at the cooking trends of recent years.
If so, here’s your book. “If you love to cook, a phone has become as important as a sharp knife,” explains ‘s intro “Like cooked on TikTok” (Clarkson Potter, $20). The pages feature a few famous dishes, for example the fun butter chicken pasta mashup from British maker Rene, aka @renes.cravings. (The book does not list last names.) There are also tweaks to TikTok’s hall of fame dishes: fried feta ramen and fried feta pasta soup among them.
Pancake cereal falls into the classic TikTok category and seems like the best thing to try for a weekend family breakfast when we all have a little more time for morning indulgences. The dish was created by @sydneymelhoff, who was inspired to turn the drippings from pancake making into small circles that could be tossed into a bowl just like breakfast cereal. Then My Nguyen (@myhealthydish), who has 4.1 million TikTok fans, took it one step further: she created an engaging tutorial video highlighting the importance of a squeeze bottle to make the cute circles, as well as a baking sheet.
Since I had neither, I made them in a skillet with a resealable plastic bag with one corner cut off. The result will undoubtedly take much longer, both cooking and cleaning up. But pancake cereals are a very nice way to eat your breakfast.
The tender rounds with a buttery brown crust are perfect mini pancakes. It may be my imagination, but they seem to hold the maple syrup better than the larger version. It’s definitely easier to cook them; when the top has enough bubbles, just scoop them up with one or two metal spatulas and keep cooking. You can put extra butter on the cereal (you should) and milk (I wouldn’t). It will light up your morning — or evening, in my case — however you serve it.
It’s also an ideal family breakfast, a home-cooked meal, a guaranteed crowd pleaser and easy enough for even the little ones to cook without too much fuss. “It’s so much fun to make for the kids, and you’re using something from TikTok, which is basically their culture,” Nyugen said via email. Plus, she continues, “it’s actually really good.”
In the foreword to “As Cooked on TikTok,” Gordon Ramsay (@gordonramsayofficial; 32.7 million TikTok fans) writes that the book “demonstrates innovative cooking and fun dishes to make at home.” He continues, “Nothing in this book is worth my response to TikTok…unless you mess it up.” His daughter and co-author, Tilly (@tillyramsay; 10.2 million fans) replied: “Can’t wait to share it with some real TikTok chefs.”
The next recipe, from My Nguyen, is an adaptation of “As Cooked on TikTok.”
Serves 4 or 5
2 cups All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
¼ teaspoon table salt
2 large eggs
1⅔ cups milk (dairy or vegetable), or more if needed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, or more if needed
Maple syrup, butter (optional) and milk (optional), for serving
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. In a separate bowl, beat eggs and milk until smooth. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and blend until smooth. If the batter is too thick and not pourable, add more milk, ladle at a time.
Transfer the batter to a squeeze bottle or resealable plastic bag with a cut corner. Heat a grill pan or frying pan over medium heat. When the baking sheet is hot, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and spread it evenly. Squeeze small coin-sized dots of batter onto the baking sheet, leaving some space for the pancakes, but adjust as much as possible to reduce cooking time. This should be about a third of the batter.
Cook until top of pancakes are dry and bubbles form, about 2 minutes, then use two spatulas to stir and toss. Continue cooking until the pancakes are golden brown and crispy around the edges, about 2 minutes more. Lower the fire if necessary.
Transfer cooked pancake cereal to a plate and repeat with remaining butter and batter. When all the pancakes are cooked, divide the cereal into bowls and drizzle with maple syrup, add a knob of butter and/or a splash of milk and serve immediately.