Move Over Sourdough: The Newest Pandemic Food Trend Is Here

by Elaine Roth
Originally Published: 
pancake cereal with butter over white background with knife and fork
Scary Mommy and Anna Blazhuk/Getty

First came the whipped coffee trend.

Then came the sourdough bread baking trend.

Now, the newest pandemic food trend sweeping the grocery store shelves is here: pancake cereal. Unlike the sourdough bread trend, pancake cereal requires a lot less yeast and careful measuring, and a lot more of what makes you happy. The trend started on TikTok—don’t they all now?—with over 11 million views for the hashtag #pancakecereal, and has made its way over to Instagram, where the top post has nearly 253,000 views.

Full disclosure: I haven’t jumped on any of the pandemic food trends popping up on social media. The most I’ve managed to bake with my kids for the last two months (two years? I guess I can’t blame the pandemic for my cooking failures, though it’s tempting) are cinnamon rolls from one of those cans that you pop open by pressing it to the side of a countertop. But this is a trend the kids and I might try—we like pancakes. We like cereal and milk. And if the way my kids seem to guzzle down maple syrup is any indication, I’d say we like that, too. And we have time, which is the one ingredient this trend requires, regardless of what else you throw into the batter.

The basic idea of the pancake cereal trend is exactly what it sounds like. Mini pancakes, prepared like normal, poured into a bowl with milk, like cereal, with a drizzle of maple syrup on top. The fun comes because it’s super easy to personalize this trend. Vegan? No problem! Gluten-free? Easy as can be. Looking for a colorful pick-me-up and Instagram-worthy way of using up those M&Ms? You’ve found your new go-to.

Start with your batter—whether you’re going with good old buttermilk pancakes from a box or homemade, or turning to something with a fancy, fruity twist. Scoop the batter into a pastry bag or Ziploc—which works like a pastry bag if you twist the top and cut off a small piece of the corner. Then dot the batter onto your greased skillet. The size of each pancake is up to you, but if the goal is cereal size, you’ll want to keep each pancake pretty tiny and bite-sized. Once the pancakes are sufficiently browned, pour them into a bowl, add milk and syrup, grab a spoon, and you’re good to go. Alternatively, add a dab of butter beneath that drizzle of syrup, throw in a handful of sliced strawberries, and grab a fork.

Need more inspiration? We’ve rounded up a few Instagram accounts that will almost definitely encourage you to break out the mixing spoon.

When pancake cereal joins the tie dye trend, you get this gorgeous swirl of color.

Nutella mixed with mini pancakes. Once my daughter knows this exists, I don’t think I’ll ever get her to eat anything for breakfast…or lunch or dinner…again.

Not into pancakes? No worries. The pancake cereal trend is letting waffles in on the party.

Cookie dough as a pancake as a cereal… Honestly, I’m already in the kitchen gathering the ingredients.

Dessert or breakfast, spoon food or fork food, the Internet seems mixed on exactly how to treat—or eat—this trend, but the results are nevertheless shareable and delectable. And the truth is, it doesn’t really matter how you want to approach this trend because, well, it’s a pandemic; the world is pretty scary. And you should cook, and eat what makes you happy.

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