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Hi Bold Bakers!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE: Homemade Cinnamon Toast Crunch, with its hearty, extra-crispy squares of sweet, warmly-spicy cinnamon flavor, is miles ahead of what you can buy in a store. The convenience and comforting nostalgia of cereal make it a welcome and cozy option for breakfast or a snack, and this wholesome version is less processed, less sugary, and so much more delicious because it’s homemade!
Table of Contents
- What is Homemade Cinnamon Toast Crunch?
- Tools You Need for Homemade Cinnamon Toast Crunch
- Key Ingredients and Why
- How to Make Homemade Cinnamon Toast Crunch
- Can I Make Cinnamon Toast Crunch in Advance?
- How to Store Homemade Cinnamon Toast Crunch
- Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips
- More Recipes for Cinnamon Fans
What is Homemade Cinnamon Toast Crunch?
- Homemade Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal is a from-scratch version of the popular General Mills cereal that debuted in 1984. It remains one of the company’s most popular flavors.
- The idea behind the cereal was a bite-sized version of cinnamon toast.
- This recipe gives you the lovely cozy cinnamon taste and crispiness in a fresher, less sugary version of the original.
- It’s great for breakfast with milk and perfect as a lunchbox snack or a late-night treat!
Tools You Need for Homemade Cinnamon Toast Crunch
- Baking sheets
- Parchment paper
- Mixing bowl
- Measuring cups and measuring spoons
- Rolling pin
- Pizza cutter or sharp knife
Key Ingredients and Why
- Coconut oil is extracted from dried coconut meat. It adds a mild coconut flavor to the recipe and helps bind the ingredients together so the cereal pieces hold their shape.
- Coconut oil helps make this cereal crispy.
- Coconut oil turns solid below 76°F/24°C. Melt it as needed before using it in this recipe.
- Granulated sugar gives this cereal sweetness and contributes to the crispy texture.
- Caramelization of the sugar deepens the flavor of the cereal and gives it a golden brown, toasty appearance.
- Sugar is used in the dough and a cinnamon-sugar mixture is sprinkled on top.
- Homemade Cinnamon Toast Crunch is made with all-purpose flour. With 11% protein, all-purpose flour gives the cereal more structure than lower-protein cake flour would, while still making it lighter and less chewy than something made with higher-protein bread flour.
- Baking soda is a leavening agent that makes the Homemade Cinnamon Toast Crunch lighter and airier.
- Baking soda also reacts with hot sugar to make the cereal crispy.
- Vanilla is a natural complement to cinnamon and sugar and gives the homemade cereal a depth of flavor.
- Never run out when you learn How to Make Homemade Extracts.
- The warm, spicy, slightly sweet, uniquely cozy flavor of ground cinnamon gives the cereal its delicious and comforting taste.
- It blends perfectly with sugar, giving this cereal a warm sweetness. The aroma of cinnamon sugar is nostalgic to many, and makes this cereal an irresistible treat for kids and adults!
How to Make Homemade Cinnamon Toast Crunch
- Preheat the oven, line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and lightly flour the parchment paper.
- Prepare cinnamon-sugar mixture for the topping.
Make the Dough
- Combine the coconut oil with the water, sugar, and vanilla extract.
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon, and then use your hands to knead into the sugar mixture. The dough should be crumbly but cohesive. Add water little by little if the mixture is too dry.
- Divide the dough in half. Roll out each half on the lightly-floured piece of parchment paper. Roll the dough as thin as possible.
- Press the cinnamon sugar onto the dough.
Cut and Bake
- Cut the dough into 1/2-inch squares, but do not separate the pieces.
- Bake for 15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Cook until nicely browned.
- Recut the dough while it’s still warm.
- Let the cereal cool completely on the pans. It will crisp up as it cools.
- Enjoy in a bowl with milk, or as is!
Can I Make Cinnamon Toast Crunch in Advance?
Yes, you can make the cereal in advance. Prepare the dough and refrigerate for up to three days. Let the dough come to room temperature before rolling out and baking.
How to Store Homemade Cinnamon Toast Crunch
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.
Can I make Homemade Cinnamon Toast Crunch gluten-free?
Yes, you can make this cereal gluten-free by swapping out the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free type. See our Guide to the Best Gluten-Free Flours for options.
Can I use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour in this recipe?
- You can also use whole wheat flour. Substitute at a 1:1 ratio.
- A good rule of thumb to keep in mind if altering the recipe: Use only up to three-quarters of the amount of liquid called for, and then add more if needed to get the same consistency as what’s called for in the recipe.
Can I make this recipe with a sugar substitute?
- Check The Best Sugar Substitutes for Baking Chart for how to swap in another sweetener like honey, agave nectar, and stevia.
- You can also leave off the cinnamon-sugar topping if you prefer.
How do I make Homemade Cinnamon Toast Crunch in a conventional oven (non-fan assist, non-convection oven)?
- If you’re using a regular oven, cook at 375°F (190°C). For more information, see this Guide to Knowing Your Oven.
- Just note that I use fan assist here because we have multiple trays baking at once and we need the air to circulate for even baking. If you don’t use a fan then you will have to rotate the trays for an even bake.
Can I make these in an air fryer?
- Yes, you can use an air fryer. An air fryer works like a convection oven, which is fan assisted with heating elements on the ceiling inside the baking chamber.
- If the air fryer is a compact model, cover the top of your baked goods with aluminum foil if they start to brown too early.
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips
- You can make cinnamon sugar by mixing a quarter cup (2 oz/58 g) of sugar with 1 tablespoon of cinnamon.
- This dough should be a bit crumbly, like pie crust. Too much water will toughen the dough (but too little water will make it hard to stay together and roll out thin.) Add the minimal amount of water and then go slowly after that to feel it out.
- It’s important to roll the dough as thinly as possible or the squares will bake up too large and won’t be crunchy.
- You can leave off the cinnamon-sugar topping if you would like a less sweet cereal.
- Try serving this with Homemade Almond Milk or Homemade Yogurt!
More Recipes for Cinnamon Fans
- Banana Upside-Down Cinnamon Roll Recipe
- Microwave Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal in a Mug
- Cinnamon Roll Muffins
- Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread
- Caramel Apple Crisp with Cinnamon Ice Cream (No Machine)
Homemade Cinnamon Toast Crunch Recipe
- ⅓ cup (2½ fl oz/71 ml) coconut oil, melted
- 4 - 6 tablespoons water
- ¼ cup (2 oz/57 g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups (10 oz/284 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup (2 oz/57 g) cinnamon sugar, for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) fan assisted and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the oil, 4 tablespoons water, sugar, and vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and cinnamon, then knead into the sugar mixture. The dough should be a bit crumbly but still hold together. If it seems too dry, add the extra water, a little bit at a time until this dough just comes together.
- Divide the dough in half and roll each half out as thin as possible directly onto the lightly floured piece of parchment paper for the pans. Lightly flour the rolling pin to help roll the dough very thin.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar all over the top of the dough and press in with your hands or the rolling pin to make sure it is sticking to the dough.
- With a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the dough into ½-inch (12 mm) squares. (No need to push the pieces apart).
- Bake the sheets for about 15 minutes, rotating halfway through, until nicely browned.
- After removing from the oven, re-cut the dough while it’s still warm, then let cool completely on the baking sheets. The cereal will get crispy as it cools.
- Serve over milk of your choice. Store the leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.