Review: Malt-O-Meal Cookies & Cream Cereal

Malt-O-Meal Cookies and Cream Cereal Bag Review and Oreo O's Comparison

Oreo O’s are (kind of) back in America! It’s a Christmas miracle!

Wait, you mean that was almost three weeks ago?

Okay: it’s a New Year’s miracle!

Oh, it’s already January 11th?

Uh, fine: it’s a…German Apples Day miracle?

Let’s go with that. Whether it’s trees bearing deutschen apfels or the good people at Malt-O-Meal, someone deserves praise for bringing cream-speckled chocolate rings back to American breakfast aisles. Cookies & Cream obviously isn’t Oreo O’s—it doesn’t even have a jazzy blob mascot with sunglasses and a creamy quiff hairdo—but it should definitely be considered a spiritual successor.

See, Post Foods lost the right to produce Oreo O’s in a confusing business acquisition snafu between Kraft, General Foods, and Dongsuh Foods, leading to the beloved cookie cereal’s 2005 discontinuation in the U.S. But Post also bought Malt-O-Meal last year. And they must’ve still had their old cream-filling infusion machine laying around somewhere gathering dust, because those recognizable, glittering white and brown cocoa rings we all spent large sums of money importing from Korea are now back on native soil.

Okay, I might have been the only one sinking significant funds into trans-Pacific breakfast shipments, but that’s beside the point. What matters is that, after all they’ve been through, Oreo O’s are (pretty much) home free again under a different name. I like to think they’re just in the witness protection program for witnessing whatever top-secret process turns Oreo cookies into pure cereal magic.

I imagine it involves divine intervention and no fewer than a dozen wizards.

Malt-O-Meal Cookies & Cream Cereal Review

As someone with a readily available stockpile of the real, Korean thing, I’m going to be up-front about Cookies & Cream: it doesn’t look or taste exactly as good as Oreo O’s. But for most people, it’ll still be close enough to justify screaming “Oreoh yeah!” out of an open window like it’s an outtake from a JG Wentworth commercial.

The biggest difference is density. Korean Oreo O’s are more compact and floury, while Malt-O-Meal’s Cookies & Cream rings have bigger holes and are disappointingly airy. It feels like there are rugged craters inside each of these cocoa-colored heavenly bodies, but unless you gobble Cookies & Cream with the voracity of a black hole, the rings shouldn’t deliver any Crunchberry-esque roof-of-mouth lacerations. Because despite what your mother, nutritionist, or Hydrox cookies might tell you, an Oreo would never hurt you.

Well, except for those discontinued Oreo Cakesters, which made me nearly die of a broken heart.

Malt-O-Meal Cookies & Cream Cereal versus Oreo O's Comparison: Which is Better?

Even without marshmallows (which Oreo O’s lacked when they debuted), Cookies & Cream cereal tastes way more strongly of sugary crème than the comparatively chocolate-heavy Korean Oreo O’s—though saying “crème” feels a little too fancy for a cereal that comes in a jumbo plastic bag. Cookies & Cream cereal’s crème flavor is potently sweet, syrupy, and milky, with popping smacks of vanilla and powdered sugar. It’s a lot like cake icing or Twinkie filling, as it lacks any of the cream-cheesy intricacies of buttercream frosting or Oreo O’s.

Malt-O-Meal Cookies & Cream Cereal vs. Oreo O's Ingredient Comparison

Because Oreo O’s certainly were much butterier beasts. With real chocolate and processed cocoa in their ingredients list, Oreo O’s had a dominant chocolate flavor that popped with fudgy cocoa butter. Malt-O-Meal Cookies & Cream only has processed cocoa and a much subtler chocolate flavor as a result. It trails the crème with pleasant notes of dark chocolate. If I had to do a totally unscientific estimate, I’d say it tastes like “55% cacao” dark chocolate.

Coincidentally, 55% is about how far I am into this massive 2-pound bag of Cookies & Cream, which mean I’m about 55% full of bite-sized chocolate sandwich cookies. The other 45% of me is shame.

Malt-O-Meal Cookies & Cream Cereal with Milk

Cookies & Cream cereal really becomes true to its name when eaten with milk. It tastes remarkably like real cookies ‘n’ cream ice cream, with the specks of chocolate flavor becoming mere garnishes in a sea of cold, vanilla dairy. In fact, I bet if you ate this cereal with actual melted CNC ice cream instead of milk, you’d hear the “secret unlocked” sound from The Legend of Zelda and receive an Oreo-shaped battle shield from a spontaneously generated treasure chest.

So while its texture, chocolate-to-crème ratio, super faint plasticky bag taste, and mascot-less packaging keep it from being a true Oreo O’s doppelgänger, Cookies & Cream cereal makes for a fine understudy. At just over $5 for a 2-pound bag, it’s certainly a more convenient and fiscally responsible solution to your morning cookie cravings. For that price, you could drop a Benjamin Franklin and fill a swimming pool with the stuff.

And I’d dive head-first into it, Scrooge McDuck-style.


The Bowl: Malt-O-Meal Cookies & Cream Cereal

The Breakdown: It needs more chocolate, more anthropomorphized cream blobs, and fewer tongue-threatening air craters, but Cookies & Cream will likely have a permanent place in my pantry or, depending how much I buy, bathtub.

The Bottom Line: 9 Oreo–Nintendo crossover games out of 10

Purchased at: Walmart

(Quick Nutrition Facts: 120 calories, less than 1 gram of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein)

***Special thanks to our friend Gabe Fonseca for providing the retro Oreo O’s ingredients!***

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24 responses »

  1. Talk about psychology. I wasn’t a huge fan of the O’s but absence makes heart grow fonder. Crave the hell out of them.

    Gonna try these. Thanks for getting on our radar.

  2. I just stumbled across your blog and I love it! Do you have any power ranking of all the cereals you’ve consumed? Or by brand? I’d love to see that!

  3. Oreo O’s were me favorite cereal ever made but then they left, this cereal is close enough to satisfy my needs, not the real thing but its close enough.

  4. I have been a full-time professional journalist for 28 years. I spend my days writing and reading news stories and editing copy. Never did I imagine I would find such top-quality writing in a review of breakfast cereals!

  5. I’ve craved these for as long as they’ve been gone. Constantly. I even started dumping a row of Oreos into a bowl and pouring milk on it, but it didn’t have the same crunchy cerealness.

    This cereal made me sad at first, because of how I can still remember the exact taste. It’s not the same. Needs more fat content. (The missing ingredients explain that.)

    HOWEVER! I did something. Something amazing. When I bought this new cereal, I also bought Kraft Jet-Puffed Mallow-Bits. The kind for hot chocolate. Because I KNEW this would happen.

    Fill half your bowl with cereal. Sprinkle in some Mallow Bits. Fill the cereal. More Mallows. Add milk.

    It’s still missing the chocolatey flavour, but my experiments shall continue. But this adds a tie to “Extreme Taste Oreo O’s” as well as adds the hint of smoothness in flavour we’re looking for.

  6. My gosh, am I glad I found this review!
    I have been craving Oreo O’s for years. When they stopped making them, I bought out all the boxes at my local grocery store, but they only lasted so long! I contemplated buying some on eBay, but I couldn’t justify spending that much.
    I’d never heard of the Cookies & Cream cereal. Your review gave me such hope! I went straight to the store and bought a bag. I gotta say..I LOVE IT! It’s not 100% the same as Oreo O’s, but it’s really damn close! Especially in milk!
    So, THANK YOU for writing this review! To those who are missing the deliciousness of Oreo O’s, give these a try!!

    • Glad it was helpful for you, Jordan! Thanks for the kind comment: it’s warm reception like this that makes running the site so satisfying!

  7. I just found this at my Albertsons walking by it had a new item tag on it. I just had four bowls and felt the nostalgia

  8. Hey you guys I called Post Cereal
    (They bought malt o meal) by the way, and Cookies and Creme was actually a test run. Post released cookies and cream as a test run to see if they should re-release oreo o’s. Due to high sales/high demand Post Cereal will be bringing Oreo O’s back on June 12-14th at Walmart. Our prayers have been heard but I won’t forget you Cookies and Cream you lovely distant cousin to Oreo O’s.

  9. If you have a wheat intolerance and are craving Oreo O’s the cookies and cream is the thing toget,I purchased a bag Thursday from Walmart and had some for breakfast Friday morning. You get 32 servingshe and if you are the only one eating it,that’s a lot just know you will most likely run out of milk before you run out of cereal

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