Review: Quaker Corn Bran Crunch Cereal

Corn Bran Crunch Box

Corn Bran Crunch may just be the most underrated cereal of all time.

There: that needed to be said. This cereal deserves more fame and attention. With an uninspired box design and a generic name that sounds like a bootleg arcade game at a rural Chuck E. Cheese, Corn Bran Crunch usually doesn’t stand a chance against others in the breakfast aisle.

Seriously, what kid would pick a smirking old dude with a bowl of raspberries over a lunatic cuckoo bird or a cannibalistic cinnamon square? Even Quaker’s Oatmeal Squares are more popular.

If Quaker won’t give Corn Bran Crunch the wisecracking, sunglasses-wearing corncob mascot it deserves (his catchphrase would be “Aww, shucks!” of course), I suppose I have to be the one to sing its praises.

Let’s dive in.

Corn Bran Crunch

Each piece is a lightly sticky, hollow centered, ridged and rounded pillow. These ridges should not be overlooked, because combined with each corn bran pillow’s delicate crunch, their shallow trenches make for a satisfying mouthfeel.

It’s the cereal equivalent of eating Lay’s potato chips with Ruffles: everything’s just better with ridges.

Now that we’re past my weird ridge obsession (don’t even get me started on crinkle cut carrots), I can talk about the taste.

Every square tastes like a sweet corn tortilla chip dipped in sugar syrup. You get plenty of dense, wholesome bran flavor from the base, while that glazed syrup coating provides a sweet golden finish with an aftertaste of browned butter.

For years I couldn’t place exactly why this taste is so familiar, but after examining Corn Bran Crunch’s ingredients, I understand why. This cereal has coconut oil!

It all makes sense now: Corn Bran Crunch tastes like a more mature Cap’n Crunch wrapped inside a hearty suit of crunchy bran armor.

Corn Bran Crunch Box in Milk

Milk works great with this cereal, too. The sweet outer layer absorbs milk and becomes pleasantly soft, while the lower mantle layers of corn bran stay crisp.

And the endmilk is so magically delicious that it would make Lucky the Leprechaun rethink his slogan. While the phrase “golden corn liquid” wouldn’t normally sound appetizing, at the bottom of a Corn Bran Crunch bowl it’s tasty enough to make Ponce de León smile in his grave.

But will most people end up picking this cereal over Cap’n Crunch? Probably not. And am I purposely overhyping it a bit? Probably. Corn Bran Crunch isn’t that exciting, but I still feel the need to stick up for it. It has a unique and charming flavor despite its unpopularity.

You could almost say I relate to it. I just want to lean in close and gently whisper into its ear:

“I understand you, Corn Bran Crunch. Nobody ever picked me for their kickball team, either.”


The Bowl: Corn Bran Crunch

The Breakdown: With a great mouthfeel and a “better than the name makes it sound” golden sweet flavor, this cereal deserves a place on your morning kickball team—or at least a try out.

The Bottom Line: 8 medieval Cap’n Crunch knights out of 10

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41 responses »

  1. Totally agree with you on this one!! Delicious cereal (one of my favorites!!!) Could be better marketed with modern packaging. Wish places other than Target sold it.

  2. I just got back from my third trip in a month to Target to stock up and it has been off the shelf for this entire time. I was starting to get worried but today I was in full panic mode it was being discontinued. Target guy (Mpls, no less, so heart of Target) didn’t know and figured it was one of an array of possible issues. I called Quaker and they said it’s an ingredient/production issue and will be available in late March. I tried to dig deeper as I am always concerned this obscure cereal will disappear (I still mourn Grape Nut Os). She said given the March date I shouldn’t worry because if it was about to be discontinued they wouldn’t have a date associated with it. I sure hope she is right.

    Now I’m on a mission. Anytime I spot a desperate parent in the cereal aisle eying the choices with kids begging for the usual suspects I politely interrupt and steer them towards this gem. It is a parenting gold mine for taste plus health. I told Quaker today it’s the “sleeper cereal” of parents and they need to let marketing know.

    Clearly, 2017 has more pressing issues but with a several month hiatus I’m going into full crisis mode with this. This cereal is one of the best secrets out there and I want parents to know so it is around forever.

    Anyone with me?

    • So am I…It’s the best cereal EVER ! I’ve been buying it since 1980. Useed to be able to find it at Publix but no longer on the shelf now… I crave it as a snack cereal and miss it so much. I can find it online from time to time but I don’t like to pay shipping fees…So hope we see it again soon…PLEASE DON’T DISCONTINUE IT !

    • Good to know – this has been a favorite if my husbands for years… so glad it will be back soon!! Fingers crossed!!

    • I have been eating the cereal since I stopped eating baby food. It is the only cereal I will eat – I am a very picky eater. I called as well and got the same answer. My mom called years ago asking if we could order it in palettes. Let’s hope it comes back soon.

  3. I am looking for the plain Corn Squares as none of the stores in Brantford are carrying at this time. Is it being discontinued? It is my favourite. Plus little sugar. Too many sugary cereals on the market.

    • I don’t make this cereal, Marg, sorry. But I have heard from other fans that a production problem has made Quaker put Corn Bran Crunch on temporary hiatus. It should be back everywhere soon!

  4. I have gone to every target in my area and no one has any corn bran crunch cereal…the computers tell me the Matteson store has 8…went there and they don’t. I am lost without my breakfast cereal…really hope it will be back in march:)

  5. omg! I love corn bran crunch and I can’t ever gind it!!! the first time I had it was at my baby sitters house who was awsome! great memory great cereal. I’m with you all the way let’s design a new box and jingle…see you on you tube I hope! 😍Bernidette

  6. I, too, am hooked on this cereal for breakfast every morning and can’t find it anywhere right now! Thank you for the heads-up about the production problems, and I really hope this is just temporary. Why go on living if I have to switch to a high calorie substitute? (That may be a little melodramatic, but I’m sure everyone who has posted on here feels the same way!)

  7. Oh, and by the way, can I mention that Trader Joe’s Puffins are the next best thing, so I guess I will have to resort to making the long trip there every so often to get a worthy replacement!

    • Hmm, you shouldn’t have to go to just TJ’s for Puffins. Barbara’s makes them, not TJ’s, so you can find them in most major stores.

      • True, it is just that TJ’s has the best price on them, AND I get to look for other yummy things while I am there (possibly defeating the purpose of why I went there to begin with!)

  8. I’m really relieved to read that hopefully Corn Bran Crunch will be back in a few months. Lucky for me I stocked up in December so I should last through March. Keeping my fingers crossed that Target will once again carry it then!

  9. Please get this back greatest cereal and makes an excellent snack recipe “corn bran nuggets our family loves it. Please let us now where to buy!!!

  10. I am unable to find Corn Bran in a 100 mile radius of where I live. I eat this every morning and no other cereal compares to Corn Bran. Please don’t discontinue. There is nothing else like it on the shelves. I have been eating it for 20 years.

  11. Please cant find this cereal anywhere. It is loved by my husband, myself and all my grandkids. Please do not discontinue and tell us when we can get it again!

  12. Love this cereal also. I can only find it at Target so I hope they continue to carry it. If you love cereal go to Mr. Breakfast and vote for Crunchy Corn Bran. I vote all the time.

  13. Wow. I just found this site and all your comments. I have never commented publicly before anywhere but I couldn’t resist. I have been totally *addicted* to Corn Bran Crunch for years and have stalked my Target aisles for the past 6 months as well as regular rants to Quaker Oats. Thank you Peggy for letting me know it is end of June so I don’t have to go to Target today. IMHO Puffins is a far cry from CBC . As soon as someone sees CBC making an appearance at a Target, pls shout it out.

  14. As of May 2017 it’s back in Target, ALTHOUGH, they CHANGED the ingredients, and I’m not liking it. It was formerly called Corn Bran Crunch, but now, just Corn Crunch with Toasted Corn and OAT Cereal displayed just below that. Obviously, as suspected, the reason we couldn’t find it was that Quaker was changing their product recipe. You can check out the ingredient and nutritional facts of the original version on the internet still and compare it to their new version. This is NOT the cereal we remember and as for me, I am going to continue to eat Barbara’s Original Puffins that I was using while I waited for Qualer to return. As it turns out, I now like it MUCH better than the new Corn Crunch.

  15. I have been eating this cereal for years, back when it was “Crunchy Corn Bran”, then to “Corn Bran Crunch” .My local Targets got it back in stock last week. I bought four boxes. When I poured the first bowl, I noticed that the color is lighter than I’ve ever seen this cereal. I chalked it up to, “Maybe I have an unusual batch of cereal”. Then I noticed that the NAME ON THE BOX has changed….It’s now just “Quaker Corn Crunch”. I still like the taste & will continue to buy.

  16. This is my all time favorite cereal, introduced to me by my granny. After months of believing it was gone forever, I saw it at Target and just about yelped!! Buying several boxes to stock up, I just realized its corn bran crunch, sans the bran. It does not taste the same. It’s a bit more puffy in texture, white sugar sweet (not that rich light sweetness) and it’s really light in color. It’s different enough to not buy again. I’m so sad. It may be gone for good after all.

  17. I was so excited to see it back but so disappointed they changed the recipe… it’s now lighter, puffier and they added more sugar! UGH!!! Why would they change a good thing so it’s now like every other cereal on the shelf. Won’t be buying it again and it was my favorite. Very disappointed previous customer.

  18. Just wanted to add to my review above because of the disappoint I found with the change of recipe from Corn Bran Crunch to Corn Crunch. The calorie per serving also changed from 90 calories to 120 calories largely due to the added sugar in the new recipe. It’s not as crunchy, the cereal itself is smaller in size and the taste is sugary instead of the previous wholesome corn taste. They are clearly trying to appeal to children more than adults now. Agree with the previous customer who said that Puffins just moved from 2nd place to first place as a result to the change. Whoever made this decision at Quaker missed the mark. Customers are looking for healthier alternatives for their children other than the sugary flavorless cereal offered by other brands. It lost it’s differentiation from the others with the recipe change and now has just become the same as all the others. So DISAPPOINTED.

  19. So very disappointed that Quaker changed this product.
    It is now just a run of the mill cereal, where, the former
    was as great as it gets in a cereal. So down in the dumps
    over this change.

  20. Agree with everyone. Has anyone written customer service? I have and have not gotten a response. Maybe we should all try again!! I miss my mornings (and evenings!!) with my old friend, CBC!!😞

  21. I can’t believe they changed the recipe. Totally took out the bran and now it’s completely tasteless. Been eating this cereal for almost 30 yrs. So disappointed.

  22. Has anyone tried the new corn crunch cereal? Is this suppose to replace corn bran crunch? I tried it and it doesn’t taste the same. If this is the new corn bran crunch, I am NOT going to buy it.

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