My name is Dana Drosdick, and I have a confession to make: I love FoodTok.
Love TikTok or hate it, there’s no doubt that the recipes it promotes are some of the latest and greatest Internet trends. As a foodie, I’m always excited by all the new recipes to try, ranging from the disastrous (see cheeto cupcakes) to the delectable vegan mac ‘n cheese (watch this video here).
With millions of videos, it can be hard to know where, exactly, to start to find the recipe that will be your next staple food. In an attempt to pare down the myriad of options, I took it upon myself to try the most viral of vegan food trends, so you don’t have to (unless they’re actually good!). Here’s how it went.
The Method: In selecting the TikTok-inspired recipes to make, I decided to rank each dish by taste, makability, and accuracy to the original recipe (or video) on TikTok. Read on to see my favorite (and least favorite) viral vegan recipes, ranking from worst to best.
1. DIY Seitan
Recipe Tried: Washed Flour Seitan Method via The Viet Vegan
What You’ll Need: All-purpose flour, vegan broth, water
If you’re looking for a cheap way to get protein in your diet, all this DIY seitan needs is flour, vegan broth, water, and a bit of love. I’ve seen this DIY seitan concept pop up on my feed regularly and decided I’d finally try it for myself to see if it works as well as others suggest.
Taste: 2/5 | Makability: 1/5 | Accuracy: 3/5
Dana’s Reaction: When people on the Internet tell you that DIY Seitan is a time-consuming process, believe them. It took me at least 16 times of rinsing and kneading, and a full day’s work, before my seitan formed what even slightly resembled a smooth ball of dough. The texture, in my opinion, seemed more sausage-like than shredded chicken, but that may have been due to insufficient kneading. The worst part of this whole process was that the final result was bland and chewy in a way that differs from seitan I’ve had previously. Unless you’re in it for the experience, don’t waste your time on this all-day endeavor and just buy yourself some pre-made seitan instead.
2. 2-Ingredient Oreo Mug Cake
Recipe Tried: 2 Ingredient Oreo Mug Cake via Passion for Savings
What You’ll Need: Oreos and soy milk
According to TikTok, you can make a quick and easy microwave mug cake with only two ingredients. As a huge fan of time-saving recipes, I subbed out milk for soy milk and decided to give this a try.
Taste: 3/5 | Makability: 5/5 | Accuracy: 4/5
Dana’s Reaction: Although more successful than I expected, the texture was still much chewier and denser than a typical cake. I personally like my cakes slightly sweeter and fluffier, but was pleasantly surprised at how much this two-ingredient mug cake tasted like cake. Would I make this again? Probably not, but it was definitely fun to try and super easy to make!
3. Baked Oats
Recipe Tried: Baked Oats (TikTok Recipe) via Feel Good Foodie
What You’ll Need: Oats, egg replacer, banana, maple syrup, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder
Baked oats have been on my list since they first blew up on TikTok, touted as the equivalent of eating cake for breakfast. I subbed the egg out with egg replacer, and found the results to be similar to the images I saw online, with maybe a lack of sufficient mixing on my end for that perfectly smooth texture.
Taste: 4/5 | Makability: 5/5 | Accuracy: 4/5
Dana’s Reaction: I love oats in all forms, and these baked oats were no exception. Although they didn’t look quite as pretty as the ones I saw online, they tasted banana bread-like and I devoured the whole bar faster than I’d care to admit. While I wouldn’t describe them as cake replacer, their natural sweetness offers a healthy treat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack.
4. Nature’s Cereal
Recipe Tried: Nature’s Cereal Recipe (All Berries) via Sugar and Soul
What You’ll Need: Coconut water, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries
Taste: 5/5 | Makability: 4/5 | Accuracy: 5/5
Nature’s cereal exploded on TikTok after TikToker, Wayne Mears, posted his first video about it back in February 2021. The video currently has over 1.3 millions views with celebrities like Lizzo even giving this invention a try.
Dana’s Reaction: Recreating this recipe definitely hurt my bank account a bit (out of season berries in New England are never cheap), but it was 100% worth the try. The coconut water added a refreshing element when paired with the berries and I could eat a whole bowlful of this every morning without complaints. My only caveat would be that this ‘nature’s cereal’ was not very filling, and could quickly get expensive when consumed every day.
5. Dalgona Coffee
Recipe Tried: Best Dalgona Coffee Recipe via Delish.com
What You’ll Need: 2 T sugar, 2 T Instant coffee, 2 T cold water, plant-based milk
Dalgona coffee is a whipped coffee beverage with milk on the bottom and a whipped coffee cream on the top. To make it vegan, I subbed regular milk for a plant-based milk alternative. When stirred together, the soy milk and coffee whip created a rich, latte-like flavor that went down smooth with every sip.
Taste: 5/5 | Makeability: 5/5 | Accuracy: 5/5
Dana’s Reaction: I started this dalgona coffee process skeptical, and left a full-on believer. Besides being frothy, creamy, and just the right amount of sweet, dalgona coffee is also just such a bargain way to drink artisanal coffee drinks. The only downside to this drink is you’ll find yourself craving a dalgona coffee every single day, and your typical cup of joe won’t do the trick anymore.
There are so many recipes to try and, thanks to TikTok, they are far more accessible than ever before. Try these recipes out for yourself and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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Photo: Dana Drosdick