The 2021 holiday season began with a bang when the Toast Crunch gang dropped a Thanksgiving-leaning limited edition Apple Pie version of its beloved cinnamon cereal that instantly became a fan favorite. It’s back for a third year, but a new potential holiday hero has emerged — the twinkling blue-boxed Gingerbread Toast Crunch.
Let me get my personal bias out of the way: Cinnamon Toast Crunch is the greatest cereal ever. Whew, I said it. Growing up, it was all about Reese’s Puffs, and I still champion them, but for the last decade or so, no sweet cereal has delivered the way that CTC has. Even the Toast Crunch releases from the previous four years have been solid, especially CinnaGraham Toast Crunch, which, dare I say, might be even better than the original?
Now that you know where I’m coming from, this new cereal is something I’ve been dreaming about for years. In my head, it was always Pumpkin Spice Toast Crunch, but gingerbread is a slightly less crowded space, and I appreciate the nuance it has over its more in-demand pumpkin cohort. The texture of the squares is the same delightful little airy but gently crunchy one you know from the original — it’s perfect.
I’m more of a dry cereal snacker or enjoy putting it on top of bowls of yogurt or ice cream, so that’s how I tend to judge my CTC varieties, but it usually performs very well in milk, too. The flavor of these squares is delicious but a bit less spicy than I imagined. Specifically, they’re not very gingery. When I think gingerbread or ginger cookies, I expect a little bit of a tingle, and while these boast a nice undercurrent of molasses with some spice, I’m mainly getting cinnamon, and there isn’t much of a tingle. That doesn’t stop me from having handful after handful of crunchy, buttery, mildly spicy delight, but I expected a more potent flavor punch like 2021’s Apple Pie.
Milk doesn’t bring any spice to the table, but it does bring some creaminess that I suppose you could stretch your imagination to say emulates the cookie’s frosting. Either way, a decent amount of the Cinnadust comes off into the milk and creates some of the best cereal milk in the game (you know the vibes), which has a bit more of a special Christmas-y aura than the usual CTC milk.
For some, the mild ginger punch will be a welcome surprise, and for others, like me, it could leave you wanting a bit more. I think General Mills played it safe with this one, and for a sugar-laden cereal aimed at children, I’m totally okay with that because there’s still enough warm, molasses-y holiday magic to get me feeling festive.
Purchased Price: $6.49 (man this inflation is a DRAG)
Size: 18.8 ounces
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 cup, 41g) 170 calories, 4 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 230 milligrams of sodium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.