I’m going to level with you: I don’t trust people who don’t love cereal. No matter what your age or taste, there has to be ONE cereal you adore. I like to have a “healthy” cereal for my breakfast table (Hello Cheerios!) and a “dessert” cereal for late-night snacking (looking at you, Lucky Charms!). And there’s one cereal that seems to fall in a “comfort food” category for me: Cinnamon Toast Crunch. So, being the baking-lover I am, I decided to wrap up the comforting flavors of my beloved Cinnamon Toast Crunch and bake them into a cake. And oh, what a delicious cake it turned out to be.
First I grabbed a box of Betty Crocker’s SuperMoist cake mix. I decided to use the butter yellow variety for a hit of buttery goodness. I also added some cinnamon and vanilla to nudge the flavors in the mix even further towards Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
I then baked and cooled the cake as the back of the box instructed. After the cake cooled, it was time to poke. Using a good old-fashioned wooden spoon, I poked the heck out of the top of that cake. (The more holes in a poke cake, the better, I say. Since they act as channels that allow the pudding to seep to the bottom of the cake, the more you have, means a uniformly soaked cake.)
I then mixed up the pudding mixture for the middle. I used a large box of instant vanilla pudding.
Then it is time to pour that creamy goodness all over the top of the cake. I did bang the pan on the counter a couple times to make sure the pudding moved down fully into the holes.
Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, but no more than eight.
Now it’s time to make the cereal topping! Mix some crushed Cinnamon Toast Crunch with melted butter and sugar. Bake at 350 for about 7 minutes until it’s nice and caramelized. Remove from pan and cool on parchment paper or a paper bag. Warning: The caramelized cereal is seriously hot when it comes out of the oven, so wait a bit to taste it. It will burn your fingers if you dive in to early. I know this from personal experience.
Last but not least, top the cake with one whole container of frozen whipped topping and a generous sprinkling of the caramelized cereal. Cut a piece and enjoy the cool, creamy textures mixed with the warm feeling that only true comfort food can provide. Yum!