TikTok's Eye-Catching Crème Brûlée Donuts Actually Crack

TikTok's food scene has cemented itself as a formidable fixture in the cooking world. Home bakers won't soon forget the sourdough starter trend that dominated the social media platform during the early days of the pandemic. The app's cooking tips and tricks — which cover everything from perfectly hard boiling eggs to this surprising add-on to avocado toast — regularly go viral. And if you've been on the internet at all in the last few months, then you've probably encountered the new butter board — maybe you've even assembled one yourself.

Now, there's another TikTok food trend to explore. Introducing TikTok's newest viral pastry: the crème brûlée donut. If cracking the crisp layer of sugar on top is your favorite part about diving into classic crème brûlée, get excited: TikTok's eye-catching crème brûlée donuts actually crack. 

According to a video recipe by TikTok user @lifewithtuyen, basic fried donuts are piped with a simple vanilla custard cream filling. In the dessert's pièce de résistance, the filled donut gets delicately submerged in a thin caramel sauce. It's simply sugar and water gently heated, but it makes a world of difference for these little viral donuts. Once that thin caramel layer hardens, the donuts will crack just like crème brûlée. Home bakers are expressing their excitement to give these creations a try for themselves with comments like "Not a want, a need." Yet, for such a sweet treat, the crème brûlée donuts' disputed origin has garnered some salty controversy.

Filled with custard, inspiration, and some debate

Las Vegas-based bakery Saint Honoré sells crème brûlée donuts and might have first conceptualized the now-viral sweet. Now, some folks say TikTokers are ripping off Saint Honoré's idea. A video by Saint Honoré Doughnuts shows two hands cracking a crème brûlée donut and the custard spilling out. Many users are tagging the bakery in the comments sections of other video recipes like this one by @bakewithzoha, who denies any prior knowledge of the bakery or its product.

This isn't the first time TikTok has popularized a pastry from a particular bakery. The Suprême (a crispy croissant fantasia by NYC's Lafayette Grand Bakery and Café) garnered so many views that Lafayette's lines literally wrap around the block. 

In the case of crème brûlée donuts, however, assigning definitive credit is trickier due to its potential for at-home recreation as well as the onslaught of copycat recipes circulating the platform. But, ultimately, ascertaining the creation's inventor might be less important than the fact that it's inspiring home bakers to get into the kitchen and out of their comfort zones. Celebrity foodie Tabitha Brown tells People, "I honestly [share videos on TikTok] to help people see food differently and know they have other options if they ever want to try something new!" Indeed, accessibility is the name of the game as new and aspiring foodies are getting excited about cooking through TikToks like these donuts.