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: Cocoa Puffs Oatmeal

Cocoa Puffs Oatmeal Box

What is Cocoa Puffs Oatmeal?

I can picture it now: General Mills executives sitting around a long mahogany conference table saying, “Well, we already have a solid breakfast product with Cocoa Puffs cereal… let’s make ANOTHER breakfast product and turn it into oatmeal!” So that’s what we have here — Cocoa Puffs Oatmeal. It’s an instant oatmeal with a chocolatey flavored crunchy topping.

How is it?

I’m a big oatmeal fan – it’s my breakfast food of choice. So I was really excited to try this one, especially since I also love chocolate. The directions say you can use either water or milk (like any traditional instant oatmeal). I typically use water, so that’s what I went with. After the recommended time in the microwave, I had a warm bowl of chocolate oatmeal.

Cocoa Puffs Oatmeal Packets

But wait! Before you dig in, don’t forget to add the chocolatey flavored crunch topping. This comes in a separate pouch (the pouches in the box are two different colors and labeled appropriately, either oatmeal or topping). At first glance, you could almost mistake the packets for Swiss Miss hot chocolate packets! The topping looks like small espresso beans and didn’t melt when added.

Cocoa Puffs Oatmeal Cooked

Let’s talk flavor. This does, indeed, taste like Cocoa Puffs. A mellow, chocolate taste that’s not overly sweet. The only thing I wish is that it had an even stronger chocolate flavor. If I’m having chocolate for breakfast, I want it to be very prevalent. The topping helped with that, adding a nice crunch. I was also pleased with the amount of topping – I had enough to have some with each bite. The benefit to the mellow chocolate was that it did feel like I was having breakfast versus dessert, which is the goal.

Anything else you need to know?

Cocoa Puffs Oatmeal Dry

It’s been a while since I had instant oatmeal in packets (I usually go for old-fashioned oats), so I forgot how small of a serving one of these packets can be. If you’re someone who needs a large breakfast to fuel your day, you might want to consider supplementing with something else.

Conclusion:

Looking forward to having this again. Next time, I’m going to add some peanut butter to make it even more fun!

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

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 8.4 oz box (6 servings)
Purchased at: Received from General Mills
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 1 pouch oatmeal + 1 pouch topping) 150 calories, 2.5 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 29 grams of total carbohydrates, 3 grams of dietary fiber, 12 grams of total sugars, and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Lucky Charms Marshmallow Clusters Cereal

Lucky Charms Marshmallow Clusters Cereal Box

What is Lucky Charms Marshmallow Clusters Cereal?

Rice Krispies Treats Cereal’s reformulation is one of the most controversial topics in cold breakfast history.

Introduced in 1993 and taken away for seemingly no reason in 2018, the cereal delivered an extra crunchy version of a Rice Krispies Treat that could hold up in milk and still provide a super sweet spoonful of satisfaction.

Kellogg’s brought the cereal back in 2019 and replaced the chunks of treats with sweetened puffed rice and marshmallows. The new version wasn’t awful, but a far cry from its former self, which is why I was ecstatic when I saw the latest release from General Mills: Lucky Charms Marshmallow Clusters. Did Lucky swoop in and save Snap, Crackle, and Pop from themselves? I sure hope so!

How is it?

Lucky Charms Marshmallow Clusters Cereal Dry

Well, it isn’t Rice Krispies Treats Cereal. I try to go into every new product with an open mind, but the comparison was inevitable and set me up for a bit of a disappointment. But it’s not all bad.

The sweetened corn and rice clusters remind me of a crunchier version of Kix, and despite their pleasantly mild vanilla taste, they aren’t nearly sweet enough to remind me of a marshmallow treat.

Lucky Charms Marshmallow Clusters Cereal Milk

The mild flavor gets even milder, almost extinct when added to milk. I also find their size kind of bizarre. They aren’t quite big enough to dominate a spoon like Frosted Mini-Wheats, but they’re far from Cap’n Crunch territory too, making the proper spoon balance tricky. There’s a reason most rectangular cereal pieces aren’t this big and flat.

Anything else you need to know?

The Lucky Charms marshmallows are excellent. Vibrantly colored and full of crunchy-yet-soft freeze-dried splendor, their pronounced sweetness brings a very welcome balance to the unfortunately bland clusters. Although Lucky Charms isn’t one of my favorite cereals, I prefer its normal Cheerios-adjacent glazed oat pieces to these new hypothetically sweeter and more fun clusters.

Conclusion:

Whether or not I had inflated expectations, this cereal would have been a letdown. Between its odd shape and texture and too mild flavor, this just makes me miss the 90s classic even more.

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

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 11.2 oz. box
Purchased at: N/A
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup/37 grams) 150 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Ghostbusters Afterlife Cereal

Ghostbusters Afterlife Cereal Box

I’m 100 percent sure I ate the original Ghostbusters cereal because, despite the nightmares I got from watching the movie, I loved it and took in everything Ghostbusters related. That included watching the 80s cartoon and regularly doing in school that weird walking Dr. Venkman did in the movie to get the attention of Dana Barrett.

Like the original version, Ghostbusters Afterlife Cereal features fruity-flavored puffs with marshmallows. Although, I will admit the original is so much better because of the puffs’ shape. Spheres seem lame compared to the pieces in the 80s cereal that look like the red “no” symbol in the Ghostbusters logo. To be honest, I don’t remember the original’s taste. I do know I was definitely enamored with the marshmallows.

Speaking of marshmallows, this 2021 cereal features two different ones — a ghost-shaped white one and a blue one that’s shaped like, um, a ghost fart? Your guess is as good as mine.

Now, this is the part of the review where I’d usually complain about how cereals with movie tie-ins almost always seem to include marshmallows. But since this one appears to be an homage to the original, I’ll save my rant for the next Star Wars or Pixar-related cereal I review, which I guarantee will have marbits.

Ghostbusters Afterlife Cereal Bowl

The reddish puffs have a berry-like flavor that doesn’t wow me, but it’s something that I don’t mind eating. It’s not overly sweet, even with the marshmallows. And, I know I say this a lot, but its flavor is familiar to me. I wouldn’t be surprised if this tastes EXACTLY like another cereal with a movie tie-in that I’ve had.

Ghostbusters Afterlife isn’t a memorable-tasting part of a complete breakfast. It’s one with an adequate flavor. Although, if the blue marbits are really ghost farts, I will never ever forget this cereal.

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

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 10.2 oz box
Purchased at: Received from General Mills
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup w/o milk) 150 calories, 1 gram of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, 12 grams of added sugar, and 2 grams of protein.