With more time to cook, hobby chefs are branching out. Take a peek at how enticing images bring the recipes for social media hits into our kitchens.

If there’s one thing that brings people comfort in times of stress, it’s going back to basics. Self-isolating and quarantining inside of our homes during the coronavirus pandemic has been proof of that. Hands-on hobbies like putting together puzzles and doing needlepoint have become increasingly popular on social media during these long days hunkered down at home. However, there’s a hands-on activity of a different kind leading the pack in terms of popular quarantine to-do’s: cooking and baking

With restaurants and cafes closed, people have been experimenting with baking foods like sourdough bread and desserts. More and more people are trying new recipes gaining popularity on Instagram and TikTok such as cacio e pepe and whipped coffee.

The Images Inspiring Our Recipes While We Cook at Home — Resurgences of Baking
People are passing time indoors baking food like sourdough bread and family recipes. Image by PinkyOne.

As a result, food-centric brands like Buzzfeed’s Tasty and Bon Appetit, famous for their recipe how-to videos, are stepping in to hold everyone’s collective hand while we all lean into our new chef personas. It’s a deliciously cyclical relationship; the more they see people baking and cooking new recipes in the kitchen, the more videos and photos of those recipes they produce. 

The Images Inspiring Our Recipes While We Cook at Home— How-To Videos Are Common
Cooking and baking at home has become more common with the closing of restaurants, bars and cafes. Image by Monkey Business Images.

In this article, we take a closer look at the images that are inspiring our quarantine baking and cooking habits, alongside the most popular savory and sweet recipes that have been flooding social media as a result.

How Cooking Videos and Aesthetic Food Photos Took Over The Internet

The 2010s was the decade everyone became a “foodie,” especially if you’re a millennial. If you weren’t snapping a photo of your visually appealing brunch for Instagram, you were searching Pinterest for fun, colorful food and drink recipes.

The curated structure of a pretty meal as seen through a smartphone was not only what social media users wanted to get likes; it’s what they also wanted to try themselves when they stepped into the kitchen.

Buzzfeed’s “Tasty” brand changed the internet food game in 2015 with their popular overhead shooting style. This how-to style of video combined with the recipe instructions gave many viewers the confidence to step into their own kitchens and achieve their dream recipe. A recipe perfect for both their stomachs and their social media accounts.

The Images Inspiring Our Recipes While We Cook at Home — A Pretty Meal Seen Through Smartphone
Aesthetically pleasing meals have taken over Instagram and Pinterest over the last few years. Image by PRPictures Production.

How Visuals Make It Easier To Try Cooking and Baking

Recipes spelled out in books and online may be clear in how to construct the final dish, but, according to Psychology Today, visual cues successfully help people “better retrieve and remember information.” The YouTube videos of popular food and drink magazine Bon Appetit walk viewers through each recipe in the style of a cooking show. They include closeups on ingredients and the cooking and baking process, all of which is narrated by the chef.

Sharing the cooking experience on social media

Instagram has become a popular platform for cooking and baking how-to’s over the last few years. People and brands are using Stories and IGTV, as well as the traditional grid video, to show off their delicious creations. During quarantine in particular, celebrities have been connecting with fans by sharing their favorite recipes. This includes Gigi Hadid documenting the making of her spicy vodka sauce; Chrissy Teigen cooking chicken and her social-media-famous banana bread; and “Queer Eye” star Antoni Porowski creating his own quarantine-centered cooking series.

There’s very little room for failure with videos like these that break down the often-intimidating cooking and baking process.

The Images Inspiring Our Recipes While We Cook at Home — Sharing the Cooking Experience on Social Media
Cooking videos are shot to give viewers the confidence to try new recipes at home. Image by Olga1818.

Why Are We Cooking and Baking So Much In Quarantine?

Even prior to being in quarantine, people loved to cook and bake. Creating foods and desserts is a decades-old hobby and de-stressor. However, since quarantine and social distancing measures have ramped up, people have been cooking and baking much more than they used to.

The increase in foods being produced during this time has been described as “stress baking,” which isn’t a surprise given that the world is in the middle of global pandemic. Given that we’re being bombarded with a plethora of negative news, people have turned to the positive feelings associated with cooking and baking. This includes feelings of comfort and community, as well as something to keep their hands busy.

The Images Inspiring Our Recipes While We Cook at Home — Why are We Cooking and Baking So Much in Quarantine
Baking leads to positive feelings, it’s a fact. Image by soul_studio.

In fact, because of increased interest in cooking and baking, supermarkets have started to notice a shortage in ingredient staples like yeast, baking powder and flour. But despite the shortages, cooking and baking has successfully acted as a stress reliever during these troubled times. Many are finding cooking and baking to be new hobbies, as well as a new way to bond with the people living in their homes, whether they be roommates or their children.

The Images Inspiring Our Recipes While We Cook at Home — Cooking with Family
“Stress baking” has been a result of living in quarantine, but so have feelings of comfort and creativity because of trying new recipes. Image by Rawpixel.com.

What Have Been Some Popular Quarantine Food Trends?

If it’s popular, it’s going to find its way to social media. And living in quarantine has inspired some deliciously colorful and caffeinated recipes

Dalgona coffee, or whipped coffee

One of the first quarantine recipes to take over social media, dalgona coffee became popular thanks to videos on TikTok. Soon, images and articles of the highly caffeinated drink were everywhere you turned. Made with two tablespoons of instant coffee, sugar, and boiling hot water whipped together for 10-12 minutes, dalgona coffee originated in South Korea. Social media soon applied the same recipe to matcha and strawberry-flavored powder used for milk drinks.

The Images Inspiring Our Recipes While We Cook at Home — Dalgona Coffee (Whipped Coffee)
Reimagining the possibilities of instant coffee. Image by Lesti Junirowati.

Sweet and savory breads

From banana bread to sourdough starter kits to focaccia, baking bread ranks high on the lists of many amateur and experienced chefs while in quarantine. Chrissy Teigen’s famous banana bread recipe, in particular, is a popular sweet choice. Baking sourdough bread from a starter is also rising in popularity.

The Images Inspiring Our Recipes While We Cook at Home — Sweet and Savory Breads
Traditional breadmaking is making its way into modern households. Image by Jae Hassold.

Tiny pancake cereal

A newer quarantine food trend, pancake cereal — or tiny pancakes eaten out of a cereal bowl — rose to popularity on TikTok. People have stepped up their creativity game since the sweet treat made its social media debut, covering the meal in the standard butter and syrup, rainbow sprinkles, and crushed cereal.

The Images Inspiring Our Recipes While We Cook at Home — Tiny Pancake Cereal
Getting crafty with pancake batter. Image by Barbara Neveu.

“Quarantinis” during Zoom happy hours

While the term “quarantini” is a generalized name for alcoholic drinks made and consumed under quarantine, drinking together with friends over the video chat service Zoom has been one of the more popular ways to bond with others while social distancing. In the last few months, happy hours held over Zoom have become common for coworkers as they work from home and friends just looking to unwind with each other.

The Images Inspiring Our Recipes While We Cook at Home — Quarantinis During Zoom Happy Hours
Happy hour with your folks has never been easier. Image by Aleksandra Suzi.

With the ups and down social distancing and living in quarantine has brought the world, food and the creative recipes that arise from social media, overall, remains a love language the world can appreciate.

Top image by Stock-Asso.

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