Trend tracker: the desserts taking over TikTok and Instagram in 2024

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Trend tracker: the desserts taking over TikTok and Instagram in 2024

Commercial content producer Lesego Madisa’s social media feeds are full of sugary treats, one after the other. Among the constant talk of protein, calorie counting and fear-mongering dieticians standing in cereal aisle, it seems as though 2024 is shaping into the year having dessert became cool again.

If 2023 was the year of feta eggs and shaved frozen fruit, then 2024 is all about desserts and baked goods. A quick scroll through “Foodstagram” and “FoodTok” will showcase endless videos of foodfluencers using their slow and “sincere” TikTok voices while using the back of their knives to scrape on honey toast, carelessly rip apart dainty pastries, and bake their way around the world’s cuisines. One thing is for sure: this year, viral food trends embody the phrase “treat yo’self”.

The crookie

What sparked this trend? I took one for the team and scrolled all the way back to January to find out when jammy eggs, crispy tofu, deep-fried lion’s mane mushrooms and smashed avocados were replaced by brownies, blondies, cheesecake and croissants. My investigation led to one viral trend: the crookie.

Like the cruffin and cronut, the crookie is a mash-up of croissants and an existing dessert, in this case, the cookie. Created by Maison Louvard bakery in Paris, this decadent recipe is a flaky croissant stuffed with chocolate-chip cookie dough and baked to gooey, rich golden perfection. Soon everyone was sprinting to their local grocers to get their hands on croissants and cookie dough to make this. Trust me, it’s totally worth the hype.

Get the recipe for The Crookie here.

Almond croissants

The crookie opened up the dessert floodgates, and soon your favourite foodfluencers were exploring more desserts to mesh up. Croissants seemed to be a favourite starting point for many, and soon, the almond croissant mania was all over my feed. Almond croissant cookies, almond croissant baked oats, almond croissant blondies, it seemed like frangipane and flaked almonds were everywhere!

Not wanting to be left out, I decided to put the flavours of almond croissants into a babka. The base is a soft, brioche-like dough enriched with butter and eggs. The frangipane filling is spread evenly onto the rolled-out dough, then the dough is rolled up, cut lengthways, the strands are crossed over each other, then topped with flaked almonds and baked before being dusted with icing sugar.

Get the recipe for almond croissant babka here.

Citrus overload

If almond croissants aren’t your thing, then the citrus explosion may be up your street. Sparked by the influence of LemonTok in 2023, slices of lemons, tangerines, blood oranges, and ginormous pomelos were everywhere (I hate to admit that I watched a whole video of Emily Mariko silently and meticulously peeling a pomelo). The citrus trend is easiest to attempt – we bet you have a few lemons right now. Revamp your favourite desserts with a squeeze and zest of your favourite citrus to hop onto the trend.

Ricotta-flapjacks

Get the recipe for ricotta flapjacks here.

Tiramisu everything

It’s no secret that everyone seems to be taking their coffee seriously. Whether it’s the trending home cafe brunches or the laundry-list order hacks for ordering iced coffee ventis at a popular Seattle-founded coffee shop chain – liking coffee has become somewhere of a personality (refer to the cringeworthy but first, coffee memes spawned by the Tumblr generation). Naturally, the most famous coffee dessert would be the next target in the dessert mash-up trend. But what soon started as coffee, chocolate and mascarpone recipes soon turned into lemon tiramisu, matchamisu and, our very own deputy food editor, Khanya Mzongwana, gave us the ClemenGold tiramisu. The trend is simple: layer finger biscuits with a creamy component and then pick your flavour.

ClemenGold tiramisuGet the recipe ClemenGold tiramisu here. 

It’s all about pistachio

Don’t get me wrong, almonds are still leading the dessert wars of Instagram and TikTok but pistachios are not far behind. The Fix Chocolatiers in Dubai released their pistachio kunefe chocolate bars. Soon, everyone wanted to sample the dark chocolate bars stuffed with bright green pistachio paste mixed with kunefe pastry. A barrage of pistachio recipes on social media followed.

Food director Abi Donnelly’s no-bake chocolate tarts make the perfect recipe to try the trend.

No-bake chocolate tartsGet the recipe for no-bake chocolate tarts here. 

This trend is far from slowing down and, while I await the next dessert that will get a 2024 social-media upgrade, I noticed that the theme was clear: have fun and give in to your sweet tooth. This trend isn’t about spending less time in the kitchen or finding healthy swaps, but rather being a bit like Willy Wonka. Get creative with your favourite flavours and desserts – there are no rules.

Lesego Madisa Article by: Lesego Madisa

TASTE's commercial content producer loves thrifty recipes, fridge foraging and never says "no" to cake. When she's not flipping through the pages of food mags and cookbooks, she's happily baking and knitting in her tiny apartment.

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