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Homemade Cinnamon Toast Crunch

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It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today: Thanks to Tieghan from Half Baked Harvest, you can enjoy your favorite childhood cereal without ending up in a sugar coma. 

Cinnamon Toast Crunch from Food52

As a kid, Cinnamon Toast Crunch was one of my favorite cereals. It was always there, lurking in our kitchen cupboards, just waiting for my after school cinnamon craving to surface. It was the perfect snack. The only problem, of course, was that it was loaded with sugar and so incredibly processed. 

When I first started to cook and bake, I spent a lot of time reading about nutrition and healthy substitutions. I also learned that homemade is almost always better. But a month or so ago, I caved at the store when my little sister asked to get Cinnamon Toast Crunch. She is too cute to say no to, and she and my younger brother love Cinnamon Toast Crunch more than anyone.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch from Food52

After I bought it, I realized that I could probably make my own, healthier version. And you know what? My little siblings actually liked it better. This cereal is cinnamony, light, and flaky. It's just like the real stuff, only it doesn't leave you in a sugar coma afterwards.

More: Top off your homemade cereal with homemade almond milk. 

I could not have been happier with the end product, and the best part is that it's pretty simple to make. 

Cinnamon Toast Crunch from Food52

Homemade Cinnamon Toast Crunch

Makes 5 to 6 cups

For the cereal

1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/3 cup coconut oil, at room temperature (or room temperature butter)
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup buttermilk

For the cinnamon sugar topping

1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted (or melted butter)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350° F and line two baking sheets with a silpat or parchment paper. 

In the bowl of a food processor, add the whole wheat flour, flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Pulse to combine. Then add in coconut oil, brown sugar, sugar, vanilla, and honey. Process until the dough looks like small peas, then add in the buttermilk and process until a dough ball forms. The dough will seem dry and crumbly, but this is fine.

Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and pinch any crumbles of dough together with your hands. Divide the dough into four flat disks.

Working with one piece of dough at a time, place a piece of wax paper over the dough, and roll the dough as thinly as you can: no thicker than 1/4-inch thick, but preferably 1/8-inch thick (about the thickness of a quarter). Remove the top piece of parchment paper.


With a pastry cutter, pizza cutter, or very sharp knife, even out the edges of the rectangle. Slice into 1/2-inch squares and pierce each square with a fork 2 or 3 times.

In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of sugar and 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon. In another bowl, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon coconut oil in the microwave. Brush the whole sheet of dough with the melted coconut oil, then generously sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.

Use a very thin spatula and scrape the squares off the counter and then carefully use your hands to place the squares on the prepared baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough until all the dough has been used.

Bake for 9 to 13 minutes or until lightly golden brown on top (watch closely). Allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch from Food52

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Tieghan Gerard

Tags: cereal, cinnamon, breakfast, homemade, how-to & diy

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Comments (19)


about 1 year ago Lina Calin

This is AWESOME!!! I have all of these ingredients at home already! One question- I only eat cereal on the weekends (always late on weekdays so I need grab-and-go breakfast); do you know how long this would last if stored properly?


about 2 years ago Valerie Wagner

This sounds delicious, but if you're looking to reduce your sugar consumption, this isn't going to do it. Assuming you end up with 6 cups, and serving size is 3/4 cups, that makes 8 servings.

Homemade serving: 302 calories, 18.1 g sugar
General Mills serving: 130 calories, 9.9 g sugar


about 2 years ago marcusklein

any suggestions?


24 days ago Uriah

Quality of ingredients matters a good amount, and the lack of artificial sweeteners is probably still better for you.


about 2 years ago Joan Rutberg

Please post the same recipe with a sugar free version! Thanking you in advance...Joan Rutberg


about 2 years ago Carrie Ketting-Olivier

Can't wait to make this! My kids LOVE CTC but I won't buy it, too many chemicals and sugar etc.


about 2 years ago Lilia

I think is great!!Cinnamon is all the money in that^^


about 2 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

My kids LOVE CTC. The first time I tried it, I was horrified by how sweet it was and banned it from any shopping lists.

I am thrilled to find this homemade version and cant wait to get a-baking! Thank you.


about 2 years ago Rebecca

Wow, now this looks incredible. Great idea! I wonder how difficult it would be to make homemade Cocoa Puffs... that was my favorite growing up. My dad and I would sneak bowls of it long after we actually had dessert. My mom would always find an empty box of it on the kitchen counter the next morning. Yum!


about 2 years ago DrGaellon

Cocoa Puffs require a steam injection device to make them puff. I can't imagine you could make them at home. :(


about 2 years ago Elizabeth Boyette

saw this recently! http://whatshouldieatforbreakfasttoday...


about 2 years ago Alan Schwanitz

Now if you could find a homemade version of the Captain, because Cap'n crunch is my guilty sin.


about 2 years ago Peter J. Rudy

Why not score and dock on the parchment or Silpat you end up baking it on? Seems to me it saves a tedious step.


about 2 years ago DrGaellon

You could if using parchment. Using a knife or pizza wheel on Silpat is a bad idea and ruins your Silpat (as I learned to my expensive horror).


about 2 years ago Peter J. Rudy

You must have a sharper pizza wheel than I do. I make Alton Brown's seedy crisps weekly and score the cracker dough on my Silpat four times per batch. No problems at all.


about 2 years ago HalfPint

HalfPint is a trusted home cook.

CTC is the only sweet cereal that I like, actually, love to this day.


about 2 years ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Like Lindsay-Jean, this takes me right back to childhood -- my sister and I were each allowed to choose one box of "junk cereal" to last through the summer, and CTC was often my pick. This looks absolutely delicious!


about 2 years ago Brette Warshaw

We were allowed one junk cereal per summer too! But I always chose razzle dazzle rice krispies...


about 2 years ago Lindsay-Jean Hard

Lindsay-Jean is a Contributing Writer & Editor at Food52.

This makes me so happy. As a kid, I loved the special treat of getting to eat this cereal when visiting my grandparents, but as an adult, I've never let myself buy it. Now I can't wait to enjoy a big bowl, guilt-free!