REVIEW: Wendy’s Cinnabon Pull-Apart

Okay, let’s play a word association game. Ready? When you say Wendy’s, I say… Cinnabon! What, you don’t understand why Cinnabon would be associated with Wendy’s? I don’t really get it either, but nonetheless, these two fast food giants are collaborating on a new treat that can only be found on Wendy’s breakfast menu, the Cinnabon Pull-Apart.

As the “Pull-Apart” in the name suggests, this isn’t one big treat like the rolls Cinnabon is best known for; instead, it’s a monkey bread-esque cluster of smaller dough nuggets clumped together, which you eat by simply breaking off each bite-size component.

Or that’s how it’s supposed to work anyway, but I didn’t find the experience quite so seamless. My piping hot Pull-Apart was actually pretty hard, so liberating the chunks required way more effort than was probably intended. I guess that’s why it’s not called the Cinnabon Gently-Fall-Apart (and I guess that’s also why a fork comes with it), but I do think it’s fair that I expected my fast food breakfast to be a little more convenient to consume.

The huge glob of congealed cream cheese frosting on top didn’t help with that either; the archetypical Cinnabon frosting is way more liquidy, so it doesn’t impede your mouthful, but this solid glob was so ginormous that the only way to even get to the Cinnabon bits seemed to be either eating the whole frosting blob in a couple big bites (no thank you) or expending yet more effort to attempt to distribute it more evenly, a graceless task as its thick consistency wasn’t exactly spreadable.

By this point in the review, my frustration with this dish is surely apparent, but you might still be hoping that it ended up tasting amazing enough to be worth all the hassle. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I’ll have to go ahead and dash that hope.

Apparently, my Pull-Apart’s reluctance to do its first job, pulling apart, was a signal that it would also fail at its second job, tasting good. The first sentiment that came to my mind after managing my first mouthful was “dry” (actually, it was more like “dry, dry, dry, dry, dry”; I didn’t love or even really like the cream cheese frosting and its too-tangy sickly sweetness, but I was at least grateful it made me feel a little less like I was eating sand). The second sentiment that came to my mind was “yeasty.” The very distant third — like, this afterthought didn’t occur to me until maybe a full minute after my first bite — was, “I guess there was a whisper of cinnamon in there too.” There’s, of course, a handy visual cue for which bites of this ‘bon will be more flavorful — the dark cinnamon swirls are slightly softer and sweeter than the rest of the stiff, bland dough — but even they’re lackluster.

Granted, if you’re a diehard Cinna-fan you might find more to enjoy than I did, but if you’re on the fence about whether to try this, trust me that it’s not worth waffling over. In fact, I think a waffle would be a much better way to get your sweet breakfast fix.

Purchased Price: $3.69
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 550 calories, 26 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 440 milligrams of sodium, 70 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 30 grams of sugar, and 8 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Cinnabon Frozen Breakfast Creations

Cinnabon Breakfast Creations All

Cinnabon has been dabbling outside of its mall kiosks for quite some time now. Some Pillsbury Grands Cinnamon Rolls over here, an International Delight creamer over there, and even some K-Cup pods in the room temperature aisles.

Maybe after testing the waters of the Cinnabon brand, it decided enough is enough; it’s time to make a splash! A splash the size of a Mack truck it seems. I like your style Cinnabon. It debuted not just one, not even two, not three, four? (Nope!), not five (Dang!), but six glorious new breakfast creations for America to satisfy their Cinnabon craving between mall visits.

They are all frozen food delicacies but encompassing both the sweet and savory side of things. Please brace yourself as the list includes Caramel Pecan Ooey-Gooey Rolls, Frosting Filled CinnaPastries, Frosted CinnaSweet Swirls, a CinnaBiscuit Chicken Sandwich, Jalapeno Cheddar Sausage Bites, and a CheddarRoll Sausage & Egg Sandwich.

Caramel Pecan Ooey-Gooey Rolls

Cinnabon Breakfast Creations Caramel Pecan Ooey Gooey Rolls Box

These are sweet cinnamon rolls filled with Cinnabon ooey-gooey brown sugar cinnamon, covered in caramel sauce with pecan pieces, and baked to golden perfection.

Upon my first tasting, I didn’t flip them out of the tray and came away underwhelmed. So, make sure you do as the package describes to release them as you do get a pretty spot-on product from the image on the packaging.

Cinnabon Breakfast Creations Caramel Pecan Ooey Gooey Rolls Closeup

They definitely live up to their name in regards to the caramel and their ooey-gooeyness. The pecans take a bit of a back seat, but still offer a slight nutty flavor with some good, albeit softened crunch. However, the cinnamon also gets pushed aside by the overwhelming sticky and sweet caramel. These are good, but make sure you are a fan of caramel before taking the plunge.

Purchased Price: $4.83
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 Roll) 510 calories, 20 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 580 milligrams of sodium, 75 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 39 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of protein.

Frosting Filled CinnaPastry

Cinnabon Breakfast Creations Frosting Filled CinnaPastry Box

This one is described as a light and fluffy cinnamon streusel pastry that is filled with the ooey-gooey goodness of Cinnabon brown sugar cinnamon and irresistible cream cheese frosting.

Cinnabon Breakfast Creations Frosting Filled CinnaPastry Closeup 1

This one has many components as it is kind of a cross between a Cinnabon, a piece of coffee cake, and a croissant. I have to be honest, I’m digging it. It has a great cinnamon flavor, and I love that the streusel topping comes in and cuts through a little bit of the straight sugar sweetness at times. It could be a little flakier and have more frosting inside, but otherwise, it’s delicious and a neat combo of well-known things.

Cinnabon Breakfast Creations Frosting Filled CinnaPastry Closeup 2

Purchased Price: $6.68
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 Pastry) 450 calories, 23 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 430 milligrams of sodium, 55 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 26 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of protein.

Frosted CinnaSweet Swirls

Cinnabon Breakfast Creations Frosted CinnaSweet Swirls Box

These are two mini cinnamon rolls baked together, swirled with Cinnabon ooey-gooey brown sugar cinnamon, and topped with the chain’s signature cream cheese frosting. But I have a better name for them, Baby Cinnabons. Because that is precisely what they are, smaller versions of its famous mall offerings.

Cinnabon Breakfast Creations Frosted CinnaSweet Swirls Closeup

While it has been awhile since I have had an authentic one, I’m pretty sure the flavors and execution here are spot-on. They are incredible, and I couldn’t believe how much they reminded me of a fresh one even though I had just nuked it right after pulling it straight out of my freezer. The dough, frosting, and cinnamon all coalesce into something magical. These are exactly why Cinnabon is a well-known brand to this day.

Purchased Price: $9.24
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 Roll) 280 calories, 12 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 240 milligrams of sodium, 38 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

CinnaBiscuit Chicken Sandwich

Cinnabon Breakfast Creations CinnaBiscuit Chicken Sandwich Box

Now this is where the true fun begins as we get into the wilder offerings. This is a tender fried chicken sandwiched between a sweet, buttery biscuit filled with Cinnabon cinnamon and cream cheese frosting chips.

Cinnabon Breakfast Creations CinnaBiscuit Chicken Sandwich Closeup

I think I had the highest hopes for this one, and unfortunately, they were not really met. The chicken was a little chewy, and I am not sure what happened to the biscuit. It was a tough and kind of dry. Not sure where the frosting chips were or even the cinnamon pockets.

Cinnabon Breakfast Creations CinnaBiscuit Chicken Sandwich Closeup 2

The cinnamon sauce was a nice touch adding some signature gooeyness. But it certainly didn’t have the flavor that I experienced in the Frosted CinnaSweet Swirls. And there’s definitely not enough cinnamon sauce to save this tragedy.

I prepared it in the microwave (damp paper towel wrapped around as instructed), so maybe the toaster oven is how to go on this one. It was disappointing on many levels.

Purchased Price: $4.47
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 Sandwich & 1 Sauce Packet) 320 calories, 12 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 700 milligrams of sodium, 41 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and 12 grams of protein.

Jalapeno Cheddar Sausage Bites

Cinnabon Breakfast Creations Jalapeno Cheddar Sausage Bites Box

Ok, now we’re getting weird in Cinnabon land with Cinnabon-flavored cinnamon chip dough wrapped around a jalapeno and cheddar pork sausage link. So this incorporates spicy, cheesy, and smokiness flavors into a Cinnabon?

Cinnabon Breakfast Creations Jalapeno Cheddar Sausage Bites Closeup

Hmm. Now this one couldn’t be more different than the chicken sandwich as the dough is so incredibly soft. It’s divine. The sausage is gloriously cheese-filled, and there is a slight spice kick from the jalapenos at the end of the chew. It’s more like a hot dog though than a breakfast sausage. Is there any cinnamon flavor? Absolutely not. I mean I see the specks on the dough but can’t taste a lick of it. It doesn’t suffer too much as this is a pretty tasty jalapeno cheese pig in a blanket for breakfast.

Purchased Price: $6.28
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 Sausage Bite) 170 calories, 8 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 370 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of protein.

CheddarRoll Sausage & Egg Sandwich

Cinnabon Breakfast Creations CheddarRoll Sausage  Egg Sandwich Box

So this one completely baffles me. There is no cinnamon element. I repeat, THERE IS NO CINNAMON ELEMENT. It is a light and flaky croissant rolled with cheddar cheese baked to golden perfection and served with savory sausage and fluffy eggs.

Cinnabon Breakfast Creations CheddarRoll Sausage  Egg Sandwich Closeup

Now, even though I just partially ate five different breakfast items in one sitting when I got to this one, I couldn’t put it down. It’s not amazing, but I do love breakfast sandwiches, and this item is probably the most well rounded of the bunch.

Cinnabon Breakfast Creations CheddarRoll Sausage  Egg Sandwich Closeup 2

There are some misgivings as the bread is more of a soft bun than a croissant with only a touch of cheese flavor. While the eggs are a preformed patty and kind of on the thinner side, but still slightly on the fluffy side. However, the sausage is the star here, as it is outstanding. It’s your typical breakfast sausage, but I mean that in the absolute best way possible. The flavor is just phenomenal without being too salty as most breakfast sausages can be. While it’s under the Cinnabon brand and there isn’t any sweet about it, it’s a wonderful savory indulgence.

Purchased Price: $6.28
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 Sandwich) 360 calories, 21 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 90 milligrams of cholesterol, 590 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 13 grams of protein.

Cinnabon has certainly made a splash in the freezer aisle. With the six items, some are in the running for the Olympic team (Swirls and CheddarRoll), some maybe deserve a ribbon at your local swim meet (Sausage Bite and CinnaPastry), one that bellyflopped (Caramel Roll), and one that should be just completely banned from the local lap pool for all eternity (Chicken Sandwich).

If you are looking for the perfect one-two punch in the morning, go for the CheddarRoll and CinnaSweet Swirls for an epic and convenient Cinnabon-branded breakfast.

REVIEW: Cinnabon Pecanbon Center of the Roll

Cinnabon Pecanbon Center of the Roll

Ah, Cinnabon. You are the destroyer of diets, the widener of waistlines. You ought to be the adversary of ample alliterators like myself, and yet I have never gained an ounce of weight from your baked goods.

This is because I only eat Cinnabon in airports, and as everyone knows, airport calories don’t count. You get so stressed out from traveling and you have to burn so much extra energy to stop yourself from screaming at the little boy kicking your seat the entire flight that your body allows you to eat whatever you want, and everything still comes out even in the end. Airport calories are close relatives of “It’s finals week and I’ve done no reading all semester” calories, “I’m still at the office way past midnight” calories, and “I just had a breakup and have to eat my feelings” calories. Obviously, none of these calories should be held against you. This was all a very convoluted way of saying thank goodness I had to go to an airport this Thanksgiving break. Otherwise, we’d have no review of the Cinnabon Pecanbon Center of the Roll.
Cinnabon offers its new Center of the Roll (CotR from now on) in both classic and Pecanbon varieties, with pecans and caramel added to the latter. Given that the company website describes the CotR as just “the ooey, gooey middle” of a Classic Roll, I had been expecting something the size and shape of a Minibon but with a gooier texture. What I got was… well, it was sort of hard to say what I got at first, as everything had been placed in a big cup and drenched in cream cheese frosting. It seems like they split up the inner layers of a Classic Roll, cut the layers into slightly smaller chunks, and just put a handful of chunks into each cup. The separated nature of the CotR allows the cream cheese frosting to drip naturally through the cracks and get on each individual piece, sparing the eater of having to make the difficult decision of whether to ration the frosting on top or splurge on the extra cup of frosting. (Hint: in that situation, always go with the extra cup. It’s only 99 cents more, and you’re already eating a Cinnabon. As the proverb goes, “in for a penny, in for a pound.”)
And yes, the CotR actually does seem to be from the center of the roll.  At the very least, the pieces are too soft to be from the outside of the roll, and the sponginess of the chunks plays really well with the crunchiness of the pecans. The caramel, however, was rather disappointing. There was enough caramel to change the color of the frosting noticeably, yet I could barely catch any hint of its flavor. Upon further review, I suppose it’s not the caramel’s fault. My expectations of its effect were just unrealistic, and the Cinnabon product designer’s intentions are unclear. The cream cheese frosting is so tasty because it adds a tartness that melds with and subdues what is otherwise an onslaught of total sweetness. Caramel is by definition just melted sugar, so to expect it to stand out would be plain silly. The Superman that is the frosting already has super-speed/sugar; why would you bother inviting caramel-as-The Flash to join the Cinnabon’s Justice League? Wow, that analogy was much less terrible in my head, but at least now you can check “comic book reference” off your TIB Bingo Card.
All things considered, I really enjoyed the Pecanbon Center of the Roll, and I appreciate Cinnabon’s efforts to introduce new items without straying too far from their core products. If you’re a Cinnabon fan to begin with, make sure to try one the next time you’re at an airport. Even if your body doesn’t believe in the airport calorie theory, I’m sure it’ll agree that “What that TSA agent just did to me might mean we’re married in some religions and I really need to eat something” calories should get a free pass.
(Nutrition Facts – Not available on website)

Item: Cinnabon Pecanbon Center of the Roll
Price: $3.49
Size: one cup
Purchased at: Cinnabon (in an airport)
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Frosting on every piece. Gooier than regular whole Cinnabon. Crunchiness of the pecans. Alliteration. Airport calories not counting. Always getting the extra cup of frosting. TIB Bingo.
Cons: Caramel is unnecessary. Airport calories might actually count. Analogies that seem better in your head. New TSA regulations.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Original Cinnabon Pancakes

Kellogg's Original Cinnabon Pancakes

Imagine a world without Cinnabon.

Walking through the malls of America would be less odoriferous. There wouldn’t be anything sweet to cleanse the nasal palate with to get rid of the old person smell wafting from Sears, the youthful scents seeping out of Abercrombie & Fitch, the testosterone pouring out of GNC and the smell of death coming from Radio Shack.

A world without Cinnabon would also be a world without the recent influx of Cinnabon-branded products, like Cinnabon Snack Bars, Cinnabon Cereal, Cinnabon Lip Balm and these Kellogg’s Original Cinnabon Pancakes.

Oh, what a world that would be!

If you’re expecting these Cinnabon-branded pancakes to taste anything close to Cinnabon’s shopping mall-famous cinnamon rolls, you will be disappointed, like I am whenever I’m told I can’t sit on Santa’s lap at the mall because “I’m a grown man” or because “It looks like I have crabs because I scratch myself in the neither region too much.”

Kellogg's Original Cinnabon Pancakes Naked

While there’s cinnamon baked into each four-inch pancake and spots of white frosting injected into the breakfast disk, they do nothing to make it taste like the cloyingly sweet cinnamon rolls. The cinnamon, which isn’t Cinnabon’s Makara Cinnamon, is noticeable and allows the pancake to be eaten without syrup. But when syrup is added, the cinnamon is easily covered up. As for the frosting, it was like a stripper on stage; I could see it, but couldn’t taste it.

Even though I’m not impressed with the Original Cinnabon Pancakes, I did come up with a way to make them better — turn them into breakfast sandwich buns, a la McGriddles.

Kellogg's Original Cinnabon Pancakes Taco

However, I couldn’t find at my local Safeway a large breakfast sausage patty that would fit nicely in between two of these pancakes. I thought about asking a stock clerk for help, but they were all men and I thought it would be weird asking them if they had bigger sausages.

So instead I bought smaller breakfast patties, microwaved them, cut them in half, tessellated the halves on top of a microwaved pancake and then folded the pancake over to create a breakfast taco that had the right balance of sweet and salty.

Yeah! Suck it, Bobby Flay! The secret ingredient iz deez nutz!

I’m sorry about that unnecessary outburst. I’m just surprised I came up with a breakfast dish that’s slightly more complicated than my last great breakfast idea, which just involved mixing Cocoa Puffs with Cocoa Pebbles and pouring chocolate soy milk over it. And it’s been awhile since I’ve used the phrase “deez nutz” in a review.

Overall, the Kellogg’s Original Cinnabon Pancakes were mediocre frozen pancakes. The cinnamon flavor was decent, but I really wish I could taste the frosting that was also injected into it. They’re also quite thin, making them easy to cut through and to fold over to create a pancake taco shell, but not really filling for a grown man.

They almost make me wish for a world without Cinnabon.

(Nutrition Facts – 3 pancakes – 270 calories, 70 calories from fat, 8 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 480 milligrams of sodium, 50 milligrams of potassium, 45 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 16 grams of sugar, 28 grams of other carbohydrates, 5 grams of protein and a bunch of vitamins and minerals.)
Item: Kellogg’s Original Cinnabon Pancakes
Price: $2.00 (on sale)
Size: 12 pancakes
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Noticeable cinnamon flavor. Can be prepared in either the microwave or oven. Makes an great breakfast sandwich bun or breakfast taco shell. Contains eight vitamins and minerals. A world without Cinnabon.
Cons: Doesn’t taste like anything from Cinnabon. Injected frosting isn’t noticeable. The term “injected frosting.” Too thin to be satisfying for a grown man. A grown man not being able to sit on Santa’s lap. Syrup kills cinnamon flavor. A world without Cinnabon.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Cinnabon Bars (Original and Caramel)

Even if it has the name Cinnabon on its packaging, like the Kellogg’s Cinnabon Bars, how can any product reach the high level that a fresh Cinnabon cinnamon roll achieves? It’s impossible to match the orgasmic combination of warm dough, Makara Cinnamon and cream cheese frosting.

That triple threat has the power to make people push back their diets for one more day. It can make a happy, fat kid happier AND fatter at the same time. It can makes those who are anal about cleanliness say, “fuck it” and let their mouths and finger become coated with sugar, cinnamon and frosting, because they know trying to keep clean while eating a fresh Cinnabon will always be a losing battle.

Just the scent alone of warm Cinnabons baking in the oven is extremely powerful. It draws you to the Cinnabon store located at the mall. It’s like smelling pheromones or being caught in the tractor beam of the Death Star. All you can do is just give up and let the Stormtroopers board you. One whiff of it may make your mind say no, but it makes your tongue, stomach and fat ass say yes.

Comparing these Kellogg’s Cinnabon Bars with fresh (or even reheated) Cinnabon rolls is like comparing an iPhone with its cheap Chinese rip off, the uPhone. It’s like comparing Neiman Marcus with Sears or JCPenney. It’s like the difference between silicone breast implants and water-filled plastic bags with a goldfish. These bars don’t even come close to capturing the essence of a Cinnabon cinnamon roll.

Both flavors, Original and Caramel, are sweet but they don’t give me a sugar erection like an actual Cinnabon does, probably because they don’t come close to tasting like one. Neither of them contains Cinnabon’s famous Makara Cinnamon, which, again, is part of the orgasmic combination that makes a Cinnabon roll the dieter’s devil. They claim on the box that it “tastes great warm,” but I really couldn’t trust them because the microwaving instructions on the box turned out to be quite inaccurate. It said it takes 3 SECOND on HIGH, but that isn’t enough time to warm up anything. It took about ten seconds to make them slightly warm, but doing so made them extremely fragile.

The Kellogg’s Cinnabon Bars weren’t very good warm or straight out of the wrapper. They had a boring flavor to them. If they had Makara Cinnamon in them, they might’ve been better, but I highly doubt Cinnabon would let anyone near their stash. Because they don’t have that delectable spice, I don’t think they deserve to have the Cinnabon name attached to it. Besides, eating one of these bars doesn’t fill me with regret or cause me to gain a couple of pounds, like a real Cinnabon cinnamon roll does.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 bar – Original – 150 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 130 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 13 grams of sugar and 1 gram of protein. Caramel – 150 calories, 4 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 65 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 14 grams of sugar and 1 gram of protein.)

Item: Kellogg’s Cinnabon Bars (Original and Caramel)
Price: $3.19 each
Size: 6 bars
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Cleaner than eating a Cinnabon cinnamon roll. Healthier than a Cinnabon cinnamon roll. The smell of a Cinnabon store. iPhones. Silicone breast implants. A warm Cinnabon cinnamon roll.
Cons: Weren’t very good. Doesn’t taste anything like a Cinnabon cinnamon roll. Doesn’t contain Cinnabon’s Makara Cinnamon. Bars are kind of small. Instructions to warm them up for only 3 seconds are ineffective. Warming them up makes them fragile. Contains high fructose corn syrup. A warm Cinnabon cinnamon roll.