Despite looking older than his age for several decades now, Cap’n Crunch is turning 60 this year, and as such, he has made himself a celebratory birthday cake-flavored cereal. What, you don’t make your own birthday dessert? Well, LOOK AT YOU, Mr. I-Actually-Have-Friends-and-Family-Who-Love-Me.
How are they?
Distinctly birthday cake-y. What is “birthday cake” flavor, anyway? Generic vanilla sugar cake? Anyway, the Cap’n manages to capture the flavor admirably with his multi-colored misshaped balls. If I had one complaint, it would be that the flavor is a bit muted; if a full-on grade school birthday party cake is a 10, these were about a 5. Depending on your love for birthday cake flavor, this is either a good or bad thing.
Anything else you need to know?
As mentioned above, this cereal is entirely composed of multi-colored, oddly shaped balls. There are no yellow pillows (barrels?) or brightly and solidly colored “berries.” File this under “mildly interesting.”
Also, it appears from the picture on the box that the irregularly shaped pieces are supposed to be singularly colored; maybe the dye wasn’t set when my box was packed because what I ended up with looks like a hippie’s shirt closet.
If you like birthday cake-flavored things and Cap’n Crunch, you will likely enjoy this version of the Quaker classic. Just try not to get hung up on the fact that the 60-year-old Cap’n has no one who cares enough to make him a cake.
Purchased Price: $4.78 Size: 14.8 oz Purchased at: Hy-Vee Rating: 7 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (38 g) 150 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 14 grams of sugar (including 14 grams of added sugar), and 2 grams of protein.
It’s the newest variety in the Quaker Life Cereal line that also includes (say it with me because I know you all know it by heart), original, cinnamon, vanilla, and strawberry. It gets its chocolatiness from cocoa that’s been processed with alkali and other natural flavors.
How is it?
First off, a disclosure. I’m not a regular Life Cereal eater. Oh wait, let me rephrase that. I’m not a Life Cereal Lifer. (That’s better, maybe.) I can count on two hands the number of times I’ve consumed any Life variety, and I had to look up what they were for the list above. With that said, I did enjoy eating Chocolate Life Cereal in milk or dry.
Its flavor is mild, and there’s enough of it to recognize it’s chocolate. It’s not overly sweet and doesn’t reach the same cocoa level as Cocoa Puffs, Cocoa Pebbles, or any other choco-heavy cereal with a cartoon mascot. Also, the chocolatiness tastes darker than the others. I find it tasty enough that it’s got me thinking I should try the other varieties so that it’ll take three hands to count the number of times I’ve had Life Cereal.
Unfortunately, unlike many of the cereals I mentioned above, it doesn’t make excellent cereal milk. Speaking of milk, this Life variety is okay at maintaining its crunchiness while sitting in the liquid.
Anything else you need to know?
Some of you might be wondering what those white crystal thingies are in the second photo above. I want to say cereal dandruff, but I’m absolutely sure that’s wrong and that Quaker doesn’t want me to describe them that way.
There was a bunch collected at the bag’s bottom of the, so I tried them. They look like salt but taste as if they’ve absorbed the cereal’s flavor. If you know what it is, let me know in the comments. If you don’t know what it is but have an absurd and incorrect idea of what it could be, share it in the comments.
A one-cup serving has 24 grams of whole grains, is an excellent source of five B vitamins, and is a good calcium source. Wait…is the cereal dandruff the source of the good source of calcium?
Quaker Chocolate Life Cereal is a tasty addition to the Life Cereal line that also includes (say it with me again), original, cinnamon, vanilla, and strawberry.
DISCLOSURE: I received a free sample of the product. Thanks, Quaker! Doing so did not influence my review.
Purchased Price: FREE Size: 13 oz box Purchased at: Received from Quaker Rating: 6 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: (1 cup) 160 calories, 2 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.
Quaker has added a new member of the Life family, joining Original, Cinnamon, Vanilla, Pumpkin Spice, Gingerbread, and (discontinued?) Maple and Brown Sugar. Strawberry Life is the only fruit-flavored version out there currently. Cinnamon Life is my all-time favorite cereal, so I was interested to see how this variation would stack up.
How is it?
When I tried a piece dry, it reminded me of Berry Berry Kix, a cereal I haven’t had in decades. But who eats Life dry?
As I ate the cereal doused in milk, I got the true experience, but it’s not much of an experience. For some of the bites, I could hardly taste the strawberry. It was just like Original Life. On other bites, I could taste the berry, but it had an artificial, almost chemical flavor, which is odd since it only uses natural flavors.
I was happy to finish my bowl(s) of this cereal, but only because of the standard flavor and texture of Life. The strawberry doesn’t do anything for me.
I did try real strawberries in the cereal, but personally I didn’t care for the combination.
Is there anything else I need to know?
I have a few lingering questions. Why do they use yellow food coloring for a strawberry-inspired cereal that is drab anyway? Like, what’s the point? And why is this new product being marketed with a minor character from a threequel that I predict will be forgettable?
I doubt I will ever buy this cereal again —- not because it’s terrible, but just because it doesn’t match its predecessors. When I go to the cereal aisle and see my beloved Cinnamon Life smiling at me, I have no need for Strawberry. Even Original is better than this version.
Purchased Price: $2.99 Size: 18 oz. box Purchased at: Target Rating: 6 out of 10 Nutrition Facts: 3/4 cup (32 grams) – 120 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 85 milligrams of potassium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 6 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.
Gingerbread is one of the oldest cookie traditions known to man. The swirling baked concoction of ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, molasses, and honey was used to treat indigestion and painted as window decorations as far back as the 15th century. The hard spicy biscuits were not only delicious, but medicinal, and even though I’ve never eaten cookies to cure a tummy ache, I’ll gladly take that medication any day.
In true lineage with the old spirit of gingerbread, one of the oldest feeling adult-meets-kiddy cereals, Quaker’s Life, put their own spin on the multipurpose treat with this season’s Limited Edition Gingerbread Spice Life.
The funny thing about Life is that they all look the same, with no vibrant fake coloring or powder to indicate what they’re supposed to taste like. They’re just boring little criss-cross oat wheat squares that somehow Quaker packs some flavors into. Their appearance, however, is fitting for the drab-looking gingerbread, and the flavor follows suit. Crunching into these seasonal delights dry reveals immediate notes of ginger and molasses, accented by a soft, sweet finish.
My biggest concern was that it was going to be very similar to last year’s Pumpkin Spice Life, which I’m a fan of, but I’m happy to say they’re very different. Pumpkin Spice Life had a strong cinnamon flavor and this one is surprisingly not cinnamon-y at all.
Each chomp packs a different Christmas punch. Sometimes it’s ginger-heavy, sometimes it just tastes like oat-y cereal, and one bite even had a sharp black pepper kick, which was surprising, but not strange since it’s a key component in traditional gingerbread. The more I eat the squares, the more complex they get. And one handful gave me the distinct yeasty bread flavor of a soft pretzel — delicious.
The cereal holds up pretty well in milk too. The spiciness is dulled down a touch, but the creaminess of the milk helps bring the true gingerbread experience full circle, adding a hint of what’s missing without any gingerbread man icing decorations or frosting. The milk gets quickly absorbed into the pieces, softening them and taking away some of the signature crunch. Somehow the notes of cinnamon that I didn’t get from the cereal dry are a little more apparent with milk, but that may be the way my taste buds interpret less ginger-y ginger.
While Gingerbread Spice Life may not have the candy button whimsy of an actual gingerbread man, it definitely takes the wonderful spicy flavors of the traditional holiday cookie and delivers them convincingly to the cereal bowl.
This is the first gingerbread cereal I’ve ever had and I’m impressed. Hopefully, more companies latch onto this wonderful flavor profile and do new fun things, because after all, it’s a lot like pumpkin spice, just without all the oversaturated hate.
(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup – 120 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.)
Purchased Price: $2.99 Size: 18 oz. box Purchased at: Target Rating: 8 out of 10 Pros: Surprisingly complex gingerbread flavor. Different bites yield different notes. Somewhat healthy. Cons: Complexity doesn’t come through as much in milk. No cute candy buttons.
Confession time: I have never in my life eaten Cap’n Crunch. That’s right: me and the Cap’n have never made it happen.
I know one thing about Cap’n Crunch, which is that it is like eating a spoonful of razor blades. This is just one of those things I’ve heard people speak of while they fondly recall their childhood. It baffles me. Did you all turn into little masochists when it was breakfast time?
It’s not one of those situations where I wasn’t allowed sugary cereals, either – Tony the Tiger and…whatever the name of the Lucky Charms leprechaun is were regulars in my house. The Cap’n just never entered my radar. Ha! I just realized that’s a boat joke.
Before we get started, I want to note that the marketing department did a spot-on job with the front of this box. Everything from the jaunty orange valance to the Olde Tyme Shoppe font to the little ice cream cart proclaiming that this flavor is Limited Edition made me want to pick up Cap’n Crunch’s Orange Creampop Crunch and take it home with me.
I will say, though, it seems less like the Cap’n is offering me a 50/50 bar and more like he’s about to assault me with it. Stand down, Cap’n! We all be buckos here!
I know the cereal is orange on the front of the box, but I wasn’t quite prepared for how bright it was when I opened the box. My brain immediately went to Cheetos, which is a weird thought to have when you’re about to eat sugary cereal.
Luckily, I was able to push the cheesy thoughts away and dig in to my bowl full of crunchy Creamsicles. I mean, Creampops. Wouldn’t want to violate any registered trademarks, here.
It was hard to pin down the taste at first, but finally the perfect analogy came to me – Froot Loops that had been dosed with extra artificial orange flavoring. It was that ubiquitous “I’m fruity!” sugar cereal flavor but with one particular standout.
Unfortunately, this does not a 50-50 bar/Creamsicle/Creampop make. Where was the vanilla? I thought I tasted hints, but that could have just been the milk and sugar mixing with my imagination.
Regardless, I’m very familiar with the delicious flavor of the orange and vanilla ice cream bar, and this was not it. Along with the lack of vanilla, which is half of what makes up the ice cream bar this cereal was modeled after, the orange was all wrong. The orange outside of a Creamsicle has a light, fruity orange flavor, and the Cap’ns version was like an orange Runt got mixed in there and started throwing punches.
Something kept pulling at me, telling me that Orange Creampop Crunch reminded me of something, and then I realized it: Yummy Mummy cereal! The difference is that Yummy Mummy actually tasted like orange cream, in my opinion. Congrats, Cap’n, you got showed up by a Halloween monster.
With all that said, will I have another bowl? Probably. I might even finish the box. Despite the over-orangeness and disappointing vanilla, Cap’n Crunch’s Orange Creampop Crunch has that satisfyingly artificial, super sugary, crunchy goodness. I’ll just pretend I’m eating orange Froot Loops that managed not to sog out after two seconds in milk.
Me and the Cap’n finally made it happen. I popped my Cap’n Crunchcherry. I would say that I regret that that is the second-to-last sentence of my review, but I regret nothing.
(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup – 110 calories, 15 calories from fat, 1.5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 0.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 210 milligrams of sodium, 50 milligrams of potassium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 12 grams of sugar, 11 grams of other carbohydrates, and 1 gram of protein.)
Purchased Price: $1.49 (on sale) Size: 14 oz. box Purchased at: Safeway Rating: 5 out of 10 Pros: Had that lovely sugary artificial fruit flavor. Boat jokes! You’ll like it if you’ve been craving orange cereal. Cute box design. Stays crunchy in milk. Didn’t cut my mouth to shreds. Cons: Lack of vanilla flavor. The Cap’n trying to assault me. Orange flavor was very artificial. Making gross jokes about the Cap’n popping my cherry. Totally failed at capturing the flavor of a Creamsicle.