Did you grow up with Cinnamon Toast Crunch? Those sugar-y, cinnamon-y squares were a breakfast-time treat. And maybe even better than the cereal was the cinnamon milk leftover at the end. So good! But, also, not that good for you. While Cinnamon Toast Crunch and other commercial cereals use clever marketing phrases like “good source of nutrients,” “made with whole grains” and “can help lower cholesterol,” the truth is most supermarket cereal is loaded with sugar.

I was definitely sad when I learned just what was inside my favorite cereal: fructose, maltodextrin, dextrose, trisodium phosphate, soy lecithin, caramel color, and BHT.  No thanks! But that disappointment was mitigated when I discovered a healthier homemade version from whole foods baker Laurel Gallucci’s new cookbook Sweet Laurel Savory. I can’t stop making it (and slurping the cinnamon milk). 

This Toasted Cinnamon Cereal Tastes Just as Good, But Is So Much Better

This toasted cinnamon cereal by Sweet Laurel offers the same familiar flavors of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. However, it’s much, *much* healthier. Let us take a minute to rave:

1. It uses whole (and wholesome) ingredients.

We love a recipe that uses wholesome ingredients, and this cereal does that. It contains: almond flour, arrowroot powder, date sugar, pink salt, ground cinnamon, egg whites, and coconut milk. Since it’s homemade, it contains no preservatives, artificial coloring, or added flavorings. It’s also gluten-free.

2. It won’t cause a sugar crash.

Not only does this recipe call for less sugar, it also calls for date sugar, which has a lower glycemic index (around 47-50) than white sugar (65). And because it’s made with almond flour, egg whites, and coconut milk, the sweetness is also tempered by protein and healthy fats.

3. It lasts for a couple of weeks.

We’re happy to report that this delicious cereal holds for about two weeks. And, since it’s so easy to make, it’s a great activity to recruit little helpers.

4. You can ‘zhuzh’ up other dishes with leftovers.

This cereal ended up being way more versatile than we could have ever imagined. If you find yourself with a ton of leftovers or an awkward amount left, no worries. It’s great as a cheesecake crumb or crumbled atop a bowl of yogurt. Or try it tossed with some raisins and nuts for a homemade snack mix.

Reprinted with permission from Sweet Laurel Savory. Copyright © 2021 by Laurel Gallucci and Claire Thomas. Photographs copyright © 2021 by Claire Thomas. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House. 

Sweet Laurel's Toasted Cinnamon Cereal




30 min


45 min


1 cup almond flour

1/4 cup arrowroot flour

4 tablespoons date sugar, divided

1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink sea salt

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided

2 large egg whites

2 tablespoons melted coconut oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, arrowroot, 2 tablespoons of date sugar, the salt, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Add the egg whites and melted coconut oil and stir quickly until completely combined.

  3. Turn out the dough on a sheet of parchment paper and cover with another sheet of parchment. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough 1/16 to 1/8-inch thick. Transfer the dough, between the parchment paper and placed on a baking sheet, to the freezer to chill for 15 to 20 minutes.

  4. Using a paring knife, cut the dough into 1-inch squares and carefully transfer them to the prepared baking sheet using a spatula, leaving very little space between them. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.

  5. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons date sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Remove the cereal from the oven and, while it is still warm, coat it in cinnamon sugar. Let cool completely, about 30 minutes, before removing the cereal from the baking sheet.

  6. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Yield: 2 1/2 cups.

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