Pink Panther. Pink Floyd. Pink Shirt. Pinky and the Brain.
What do these things have in common?
Nothing, really. Which is kind of the same relationship Kellogg’s new Donut Shop Pink Donut cereal has with the flavor pink, which, in case you weren’t exactly sure, is not a flavor.
This kind of linguistic oddity would usually bother me to no end. However, in the case of Kellogg’s newest cereal brand, I’m willing to sacrifice reason for excellent taste.
Both the Pink Donut and Chocolate Donut flavors of Donut Shop Cereal work off the same template: roughly Froot Loops-shaped rings with a smooth, slightly glazed coating. Aside from packaging that looks like it came from the Easy Bake Oven section of Toys “R” Us, the first thing I noticed about each flavor was their intense, sweet aroma.
Another blogger has compared the Pink Donut rings to frosted animal crackers, and, for as original as I’d like to be, there’s really no other comparison that captures the taste so accurately. Yet, instead of a somewhat bland wheat biscuit-like base behind it, each ring has a sweet vanilla flavor and that characteristic corn flour and oat aftertaste that makes Cap’n Crunch so iconic.
This is where things get interesting. A slight fruity flavor on the backend is even more pronounced in milk, creating a strawberryish-flavored end milk that is one of the best I’ve ever tasted. Combined with the glazed vanilla coating, the crunchy Pink Donut tastes distinct from any cereal I’ve ever had, borrowing notes from Sprinkled Donut Cap’n Crunch, Froot Loops, and Vanilla Chex. My only complaint is the sweetness level contrasts sharply with the more savory corn flour and oat base, creating a feeling of snacking lethargy after more than a couple servings.
Chocolate Donut is a bit more conventional in what it’s trying to match, but no less enjoyable. I hesitate to say it tasted exactly like a chocolate cake donut, but it comes pretty close, right on down to the hyper-sweet, cocoa-glazed mouthfeel. Here, the corn and oat aftertaste is a little more at home. While the chocolate flavor isn’t as distinct as Cocoa Puffs or Double Chocolate Krave, the donut glaze on each ring makes it a more enjoyable cereal to snack on.
It’s rare for cereal to even remotely taste like the baked goods that inspire them. And while I’ve yet to encounter a true pink donut (as opposed to a donut with just pink icing), Kellogg’s new Donut Shop Cereals capture the essence of donuts thanks to their unique glazed coating. It’s too bad Kellogg’s couldn’t come up with a Bavarian cream filling to stick inside the rings.
(Nutrition Facts – Pink Donut – 32 grams – 140 calories, 3 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein. Chocolate Donut – 32 grams – 130 calories, 3 grams of fat, 0.5 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein.)
Purchased Price: $3.98 each
Size: 16 oz. box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Pink Donut)
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Chocolate Donut)
Pros: Excellent representation of donut glaze on cereal form. Pink donut flavor tastes like frosted animal crackers without the crappy cracker part. Really great end milk. Not a bad flavor to get stuck in the roof of your mouth.
Cons: Sweetness can get overwhelming when eaten dry. Chocolate flavor lacks really deep cocoa flavor. Does not include Bavarian Kreme filling.