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Taste test: new cinnamon breakfast treats

Serving size one muffin one packet one cup one pack
Calories 170 170 150 230
Fat/Fiber 2.5g / 1g 0g / 1g 1.5g / 1g 8g / 3g
Sugars/Sodium 11g / 190mg 14g / 170mg 12g / 170mg 10g / 220mg
Carbs/Protein 24g / 1g 29g / 3g 23g / 1g 35g / 4g

Health benefits of cinnamon may be unclear, but its great flavor is undisputed. Food manufacturers are adding the spice to all kinds of foods these days. Many breakfast foods, in particular, are being reworked to give cinnamon top billing. We sampled four such products and, in a couple of cases, really enjoyed the cinnamon twist.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

ProductBetty Crocker Cinnamon Toast Crunch Muffin Mix Cinnabon Cream of WheatCap'n Crunch Cinnamon Roll Crunch CerealBelVita

Cinnamon Brown Sugar


This popular breakfast cereal bakes into yummy muffins that are a perfect snack or treat. "My kids might actually eat breakfast if I made these," said one judge. The muffins looked especially appetizing with a crumb topping and they smelled great. "They are sweet and sticky — I would buy these for sure," said another. The streusel topping made these look nice and added a lot of "textural interest," said a panelist who liked the subtleness of the cinnamon.While the cinnamon in the cereal-based muffins was understated, judges said the spice in the Cream of Wheat cereal was overbearing. "The cinnamon is the overpowering flavor," said one. Panelists said it also had an unappealing aftertaste. "Regular Cream of Wheat is much more wholesome," said one. "This tastes like fake sugar and it's much too sweet. I don't think kids would like this either."Judges said the Captain's newest cereal looked like a blond version of his Crunch Berries. "The cinnamon flavor is so faint that it's more fruity," said one panelist. "Are we sure this isn't peanut butter?" asked another. The color was a bit bland and, overall, judges said they preferred Cap'n Crunch's original cereal. "It definitely doesn't make me think I am eating a cinnamon roll," said one.These were a big hit with our panelists. They loved the fresh-baked color, the snappy texture and the mild cinnamon flavor. Portability was another plus. "I could take this to work, keep one in the car or send it to school with my kids," said one. "Remember those windmill cookies your mom used to have? These taste sort of like those, only better. They are really crunchy, too," said another. Judges also compared the cookie-like bars to digestive biscuits, calling them wholesome, whole grain and "not aggressively cinnamony."

"I would love this with my morning coffee or as a midmorning snack," said one. Another said he would enjoy the biscuit with a tall glass of cold milk.


they buy?
Two of the four judges said yes.One of the four judges said yes.One of the four judges said yes.All four judges said yes.
Shopping information$2.99 for a 12.75-ounce box of mix from Sweetbay.$4.29 for a box of 10

1.23-ounce packets from Publix.
$4.89 for a 14.5-ounce box from Publix.$2.99 for a box of five

1.76-ounce packs from Publix.

Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian; Patti Ewald, Times staff writer; John Hehn, foodie and owner of All Brite Lighting & Power Design Inc.; and Laura Reiley, Times food critic.

Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, Tampa Bay Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or email them

to Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to food.tampabay.


Taste test: new cinnamon breakfast treats 10/16/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 4:30am]
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