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Is Cinnamon Toast Crunch Vegan?
The Definitive Answer

Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: May 26, 2021

Becoming a vegan makes you forsake many favorite cereal brands, but what's the story with Cinnamon Toast Crunch?

In this article, we'll dive deep into the chemistry of the famous cereal to help you decide whether you should add it to your vegan diet.

Is Cinnamon Toast Crunch Vegan?

Cinnamon Toast Crunch in a white bowl with a spoon

This is a tricky question to answer, but Cinnamon Toast Crunch may contain a couple of ingredients that some vegans wouldn't rather skip on.

General Mills, the company that produces this famous cereal, never explicitly confirmed that its ingredients don't come from animal sources.

Ingredients List

bowl filled of flour, jar pouring salt grains, cinnamon sticks

So, in short, there's a high chance that this product isn't vegan. But let's dissect the ingredient list to see if that's the case.

Here's what you can expect to find in your CTC box:

  • Whole grain wheat
  • Sugar
  • Rice Flour
  • Canola Oil 
  • Fructose
  • Maltodextrin
  • Dextrose
  • Salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Trisodium Phosphate
  • Soy Lecithin
  • Caramel Color
  • BHT Added to preserve freshness

Vitamins and minerals content:

  • Tricalcium Phosphate
  • Calcium Carbonate
  • Iron and Zinc (mineral nutrients)
  • Vitamin C (sodium ascorbate)
  • A B Vitamin (niacinamide)
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride)
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamin mononitrate)
  • Vitamin A (palmitate)
  • A B Vitamin (folic acid)
  • Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3

Sadly for folks with allergies, Cinnamon Toast Crunch also contains wheat and soy ingredients.

5 Non-Vegan Ingredients

palm oil in a coconut, brown powder in a table, spoon filled with sugar

1. Vitamin D3

Although it may seem like a "harmless" and vegan-friendly ingredient at first glance, vitamin D in cereals sometimes comes from animal sources.

"Vitamin D2 is always suitable for vegans, but vitamin D3 can be derived from an animal source (such as sheep's wool) or lichen (a vegan-friendly source) [1]". vegansociety.com

So, is Vitamin D3 in this cereal derived from animal products? General Mills has never confirmed it or denied it, so we can only guess.

But Vitamin D3 in most cereal and other processed foods is most likely sourced from sheep's wool.

A vegan version of Vitamin D is now available, and many companies use this form in a variety of vegan products, so General Mills should consider following the same path.

Other ingredients in Cinnamon Toast Crunch that make vegans think twice include:

2. Processed Sugar

types of sugar on a table

So sugar may or may not be vegan, but is the risk worth it when deciding your diet?

Most vegans are not okay with consuming refined white sugar because its production in most cases involves bone char.

Although it is not directly in the sugar itself, it's used in the production process to give refined sugar its bright white color.

3. Lecithin

Although "soy lecithin" is in the label, it may be wishful thinking to believe that soy or sunflower are the sources of it.

Many manufacturers get it from animals instead - usually the meat, to save some money.

4. Caramel color

Now, caramel is derived from natural sources and is vegan. However, it's also tested on animals - just like other colors added to processed foods.

5. Palm Oil

Despite being plant-based, palm oil is considered not vegan.

Although the label on the Cinnamon Toast Crunch doesn't mention that there is any palm oil in it, this ingredient is everywhere, and it somehow always finds its way to a box of cereal (especially those that are not vegan-certified)

Vegan Cinnamon Toast Crunch Alternatives

cookie bites in a bowl

Luckily, there are many healthy food options, including cereal.

For example, Kay's Protein Cookie Bites Cinnamon Almond is not only low in sugar but high in fiber and protein and, of course - vegan friendly.

Another option that we can vouch for is Catalina - super crunchy and satisfying - an excellent choice for a low-sugar vegan breakfast or afternoon snack.

But before jumping in and hitting that "order" button, maybe you can try homemade Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

We all know that homemade food is often a safer choice, especially for folks with food allergies.

Vegan Cinnamon Toast Crunch Recipe

jars of apple sauce with fresh apple beside, oat flour in a bowl

So, what can you do to make your Cinnamon Toast Crunch vegan?

Well, whipping up your homemade version is a fantastic (and fun!) alternative. It's not difficult at all, trust us.

Here's what you'll need for your vegan cinnamon toast crunch:

  • Almond flour
  • Oat flour
  • Apple sauce
  • Cinnamon
  • Granulated sugar (organic cane sugar or coconut sugar)
  • Water

Preparation:

  1. First, mix the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl.
  2. Next, combine the rest of the ingredients with your hands or a spatula until a dough forms, adding water gradually.
  3. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper.
  4. When it becomes nice and thin, remove the top layer of parchment paper.
  5. Brush the dough with some water and sprinkle with a cinnamon-sugar mixture. You can do this with the other side of the dough by turning it over. Roll it once again over the parchment paper to ensure that sugar and cinnamon stick to the dough.
  6. Cut the dough in 1/2 – 3/4 inch squares with a pizza cutter, place them on a baking sheet.
  7. Bake for about 10 minutes.

So, there you have it.

No more questions: "Cinnamon Toast Crunch vegan?" - you know it is! Not only that, but your bowl of cereal will be full of yummy and healthy ingredients.

FAQs

Does Cinnamon Toast Crunch Contain Dairy?

The ingredients list suggests Cinnamon Toast Crunch is completely dairy-free during production.

However, there's a lot of confusion regarding this issue.  While General Mills stated that the cereal includes no milk whatsoever, it may contain lactose-derived ingredients.

It’s safe to say that even if a product doesn't contain dairy, it doesn't necessarily mean it's entirely vegan.

Is Cinnamon Toast Crunch Vegetarian?

Yes, it’s vegetarian. What makes Cinnamon Toast Crunch vegetarian-friendly is the absence of dairy, eggs, and other products directly tied to animals.

Although most vegans would find some of its ingredients questionable, most vegetarians wouldn't have issues with consuming products that don't directly or explicitly involve animals.

Is Cinnamon Toast Crunch Good for You?

Most mainstream cereal manufacturers load their products with all kinds of artificial stuff, and this product is no different.

So if you want to stick to a healthy diet, you should probably skip any cereal.

Cereals like these are not something you should eat regularly because of harmful ingredients like caramel color additives, trisodium phosphate, and high sugar content.

However, it depends on your habits. Are you eating a handful of sugary cereal once a week?

Or do you have the whole box with loads of milk right before bedtime?

Moderation should be the key when deciding if something is good or bad for your health.

So, Is Cinnamon Toast Crunch Vegan?

Is Cinnamon Toast Crunch vegan or not?

This popular cereal contains more than one ingredient that makes it unsuitable for those on a strictly plant-based diet based on its contents.

Homemade cereal sounds like a great alternative - they're much better for your health, they're tasty and crunchy, and, above all - 100% vegan.

If you're not that into cooking, you can always order a box of organic, vegan-certified ones to munch on. At least nowadays, the choices are endless.

Have you tried making cereal at home? What do you think of the recipe? Leave a comment below.


References:

  1. https://www.vegansociety.com/resources/nutrition-and-health/nutrients/vitamin-d

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