It’s a stereotype at this point that gamers live off of ramen noodles, Doritos, and Mountain Dew. But can we really live off that alone when we see our in-game characters eating dishes that we could easily find on the menu of an upscale restaurant?
Many video games feature delicious meals that look good enough on screen to make our stomachs rumble. It isn’t just games like the Cooking Mama series, either. Even role-playing games boast signature food that’s just as recognizably theirs as its own characters are. Just look at Skyrim‘s sweet rolls and World of Warcraft funnel cakes.
If you’ve ever wondered what those dishes would taste like in real life, these video game food recipes are for you. The best part? They’ll be as easy as they are mouth-watering good.
1. Sims 4‘s Signature Cake
Difficulty Rating: ⭐
Reason: Signature cake is as simple as chocolate cake can get while still having a fresh and uniquely Sims 4 flair. There are no complicated egg beating specifications or overly lengthy preparation process.
Signature cake looks a bit like the Sims 4 chocolate cake that all of your sims have access to from the start of the game. But the chocolate cake is all chocolate, from the ganache down to the base. The signature cake, on the other hand, adds a nutty twist to the classic Sims 4 chocolate cake: peanut butter.
If you have peanut allergies, this recipe isn’t for you so feel free to skip ahead.
Sims 4‘s signature cake unlocks when your sim reaches Cooking Level 6 but that doesn’t mean you need advanced cooking skills to make it. All you need for this recipe is a couple of hours and enough patience to throw flour, eggs, and sugar together in a bowl.
The only way this cake can be made wrong is if your chocolate ganache seizes which happens when moisture gets into the mixture, resulting in a lumpy, dry texture that doesn’t look as gooey as the one in this photo.
The Sims Legacy Challenge site has a list of all the ingredients and steps you need to know to make yourself a Sims 4 signature cake. For an ELI5 explanation on how to make a chocolate ganache for this video game recipe, check out this video from Preppy Kitchen.
2. Witcher 3: Wild Hunt‘s Honey Spice Cake
Difficulty Rating: ⭐⭐
Reason: Witcher 3‘s Honey Spice Cake sounds complicated, but don’t let the name fool you. It’s a surprisingly easy recipe to make as long as you don’t want to eat it on the same day you bake it. Honey Spice Cake takes a couple weeks to mature and develop its flavors, making it a recipe for people who have the time and patience of an elf.
Can you imagine how good Witcher 3‘s Honey Spice Cake would taste with a warm cup of coffee on a cold Christmas evening? You don’t even have to see it in person to tell that it would smell like a Cinnabon store.
Honey Spice Cake makes an appearance in the Blood and Wine DLC during the Spoontaneous Profits! quest that leads you to the Trastamara Estate Ruins. Players obtain a spoon key that gives them access to the studio of a legendary elven cook. Yes, a studio. It’s said to be in the ruins of a temple to the elf goddess Dana Meadbh.
It’s only when you get to the temple that the game delivers its punch line: the cobweb riddled studio kitchen belongs to none other than chef Ra’mses Gor-Thon. Say it slowly.
Witcher Kitchen lays out the steps for making this Polish gingerbread cake here.
3. World of Warcraft‘s Braised River Beast
Difficulty Rating: ⭐⭐
Reason: Braised River Meat has a three-part cooking process that requires you to pay attention every step of the way. While it isn’t a passive skill, er, recipe like Honey Spice Cake, the upside is that it takes less than two hours to make. Not bad for a dish that looks and tastes this good!
Kill virtual wildlife and throw it over a fire.
World of Warcraft‘s braised river beast is a level 40 item that restores 4,500 health and 4,500 mana over the course of a 20 second period. While it can be spammed in-game thanks to a one-second cooldown, it’s easier to spam this video game dish in real life where cooldowns and energy costs are never a problem.
If you were a WoW character, you’d have to hunt your river beast on your own either in the waters of Azeroth or Draenor. In real life, hunting down live animals can get a little more legally complicated, especially if you try to go after the vulnerable hippopotamus, the animal that the river beast is based on.
The real-world version of braised river beast substitutes river beast meat with lamb shank that’s been seared and marinated in red wine and beef stock. Are you drooling yet? You will be. The lamb is then baked with a generous amount of garlic as well as carrots and potatoes. Once cooked, it’s taken out of the oven and drizzled with red wine sauce and chopped parsley.
This video game dish is more than just an in-game fantasy. You can make it real with this recipe from Eat Game Live.
4. Genshin Impact‘s Bamboo Shoot Soup
Difficulty Rating: ⭐⭐
Reason: Although insanely simple to make, patience is key for this Bamboo Shoot Soup, whose real-world name is 腌笃鲜 (Yān dǔ xiān) meaning “cured and fresh meat slow-cooked together.” The only hard part of this recipe is finding the ingredients. Among its rarer components are Jinhua ham, from which the dish gets most of its flavor, and goji berry. Aside from the ingredients, all you really need is the patience of a saint or should I say a god?
Inazuma shines eternal but you know what else feels like an eternity? Zhongli’s infamous Bamboo Shoot Soup that, according to in-game lore, takes three to four hours to make. That said, this hearty, comforting soup is a complex blend of flavors that makes the wait completely worth it.
Anyone who’s familiar with the flavors of many Asian cuisines will be able to tell that yān dǔ xiān tastes divine which is just what to expect when a dish is the specialty recipe of a literal god.
Yān dǔ xiān is made with slow-boiled pork belly, heaps of ginger, spring onions, knotted tofu sheets, and, as the name suggests, bamboo shoots. The fact that it’s a soup means it’s as simple as it gets but it does have an hour-long cooking time and a two-hour prep time.
Don’t be afraid to make it, though. That two hours of prep is mostly spent waiting for the jinhua ham, a salty cured meat originating from Jinhua city, to soak. But if you don’t want to wait, the Jinhua ham is optional. For other types of ham, the cooking time goes down to about an hour.
5. Cooking Mama: World Kitchen‘s Pudding
Difficulty Rating: ⭐
Reason: Prep, bake, and chill. That’s really all there is to this video game recipe. As if it weren’t easy enough, the ingredients it uses are so common, they’re likely already in your fridge or pantry. Perfect for a quick way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
We can’t talk about video game food without talking about the ultimate cooking game that inspired a generation of kids to become chefs, or at least to figure out how their stove works.
Cooking Mama: World Kitchen was released on November 1, 2008, as a second installment of the Cooking Mama series of games designed for the Nintendo Wii. It also happened to be the last. But just because it was the last game doesn’t mean it was the worst. It was the first Cooking Mama game to be rendered in 3D which made every dish your character made even more realistic.
If you’ve played the game, you know Cooking Mama can get hard so why not give yourself a break in real life by cooking one of the simpler Cooking Mama dishes? Pudding is a sweet dish with a caramelized top and a smooth, creamy texture that just melts in your mouth.
Just like in the game, all you need to make this pudding are eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla extract. Taste of Home’s recipe includes 8 ounces of cream cheese which gives the pudding a distinct flavor that feels more substantial than eating nothing but sugar. It’s a cross between flan and a cheesecake. What’s not to love?
6. Super Mario Odyssey‘s Stupendous Stew
Difficulty Rating: ⭐ or ⭐⭐⭐
Reason: You have two options for cooking stupendous stew: the easy way or the slightly harder way. If you’re already used to lengthy cooking times and detailed recipes, the hard version is worth trying for its sheer deliciousness. You sacrifice some of that with the easier version but if you couldn’t stand the thought of making yān dǔ xiān, the easy recipe is for you.
The Nintendo Switch may be relatively new but anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock for the past twenty years knows the gaming world’s iconic Italian plumber, Mario. Mario made his comeback in 2017 with the release of Super Mario Odyssey, a platformer game that takes us and Mario through several worlds known as “kingdoms.” Each world holds its own potential for excitement especially the Luncheon Kingdom, a whole dimension of culinary goodness.
The Luncheon Kingdom is a feast for the eyes and Stupendous Stew stands out for being, well, stew-pendous! It’s a cream-based stew that draws its flavors from a savory stock, heavy cream, milk, and butter. It’s basically sopas but without the noodles.
If you want to go all out, this recipe from Level 1 Chef uses salt-aged meat for maximum flavor. But if you don’t want to climb Mount Volbano for your stew fix, Jammy Cooks has a recipe that you can make in under an hour.
7. Final Fantasy XIV‘s Shakshouka
Difficulty Rating: ⭐
Reason: This classic combo of poached eggs and tomato sauce is guaranteed to be flavorful and, most importantly, easy to make. If you can work a stove and you’ve made stir fry before, this shakshouka recipe is practically idiot-proof. It’s also the quickest recipe on this list.
Massive swords, big hair, and an overblown plot that’s nonetheless fun — it’s Final Fantasy XIV. Set in the fictional planet of Hydaelyn, the game takes its players through a world filled with city-states and sea-faring empires. Since it’s an MMORPG, players group together to form parties and guilds where they fill specific roles, the most important of which is the chef.
Kidding, kidding. But while Final Fantasy XIV is just that: fantasy, the in-game dishes are very much real. If you’re part of the Culinarian class, this recipe is just what you need to keep your party members fighting at the top of their game.
Shakshouka is a flavorful dish originating from Northwest Africa that consists of eggs poached in a tomato sauce seasoned with cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper. It’s fast, easy, and tastes like you spent hours making it (even though it really only takes 20-30 minutes).
A Recipe Reborn walks you through the steps for making a delicious pan of shakshouka that’s fit for an adventurer. Check out the recipe in this video.
Got your own favorite video game dish? Let us know! While you’re at it, you might want to try out these recipes of yummy anime foods.