Cottage Cheese Ice Cream? An Inside Look Into The Latest Viral TikTok Trend

Edible cookie dough, high-protein toast, and even a new spin on scrambled eggs. The cottage cheese trend is taking the internet by storm. But is it worth the hype?

By Gina Florio3 min read
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TikTok has taken the world by storm since its global launch in 2016. A concoction of viral dance trends, lip-sync videos, comedic skits, and educational snippets, the popular app has become a cultural phenomenon that offers everything from kitchen hacks to DIY projects. TikTok brought us the "Dalgona Coffee" trend during the lockdown, a frothy whipped coffee concoction named after a South Korean candy. It went viral as users shared their attempts at making the labor-intensive but Instagram-worthy drink. Fashion trends have also thrived on the app, such as the "cottagecore" aesthetic, characterized by flowy dresses, pastoral landscapes, and a romanticized interpretation of rural life. TikTok also made "e-girl" and "soft girl" styles mainstream, influencing the beauty industry with specific makeup trends. The latest trend on the food side is all about cottage cheese.

Cottage Cheese Is Having a Moment

Cottage cheese is made by curdling cow's milk, which results in the formation of curds. The process begins with heating pasteurized milk and adding an acid (such as vinegar or lemon juice) or bacterial culture to facilitate curdling. The curds are then cut and cooked until they reach the desired consistency. After cooking, the curds are rinsed and drained, leaving a lumpy, creamy cheese. This cheese can be consumed fresh, without the aging or ripening process that many other cheeses undergo.

Nutritionally, cottage cheese is a powerhouse. It's high in protein, making it an excellent choice for those looking to build muscle or maintain a balanced diet. A one-cup serving typically provides around 25 grams of protein. Moreover, it's low in calories and fat, which contributes to its appeal for weight management. Cottage cheese is also rich in essential nutrients. It's a good source of calcium, important for bone health, and provides considerable amounts of B vitamins, especially B12, crucial for brain function and energy production. Other minerals present include potassium, necessary for heart health, and selenium, a potent antioxidant. But for most of us, we don't consider cottage cheese to be a daily staple in our diet. It's usually thought to be the stuff of nursing homes. TikTok changed that pretty quickly.

Over the last few months, there has been an explosion of cottage cheese content on TikTok (and eventually Instagram and Facebook). People started making ice cream, cookie dough, and even eggs with cottage cheese, and it was particularly popular because of its high protein content, which is especially important for people who are trying to shed excess body fat. Cottage cheese started being used as a substitute for "healthier" alternatives rather than opting in for heavy cream, processed flour, etc. in favorite dishes and desserts.

Videos of people making these recipes started gathering millions and millions of views. Sure enough, interest in cottage cheese exploded everywhere online, not just social media. According to Google Trends, between February 23 and April 23, the number of searches for "cottage cheese" increased by 50%. Between April 5 to April 13, searches for "cottage cheese ice cream" increased 100%.

Cottage Cheese Ice Cream, Cookie Dough, Eggs, and More

The most popular cottage cheese recipe is by far the ice cream variation. TikToker @lainiecooks (among many others, such as @realgoodfoodie) shared a strawberry cheesecake ice cream concoction that included the simplest of ingredients: cottage cheese, honey, strawberries, and graham crackers. You just mix everything up in a food processor or with a handheld immersion blender, put it in a container, and freeze it for a few hours. Scoop it out with an ice cream scoop, top it with some more fresh strawberries and crushed graham crackers, and you have a creamy dessert with a whopping 60 grams of protein.

"Cottage cheese is the new cauliflower," a user commented. Many people chimed in to say that they tried the recipe, and it was so easy and yummy. However, there are many users who lament over the fact that it just tastes like cottage cheese, no matter how many sweeteners you put in it. Regardless of the mixed feedback, it has become one of the most popular recipes shared across social media in the last several weeks.

Another viral recipe is cottage cheese cookie dough that's meant to just be eaten "raw" rather than baked. It's made with cottage cheese, maple syrup, vanilla extract, almond flour, vanilla protein powder, and chocolate chips. TikToker @jakecohen posted a video of himself eating it straight out of the bowl.

One user commented and said they have been making a batch every day; others agreed and said it was a tasty, high-protein alternative to the traditional batch of dough. However, not everyone is thrilled about it.

"ENOUGH with the cottage cheese omg," a tired user commented. "I can't wait to not try it," another person wrote.

Other viral cottage cheese recipes include high-protein cottage cheese toast, chili oil cottage cheese dip, and cottage cheese eggs (although this one didn't exactly get rave reviews).

It may be a short-lived trend, but cottage cheese manufacturers are enjoying it while it lasts. I had to try the cottage cheese ice cream for myself last night. I made the strawberry cheesecake variation, but instead of using graham crackers, I broke up some pieces of leftover sourdough banana bread I made two days ago. I have to say, it was super creamy and really delicious. My husband loved it too. However, it does taste strongly of cottage cheese, and it's a flavor you can't escape, so if you don't like cottage cheese, this trend isn't for you. As for the high-protein toast, eggs, and cookie dough, I haven't gotten around to those yet, but I have to say the only one that interests me is the cookie dough.