The box says “Family Size,” Dan, I tell myself. That means you shouldn’t eat all the Cinnamon Frosted Flakes by yourself.
But wait! the darker side of me says. Olive Garden says “when you’re here, you’re family,” so as long as I eat this whole box in an Olive Garden parking lot, there won’t be a problem!
So that, officer, is why I’m squatting behind this pasta-filled dumpster with a bowl full of crunchy, auburn-colored flakes. Would you care for a spoonful? You can be my court-appointed family.
All bottomless breadsticks aside, the arrival of Kellogg’s new Cinnamon Frosted Flakes brings me bottomless happiness and a soon-to-be-larger bottom. You know a new cereal is exciting when press releases hit major news sources: nothing warms my heart faster than seeing goofy cartoon tigers seriously discussed alongside complex geopolitics.
Not to mention how I’ve seen this same tweet promoted on my timeline for the past 2 weeks:
I’m so excited to unveil our new flavor: Sweet cinnamon and Frosted Flakes. Together at last! Keep an eye on your cereal aisle. pic.twitter.com/NimL167jdP
— Tony the Tiger (@realtonytiger) November 15, 2016
Please Tony, I can only stare at your surreal, open-jawed thumbs-up so many times before I begin to question reality’s integrity.
Throughout Frosted Flakes’s 64-year history, there has somehow never been a cinnamon variety. There have been Tony’s Cinnamon Krunchers, but those only featured Tony on the cover: in truth, Cinnamon Krunchers’s spice-encrusted hexagons were ghost-written by Crispix.
Perhaps as some sort of penance for this Kruncher treachery, Kellogg’s has finally given us genuine Cinnamon Frosted Flakes. They’re already available in limited locations now (Walmart and Meijer so far) and are set for a global debut in January, 2017.
Time to see if they’re worth breaking my future New Years Resolutions.
Cinnamon Frosted Flakes Review: A Dry Run
Cinnamon Frosted Flakes are made differently than other cinnamon cereals, and they taste different, too. Kellogg’s reportedly tried 100 different formula variations before settling on this one, and their cereal centurion definitely produced a winner. The cinnamon is baked into every flake’s vanilla frosting instead of being dusted over it, and this produces a very toasty cinnamon sensation.
On first bite, Cinnamon Frosted Flakes have a deeply caramelized, nearly malted cinnamon sweetness. This golden goodness is tempered by the familiar, glazed corn sweetness of normal Frosted Flakes. Instead of the simple and sugary “slap-shot to the taste buds” you’d find in Cinnamon Toast Crunch, eating Cinnamon Frosted Flakes is more like nibbling the edges of a deeply browned coffee cake.
And as someone who regularly stacks Hostess Coffee Cakes into his mouth with the intensity of a kindergartner stacking Legos, I consider this a very high compliment.
There is something interesting about this Cinnamon Frosted Flake experience, too: the flavor changes as you eat it. What is, at first, a breakfast pastry-esque sensation becomes progressively spicier as you chew. As I continued applying tooth torque, the vanilla sugar faded into the background and the whole thing started tasting more and more like actual ground cinnamon. This provides a lightly tingling heat with a slightly herbal aftertaste.
It’s very natural and “real,” but some might find it slightly off-putting. That’s okay, Cinnamon Frosted Flakes: people often say the same thing about me, too.
Cinnamon Frosted Flakes Review, Part Deux: Milking It Out
In describing their new flavor formula, Kellogg’s also mentioned that, by baking in the cinnamon, the sweetly spiced flavor won’t wash off in milk. And this is totally true. I highly recommend adding a bit of liquid fun, as it turns our metaphorical coffee cake into a much more moist and spongy confection.
That may sound gross on paper, but this slightly soggy smack of toasty cinnamon malt tastes so good on my palate.
The drawback here is that, since the cinnamon flavor doesn’t wash off in milk, the leftover endmilk at every bowl’s end isn’t as sparkly, syrupy, or addictively sweet as, say, Cinnamon Toast Crunch endmilk. So if you do add milk, make sure to be economical with your pour so that there isn’t too much boring stuff left over.
Or just drop in some Cinnamon Toast Crunch reinforcements when you’re done for a hedonistic cereal dessert.
In a time when new cereals seem to need excessive health benefits or flavor gimmicks just to make headlines, Cinnamon Frosted Flakes succeeds by combining two simple joys into one. In that way, it feels like a very late-’80s, early-’90s cereal. I half-expected the box to have mail away offers for Kellogg’s action figures and VHS copies of “Tony’s Cartoon Adventures in Frosttopia.”
Back in those breakfast glory days, most major cereal brands were diversifying their portfolios with chocolate, peanut butter, and/or cinnamon varieties, and decades later, Cinnamon Frosted Flakes is bucking the “wacky, BuzzFeed-busting flavor” trend in favor of sweet, sweet tradition.
Cinnamon Frosted Flakes may not be perfect or revolutionary, but I’ll happily mow through this “Family Size” box while watching ’90s family sitcoms and ’80s cartoons. Wanna join me? Let’s start with Pac-Man’s animated series:
power pellet Frosted Flake munching, everyone!
The Bowl: Kellogg’s Cinnamon Frosted Flakes Cereal
The Breakdown: A cereal of simple pleasures, Cinnamon Frosted Flakes bakes surprisingly spicy cinnamon, vanilla, and a little bit of late-20th century nostalgia into every bite. A winning combo, even if it won’t be winning any innovation awards—or making our endmilk delicious.
The Bottom Line: 9 Olive Garden restraining orders out of 10
(Cinnamon Frosted Flakes Nutrition Facts: 110 calories, 0 calories from fat, 0 grams of total fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 30 milligrams of potassium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein per 3/4 cup serving)
***Our friends over at Junk Banter reviewed Cinnamon Frosted Flakes, too. Check out their spicy take!***