REVIEW: Cinnamon Pebbles Cereal

Cinnamon Pebbles Cereal

Churros existed before I discovered them in 2009, or so I’m told. But that fateful March afternoon in a Barcelona café was a personal turning point. As in – I turn my head any time I hear the word now. “Did someone say churros?” I ask, more a plea than a question.

When Cinnamon Pebbles cereal was announced last month, it was immediately linked with churros. Blog posts breathlessly asked if the breakfast flakes would taste like them. News articles suggested making Cinnamon Pebbles-covered churros.

My churro buds were aching when I ripped open the box of Cinnamon Pebbles. The scent was definitely cinnamon, but not churro-y. It was familiar, but I couldn’t put my finger on what it reminded me of.

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I threw a dry handful into my mouth. The size, weight and texture are the same as the classic Pebbles varieties. Then the taste revealed itself. These were not Churro Pebbles. They were the simple cinnamon sugar of my youth.

I instantly flashed back to 8 years old, finding an ancient shaker of Domino’s “Sugar ‘n Cinnamon” in the back of the kitchen cabinet. I started dumping clumps of cinna-sugar (emphasis on the sugar) over my plain Rice Chex cereal. That is precisely the taste of Cinnamon Pebbles.

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The cereal absorbed milk quickly, in typical Pebbles (and most rice cereal) fashion. The flavor stayed pretty true wet or dry, which makes me think it’s really baked in, not just a coating. It did impart some cinnamon-sweetness and a beige tint to the leftover milk, but visually not the party of brown flecks I expected.

While I loved the cinna-sugar/rice cereal combo in 1984, and eating it now was a bit of fun nostalgia, it’s 2017 and tastes have changed. Flavors have gotten more complex, exotic and sometimes silly. Hence, I can’t say that this cereal was exciting or “new.” It needed a hook to make it more modern.

Cinnamon Pebbles might have been greatly improved by adding a dash of red pepper, so I set out to do just that. I spread a layer of the cereal on a cookie sheet, sprinkled a mixture of water, ground cayenne and roasted Saigon cinnamon on top and gave it a quick toast in the oven (250 degrees, 5 minutes or so).

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The results were beyond my expectations. The extra cinnamon knocked down the overwhelming sugar and the red pepper brought a delayed warmth that hit just as I was ready to take the next spoonful. This was a cereal worth buying again.

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I also tried using the Cinnamon Pebbles as a pie crust. Filled with devil’s food instant pudding and a bit of cayenne, it was an easy and decent approximation of churros and chocolate.

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(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup cereal only – 120 calories, 10 calories from fat, 1 gram of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $3.69
Size: 11 oz. box
Purchased at: Stop & Shop
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Yep, they’re Pebbles alright! Pleasant throwback cinna-sugar flavor.
Cons: Too simple for novelty-seekers. Needs something to offset or amp up the cinnamon.

7 thoughts to “REVIEW: Cinnamon Pebbles Cereal”

  1. I have to agree. While I would probably try it at least once, the idea of it sounds kind of lackluster compared to your version with the pepper. The pie looks delicious BTW. Have you ever tried the cake recipe on the back of the bags of Fruity Pebbles? I’m thinking I’ll have to give that a shot someday…Kudos to you!

  2. OMG! The “Make your own Rice-Cinnamon-Cereal”- idea sounds so great1 Especially for me here in europe, where you can’t get Cinnamon Pebbles or Cinnamon Frosted Flakes.
    Do you have a “recipe” for it and do you think it will also work with frosted flakes/cornflakes and rice krispies? 🙂

    Thanks Rachel! 🙂

    1. It could work with Frosted or Corn Flakes. No recipe per se, I just kinda winged it. I made a slurry (gross word, but accurate in this case) of water, cinnamon and cayenne. More concentrated than would be pleasant to eat as-is, but still watery. The cinnamon doesn’t want to dissolve, so stir it for a while until it gets wet and sinks into the water. I used my fingers to flick little spots of the mixture onto the cereal. Not enough to totally wet it, just enough to distribute it. Pop it into a low-temp oven for just long enough to dry it all back up. I did 250F for about 5 minutes, but it’s best to go low & slow rather than burn in this case. If you’re using Corn Flakes and want them sweet, maybe make the slurry with simple syrup instead of water? I also thought freeze-dried fruit, reduced to tiny bits or powder in a food processor, would be a nice addition. I wanted to try mango, but didn’t have any handy.

      1. Rachel! You’re soooooo amazing! Thanks you so much for this great and detailed reply!
        I really need to try it then. 🙂

        And what the hell… you’ve crazy (GOOD) ideas! keep us in the loop how your cereal adventures go, if you ever have freeze-dried fruit in your house! 🙂

  3. Personally, I thought they were more Rice Krispies than Pebbles. Generally speaking, Pebbles are flat pieces. These were puffed up too much.

  4. Sounds tasty with those additions, but could you just add a few shakes of dry Saigon cinnamon and a dash of cayenne pepper to the bowl of cereal after adding milk and get the same result as “baking in” the flavors?

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