What is cloud bread, TikTok's dreamiest, fluffiest food trend?

The airy, pastel-colored bread actually originated with the Atkins diet several decades ago.
Cloud Bread
The original recipe for cloud bread first gained popularity in the 1970s as part of the low-carb, high-protein Atkins diet.Abi Hwang-Nable
/ Source: TODAY
By Erica Chayes Wida

Sometimes it's hard to distinguish whether recipes trending on social media are actually real food or something magical we stumbled across in a dream.

A couple years ago, photos of delicate cloud eggs floated across our Instagram feeds. Then, at the start of quarantine, alongside a frenzy of homemade sourdough tutorials, dalgona coffee whipped its way into our hearts. And now, a meringue-like concoction called cloud bread has taken off on TikTok.

This gluten-free, low-carb bread may attract people looking for a keto-friendly bread substitute, but it also appeals to those just looking to bake something pretty. Per Eater, the recipe itself predates its rise to TikTok fame at the end July which many credit to @linqanaaa. The original recipe first gained popularity in the 1970s as part of the low-carb, high-protein Atkins diet, reported the Kitchn. It was made with eggs, cream cheese, baking powder and optional flavoring.

Made with just egg whites, corn starch and white sugar, today's version of cloud bread comes together quickly and easily. Some folks made versions of the bread in its natural milky color, but others found that pastels up its ethereal ante.

Abi Hwang-Nable, whose TikTok handle is @abimhn, amassed 4.5 million likes on her baking demo, where she explains how to make a regular loaf and a blue one with food coloring and vanilla extract. In a super soothing voice, she said her favorite part is that the bread "dissolves like cotton candy" in your mouth.

Another TikTok user @twin.nwin added strawberry flavoring, which turns the bread pink and gives it a summery taste.

Some Instagram users experimented with different toppings that certainly derail the bread substitute from its low-carb roots but give it that 'gram-friendly unicorn flare.

Whether folks go savory with a sprinkling of salt, garlic and Parmesan, or fantastical with rainbow sprinkles, the cloud bread will undoubtedly liven up your feed (or your table).

How to make 3-ingredient cloud bread

Ingredients:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 2½ teaspoons (10 grams) corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons of white sugar

Instructions:

  1. Whisk egg whites until frothy. Add corn starch and sugar and continue to whisk until peaks begin to form.
  2. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, shape mixture into a round loaf (or any shape you choose, smoothing it out or leaving it organically shaped with uneven edges).
  3. Bake for 25 minutes and enjoy!

EDITOR'S NOTE (August 14, 2020 at 1:00 p.m.): This post has been updated to reflect that Eater first reported on when cloud bread started taking off on TikTok and the user that was responsible for its rise.