I, for one, welcome our loaf overlords.
With French Toast Crunch’s continued triumph of nostalgia, Tiny Toast’s recent rebrand into Strawberry Toast Crunch and Blueberry Toast Crunch, and now Apple Cinnamon Toast Crunch’s debut, one thing has become clear: bread-shaped cereal is here to stay. Though I’m slightly conflicted about what this means for the Toast Crunch family of cereals. On one hand, I worry that we’ll never get another variety with flavor-swirled squares, but the other hand is too busy scooping up fistfuls of Apple Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal because all these small slices are so darn cute that I’d rather formally adopt them as children than eat them.
I’ve already got names picked out: Crusty, Carbo, Butt Slice—the list goes on.
But any way you slice it (or square it), I’m just happy we’re getting new Toast Crunch varieties, because that brings us ever closer to getting my childhood white whale: PB&J Toast Crunch. Now enough nuttiness: let’s slice open these wee slices and hope they taste like apple pie slices.
My first reaction to trying Apple Cinnamon Toast Crunch, in one word?
That’s right: Apple Cinnamon Toast Crunch’s delightful pops of juicy fruit and sugared spice are powerful enough to remove spaces. From my inaugural bite of these sticky powder-dusted bread bits—seriously, these things will coat your fingers like an aggressive Cheeto—I immediately recognized the swirlingly sweet cinnamon flavor of original Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but the denser, doughier, and butterier flavor of the bread slice pieces pairs with the cinnamon so much more satisfyingly than with the squares’ crispy rice and wheat base.
If the old stuff tastes like, well cinnamon toast, then this stuff is a glaze-drizzled apple strudel muffin.
Oh, and how could I forget the apple flavor? Apple is, indeed, the most dominant taste in each spoonful, with the cinnamon ribbons acting more like suave, supportive scarves around the neck of Apple Cinnamon Toast Crunch’s true star. This cereal’s apple taste is much more mouthwateringly juicy and sweet than tart or biting, as it oozes real fruit flavor and natural sweetness : if I had to place this stuff on a real life apple continuum, I’d put it halfway between a Golden Delicious and a Honeycrisp, with a few extra applesauce points.
Maybe next year we’ll get Pink Lady Toast Crunch.
These two flavors work together smoothly—so smoothly that separating them in my mind was like untying a fruit-spiced Gordian knot. But despite the delicious, cozy, and homey tango these two tastes dance, I was just a bit disappointed how fast the flavor fades. The pastry-esque apple cinnamon goodness hits fast, like a bonk to Newton’s noggin, but within a chew or two, it fades away to plain ol’ golden grain like, uh, the rapidly fading worth of an old iPhone model.
Apple analogies are not my strong suit.
Adding milk to Apple Cinnamon Toast Crunch is an iffy gambit. The bad news is that milk makes the apple cinnamon flavor fade even faster with its deluge of diluting dairy. The oh-so-good news is that milk also makes this stuff taste exactly like apple pie. And not just any ordinary apple pie: I’m talkin’ Granny Cerealously’s Old-Fashioned Homestyle Good-to-the-Core Apple Pie™. Equally brown sugary, syrupy, and apple buttery, Apple Cinnamon Toast Crunch’s cinnamon flavor becomes baked into the apple, so to speak, while the slice pieces’ roasted flour flavor tastes like pie crust and crumbles all packed into one lil loaf.
Overall, Apple Cinnamon Toast Crunch is more flavorfully faithful to its all-American dessert source material than Special K Apple Cinnamon Crunch, Apples & Cinnamon Honey Bunches of Oats, or certainly Apple Jacks, despite lacking the spicy kick or lasting taste of those leading cereal aisle competitors. But even though its flavor hits and disappears like a firework, Apple Cinnamon Toast Crunch is still a great cereal companion for your summer fireworks show—or just summer in general. It’s simple in concept and sweetly successful in execution.
Now I just have to hope it paves the way for other sugary starch Toast Crunch varieties this fall. The bread piece shape just feels like natural canvas for Pumpkin Spice, Pecan Pie, or Cornbread Stuffing Toast Crunch.
Err, on second thought, maybe I should stick to thinking of Oreo flavors.
The Bowl: General Mills Apple Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal
The Breakdown: The best apple cinnamon cereal I’ve ever tried, this stuff combines Cinnamon Toast Crunch’s iconic “taste you can see” with the real, crisply juicy goodness of a honeycrisp apple to make something that’s pie, strudel, and cereal all at once. I just wish its flavor lasted longer than it took you to read this sentence.
The Bottom Line: 9 gorge-worthy Gordian knots out of 10