REVIEW: Frankford Fruity Pebbles Birthday Cake Candy Bar

Frankford Fruity Pebbles Birthday Cake Candy Bar Wrapper

What is the Fruity Pebbles Birthday Cake Candy Bar?

It’s a candy bar that features Fruity Pebbles cereal pieces in a classic vanilla birthday cake and frosting-flavored white confection. It celebrates the 50th birthday of Pebbles cereal and maybe the 50,000,000th birthday of some actual pebbles.

The candy bar is available in a single 2.75-ounce size and an 18-count multi-pack at Walmart stores nationwide and online at FrankfordCandy.com.

How is it?

Frankford Fruity Pebbles Birthday Cake Candy Bar Front

As you can see in the photo above, it looks almost EXACTLY like the regular Fruity Pebbles Candy Bar that’s been available for a while. They look so alike that maybe I put the original Fruity Pebbles bar in the Fruity Pebbles Birthday Cake wrapper and vice versa in the photos above and below. Or maybe not? You’ll never know, and I’ll take that secret with me to my grave.

Frankford Fruity Pebbles Birthday Cake Candy Bar Back

While they look similar, they definitely don’t taste the same. Well, more specifically, the white cremes that both have don’t taste alike. At first, I thought the very sweet white base dominated the bar’s flavor, with the cereal taking a distant third-row backseat. It was like a cake with TOO MUCH frosting. But then, after eating a few more pieces, the sweetness mellowed out a bit, and I could taste a better balance between the cereal and white confection. Although the creamy base noticeably stands out more.

This bar tastes different from the original Fruity Pebbles Candy Bar, but it’s not as toothsome as the original. It’s an okay treat, but I wish the cereal was a bit more prominent because, after all, we are celebrating it.

Anything else you need to know?

It’s hard to believe Pebbles cereal is 50 years old. It makes me feel old, like having the rookie cards of baseball players who are now major league managers.

Frankford Fruity Pebbles Birthday Cake Candy Bar Fossil

Also, the cereal fossilized in the white creme still has some crispiness.

Conclusion:

The original Fruity Pebbles Candy Bar is delightful, especially if you’re a fan of the cereal. And if you’re that into Fruity Pebbles, you might find this birthday cake version to be a little disappointing.

DISCLOSURE: I received free product samples. (Thanks, Frankford!) Doing so did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 2.75 oz bar
Purchased at: Received from Frankford Candy
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/3 bar) 140 calories, 7 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 17 grams of sugar (including 15 grams added sugar), and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Apple Pie Toast Crunch Cereal

Apple Pie Toast Crunch Cereal Box

Off the bat, I’m going to tell you that you shouldn’t try to wrap your head around the idea of apple pie toast. Because it’ll lead to you wasted way too much time thinking about it, like I did. To spread a slice on top of toast, no matter the bread size or toastiness level, defies all toast logic.

Ugh. There I go again.

I don’t want you to ponder the logistics of apple pie toast because it would take away from the fact that Limited Edition Apple Pie Toast Crunch is a divine holiday treat you should hoard so that you can eat it year-round. Or ask Santa for a bunch of boxes.

(Side note: Now that the Toast Crunch Cereals have taken the pie route, should we expect to see a pumpkin pie variety within a year or two?)

Apple Pie Toast Crunch Cereal Dry

Apple Pie Toast Crunch’s aroma isn’t too noticeable in the bag, but when it’s poured into a bowl, it’s as if you were near a window sill with a cooling apple pie on it. Also, if you are near a window sill, what are you doing there? Do I have to call the cops?

Apple Pie Toast Crunch Cereal Closeup

As for its flavor, the cereal scientists at General Mills nailed it HARD. There’s cinnamon, which a Toast Crunch cereal should have down pat, and an ever so slightly artificial but delightful sweet apple flavor that dominates the bite. Also, I swear I taste slight buttery crust notes. But from the moment I put several pieces into my pie-flavored cereal hole, I instantly thought of apple pie and how I need to find kitchen cabinet space for all the boxes I’m going to buy. Can I freeze breakfast cereal?

Also, the cereal brings back recent memories of Apple Pie Kit Kat and distant thoughts of every apple-flavored Pop-Tart I’ve ever loved.

Apple Pie Toast Crunch Cereal Milk

My milk of choice, vanilla soy, doesn’t improve or hurt its taste. Also, much like all other Toast Crunch cereals, it gets soggy if you dilly dally with your eating. As for the milk at the bottom of the bowl, it’s not as wonderful as the cereal itself, but has a drinkable cinnamon apple flavor.

The most unfortunate thing about Apple Pie Toast Crunch is that it’s part of a complete breakfast for only part of the year. Something this delicious shouldn’t be confined to a season.

Purchased Price: More than one should pay on eBay
Size: 12 oz box
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup without milk) 170 calories, 4 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 240 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, 12 grams of added sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Monster Mash Cereal

Monster Mash Cereal Box

I was browsing store shelves one summer day
and found a new cereal along the way
On the box were five monsters I’ve missed
Obviously, I couldn’t resist
I bought the Mash!
I bought the Monster Mash!

Although some consumers balk at seasonal products creeping into stores early, I love catching fall finds in late summer. Like a child watching the first fun size candy bar grace his trick or treat bag, I see these seasonal products as harbingers of more greatness to come. (Also like that child, I’m probably regretting not wearing a light jacket like my mom told me to.)

Monster Mash Cereal Characters

Monster Mash Cereal feels especially exciting because it celebrates the 50th anniversary of the monster cereals that have haunted our seasonal breakfast tables. Not willing to rival Dr. Frankenstein, General Mills didn’t create Monster Mash from the spare parts of Boo Berry, Franken Berry, Count Chocula, Frute Brute, and Yummy Mummy cereals. Rather, this limited edition offering is an artificially berry-flavored cereal with marshmallows. Essentially, it is a mixture of Boo Berry and Franken Berry cereals, along with marbits shaped like ghosts, bats, and monster heads to pay homage to the other mascots.

Monster Mash Cereal Closeup

Monster Mash Cereal Band

Take a moment to set aside your disappointment at the Count Chocula erasure. Instead, admire the work of art that is the Monster Mash cereal box, where our band of ghoulish mascots celebrates its half-century milestone by playing a cover of “Monster Mash.” The QR code on the back of the box leads you to a page where you can view a “behind the music” video and listen to a snippet of the cover. Spotify subscribers have access to the full song, which has no business sounding so good.

You’re probably thinking, Get to the point already. Should I trick or treat myself to this cereal or not? Unfortunately, the fun aesthetic and novelty of Monster Mash contribute heavily to its appeal, because the cereal itself is passable. The crisp cereal has a generic mixed berry flavor, with the blueberry pieces dominating. The multi-colored marbits all deliver a mild marshmallow taste. I always welcome marbits in cereal, so I wouldn’t have minded a few more per serving.

Monster Mash Cereal Bowl

Unlike the oat-based monster cereals of the past, Monster Mash is corn-based, which I always find less pleasing in milk. That trend holds true here:

Out of the carton, some milk I poured
so I could taste just a little more
I lifted my spoon, prepared to savor
and said, “What happened to all the flavor?”

As expected, the cereal grew soggy quickly, but I was surprised that the milk made the berry flavor disappear faster than a ghost through a wall.

For such a fun concept, Monster Mash Cereal sadly underwhelms. It’s definitely good enough to snack on during a horror movie marathon or to keep up your energy if you get lost in a corn maze. Happy to have found a smaller box (versus the family size common to so many limited edition cereals), I will enjoy Monster Mash until the novelty wears off, but I won’t be howling for more.

Purchased Price: $2.49
Size: 9.6 oz (272 g) box
Purchased at: Giant Eagle
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 1 1/3 cup) 160 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein

REVIEW: Clif Cereal

Clif Cereal Boxes

Have you ever thought about the relative aisle spaces allotted to the different categories within a grocery store? Who dictates that there only be, say, ten feet devoted to granola bars competing for the attention of shoppers’ gaze and wallets while cereal gets its own exhaustive full-length aisle of sometimes 20 feet or more?

Well, someone must think of these things, and I imagine at least one of those people works for Clif Bar. Because the red-shirted carabining brand has climbed its way out singular bar form and is expanding into cereals with four new Clif Cereal Flavors: Honey & Peanut Butter, Apple Cinnamon & Almond Butter, Chocolate & Peanut Butter, and Blueberry & Almond Butter.

I could only find three of the four, so this review will exclude the Apple Cinnamon & Almond Butter flavor, much to my chagrin.

Clif Cereal Inside Boxes(From L to R) Blueberry & Almond Butter, Chocolate & Peanut Butter, and Honey & Peanut Butter

Upon initial opening, these looked ehhhh healthy, brown, and not unlike granola with the surprisingly high number of whole nuts and clusters visible. But, to be honest, I was somewhat relieved to see some big pieces of inclusions because each box was just shy of $7, which seems like a lot for cereal unless it contains whole almonds.

Honey & Peanut Butter

Clif Cereal Honey Peanut Butter

I started with the Honey & Peanut Butter one, figuring it would be the most subtle. It appears all of the flavors have the same base multigrain flake, but this one also had plain dry roasted peanuts, granola-type clusters, and crunchy rice puffs covered in a peanut butter flavored coating.

The coating reminded me of that yogurt-type stuff on the bottom of some granola bars. When eaten dry, this cereal is rrroouuugh. The front of the box touts “40% less sugar than leading cereal brands,” and boy do I believe them. As someone who tends to enjoy cereal dry or with milk, I was concerned. But THANKFULLY, a little milk goes a long way here.

What happens is the milk sort of dissolves the peanut butter coating on the clusters and at the same time softens the “oh yeah, these contain fiber” multigrain flakes. The result is a more evenly distributed sweetness and almost creaminess in each bite. Really delightful and peanut-butter-like without being TOO sweet.

Purchased Price: $6.97
Size: 15 oz box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 6 out of 10 (dry), 7 out of 10 (with milk)
Nutrition Facts: (3/4 cup) 240 Calories, 9 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 3 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 3.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 105 milligrams of sodium, 38 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, 5 grams of added sugar, and 8 grams of protein.

Chocolate & Peanut Butter

Clif Cereal Chocolate Peanut Butter

The chocolate peanut butter variety, though, never really made the same comeback. This box had the same flakes, the same peanut-coated clusters (although for some reason, they were HUGE in this box), and granola clusters with unsweetened cocoa.

When eaten dry, I couldn’t really discern any cocoa flavor at all. It was mostly just bitter and dry. When consumed with milk, the same peanut-butter-meldy thing took place, but I struggled to taste any chocolate because there was only unsweetened cocoa. I was underwhelmed, especially in a cereal world with a clearly dominant chocolate PB combo player.

Purchased Price: $6.97
Size: 15 oz box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 5 out of 10 (dry), 5 out of 10 (with milk)
Nutrition Facts: (3/4 cup) 240 calories, 7 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 120 milligrams of sodium, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, 6 grams of added sugar, and 8 grams of protein.

Blueberry & Almond Butter

Clif Cereal Blueberry Almond Butter

The most visually impressive BY FAR was the Blueberry & Almond Butter. There were whole dried blueberries, whole almonds, pumpkin seeds, granola clusters, our favorite little almond butter cluster dudes — this had it all!

I skipped straight to trying this with milk, and it was fantastic. There seemed to be tiny little blueberry bits throughout the cereal and clusters, making the whole bowl have a sweet, cohesive, fruity flavor immediately. I noticed that the sugar claim is only “30% less” on this box, which means I found the variety with the most sugar to be the most delicious. Surprise! Surprise!

But I think there’s something to be said about the perfect balance of whole grain goodness and fruit-derived sweetness when enjoying a breakfast cereal (or a granola bar, for that matter). I did try this one dry as well for posterity, and it was quite a bit more like a trail mix than the others. The blueberries really carried their weight here.

Purchased Price: $6.97 each
Size: 15 oz box
Purchased at: WalMart
Rating: 7 out of 10 (dry), 8 out of 10 (with milk)
Nutrition Facts: (3/4 cup) 240 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 3.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams of fiber, 7 grams of sugar, 5 grams of added sugar, 8 grams of protein.

Overall, Clif has launched cereals that stay true to the established brand expectations of Clif Bar. They are reasonably high in protein, as far as cereals go, and offer a decent amount of fiber and whole grains without nearly as much sugar as other options. They certainly fill you up without feeling like you’re actively creating cavities.

However, I think the Blueberry option, which had slightly more sugar and a blanket of fruity blueberry to meld everything together, reigns supreme. I imagine the Apple Cinnamon SKU would be decent for similar reasons. I would steer clear of the Chocolate Peanut Butter option.

REVIEW: Pillsbury Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cookie Dough and Cinnamon Rolls

Pillsbury Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cookie Dough and Cinnamon Rolls

When it comes to cereal mascots – Wendell the jolly baker and, more recently, the Crazy Squares – would not top your list of notable entries. But Cinnamon Toast Crunch has managed to cement themselves as the third best-selling cereal in the United States behind the Goliaths of BuzzBee’s Honey Nut Cheerios and Tony the Tiger’s Frosted Flakes. Even in his retirement, I can envision Wendell sitting in his rocking chair smiling about his dominance over Lucky the Leprechaun and Toucan Sam.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cookie Dough Raw

The Pillsbury Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cookie Dough comes in a tray of twelve pre-portioned sugar cookies with dark brown clumps of cinnamon pieces mixed throughout. They spread out thin when baking and achieve an even golden brown along the edges. The cinnamon looks faintly like the cereal pieces hiding just underneath the cookie’s surface but provides no actual texture.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cookie Dough Sheet

While the cookies fill the house with a lovely cinnamon aroma, the actual flavor is slightly underwhelming. When still warm, the soft gooey consistency with a gentle crisp around the edges is very satisfying. As they cool, the texture is less pleasant, even in comparison to other cookies, but you can then pick up on more caramelized notes that do become slightly reminiscent of the actual Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. The balance of sweetness seems just right, but overall the cookies are lacking a pronounced cinnamon flavor. When tried raw, the cookie dough offers a stronger amount of spice and would make a good pairing with vanilla ice cream.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinnamon Rolls Raw

The Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinnamon Rolls come with eight rolls and icing ready to pop out of their tube. The dough has a slightly darker beige hue than the standard cinnamon roll and hard bits I was hoping was Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal mixed in. My hopes of a little crunch in the rolls did not come to fruition as they melted into little pockets of cinnamon during baking. Besides these little boosts of cinnamon throughout the dough, the rolls themselves are near identical to the standard offering.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinnamon Rolls Icing

It is the cinnamon-infused icing that really drives home the spice in these rolls and makes them somewhat worthy of having cinnamon appear twice in their name. This offers a small upgrade over the vanilla icing that enhances the warm flavor without making the rolls overly sweet.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinnamon Rolls Baked

While they pack a better cinnamon punch than the cookies, the rolls are also lacking any semblance of a crunch to drive home the Cinnamon Toast Crunch brand. Wendell might need to come out of retirement and show the bakers at Pillsbury a thing or two.

Purchased Price: $3.99 (Cookie Dough), $3.59 (Cinnamon Rolls)
Size: 14 oz. (Cookie Dough), 12.4 oz. (Cinnamon Rolls)
Purchased at: Lucky
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Cookie Dough), 6 out of 10 (Cinnamon Roll)
Nutrition Facts: Cookie Dough – 150 calories, 8 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 0 grams of fiber, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 11 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein. Cinnamon Rolls 150 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 350 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.