REVIEW: Tres Leches Toast Crunch Cereal

During my decades of dessert dining, I’m unsure if I’ve had tres leches cake. But how could I not have had something that sounds delicious — a pound cake that’s soaked in a mixture of whole, evaporated, and condensed milks and then topped with whipped cream. As complex as that sounds, the folks at General Mills have developed a new Toast Crunch variety based on that dessert that I may or may not have had.

The company says that the cereal brings the cake’s flavor to the cereal bowl and is packed with cinnamon and extra indulgent Cinnamilk with the same crunchy texture as Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

If I’ve never had tres leches cake, I’m going to want some tres leches cake très vite because I’m going to assume the dessert is as delicious as this cereal. Yeah, I know. One is Spanish, and the other is French, but it looks cool in text.

First, I’d love to spend a lot of time with an open bag of this stuff in a phone booth, pod in a Japanese capsule hotel, or coffin because its delightful aroma reminds me of a cinnamon roll’s cream cheese frosting. That aromatic introduction leads to a unique and complex cereal flavor that gives me as much joy as eating the original Cinnamon Toast Crunch, dry or with milk. Actually, maybe even more.

There’s definitely a cake taste that’s somewhat similar to what I’ve experienced with the vast number of birthday cake products I’ve crammed into my mouth over the years, but not over-the-top sweet like most of those. Beyond that, there’s a butteriness that makes my tongue wonder if that’s from the cake flavoring or the cereal trying to present a milkiness. Whatever it is, it adds a bit of sweet complexity that goes exceptionally well with a not-quite-as-intense-as-Cinnamon-Toast-Crunch cinnamon flavor.

With its strong cake and cinnamon flavors, I really want to call this Cinnamon Cake Crunch, but Tres Leches Toast Crunch is more fun to say. Also, and this might be my imagination, there’s a little something something in the taste that could be interpreted as whipped topping.

Overall, Tres Leches Toast Crunch is très bien. Yeah, I know Spanish and French again. It’s so wonderful that, like my beloved Apple Pie Toast Crunch, I want this to exist forever year round.

FOREVER, General Mills! FOREVER!

DISCLOSURE: I received a free product sample from General Mills. Doing so did not influence my review.

Size: 12 oz box
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup w/o milk) 170 calories, 4 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat, 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 230 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar (including 12 grams of added sugar), and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Reese’s Puffs, and Trix Minis Cereals

I’ll be the first to admit I’m enchanted by the “tiny” versions of normal things. Travel-sized toiletries are charming. I marvel at the itty-bitty individual glass Heinz ketchup jars accompanying room service trays, even if I’m usually not the person ordering room service. My friend got me a Bonne Maman advent calendar this year, and to my absolute joy, I now have a collection of TEENTSY JARS OF JAM. Maybe some of you are nodding along, thinking, “Yes. Of course. DUH.” While other readers out there are already rolling their eyes. Well, ROLL right along, haters, because General Mills has made three of its Big G cereals MINIATURE: Trix Minis, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Minis, and Reese’s Puffs Minis.

These minis do live up to their name. They’re so smol. The first thing I notice is that their size makes snacking on these cereals hard. Attempting to taste these as a “dry” snack, I feel like a giant ogre trying to cram lentil-shaped noms into my ogre face. They scatter everywhere. I freak out that my dog might eat them. I clean up the kitchen and revert to standard cereal bowls.

Starting with Cinnamon Toast Crunch Minis, I prepare the serving suggestion of one cup cereal + 3/4 cup milk. It does look like a lot more food when they’re this miniature. I was also surprised that General Mills didn’t try to make CTC tiny little squares. It might have been harder, but it would have taken the wow factor up a notch. Still, these little CTCminis taste very similar to their toast-shaped brethren with, dare I say it, even more cinnamon flavor? Maybe it’s a surface ratio thing? They stay crunchy SLIGHTLY longer than standard CTC, but not by much. And, of course, the characteristic cinnamilk is still present. Hello old friend.

The mini Trix sort of look like what would happen if all of the berry fruit flavor Trix fell apart into their own individual spheres. These Trix Minis are not fruit-shaped, but have artificial colors and are visually the most exciting of the three mini flavors. Can you even get the Trix cereal in full-sized spheres, or was that a temporary thing from about five years ago when they made Trix with natural colors until enough consumers demanded the vibrant original be brought back? Regardless, the Trix Minis pack that same sugary punch of flavor. They stay crunchier in the milk longer than the CTCMinis, and I’m guessing a sugar coating drives that. They also don’t hurt your teeth nearly as much to crunch into because the mini-sized spheres crunch completely under your bite.

I saved Reese’s Puffs Minis for last. Reese’s Puffs were the cereal my mom NEVER let me have growing up, which only drove my desperation and adoration deeper into my heart. My favorite way to enjoy Reese’s Puffs is as a dry cereal snack which, as mentioned earlier, is super difficult and extra messy in this miniature form. However, these mini little guys are great. The ratio of flavor coating to inner cereal puff seems to have been perfected here, and the puffs reach optimum saturation level faster and sustain it longer than with the larger version. There are also WAY more pieces in every bite which adds, I think, to the flavor experience and overall satisfaction.

The final bit of fun offered with these new Minis is the kitchen play set you can build yourself from cut-outs in the back of each box which entertained this adult for a solid hour or so in the afternoon I picked these up. Overall I admire the simplicity of this innovation. The flavors are established favorites, offered in a unique format that makes your already beloved cereal treat even more enjoyable.

Or, you know, it’s just the same thing but tiny. Dealer’s Choice.

Purchased Price: $4.89 each
Size: 12.3 oz box (Cinnamon Toast Crunch), 10.8 oz box (Trix), 11.7 oz box (Reese’s Puffs)
Purchased at: Mariano’s
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Cinnamon Toast Crunch), 7 out of 10 (Trix), 9 out of 10 (Reese’s Puffs)
Nutrition Facts: Cinnamon Toast Crunch (1 cup cereal) 170 calories, 5 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 210 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein. Trix (1.25 cup cereal) 150 Calories, 2 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein. Reese’s Puffs (1 cup cereal) 160 Calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 220 milligrams of sodium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: CinnaFuego Toast Crunch

CinnaFuego Toast Crunch Pouch

This CinnaFuego Toast Crunch pouch of fiery cereal that can only be purchased online at starting on August 12, 2022 (while supplies last) makes me scratch my head.

(UPDATE: The announced date is August 12, but as I type this, it’s already available for purchase on the Walmart website.)

You may think it’s the cereal itself that’s making me feel this way, but it’s not. It’s the packaging, specifically that hole at the top. If it’s available online only, why is it there? If it’s not going to be in a store, it doesn’t need that hole to be put on a display hook.

While I don’t know why that hole is there, I do know that, despite being a Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, CinnaFuego Toast Crunch will not appeal to everyone.

It’s been eons since I’ve had Wrigley’s Big Red gum, but after opening this cereal’s pouch, its scent brought back thoughts of that classic chewing gum. It made my mouth water a bit, and I wish that water stayed in my mouth because this cereal is fuego.

CinnaFuego Toast Crunch Closeup 2

As I chewed on a piece, which looks exactly like regular Cinnamon Toast Crunch, I didn’t think it was spicy. However, after a few moments, the heat wave came. But it wasn’t too fuego. That thought changed after shoveling a spoonful with milk into my mouth. Again, it took a few moments, but the addition of more pieces stoked the fire. It’s a notch or two lower than Flamin’ Hot and maybe slightly higher than Hot Tamales candy. I can handle this spicy cereal in small doses, but I couldn’t eat a regular-sized serving as part of a complete breakfast.

CinnaFuego Toast Crunch Spoon

Now, if you’re thinking, “If you’re eating it with milk, it shouldn’t be so bad because the milk will temper the heat.” Well, I drink soy and pea milk, and they’re like paper to the flaming arrow that is this cereal. And I’m not sure dairy milk will make a difference because the cinnamon AND peppers will be washed into it.

The product’s press release says the combination of Cinnadust and spicy peppers will deliver an absolutely absurd experience. That tastes right to me, but it doesn’t offer an absolutely delicious experience. When I eat this, I don’t think of Cinnamon Toast Crunch at all. Instead, Big Red gum or Hot Tamales comes to mind, and on the cinnamon snack scale, the classic cereal is far ahead of the gum and candy. I’m more tickled by its uniqueness than its flavor. There’s also a bitterness that occasionally pops up in the aftertaste that I quickly forget about when the spiciness starts poking in my mouth.

CinnaFuego Toast Crunch is a fascinating product and it was neat to try. If you’re interested in finding out what a spicy breakfast cereal is like, you should purchase this. But, if this is hanging on a display hook at a brick-and-mortar store in the future, I wouldn’t try it again.

DISCLOSURE: I received a free product sample from Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Doing so did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 5.9 oz pouch
Purchased at: Received from Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 ounce) 3 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 8 grams of sugar (8 grams of added sugar), and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Cinnamon Toast Crunch Rolls Cereal

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Rolls Box

General Mills’ Cinnamon Toast Crunch brand name reaches far and wide, allowing consumers to experience its beloved cinnamon-sugar flavor via cookie dough, creamy spread, and even bottled Cinnamilk. Through its newest offering, the brand now offers consumers the chance to eat 87 cinnamon rolls in one sitting without becoming dreadfully sick.

Of course, each of those “cinnamon rolls” is a piece of cereal. (Do not mistake the previous paragraph as an endorsement to consume 87 Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls, which also bear the Cinnamon Toast Crunch name.) Cinnamon Toast Crunch Rolls Cereal consists of cinnamon roll-shaped sweetened wheat and corn cereal. Each piece is cinnamon-flavored and boasts a delightful swirl design to emphasize the cinnamon roll comparison.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Rolls Dry

Further supporting the comparison is the cereal’s intense cinnamon scent, which seems to leak through the product packaging. Remember going to the mall and smelling the cinnamon roll kiosk all the way from inside the department store? (Remember department stores? Remember malls?) That’s how strong and enticing the scent of Cinnamon Toast Crunch Rolls is.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Rolls Size

Weirdly and sadly, the cinnamon smell is Cinnamon Toast Crunch Rolls’ siren song. The scent is much stronger than the flavor, which has an artificial aftertaste. Minus the artificial quality, the taste itself is fine. It just lacks the punch that OG Cinnamon Toast Crunch has. I think this is because the cereal pieces themselves are cinnamon-flavored, while their dusty coating is spare and more sugar-heavy than the Cinnadust we know, love, and sometimes buy in bulk to sprinkle on our popcorn. A different coating–maybe a vanilla powder to mimic a cinnamon roll’s icing–may have been more successful in elevating Cinnamon Toast Crunch Rolls.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Rolls Milk

Hope is not lost. In milk, the artificial quality dissipates, and the cinnamon livens up a little bit, getting closer to that sweet center-of-the-roll ideal. This enhanced flavor arrives at the expense of the cereal’s texture, though. Dry, the pieces have the light, airy texture of other corn-based or partially corn-based cereals. Wet, their texture softens to mush quickly.

For best results, you should eat the cereal with milk — but fast. Like within a minute. Maybe this is why the cartoon cinnamon roll on the front of the box has such powerful-looking teeth. He’s trying to show you his technique.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Rolls Mascot

Compared to other cinnamon cereals on the market, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Rolls is only average. The original Cinnamon Toast Crunch, which I count among my favorite cereals, bests the Rolls in terms of flavor. Kellogg’s Cinnabon and Cinnamon Mini Buns cereals both provided a more satisfying texture, and I long for their return. (If you remember the latter product, you probably also remember malls and department stores.)

While Cinnamon Toast Crunch Rolls Cereal makes for a passable breakfast, it is not quite deserving of the Cinnamon Toast Crown.

Purchased Price: $4.29
Size: Family Size – 16.7 oz (473 g)
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 1 cup) 150 calories, 4 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 9 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Cinnamon Toast Crunch Creamy Cinnamon Spread

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Creamy Cinnamon Spread Jar

According to the Cinnamon Toast Crunch Creamy Cinnamon Spread’s jar, it’s a product of Greece. But after touching the jar, pulling back the foil lid, and trying to keep the tan condiment on a butter knife, I began to wonder if it’s also a product of grease.

Before getting a chance to sample the spread, my first experience with the CTC spread was wondering why my fingers felt as if I’d just eaten pizza after touching the unopened glass jar. After inspecting the screw-on plastic lid and foil safety seal, it appears there wasn’t any leakage. But when I tried to remove the foil seal, only the golden top layer peeled away, leaving behind a fragile paper layer that broke into pieces as I attempted to remove it. I suspect this happened because the sample I received from B&G Foods was transported on its side, and the oils in the spread partially penetrated the foil seal.

As for the spread itself, it’s goopy, has an aroma that makes me wonder if I should stick a wick in it, and comes in a color that a paint brand might call “Camel Hump Tan.” Well, I’m used to goopy because the Smuckers Natural Peanut Butter I use slides off the knife as easily as this CTC spread does. Its ingredients include canola and palm oils, which might explain this cinnamon condiment’s viscosity and oiliness.

While it’s goopy and smells a little off, its flavor is surprisingly delicious. Along with being a product of Greece, the jar also says it “delivers the epic taste of Cinnamon Toast Crunch with notes of brown sugar and graham flavor.” However, it doesn’t have me thinking this is a Cinnamon Toast Crunch-flavored slurry. But it does taste like something as tasty as the cereal — cinnamon rolls. Well, more specifically, the sweet stuff within the cinnamon rolls’ rolls. You know, the best part. There’s also a noticeable brown sugar flavor (which makes sense since it’s the spread’s first ingredient), but I didn’t get any graham notes.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Creamy Cinnamon Spread Toast

I spread it on bread, dipped pears into it, and swirled it in my overnight oats. With every application, I got a bold and wonderful cinnamon roll-like flavor. If I had the inclination and ability to bake up a batch of cinnamon rolls, I’d use this instead of the standard icing. Overall, its taste makes up for it being as slippery as a greasy pig.

DISCLOSURE: I received a free product sample from B&G Foods. Doing so did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 10 oz jar
Purchased at: Received from B&G Foods
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 tbsp/30 grams) 160 calories, 9 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 75 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 18 grams of sugar (16 grams of added sugar), and 2 grams of protein.