Paleo Cinnamon Crunch “Cereal”

Growing up, we never had sweet cereals in our house. Our breakfast options were usually plain Cheerios or plain Rice Krispies. I only enjoyed cereals, like “Cinnamon Toast Crunch,” when I slept over at a friend’s house. It was like having dessert for breakfast!

cinnamon crunch cereal in a bowl

And that’s actually how this cereal recipe came about– it was the solution to a dessert craving. My husband and I both occasionally crave a bowl of sweet cereal for dessert in the evening, so I wanted the fastest and easiest solution possible, without going on a special grocery run. I’ve had a bag of coconut flakes sitting in my pantry for what seems like forever now, so this seemed like the perfect way to use them up!

Tossed with a splash of pure maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon, this baked cereal is surprisingly reminiscent of the store-bought cereal, but with a toasted coconut flavor. The natural oils in the coconut help this cereal crisp-up, just like real cereal, so it’s delicious even without milk as a sweet and crunchy snack!

Paleo Cinnamon Crunch Cereal 
Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup coconut flakes
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 250F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and toss well to coat evenly. Spread the mixture out onto the lined baking sheet, making sure to separate the flakes as much as possible into a single layer. (They clump together, so you’ll have to use your fingers to separate them.)

bag of coconut flakes and toasted coconut flakes on a pan

Bake at 250F until they are lightly golden, about 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, as they get crisper as they cool. Serve with almond milk or as a crunchy snack anytime!

4.84 from 6 votes
Paleo Cinnamon Crunch "Cereal"
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 
An easy baked cereal that is naturally gluten-free!
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cereal, Harvest Breakfast Cookies (Vegan, Paleo), Paleo Cinnamon Cereal
Servings: 2
Calories: 475 kcal
Author: Megan Gilmore
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 250F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and toss well to coat evenly. Spread the mixture out onto the lined baking sheet, making sure to separate the flakes as much as possible into a single layer. (They clump together, so you'll have to use your fingers to separate them.)
  3. Bake at 250F until they are lightly golden, about 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, as they get crisper as they cool. Serve with almond milk or as a crunchy snack anytime!
Per Serving: Calories: 475, Fat: 41g, Carbohydrates: 28g, Fiber: 10g, Protein: 4g

Notes:
I used the flaked coconut for it’s cereal-like size, but if it’s difficult for you to find, you could probably use shredded coconut instead. (Just make sure it’s unsweetened!)

Reader Feedback: What was your favorite childhood cereal? Mine was Multigrain Cheerios– they were marketed as “healthy” when I was growing up, but they tasted sweet enough that I felt like I was really getting away with something!

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Comments

Maegen

Thank you, Megan! I’ve always loved cereal! As a kid, I loved Honey Nut Cheerios, Frosted Flakes and Rice Krispies. Now as a treat, I like Erewhons corn flakes and brown rice cereals. But I try to stay away from anything processed along with gluten/flour/sugar/dairy so I always love your recipes. Do you know if there are any carbs that could be added to this recipe to keep it still cereal like? I’m trying to increase carb intake and decrease fat intake due to some minor health issues. Also, do you know if a natural sweetener could be used in place of maple syrup (apple sauce, dates, banana etc)? I wonder if your caramel date dip would crunch well with the coconut?! Hmmm 🙂

Emily

I LOVE big flakes of coconut! This looks delicious spiced with a little cinnamon. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Laura ~ Raise Your Garden

    I love the coconut too and this is (I know this is terrible) a snack I can keep in the house from my husband as he does not like coconut. And he eats ALL the snacks and doesn’t save any. I love cereal as a treat/dessert. Gave up eating cereal for breakfast in the morning because it drops my blood sugar too quickly and I get dizzy.

RavieNomNoms

What a creative idea!!! Looks amazing

Kelly

This is genius! I can’t wait to give it a try!

Angela @ Food Angel

I’ve made a copy-cat version of Trader Joe’s coconut chips, but never thought to try this instead of cereal! I’ll have to make this for my husband- he eats so much healthier than when we met, but his one vice is still cereal 🙂

Caterina

Hi Megan,

I made this last night – OMG – this is totally addictive. So incredibly easy to make and a sweet and guilt free after dinner snack. I pre-ordered your cookbook on Indigo (Canada). So excited to receive it. Thank you for all your work – your recipes are all tasty and a joy to eat 🙂

    Pcjae

    Since you’ve made this, I’m wondering if it’s super crispy. I don’t want it to be even a little chewy. TIA!

Theresa

I also grew up in a household where no sugary cereal was allowed, so my favorite cereals are corn flakes, rice and corn chex, and corn bran. In a wold of cookie crisp, I was the kid who wanted corn bran, and still do!

Rachel

I loved plain weetbix with hot milk and brown sugar or Special K or sultana bran with plain Greek yoghurt. These days my breakfast looks quite different; usually homemade pumpkin soup or just a whole plain avocado with some sauerkraut haha

Sarah

This is how I eat my Special K (with maple syrup and cinnamon). It tastes just like Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I also sometimes toss in some berries. Never thought to just use coconut flakes! Thanks for sharing

Jess @ Crunchy Hot Mama

This was delish…with or without milk! I made this on Mother’s Day, while my hubby was making me paleo waffles, and was telling him this was a Detoxinista recipe…so I knew it would be a hit. He seemed to have his doubts when I said everything I make from here is awesome. It wasn’t until the pan was sitting on the stove, and he kept going back for more, that he finally agreed 😉 He eats everything I make anyway, thankfully, and will be partaking in many more of your recipes once your book comes out! SO excited!

    Pcjae

    I really want to try this so I’m glad you tried it and gave it a great review. I’m wondering if it was chewy or crunchy. I don’t want any chewy and would like to know before I make this. Thanks!

Honey

I was wondering if this is ok for an insulin resistance diet? Can I substitute honey or something else for the syrup?

Holly S.

Three of my daughter’s LOVE cinnamon toast crunch! I was so crazy excited to see this recipe, but, we all loathe coconut in my house…ugh! If you have anything else up your sleeve that I can use instead of coconut, please pass it on. I’m not a vegan, if that helps with ideas. Thanks for your great information and recipes!

Crystal

Hi Megan,

What could you properly combine jam with? Any simple recipe ideas…
I bought a plain sprouted almond yogurt (though it does have some sprouted brown rice in the ingredient list) that I thought to add it to for sweetness. That’s probably not proper combining, right?

pcjae

I made this, and it was SUPER delicious. I checked it for CRISPNESS after 8 minutes, and it was still chewy. I stirred it around and baked for another 10 minutes. I checked it again and IMO it still wasn’t crispy enough. All in all, I baked it for an hour. It’s almost perfectly crispy, melt in your mouth, delicious! I think I’ll bake for another 5-10 minutes next time, and there WILL be a next time. Thanks for sharing this recipe! I gave the recipe four stars because it wasn’t crispy enough for me after baking for 18 minutes.

    pcjae

    That should say that I checked it after 18 minutes rather than 8. Sorry.

Andrea

I just made these and they are fantastic as an afternoon snack. I don’t know if I will be able to save any for breakfast or not. I will definitely be doing a double batch next time! Thank you yet again for a great, easy and tasty paleo recipe.

Ashley

Hi! My son has a coconut allergy, I know, I know, rare. He would love something like this, but could we substitute with anything? Thanks in advance whether you can think of something or not! Love all your recipes, keep up the wonderful work.

    Liz

    Just discovered this site and made the cereal. I used flaked almonds and it was delicious!

CONNIE

Love this recipe!! I bake a double batch each weekend to last us for the week. I add some pecan bits and bake these with the coconut flakes ($1.99at Trader joe’s) I like my cereal extra crispy so I bake it for 1 hour.

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