If you’re wondering why multiple recipes for “Biscoff lasagna” have taken over your TikTok "For You" page — and why the speculoos flavor cookie has been sold out in some stores — the answer is obvious: Ramadan.
Lotus Biscoff, the Belgian thin caramelized biscuit covered in sugar and cinnamon, has gone viral in recent months thanks to Muslim TikTok getting creative and turning the cookies into cheesecakes and tiramisus and posting videos of the processes on TikTok.
The company, Lotus Bakeries, has noticed and said its sales have increased by 10% since before the pandemic due to social media.
Desserts are a large part of Muslim culture, and especially more so during Ramadan when Muslims tend to gather in dessert parlors after prayer to get together and have something sweet. During the pandemic, that became virtually impossible for most countries due to restaurant closures and lockdowns, and so people turned to creating their own Ramadan dessert treats — first Oreos had their viral moment, and then Nutella, then somehow, people decided to nominate Lotus Biscoff as THE 2022 Ramadan dessert.
Muslims haven’t just been doing this at home, either — dessert parlors that have since reopened have been selling basically anything Biscoff-related in treats such as milkshakes, waffles, ice cream, and more.
“I think Ramadan and Biscoff are just inseparable,” Walla Abu-Eid, a 32-year-old teacher and baker in Sydney, Australia, who created the original viral Biscoff lasagna, told BuzzFeed News. “It was also during Ramadan that this recipe came about.”
Two years ago, Abu-Eid did a series of Instagram Lives where she baked on the livestream and asked viewers to cook along with her. “It was a 2020 lockdown, we were all stuck at home with nowhere to go,” she said. She created Lotus Biscoff lasagna and immediately knew it would be a hit.
“The end product was something exceptionally delicious, so I remade the dessert again while recording a video and uploaded it to Instagram, where it went viral,” she said. “Thousands and thousands of people have re-created it since then.” Just two days ago, Abu-Eid did an ad on TikTok with Woolworths Australia where she used Lotus Biscoff on ice cream.
Medina Khedir, 26, from Seattle made a funny TikTok talking about how everyone on Muslim TikTok is Biscoff obsessed.
“Free North American Muslims from the shackles of Biscoff Tiramisu,” she said. “If you are a victim, say ameen.”
Khedir told BuzzFeed News that she noticed the trend after she watched about three or four videos back to back of Muslims making it for iftar.
“I thought the response to my video was funny — I didn’t think that many people would see it and interact, but it’s been really nice hearing about people's experiences,” Khedir said.
“One girl said she made it eight days in a row for her family,” she said.
Sumaya Mohamed, a 19-year-old from Minnesota, told BuzzFeed News that her recent recipe was inspired by watching people's TikToks of dessert lasagna. Her Lotus Biscoff Tiramisu was born, and now her TikTok video of it has over 600,000 views.
Another person who found herself posting a Lotus Biscoff TikTok was 22-year-old Wafa Saleh, who lives in California. She told BuzzFeed News she first found out about the biscuit two years ago from TikTok.
“I knew I had to try it and see what the hype was about,” she said. “I fell in love with it.” Saleh said she first tried to create a no-bake cheesecake, which her whole family adored.
A spokesperson for Lotus Bakeries told BuzzFeed News that the company has noticed its caramelized cookies going viral on social media among “a diverse group of consumers all over the world,” presumably a reference to Muslim TikTok.
“We noticed something similar during the COVID-lockdown where our products were featured in many Instagram and YouTube accounts in a broad range of home-baking recipes,” they said in a statement.
“And we are happy to see that our unique Biscoff taste is again a source of inspiration and that we are going viral on TikTok.”
Lotus Bakeries has credited the new recipes people have created, as well as social media overall, in their 2020 financial report as having contributed to the company’s increased profits.
But those who are making the creations as a way to share with their community and loved ones are also making memes about the Biscoff takeover of Ramadan. Vimto is a staple drink at almost every Muslim household’s iftars, and one TikToker posted a video with the caption: “is Biscoff the new equivalent to Vimto.”
Considering I wrote this article with a packet of Biscoff next to me, it appears that the answer is yes.