Cinnamon Toast Crunch Waffle Cereal Review: Plenty Of Cinnamon But Short On Waffles

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Waffle Cereal box
Cinnamon Toast Crunch Waffle Cereal box - Becki Robins / Mashed

Cinnamon Toast Crunch has long been known for being very cinnamony and not really looking or tasting anything like toast. My kids used to call it "Cars Cereal" because once, many years ago, the toy surprise inside was a Matchbox-style car. This, above all else — including the look and taste of the stuff — forever clouded the way they saw those tiny toast-shaped things floating in their breakfast bowls. I know this isn't super important to the discussion about the brand's new "Waffle Cereal" except to say that for kids (and perhaps some adults), flavor isn't everything.

Anyway, Cars Cereal — I mean Cinnamon Toast Crunch — is already beyond full of cinnamon, to the point where it can sometimes feel like a way to attempt the dubious circa-2012 cinnamon challenge, only thankfully without the risk of collapsed lungs. On the flip side, a reasonable sprinkle of cinnamon can be very, very good. Who doesn't love a snickerdoodle or a cinnamon-laced apple pie, right?

Recently, Cinnamon Toast Crunch has released a new product it has deemed "Cinnamon Waffle Cereal," which begs a number of questions. One: Is there finally a food that is too cinnamony? Two: How waffle-like is it? And three: How is this better (or not) than Cinnabon? If you've seen this new cereal at your local supermarket and have held off on buying it pending the answers to these very important questions, well, your wait is over. I tried the Cinnamon Toast Crunch Waffle Cereal myself. Here's what I thought.

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What's In Cinnamon Toast Crunch Waffle Cereal?

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Waffle Cereal inside the box
Cinnamon Toast Crunch Waffle Cereal inside the box - Becki Robins / Mashed

The stuff inside the box isn't a super big revelation or anything. The cereal is basically tiny, waffle-shaped discs that are roughly ¾ of an inch by ¾ of an inch. I'm not trying to overthink this or anything, but the squares are also kind of pillow-shaped, which waffles are generally not, so this subtracts points from the waffle-like metric I've established.

Furthermore, despite the association with waffles and despite the fact that there is literally a picture of cartoon syrup cascading over cartoon waffles on the box, I could not find any evidence that there is actual maple syrup or even fake maple syrup anywhere in this product. Now, I realize that not everyone eats their waffles with syrup but according to some very important research published by Statista in February of 2024, around 272 million Americans use pancake and table syrup, compared to around 58 million who do not. There were also 3 million who inexplicably don't know whether or not they use pancake and table syrup (or just didn't answer the question, perhaps because they want to lie to themselves and others about how often they chow down on a syrup-smothered waffle as opposed to a bran muffin).

Anyway, most people eat their waffles with syrup, so I'm afraid the absence of maple flavor in Cinnamon Toast Crunch Waffle Cereal subtracts additional points from the waffle comparison metric.

Where Can You Get It And How Much Does It Cost?

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Waffle Cereal with coffee
Cinnamon Toast Crunch Waffle Cereal with coffee - Becki Robins / Mashed

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Waffle Cereal appears to have fairly limited availability, at least based on the handy Available Retailers tool on the cereal's product page. I was not able to locate it in my zip code -- unsurprising since my local store always seems to be the last to get anything new. But I also couldn't find any stores that carry it in nearby San Francisco, though you could at the time buy it at a Los Angeles Albertson's.

Chicago and Las Vegas were also seemingly bereft of the cereal, though I did find stores carrying it in Dallas and New York. It seemed as if you could throw a dart at a map and be as likely to hit a city with a store selling Cinnamon Toast Crunch Waffle Cereal as not. If you're interested in trying it yourself, you may need to do a bit of legwork to secure a box -- though, of course, that can change as product rollouts carry on.

Only one size appears available at the moment: the 11.6-ounce box, which contains eight servings (at least if you don't have any teenagers). Price varies by location. At the time of this writing, Stop & Shop in New York is selling boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch Waffle Cereal for $5.49 each. The Dallas Kroger is selling it for $5.69, so expect to pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $5.50 for a box.

How Does This Compare To Cinnamon Toast Crunch?

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Waffle Cereal with milk
Cinnamon Toast Crunch Waffle Cereal with milk - Becki Robins / Mashed

A few qualities make Cinnamon Toast Crunch Waffle Cereal stand out from its similarly cinnamon-rich cousin, the original Cinnamon Toast Crunch. For starters, the waffle-shaped pieces are considerably heftier than their toast-shaped counterparts; I found that they held their texture for much longer. This is an important consideration when you have to take a bunch of photos of the cereal you're going to eat prior to actually eating it. It's also a very important consideration when you have a kid who refuses to eat his cereal because it got soggy while he was complaining about the color of the bowl it was served in. This is a less important consideration if you have a teenager who just pours the cereal directly into his mouth.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Waffle Cereal does taste different than regular Cinnamon Toast Crunch, though it's unclear why thanks to the vague natural flavor listed under its ingredients. As I pointed out earlier, there's no obvious maple flavor in this cereal, and it's not like there isn't any cinnamon in Cinnamon Toast Crunch. In fact, the ingredient list for the waffle version isn't that remarkable compared to the ingredient list for the toast version, except for the presence of cornmeal instead of rice flour and the fact that there's apparently rosemary extract in the waffle version (though I detected no notes of rosemary upon tasting).

What's The Nutritional Value?

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Waffle Cereal with milk and bananas
Cinnamon Toast Crunch Waffle Cereal with milk and bananas - Becki Robins / Mashed

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Waffle cereal is 170 calories per one-cup serving, not including common add-ons such as milk or bananas. One serving has 10 grams of added sugar, and sugar is the third ingredient. I am not fanning myself in shock over this. Most breakfast cereals )except for the ones that taste like tiny bales of hay) are loaded with sugar and -- let's be real -- if they weren't, many kids would not eat them. This is an unchangeable Fact of Breakfast, no matter how much parents on social media pretend that, thanks to their stellar parenting skills, their angel children don't even like unhealthy foods.

Still, that puts this cereal in the upper-middle range in terms of sugar content. The original flavor of Cap'n Crunch has 16 grams of added sugar per one-cup serving, compared to just 1 gram of added sugar for Cheerios (in a 1.5-cup serving.

What Cinnamon Toast Crunch Waffle Cereal lacks (or exceeds in), it makes up for with its first ingredient: whole grain wheat. It's debatable whether or not the presence of whole wheat actually balances out the deluge of sugar and fructose (the fourth ingredient), and since I am not a nutritionist I refuse to weigh in on this. But that whole wheat and the second ingredient — cornmeal — are not inherently bad things to see on a list of ingredients.

How Did It Taste?

Spoonful of Cinnamon Toast Crunch Waffle Cereal
Spoonful of Cinnamon Toast Crunch Waffle Cereal - Becki Robins / Mashed

Despite the fact that I just spent quite a few words dragging Cinnamon Toast Crunch Waffle Cereal for not being waffle-y enough, I actually loved it. In fact, I would choose it over the original Cinnamon Toast Crunch or something similarly sugary like Fruit Loops. And although I almost never eat cereal without bananas, I might eat this without bananas.

I'm sure you're also eager to know if this cereal is too full of cinnamon. The answer is no. Therefore the jury is still out on whether or not there does, in fact, exist a food that has too much cinnamon in it. At any rate, it's not this one, though i's certainly got a lot of cinnamon.

I do stand by my assessment that Cinnamon Toast Crunch Waffle Cereal is not especially reminiscent of waffles. It looks like waffles — sort of — but it tastes like Cinnabon. This isn't better than a good cinnamon roll, but it's the closest thing you're going to get to one in cereal form. In fact, this cereal tastes so much like Cinnabon that I have to wonder why they didn't just make it cinnamon roll-shaped so they could name it Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinnamon Roll Cereal. Maybe they are overly attached to the "toast" part of Cinnamon Toast Crunch? Anyway, though its name isn't quite right, I still found it to be quite tasty.


Cinnamon Toast Crunch Waffle Cereal with banana
Cinnamon Toast Crunch Waffle Cereal with banana - Becki Robins / Mashed

Evaluating this cereal was an interesting experience for me, since I largely abandoned cereal eating the day I found pantry moths in the bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats I was about to tuck into. Long before that atrocity, I enjoyed the occasional bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and so did my four children. Therefore, I based my analysis of Cinnamon Toast Crunch Waffle Cereal on my past experiences with Cinnamon Toast Crunch and other moth-free cereals in the same kid-friendly category. Also, because almost every kid-friendly cereal is loaded with sugar, I didn't think it was fair to deduct any points from this one for being similarly sugary. So, although I noted it, the relatively high amount of added sugars in a serving did not color my opinion.

I also factored in whether or not the name seemed to suit the product. That said, you don't taste a name, so ultimately this should not dissuade anyone from trying this cereal. Although I think the not-terribly-accurate name was worth some criticism, I based most of my opinion on whether or not I liked the taste. In the back of my head, though, moth-free still carries some weight (and I can assure you I found no moths here).

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