Can Krispy Kreme’s New Cinnamon Roll Beat A Classic Cinnabon? Here’s Our Review

This week, Krispy Kreme finally dropped an official cinnamon roll for the first time in the chain’s over 80 year existence, albeit for a limited time. The fact that Krispy Kreme has been around for the better part of a century and hasn’t thought to make a cinnamon roll is shocking to us, but sometimes iconic brands don’t do what’s in their best interest in the name of being true to the brand or whatever. Just think of how amazing In-N-Out would be if they would let us put some damn bacon on a Double Double…

Anyway, Krispy Kreme is rectifying things now. Even better news: they’re giving us two options — an Original Glazed Cinnamon Roll made from yeast-risen dough, hand-rolled with cinnamon and featuring Krispy Kreme’s signature glaze; and the Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal Roll, which is the same thing but topped with a few loose Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal squares and cereal milk-flavored icing swirl. The bad news is that these aren’t really cinnamon rolls (hear us out!)

Let’s dive in and talk about the good and the bad of Krispy Kreme’s first cinnamon rolls!

How Does It Compare To A Cinnabon?

I get it, you heard “Krispy Kreme Cinnamon Roll” and the gears started spinning, but this cinnamon roll doesn’t really exist in the same lane as the great mall and airport delicacy that is the Cinnabon. Whereas a Cinnabon has warm gooey layers of dough drenched in syrupy cinnamon and topped with thick ribbons of icing made from real cream cheese and vanilla, the Krispy Kreme Cinnamon Roll features… well, none of that.

It doesn’t even try to have any of that. This is, for better or worse, more of a cinnamon roll doughnut than an actual cinnamon roll. It doesn’t have that super gooey texture that a Cinnabon has, the bread here is more akin to your typical fried doughnut dough. I have no idea how they prepare this behind the scenes, maybe they’re still baking these things, but the texture is a lot closer to an average doughnut than any cinnamon roll I’ve ever had — so I’m pretty sure they’re just frying these things in the same doughnut frier as all their other pastries.

Original Glazed Cinnamon Roll/Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal Cinnamon Roll

Dane Rivera

Now that I’ve delivered the bad news we can talk about the strengths of this… let’s just call it a doughnut. While I was disappointed to discover that this wasn’t a legit cinnamon roll, it still delivers on flavor, and that’s all that matters. Think of it less like a cinnamon roll, and more of a regular Krispy Kreme doughnut that goes HAM on the cinnamon and offers a form factor that is at least a little bit chewier than the average Old Fashioned.

I prefer it to an original Krispy Kreme.

While Krispy Kreme’s usual glaze would never work on a more traditional cinnamon roll, it works perfectly in service of this doughnut. The glaze to bread ratio is well-balanced here and the sections that don’t feature the glaze are still well flavored with cinnamon. Each bite follows a simple but effective pattern: glaze, then cinnamon, then bread. It all hits you in waves of deliciousness.

The Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal Cinnamon Roll, on the other hand, is just lazy.

Dane Rivera

The only thing that differentiates this doughnut is the inclusion of a few squares of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal and a sad squirt of cereal milk icing to top it off. It doesn’t impact the flavor in any way, the cereal milk icing is a welcome addition, but it’s used so sparingly it’s practically a garnish and the cereal itself is stale.

It makes sense that it would be stale, even if Krispy Kreme made the doughnut the morning I ate it (which they did) unless they’re keeping that cereal in a bag, it’s going to go stale within an hour of hitting air. That’s just common sense, but I guess I shouldn’t expect any cereal freshness innovations from a successful doughnut company that took 80 years to make a cinnamon roll, amirite?

Anyway, this feels like some unessasary brand synergy that is a step down in experience.

The Bottom Line

As long as you’re aware that Krispy Kreme’s cinnamon roll isn’t actually a cinnamon roll, it’s pretty damn good and offers a great cinnamon-infused snack. But don’t bother with the Cinnamon Toast Crunch — it’s got more stuff but it’s less satisfying.