'Crinkle cake' recipe goes viral on TikTok: Try the sweet, flaky dessert

A TikTok user went viral with her crinkle cake recipe, which has been viewed more than 15M times

There's a new dessert recipe gaining steam as a TikTok food trend, and this time it's "crinkle cake" – a sweet and flaky pastry that can be made at home.

Crinkle cake has Middle Eastern origins and is made with phyllo dough, syrup and custard, according to TikTok user Ramena, who made the recipe go viral after she shared a video tutorial of how she makes the dish. 

Ramena posted her crinkle cake recipe to her TikTok account, Ramena Said Wow, on Dec. 30, 2021 and the video has amassed more than 15 million views.

The Chicago-based baker and content creator told Fox News Digital that her attention-grabbing crinkle cake recipe is a traditional Middle Eastern dessert that's known under a different name.

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"Crinkle has been around for hundreds of years," Ramena wrote in a TikTok direct message. "It’s called 'muakacha.'" 

Ramena, a baker from Chicago, makes crinkle cake (AKA muakacha), which is a traditional Middle Eastern dessert that's flaky and sweet.

Ramena, a baker from Chicago, makes crinkle cake (AKA muakacha), which is a traditional Middle Eastern dessert that's flaky and sweet. (TikTok @RamenaSaidWow)

The word muakacha reportedly means "wrinkled" when translated from Arabic to English, according to Hilda’s Kitchen, a Middle Eastern cooking blog.

"[Muakacha] can be found all around the Middle East," Ramena noted.

Visually, crinkle cake looks similar to baklava, another phyllo dough pastry that Americans might be more familiar with, but Ramena  said the syrup that's used in crinkle cake is thicker.

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Ramena makes her crinkle cake recipe with two sheets of raw phyllo dough, which she carefully scrunches together by hand and places down a clean aluminum pan. 

She typically uses a single box of phyllo dough that has 28 pieces of 12-by-17-inch dough. But, Ramena said people can use more or less depending on the size of a pan.

Ramena arranges the crinkled dough in a way that takes up the pan's entire base, and she bakes it in an oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

While the crinkle cake bakes, she melts two sticks of butter and pours the liquid over the cake after she removes it from the oven. She then bakes the crinkle cake for another 10-minute session while she prepares the dish’s custard.

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Ramena makes her crinkle cake custard with one cup of sugar, one cup of milk, two freshly cracked eggs and two to three teaspoons of vanilla, which she whisks in a bowl. When the cake is done baking a second time, she pours the custard over the pastry and bakes it one final time for 30 to 40 minutes.

She prepares the crinkle cake’s simple syrup while it bakes. Her syrup recipe includes one cup of sugar, a half cup of water and a small pinch of citric acid (or 12 drops of lemon juice), and it gets heated in a pot for 12 minutes.

Ramena removes her crinkle cake from the oven when she sees it's golden brown and pours the simple syrup over the dish.

"This recipe is my own, but it’s not a difficult one, so I wouldn’t be surprised if someone thought it up already," Ramena, who asked her surname be omitted for privacy reasons, told Fox News Digital.

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Thousands of TikTok users have praised Ramena for her recipe with positive reviews or comments about their desire to try crinkle cake.

More than 50 crinkle cake videos have been shared to TikTok under the #CrinkleCake hashtag, and the videos range from users testing out Ramena's viral recipe to others putting their own spin on muakacha.

Texas supermarket chain H-E-B tried Ramena's recipe and made it with brown sugar and chopped toffee-covered pecans.

"Nothing makes me happier than having people try crinkle cake," Ramena wrote to Fox News Digital. "Not enough is known about the rich cultures found in the Middle East and opening up the door for exploration through food makes sharing my recipe all the more worth it."

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Ramena has gone on to make other viral crinkle cake flavors, including white chocolate pear and walnut, caramel apple, fruity pebbles and raspberry chocolate.

Her recipes can be found on TikTok @ramenasaidwow.