REVIEW: IHOP Blueberry & Syrup Mini Pancake Cereal

Breakfastception: noun

When one style of breakfast mimics the flavor(s) of another style of breakfast.

“IHOP Mini Pancakes Cereal is the latest form of Breakfastception.”

I should admit I never really understood the Christopher Nolan film Inception, and have zero idea if this very topical reference makes sense. Anyway, General Mills and IHOP have partnered on a Blueberry and Syrup flavored cereal.

I could be wrong, but the only pancake cereal I can even recall from one of the major companies was a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Cap’n Crunch version. We’ve had plenty of waffleinspired cereals, a few that were muffin-based, and even French toast, but how many have been distinctly pancake? I didn’t anticipate these to taste much different from a waffle cereal, but that was still the main intrigue.

An IHOP pancake cereal is interesting, but will these blueberry and syrup mini pancakes be the cereal of your Incepted dreams? Probably not.

Will I ever properly reference the Christopher Nolan film Inception? Also, probably not.

I’ll give this cereal credit where it’s due. It smells perfect. Well, I mean, it smells like a Blueberry Eggo waffle, but it’s really all just batter, right? The difference, especially in cereal form, is negligible, and let’s be real, waffles are just pancakes that go to the gym. Beyond the smell, I have to pretty much discredit this cereal from here on out. It’s one of the worst textured cereals I’ve had in a long time, even after soaking in milk.

The pieces are similar to Cookie Crisp but denser, and for some reason, these blueberry specs are a lot sharper than I recall the chocolate chips being. If you love a good crunch from your cereal, these may be your jam, but it’s not very satisfying because the pieces taste stale.

The flavor itself is decent, but I’d classify it as “Crunch Berry Lite.” While there is a mildly pleasant hint of maple, and the base flavor reminded me of waffle or pancake batter, the blueberry really just reminded me of a weak Crunch Berry. It ends up being the dominant flavor before it all fades away into a weird aftertaste.

I was surprised at how soft and bland the overall flavor was. Honestly, this has the sweetness level of an “adult” blueberry cereal with the shape and texture of a kid’s cereal. It’s living in a dead zone for no one in particular.

I’ll be fair and say it’s not entirely bad because the cereal does turn the milk into a sweet sky-blue color that would make even Aunt Beru proud, but everything else is meh.

The “IHOP” here stands for “I Have Other Preferences” because this one ranks near the bottom of cereals based on other breakfast staples. I don’t know how long you’ve got to try these, but I feel they’re gonna be one and done. I wouldn’t mind seeing IHOP regroup and try again, but hopefully not as IHOB.

Actually, ya know what? Go for it. I’d try your burger-flavored cereal. Take it up another level because that right there would truly be an inception. I think. Maybe. Perhaps.

Probably not.

Purchased Price: $4.48
Size: 19 oz box
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 3 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup) 140 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 180 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.

REVIEW: IHOP Tuxedo Pancakes

IHOP Tuxedo Pancakes

Two things I love in this world are pancakes and coffee.

So IHOP nearly broke my heart when it discontinued its delicious Latte Lover’s pancakes. But when I found out about these new Tuxedo pancakes I nearly lost my mind. I promised myself for Lent I’d give up coffee, but this was the loophole I had been waiting desperately for ten minutes after I made that commitment.

IHOP describes the new stack as: “One Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Pancake, layered with our world-famous buttermilk pancake and topped with vanilla bean mousse and mocha mousse and sprinkled with chocolate chips.” Surely, I had thought, this would taste exactly like the mocha cream on the Espresso Mocha Cream pancakes and the vanilla bean cream on the Double Vanilla pancakes, which were both around for the Latte Lover’s promotion.

I was half right.

The vanilla bean mousse tastes nearly identical to the vanilla bean cream. On its own, it has a nice vanilla bean flavoring, but is very subtle. I think I would have been able to enjoy it, but the chocolate chips on top are very distracting, especially once the chocolate mousse gets factored in. The mocha mousse doesn’t taste much like mocha and is missing that bubbly mousse mouthfeel. Instead, it feels more like icing. Compared to the mocha cream I had known and loved, this new chocolate mousse is a lot darker, richer, and sweeter.

If I were to compare it to anything it would be dark chocolate ganache, which is delicious, but it’s not the coffee-infused chocolate mousse I was hoping for. Furthermore, the amount of mousse allocated to a short stack isn’t much. So if someone were to order a full stack of four pancakes, the mousse would definitely leave one wanting more.

IHOP Tuxedo Pancakes 2

As for the pancakes themselves, the chocolate, chocolate chip one is delicious but the original buttermilk is boring and detracts from this overall experience. Perhaps if IHOP had used a vanilla bean flavoring instead of plain buttermilk it would have fared much better, but the buttermilk and chocolate pancakes fail to complement each other and are not something worth returning for given all the other, more interesting flavors to choose from on the menu.

Overall, I am disappointed and bored with this new limited time menu item. Those who prefer more straightforward, simple pancakes might find these more appealing. To me, these are dry, lack any real sweetness, and doesn’t do the Tuxedo cake justice.

As a coffee and sugar fiend, these only leave me wanting a lot more. My caffeine withdrawal headache is still here, telling me that whatever coffee might have been in the mousse wasn’t enough for even the slightest buzz.

But, believe it or not, the saving grace is the mocha mousse. Not because it’s mocha, but because dark chocolate ganache makes everything better as far as I’m concerned and was the sweetest thing about this stack. Next time I’ll see if they can give me the chocolate, chocolate chip pancakes with plenty of this mousse layered between each pancake. Now THAT gets me excited!

(Nutrition Facts – Not available.)

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: Side order of 2 pancakes
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: The mocha mousse tastes like dark chocolate ganache and is very sweet. The ability to now order this mousse on a stack of the chocolate, chocolate chip pancakes without the buttermilk pancakes or vanilla bean mousse getting in the way.
Cons: The mocha mousse didn’t have any coffee flavoring to it, and the vanilla bean mousse was not nearly sweet enough to compete with the chocolate. The buttermilk pancake base did no justice for this stack, it just made it less sweet and flavorful. Felt like I was missing something – perhaps more, or at least a stronger vanilla flavor.

REVIEW: IHOP Chicken & Waffles

IHOP Chicken & Waffles

As someone who has never had chicken and waffles from one of the many establishments noted for their chicken and waffles dish, you may think I’m not the best person to review IHOP’s Chicken & Waffles.

However, I’ve watched enough shows on the Food Network and Travel Channel to know what makes a good plate of chicken and waffles. And, as someone who once combined a Cinnabon cinnamon roll with a flame-broiled Burger King Whopper patty to create a monstrosity called the CinnaWhopper, I feel I’m qualified to judge foods that combine sweet and savory.

Traditionally, chicken and waffles include fried chicken breasts and waffles topped with butter and syrup. IHOP’s bastardized version takes away the fried chicken breasts, replaces it with four boneless chicken tenders; includes four wedges of Belgian waffles with a container of butter; and adds a little something something called honey mustard dipping sauce.

Now, the honey mustard sauce is a strange addition, and it’s the more bastardizing part of the dish. I don’t think any of the chicken and waffles places featured on television shows hosted by a chubby guy with bleached spiked hair or a chubby guy with a Brooklyn accent include any dipping sauces with the dish. Traditionally, the dish is enjoyed by combining a bite of the fried chicken with a bite of syrup and waffles, hence the sweet and savory. The honey mustard sauce would throw a curve into that.

I can only come up with two reasons why IHOP included the dipping sauce: 1) It gives people an out to those who try the dish and don’t care for the sweet and savory combination. 2) Their chicken tenders suck, and not even the addition of waffles and syrup could make them remotely tastier.

Well, it’s probably a combination of the two. The breaded and lightly seasoned chicken tenders look and taste like something I could get from Banquet in the frozen food aisle. The chicken tender’s exterior was crispy, but interior ended up being a little dry.

Before I could taste the sweet and savory combination of chicken and waffles, I had to choose from IHOP’s array of syrups. I chose to be old fashioned and use their Old Fashioned syrup, which is probably made in a non-old fashioned way. I’m not sure exactly how it’s made, but it probably involves large machines that people who do make syrup the old fashioned way wish they had.

Based on what I’ve seen on television about the chicken and waffles dish, IHOP’s Chicken & Waffles probably doesn’t come close to being as delicious as what one can get at a dining establishment, like Gladys Knight and Ron Winans’ Chicken & Waffles. However, as the bastardization of the amalgamation of chicken tender, waffle, and syrup, I thought IHOP’s Chicken & Waffles could’ve been much better.

The size of the chicken tenders and waffles wedges are equal enough that you can have a bite of chicken with a bite of waffles and not have to worry about either of them running out before the other does. The flavor of the chicken with the waffles and syrup does create an adequate sweet and savory flavor, but I wish the chicken’s seasoning was a little stronger. Or, perhaps, it lacks the greasiness that regular fried chicken has, because you know what they say about grease, “Grease makes us obese, but the right release of grease makes taste increase.” I also had high hopes for the waffles, after all, IHOP knows breakfast. However, they had a not-so-crispy exterior, a fluffy interior, and they were a little bland. Thank goodness for their Old Fashioned syrup.

Since I have a curious soul, and I occasionally enjoy messing with my taste buds, I decided to combine the chicken, waffles, syrup, and honey mustard sauce into a culinary clusterfuck. The result? It definitely doesn’t make it better. It also definitely doesn’t make me gag, but the flavor is a bit odd.

IHOP’s Chicken & Waffles can probably match the caloric value of a real plate of chicken and waffles from somewhere like Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles with its 1,110 calories. However, it could never equal Roscoe’s tastiness. I know. It’s a bastardized version of the dish, but I really wish it wasn’t, because it makes real chicken and waffles look bad.

(Nutrition Facts – Not available on website, but we do know it contains 1,110 calories.)

Item: IHOP Chicken & Waffles
Price: $8.99
Size: N/A
Purchased at: IHOP
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Adequate sweet and savory flavor. Allows people around the country to try chicken and waffles, even though it’s a bastardized version of it. Crispy exterior on the chicken tenders. The right release of grease makes taste increase. Old Fashioned syrup. Includes a lot of butter.
Cons: A bastardized version of chicken and waffles. Makes real chicken and waffles look bad. Chicken tenders too lightly seasoned and a little dry. 1,110 calories. Waffles were a little bland. The addition of honey mustard sauce was a unusual. The CinnaWhopper. Not having eaten a real plate of chicken and waffles.


At a table in the back is a parent who doesn’t care.
Their child is giving them their spoiled glare.
They whine and swear about how it’s not fair.
“I WANT WHO-CAKES!” is what they blare.
Others in the restaurant hear it, then stop and stare.
So the parent orders IHOP Who-Cakes out of despair.

The impatient kid slams the utensils in a hissy fit.
I mutter a little whit, “Fucking spoiled little shit.”
Loud brat has me thinking vasectomy, I will admit.
This child’s parent is unfit, just like that bitch Brit.
When the Who-Cakes came, I thought it’ll quiet for a bit.
But that little annoying bundle of hell wouldn’t quit.

The Who-Cakes are something no child should eat.
The frosting colors seem unnatural and sweet.
It’s like a volcano spewing M&M’s and clown excrete.
I won’t consider it a meal on its own, it’s more like a treat.
I know having one could make diabetes and me meet.
So I pray for the best, order the Who-Cakes and feel replete.

I can’t believe these IHOP Who-Cakes is what I crave.
There are so many things about it that makes me afraid.
Blue and pink berry frosting made to look like a cascade.
A pink lollipop stabbed through, so no pancake strayed.
Because of this, Dr. Seuss’ body is rolling in its grave.
It also did that after the Cat in the Hat movie was made.

I only ate half of the IHOP Who-Cakes on the plate.
There wasn’t enough of the frosting on it to regulate.
It tasted like pancakes with blueberries that were fake.
M&M’s in breakfast food seems weird to partake.
The bubblegum flavored lollipop was its best trait.
The sugar in this dish will probably add some weight.

Even the noisy, spoiled little punk couldn’t eat it through.
Fortunately, overdosing on sugar caused him to be subdue.
This mountain of hot cakes and candy isn’t worth it to pursue.
I can’t believe IHOP had a movie tie-in for Horton Hears A Who.
Thankfully, once the movie stops playing we will bid it adieu.
So until then, please consider making the Who-Cakes taboo.

(Editor’s Note: Thanks to TIB reader Caroline for suggesting the IHOP Who-Cakes and subjecting me to children who were like little bundles of joy, if joy were a swift kick to the head.)

Item: IHOP Who-Cakes
Price: $4.99
Purchased at: IHOP
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Bubblegum flavored lollipop. NKOTB reunion.
Cons: Tastes like artificial blueberry pancakes when eating with unnatural colored frosting. Not a complete breakfast. Not enough frosting crap on it. Candy + pancakes = possible diabetes. Frosting colors don’t occur in nature. No nutritional facts on website.