We’ve seen Kellogg’s mash-up its breakfast brands before with Eggo and Froot Loops flavored Pop-Tarts, so it’s only natural it would try an Apple Jacks version. Apple Jacks is a curious choice to use as a flavor for something else though because what really is its flavor besides “Apple Jacks”? They famously don’t taste much like apples, and there isn’t a lot of cinnamon, either.
If you were to blindly taste Apple Jacks, you’d probably say they seem like a sugary cereal, and if you were to rip open the foil on any Pop-Tart, they’re first and foremost going to give off a general Pop-Tart aroma and flavor. This is really what they have in common: they both taste like breakfasts of your youth that are pretty unremarkable, but damn if you don’t love them anyway. Kellogg’s knows this, which is why Apple Jacks has the slogan, “We eat what we like!” So, do we like these Pop-Tarts?
I like Apple Jacks, and I like Pop-Tarts, so it should be a winning formula. All they need to do is taste like a breakfast I would have eaten in 3rd grade. After opening a pouch, my initial expectations were met. These have the classic bland pastry base that may or may not be discarded (depending on how hungry you are) in favor of the more coveted middle section with frosting and sugar goo. The frosting is less generously applied than the box indicates, and there are sugar sprinkles in colors corresponding to Apple Jacks. They have that classic Pop-Tart smell and are visually kind of cute, although maybe I only think that because the last Pop-Tarts I reviewed looked like they’d been dropped in dirt.
Breaking one open, I was struck by how orange the filling was. If Kellogg’s ever wants to make a carrot-flavored variety, it should keep this dye combo in mind. The untoasted tarts taste pretty much like you’d think, sweetly nondescript. I don’t pick up on any apple, which should make all those kids from the 90’s era Apple Jacks commercials proud. If I’m trying to hone in on a flavor, the main one I get is cinnamon, and this is where things go awry for me.
It’s not a gentle cinnamon; it’s a hot cinnamon candy taste. If you’ve had Red Hots or Atomic Fireballs, this is akin to that but not nearly as strong. I usually think toasting Pop-Tarts improves them by taking away some of the flouriness and boosting the flavors, but this isn’t a flavor I want amplified. When heated, the hot cinnamon is definitely more pronounced. This is a negative for me because I dislike the flavor, and it doesn’t remind me of the cereal. It isn’t so overpowering that I think it would bother everyone, but it’s enough of a turnoff that I wouldn’t consider buying them again. Perhaps it only makes sense that if Apple Jacks doesn’t taste like apples, Apple Jacks Pop-Tarts shouldn’t taste like Apple Jacks.
Purchased Price: $4.29
Size: 8 count box
Purchased at: Mariano’s
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2 pastries) 370 calories, 9 grams of total fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 210 milligrams of sodium, 70 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 28 grams of total sugars, and 4 grams of protein.