Unusual three-ingredient dessert goes viral on TikTok: ‘The most delicious thing’

Dua Lipa shared that she loved the sweet treat and now the internet does too.

An unusual dessert combination is taking TikTok by storm as thousands of creators rush to recreate the viral "olive oil ice cream" trend.

While it might sound funky, the snack is the latest food trend to turn heads on the app – and it consists of just three ingredients: vanilla ice cream, olive oil and salt.

It first garnered attention after international popstar Dua Lipa shared on a BBC radio interview that while she was impartial to chocolate ice cream or gelato, she loved the olive oil and ice cream combination.

Dua Lipa's favourite ice cream combination has gone viral on TikTok. Picture: TikTok/BBC Radio/Nara Smith/Sarita Holland
Dua Lipa's favourite ice cream combination has gone viral on TikTok. Picture: TikTok/BBC Radio/Nara Smith/Sarita Holland

The bizarre dessert soon went viral on TikTok after South African-German model and food influencer Nara Smith shared a video of her “favourite late night snack”, olive oil ice cream, to her more than five million followers – a video which has now been viewed more than 20 million times and boasts two million likes.

“It’s just vanilla ice cream … then I drizzle it with some good olive oil,” Smith said. “And then you need some kind of flaky sea salt – I just do the plain one but sometimes I also do the smokey one. Sprinkle it on top … it has to be flaky though, it can't be the normal one. It’s so good, it's so addicting … 10/10.”

Other creators have since flocked to TikTok to try the dessert for themselves, including Australian mum and TikToker Sarita Holland who shared her own version of the recipe with her 45,000 followers.

“The freakin’ best thing I have ever tasted,” Holland said in a video, which now has more than 24,000 views. “Without a doubt, the best discovery I’ve made on TikTok is this amazingness right here. Since I tried this vanilla ice cream with olive oil and salt, I have never tasted anything more delicious. It tastes expensive.”

Holland used Australian ingredients to create the dessert, including the Cobram Estate extra virgin olive oil and Aldi’s Indulge vanilla bean ice cream. And in contrast to Smith’s combination, she opted for cracked rock salt instead of flaky salt.

“I’m aware this isn’t the right salt to use, you’re supposed to use salt flakes,” Holland explained in the video. “I haven’t yet and it’s amazing with this … it’s just so decadent.”

Her followers were quick to try the snack for themselves and sing its praises.

“I also discovered this on TikTok… tried it and now OBSESSED!,” one follower wrote in the comments section of the video.

“I was sceptical but now I am totally converted,” another gushed. “Absolutely the most delicious thing!”

Other commenters even shared alternative, but equally strange ice cream combinations including vanilla ice cream with balsamic, or adding pistachios and honey to the olive oil and salt concoction.

The viral dessert can easily be recreated by shoppers on a budget using supermarket brand ingredients, however, the most popular products among Aussie creators trying the trend were the Cobram Estate olive oil – a “good” olive oil, as Nara advised – and the Connoisseur classic vanilla ice cream. As for the flaky salt, Maldon’s sea salt flakes appeared to be the most popular choice.

Ahead of her dessert demonstration at Melbourne’s upcoming Good Food & Wine Show, celebrated pastry chef and chocolatier Kirsten Tibballs shared her thoughts on the ice cream trend with Yahoo Lifestyle.

Tibballs said the combination of salty and sweet was likely the reason for the dessert’s popularity on social media.

The most recommended ingredients to make olive oil ice cream at home. Photo: Coles
The most recommended ingredients to make olive oil ice cream at home. Photo: Coles

“It’s those sweet and savoury (flavours) combined, and those notes from the olive oil brings a bit of a peppery tone to the ice cream,” she said. “I think it’s that combination that reduces the sweetness of the ice cream.”

As for Tibballs’ recommendations to recreate the trend at home, she suggested reaching for the Bulla Murray Street vanilla bean ice cream for its “neutral sweet flavour”, in combination with Maldon’s sea salt flakes.

“(The salt flakes) almost pop in the mouth and dissolve, and they have a bit of a crunch on the palette but it’s not overly salty,” she said. “And for olive oil … go with a good extra virgin so it’s really quite pure.

"A good quality olive oil that you can buy from the supermarket is Cobram Estate, and then if you have more access you could buy something from a local grower – they usually have a shorter shelf life but a really beautiful flavour.”

Kirsten Tibballs (lef) and Diana Chan (right) in their kitchens.
Celebrated dessert queen Kirsten Tibballs and Masterchef alum Diana Chan shared their thoughts on the ice cream trend. Photo: Instagram/Kirsten Tibballs/Diana Chan

Fellow chef and 2017 Masterchef Australia winner Diana Chan also told Yahoo Lifestyle Australia that the creaminess of a fior di latte ice cream, made from pure full cream cow’s milk, would pair best with the olive oil and salt.


“Another flavour which I like is yoghurt sorbet,” Chan said. “The slight acidity and sweetness will pair beautifully as well.”

She added that the trend has long existed in Italian cuisine, where it’s known as gelato con olio e sale.

“I’m not surprised it’s trending because it’s a great dessert, but I am surprised because it’s a recipe that has been around for a very long time.”

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