Review: Steak ‘n Shake Breakfast Cereal Shakes (Cocoa Krispies & Frosted Flakes)

Steak 'n Shake Milkshake Sign

As I patiently wait for my local Burger King to stock their new Cinnamon Toast Crunch Shake—hurry up, Mr. Beef Royalty: it’s cold waiting out in this tent made of Whopper wrappers—I figured I’d finish my review series of Steak ‘n Shake’s menagerie of breakfast cereal-infused arctic beverages.

When we last left our humble, shake-sucking heroes, they had polished off Cinnamon Crunch and Honey Smacks Shakes at an ungodly hour under the gaze of Sauron-tinted neon lights and nearby angst-tinged teenagers. I recommend you read Part 1, if you haven’t already, because I don’t want to re-tread too much old ground in this post—after all, my stomach still hurts from the whole “mildly lactose intolerant” thing.

The things I do for breakfast journalism.

In short, though, the shakes were good, but BK’s shakes were superior in every way, on account of them actually mixing in syrupy cereal magic syrup instead of just plopping cereal pieces on top. This could’ve put the kibosh on my pasteurized odyssey, but the Steak ‘n Shake waiter said Cocoa Krispies and Frosted Flakes were by far the most popular flavors. Tempted by this forbidden fruit (“Frosted” is a fruit, right?), I set off with my shake-craving sidekick once more to put that waiter’s money where my dairy-sensitive gastrointestinal system is.

Steak 'n Shake Breakfast Cereal Milkshakes

First things first: all my earlier points about these Breakfast Shakes still stand. The base lacks the indulgent, buttery fattiness of an artisan ice cream milkshake—or even a Burger King soft-serve milkshake. Instead, the vanilla base tastes like sugar-free coffee creamer diluted with Cool Whip: light, vapid, and near artificially vanilla.

And I have reason to believe this perception, too, as my waiter this time around decided to share a behind-the-counter anecdote with a goofy-looking dude who he didn’t know was actually a goofy internet cereal blogger. According to him, making the Cocoa Krispies Shake is a ghastly process involving a goofy brown puck of semi-solid sucralose.

If you can picture me making mock lobster claws with my right hand: I was this close to seeing the gelatinous nugget in question, but the waiter’s manager quashed my dreams.

But I don’t mean to sound too pessimistic yet. I love me a good Diet Mountain Dew, and these are fine vanilla shakes. But their base isn’t that of a cereal shake, and that makes my pouty inner child have a temper tantrum in the Kroger of my heart.

Enough goopy bricks and party-pooping kids: let’s talk cereal toppings.

Steak 'n Shake Cocoa Krispies Shake

Steak ‘n Shake Cocoa Krispies Shake

The sordid Cocoa Krispies Shake in question was the most disappointing of all four—let’s get that out of the way. Like a treacherous birthday cake with chocolate icing on a white angel food base, the scant choco-bits scattered atop this shake were a total tease. While they exuded a faintly caramelized—albeit aerated—fudge flavor when chewed directly, the imparted no flavor into the base shake.

I was left with my tongue tickled by Montezuma’s crispy temptation, but never satisfied. Taste buds tortured, I kept siphoning away at my shake, hoping to whatever Guardian Augustus Gloop watched over this Steak ‘n Shake for more chocolate flavor, but I was left only with the pleading rumblings of my stomach: “Stop, stop! We’re already suffering!” they said.

When I eventually pulled myself from the straw, I shook a condensation-covered fist at the sky: “I hope you’re happy, Snap, Crackle, and Pop.”

The Bottom Line: 4 Snap, Fizzle, Flops out of 10

Steak 'n Shake Frosted Flakes Shake

Steak ‘n Shake Frosted Flakes Shake

Anywho, the Frosted Flakes Shake was a delight—by far the best of the whole brunching bunch.

While the golden shards atop my milky Matterhorn were pulverized halfway to Ruby Tuesdays, their flavor coexisted harmoniously with the pillowy shake below them. See, instead of being a mere sedimentary layer, Frosted Flakes have the kind malted vanilla glaze that pairs perfectly with the shake’s beany confectioners sugar sensation.

Together, along with the tempering power of toasted corn they made the Frosted Flakes milkshake taste like a giant cup of campfire-roasted marshmallow fluff. I could have bought another Honey Smacks shake, spooned it in with some Cocoa Krispies, and had a Smorz Shake.

(Take notes, Burger King)

The Bottom Line: 9 glazy sundaes out of 10


My thorough inspection complete, I still retained my opinion: just about every other shake on SnS’ menu looked more thoroughly and lovingly concocted, because they paired flavored ice cream with toppings, instead of trying (and failing) to recreate cereal milk. Nevertheless, the Frosted Flakes Shake is worth a try, because of its Tony the Taoist approach to flavorful yin-yangs.

Now I’d like to close this review 2-parter with a pair of quotes. What do you have to say, shake-eating compatriot of mine?

“Stop eating that,” she says, seeing me attempt to drink more Cocoa Krispies Shake in masochistic agony.

And you, Steak ‘n Shake? Any last words?

Steak 'n Shake Hat Quote

(We overheard someone in the kitchen shout this.)

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2 responses »

  1. 1. Thanks for the sacrifice Dan! I really appreciate it (especially ’cause i know the trouble of lactose intolerance, since my brother and a former gf have the same issue)
    2. I don’t get why huge firms like steak’n’shake, which are even specialized in making shakes, can mess up this big…
    Don’t they even try to create something good once in a while? Can’t they? Don’t they have people taste testing their shakes?
    I mean creating good cereal milk for shakes does not involve some weird magic and a leprechaun… it’s actually pretty easy and there is a whole branch of restaurants/shops(whatever you want to call them) that base their business on cereal milk, ice cream and our sweet tooth… -.-

    3. Do you actually know if the other shakes of steak’n’shake are better tasting or just better looking/sounding? I could justify a mess up here if their other products were “meh” too 😉

    Cheers! =)

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