Dalgona coffee and pancake cereal: 8 great recipes that have gone viral during the pandemic

The popularity of these foods and drinks proves there are plenty of ways to have your cake and share pictures of it, too

Clockwise from top left: whipped strawberry milk; the pan-flipped egg sandwich; peanut butter loaf; Dalgona coffee
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Budding chefs sure have been busy in the kitchen during the pandemic, whipping up everything from sourdough bread and Dalgona coffee to six-ingredient, yeast-free peanut butter bread.

Here’s a look at some dishes that have proven to be particularly popular during the last few months. How many have you tried to make already?


Freshly baked traditional bread on wooden table. Getty Images
Baking bread has been seen as a therapeutic activity during the pandemic. Getty Images

In the weeks following the pandemic, baking bread seemed to become a favourite pastime. From sourdough to focaccia, recipes for breads of all shapes, sizes and densities have popped up on online, with the humble banana loaf becoming a true social media star.

In the last week of March, Google Trends reported the search for “bread” hit an all-time high. Meanwhile, Google Trends also reported that banana bread was one of the most-searched recipes during much of March and April.

Looking to bake your own bread? You can find some easy recipes here.

Dalgona coffee

Popular TikTok coffee craze, a Dalgona coffee. Farah Andrews / The National 
Popular TikTok coffee craze, a Dalgona coffee. Farah Andrews / The National 

This frothy coffee was dubbed 'drink of the year' for those staying at home. Dalgona is a South Korean coffee trend popularised by the video app TikTok. One of the reasons for its immense popularity online is its photogenic nature (the frothy coffee is layered on top of chilled milk).

Another reason it went viral? It’s super-simple to whip up (no pun intended). All you need are five simple ingredients, all which are commonly found within kitchen cabinets.

You can find a step-by-step guide to making the drink here.

Whipped strawberry and Nutella milk

Whipped strawberry milk. Instagram/ @sweetportfolio
Whipped strawberry milk. Instagram/ @sweetportfolio

The popularity of Dalgona coffee, unsurprisingly, led to many other renditions by local bloggers looking for ways to recreate the magic. Enter whipped strawberry milk and whipped Nutella milk, both popularised by food influencer Valentina Mussi.

Both drinks require even fewer ingredients than Dalgona coffee, can be enjoyed hot or cold, and are very easy on the eyes (read: Instagrammable).

It's no wonder they were widely hailed as the next viral TikTok drink to try. You can learn how to make whipped strawberry milk here.

Peanut butter bread

Peanut butter loaf. Katy Gillett / The National
Peanut butter loaf. Katy Gillett / The National

Run out of yeast preparing all that banana bread? Peanut butter bread may be your solution.

This year saw people around the world re-discover a decades-old recipe (it dates back to 1932) on Reddit, which can be made with only six ingredients (and, yes, it is yeast-free).

It's perfect with a smear of Nutella or butter, and great as a snack or a sweet breakfast. The full recipe for the loaf is here.

Pan-flipped egg sandwich

The ingredients you need for the TikTok one pan egg sandwich: two slices of bread, two beaten eggs, a knob of butter, salt, pepper and optional slices of cheese. Farah Andrews / The National 
The ingredients you need for the TikTok one pan egg sandwich: two slices of bread, two beaten eggs, a knob of butter, salt, pepper and optional slices of cheese. Farah Andrews / The National 

Another dish popularised by TikTok is the pan-flipped egg sandwich. The savoury French toast-omelette-toastie hybrid became an instant hit because it’s easy to prepare, fully customisable and needs just a few easy-to-find ingredients (eggs, bread, butter, salt and any other fillings, depending on your tastes).

It's best served piping hot, after you've taken an adequate amount of photos. Find the full recipe here

Pancake cereal

Can’t decide between pancakes and cereal in the morning? You might not need to choose anymore, because one of the biggest food trends to take over the internet was pancake cereal.

It was, again, popularised by TikTok.

Just like it sounds, the viral food trend involves making a batch of tiny pancakes (also known as baby pancakes or mini pancakes) and placing them in a bowl.

They can then be doused with maple syrup or milk and eaten with a spoon – just like cereal.

If you don’t have the equipment needed to make the mini pancakes, bloggers have been using squeeze bottles to pour tiny portions of pancake batter onto a hot pan to make the treat.

Focaccia art

Focaccia has definitely been one of the most popular breads to bake while at home; the Italian staple is easy to make and can be customised with your choice of herbs and ingredients.

To add to the fun, a number of bakers have taken to using the dough as a blank canvas in order to create gorgeous, colourful focaccia art.

This means 'focaccia art' has been trending online over the last few months.

You can make your dish look lovely by arranging ingredients such as tomatoes, basil leaves, onion slices and cut-up peppers on the dough before baking it. The result is bread that’s almost too pretty to eat (almost).

Three-ingredient Oreo cake

Those looking to create a seemingly elaborate dessert using only three ingredients can follow social media influencer Eloise Head’s lead.

Head, who runs the Instagram page Fitwaffle, debuted the three-ingredient Oreo cake on her social media platform, showcasing how to make it using only double cream, icing sugar and 60 Oreo biscuits.

The method is simple: add 50 grams of icing sugar to 750 millilitres of double cream and whip until stiff peaks form. You can then layer it with Oreo biscuits within a cake tin. Refrigerate for a minimum of four hours and your Oreo cake is all set.