Before eating Generals Mills’ new Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bites, you are required—by intergalactic law, I’m assuming—to listen to Yello’s ’80s hit “Oh Yeah” and mentally replace all instances of the words “Ohhh yeahhh” with “Doughhh yeahhh.” Only then may these goo-oozing (goozing for short) Cinnamon Toast Crunch-specked doughnut holes roll off your plate and directly onto your taste buds.
Okay fine, if you have poor wi-fi or are enjoying your Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bites from a submarine, the Parisian Catacombs, or a coffin you were prematurely placed in—alongside your favorite microwave—I’ll give you the pass on the song. But since these microwaveable freezer aisle treats are one of the season’s most hyped-up cereal confections, they deserve some sort of ceremony.
So while you arrange the cinnamon scented candles into a doughnut shape with an effigy of Dunkin’ Donuts’ Fred the Baker in the middle, I’ll ceremoniously devour mine.
As I watch my twinkling mahogany orbs get defrosted and resurrected via 30 seconds of non-ionized wave-blasting, I ponder how this isn’t the first time I’ve tried cereal-themed doughnut holes. A couple years back, I reviewed Taco Bell’s Cap’n Crunch Delights, which were more like sugary ectoplasm-spewing oil grenades. Those Delights were also the successors to Taco Bell’s Cinnabon Delights, which bear more than a passing resemblance to the doughy doubloons that now lurk inside the beeping box before me.
Waiting for my Bites to cool, I deeply hope I won’t have to relive my Cap’n Crunch Delight disappointment, which left me crying out whatever residual saturated fats that aren’t still lining my arteries like nautical bubblewrap.
Corporal Munch is Polite? Never heard of it. The indulgent goodness of these Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bites must’ve cleansed that particular Cap’n Crunch Blight from my memory.
Other reviews have been divisive, but I really enjoy these things—they really do taste like deep-fried Cinnabon cores! The microwave merges the powdered coating and malleable outer crust into a hyper-squishy, stiffened batter that has the golden brown sugar-baked, buttery cinnamon flavor of half-baked cinnamon buns. It’s not a perfect exoskeleton for the precious CTC paste that lurks inside, as this outer doughnut skin is uncomfortably sticky and pretty mild in its cinnamon spiciness—I would have guessed “autumnal elephant ear” as the flavor before I called it Cinnamon Toast Crunch—but it’s still miles ahead of Cap’n Crunch’s canola sponges.
I wouldn’t use those things to scrub the S.S. Guppy.
The filling is probably why others have dismissed the bites, because it doesn’t taste much like the iconic childhood cereal its name evokes, and there’s not a lot of it, either—like a can of Pringles or any box from Amazon, there’s a lot of wasted space inside each Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bite. The whipped slime (meant as a compliment) inside tastes more like cinnamon mousse than the cereal milk-infused jelly I think General Mills was going for. It hits with warm cinnamon up front, but this taste is followed by an interestingly cream cheesy twist and a finish of dark, brown sugary molasses.
It’s because of this that I think these orbs would be better called “Gingerbread Toast Cru—oh wait, that particular cereal of my dreams doesn’t exist yet!
On a hunch, I tried eating a Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bite that was still frozen, and it tasted way better and more like the frozen doughnuts I used to unpack by the rucksack-full at my hometown deli bakery. With a still crisp exterior and a chewy mantle, this buttery truffle solved the texture problem of its molten brethren, and its outsides gave way to chilled cinnamon custard innards. The whole thing kind of felt like Cinnamon Toast Mochi, which is a phrase I’d happily bedazzle onto my next pair of fat pants.
So while Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bites may disappoint those who went in expecting cereal overload, and while their stickiness will definitely upset those who planned to hold any electronics or valuable pieces of art in the near future (my keyboard may need to brush its teeth after this), these sugared spheres are still more than fun enough to be worth the $3.50 + 30 second investment. If all else fails, you can just mash them into a paste, mix in your own cereal, and have someone blame me in your eulogy.
With that said: bring on the Cookie Crisp Bites!
The “Bowl:” Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bites
The Breakdown: Light on the cereal flavor, filling volume, and doughnutty integrity, Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bites are nevertheless a fun late-summer novelty—and a refreshing one, when consumed cold—that will make your nearest airport Cinnabon swirl with jealousy.
The Bottom Line: 8 vengeful Dunkin’ Donut mascot spirits out of 10
(Quick Nutrition Facts: 180 calories, less than 1 gram of fiber, 13 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein per 6 bite serving)