Is Cinnamon Toast Crunch Vegan?

Cinnamon Toast Crunch may legitimately be the best cereal ever created. Sure, it’s loaded with sugar—but wow, it’s good. When you go vegan, you might be wondering if this delicacy is still something you can enjoy. Is Cinnamon Toast Crunch vegan?

Cinnamon Toast Crunch is generally considered vegan. However, it contains sugar and vitamin D3, which are gray-area ingredients for vegans. Therefore, the most strict vegans may avoid Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

As a vegan of 13 years, I’m personally fine with eating it. But below, I’ll share more about these “gray-area ingredients,” so you can decide for yourself. I’ll also cover an off-brand of Cinnamon Toast Crunch you should avoid (it contains milk)!

What Is Cinnamon Toast Crunch Made Of?

Let’s take a look at the ingredients in Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I’ve underlined four ingredients that might raise eyebrows for a new vegan:

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Ingredients: “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 & Minerals: 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.” (source)

Now let’s talk about those suspicious ingredients:

  • Sugar: Gray Area. Sugar is controversial for vegans. Non-organic cane sugar is often filtered with bone char when it’s processed. Some vegans avoid it—others are okay with it. (Personally, I’m okay with eating sugar.)
  • Caramel Color: Vegan. Caramel color isn’t the same as real caramel. It’s actually just a caramel shade of color made by heating up sugar, usually from corn. VRG considers it vegan.
  • Vitamin B12: Vegan. You may have heard that vitamin B12 only comes from animal products. But the B12 used in supplements and fortified cereals is made by bacteria. Read more about this in my post on where b12 comes from.
  • Vitamin D3: Gray Area. Vitamin D3 can be made from vegan sources like lichen, but it’s not likely. D3 is typically taken from lanolin (from sheep’s wool), making it non-vegan. However, since it is present in such small quantities, many vegans don’t worry about it. Read my personal opinion in this blog post.

So, as you can see, the vegan status of Cinnamon Toast Crunch depends on how you personally feel about sugar and vitamin D3. Some vegans are okay with eating them, but others are not.

Personally, I am okay with eating both of those ingredients as a vegan. I feel that I’m making enough of a difference by swapping out the milk in my cereal bowl for plant milk. I don’t think boycotting vitamin D3 is going to really help any more.

Does Cinnamon Toast Crunch Have Dairy?

Cinnamon Toast Crunch does not contain dairy. However, be aware that the off-brand Malt-O-Meal cereal Cinnamon Toasters does contain dairy. More about Cinnamon Toasters below.

Does Cinnamon Toast Crunch Have Gelatin?

Cinnamon Toast Crunch does not have gelatin. However, Cinnamon Toast Crunch “Treat Bars” do contain gelatin (and milk), so be aware of that. More on Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bars below.

Is Cinnamon Toast Crunch Vegetarian?

Cinnamon Toast Crunch is considered vegetarian. The only gray-area ingredients from a vegan perspective are sugar and vitamin D3. Neither of those raise concerns for lacto-ovo vegetarians or other non-vegan vegetarians.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Flavors

There are several other Cinnamon Toast Crunch products we should cover here, too. What about the Chocolate and French Toast flavors? What about the Churros? And what about the Bars?

Is Chocolate Cinnamon Toast Crunch Vegan?

Chocolate Cinnamon Toast Crunch is generally considered vegan. However, it contains sugar, vitamin D3, and natural flavor, which are gray-area ingredients for vegans. Therefore, the most strict vegans may avoid Chocolate Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Again, I don’t see any reason why the “natural flavor” wouldn’t be vegan—but it’s always possible.

Another potential issue for vegans eating this Chocolate flavor would be whether cocoa is vegan. Cocoa itself doesn’t contain any animal products… but there are some unethical practices involved in a lot of non-fair-trade cocoa. Read more about that in my blog post about it.

Chocolate Cinnamon Toast Crunch Ingredients: “Whole Grain Wheat, Sugar, Rice Flour, Canola Oil, Fructose, Maltodextrin, Cocoa Processed with Alkali, Salt, Dextrose, Coconut Oil, Soy Lecithin, Trisodium Phosphate, Cinnamon, Natural Flavor. BHT Added to Preserve Freshness. Vitamins and Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Zinc and Iron (mineral nutrients), Vitamin C (sodium ascorbate), A B Vitamin (niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), Vitamin B1 (thiamin mononitrate), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin A (palmitate), A B Vitamin (folic acid), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3.” (source)

Is French Toast Crunch Vegan?

French Toast Crunch is generally considered vegan. However, it contains sugar, vitamin D3, and natural flavor, which are gray-area ingredients for vegans. Therefore, the most strict vegans may avoid French Toast Crunch.

I don’t see any reason why the “natural flavor” in French Toast Crunch wouldn’t be vegan—but it’s always possible, as the source of natural flavors don’t legally have to be listed.

French Toast Crunch Ingredients: “Whole Grain Corn, Sugar, Corn Meal, Corn Syrup, Rice Bran and/or Canola Oil, Salt, Refiner’s Syrup, Cinnamon, Color (caramel color, annatto extract and turmeric extract), Natural Flavor. Vitamins and Minerals: Calcium Carbonate, Zinc and Iron (mineral nutrients), Vitamin C (sodium ascorbate), A B Vitamin (niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrocholoride), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B1 (thiamin mononitrate), Vitamin A (palmitate), A B Vitamin (folic acid), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3.” (source)

Is Cinnamon Toast Crunch Churros Vegan?

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Churros is generally considered vegan. However, it contains sugar and vitamin D3, which are gray-area ingredients for vegans. Therefore, the most strict vegans may avoid Cinnamon Toast Crunch Churros.

There’s nothing too surprising in the ingredients for these. If you’re okay with eating normal Cinnamon Toast Crunch, then these should fit the same vegan criteria:

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Churros Ingredients: Whole Grain Wheat, Sugar, Rice Flour, Canola Oil, Cinnamon, Salt, Dextrose, Trisodium Phosphate, Soy Lecithin. BHT Added to Preserve Freshness. Vitamins and Minerals: Calcium Carbonate. Zinc and Iron (mineral nutrients), Vitamin C (sodium ascorbate), A B Vitamin (niacinamide), Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), Vitamin B1 (thiamin mononitrate), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin A (palmitate), A B Vitamin (folic acid), Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3. (source)

Are Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bars Vegan?

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bars are not vegan. The Treat Bars and the Soft Breakfast Bars both contain milk ingredients. Additionally, the Treat Bars contain gelatin, and the Soft Breakfast Bars contain eggs.

And, it’s probably not even worth saying, but both versions of Cinnamon Toast Bars also contain several gray-area ingredients from a vegan perspective. If you want the full ingredients for either, here they are: Treat Bars and Soft Breakfast Bars.

Are Malt-O-Meal Cinnamon Toasters Vegan?

Malt-O-Meal Cinnamon Toasters are not vegan. They contain Nonfat Dry Milk as one of the last ingredients. They also contain sugar, vitamin D3, and natural flavor, which are gray-area ingredients for vegans.

I don’t know why Malt-O-Meal would add an allergen like milk as the last ingredient, when it’s not even part of the name brand product they’re trying to imitate… but check it out for yourself:

Cinnamon Toasters Ingredients: “Whole Grain Wheat, Sugar, Rice Flour, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Fructose, Maltodextrin, Dextrose, Salt, Tricalcium Phosphate, Soy Lecithin, Cinnamon, Trisodium Phosphate, Annatto Flour (Color), Caramel Color, Natural Flavor, Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), Niacin (Niacinamide), Reduced Iron, Zinc (Zinc Oxide), Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin D, Vitamin B1 (Thiamin Mononitrate), Vitamin B12, Folate (Folic Acid), Nonfat Milk, BHT (to Preserve Freshness).” (source)

Two More Recommendations for Your Vegan Journey

1. This is the best vegan multivitamin I’ve found in 13 years of being vegan. It has vitamin B12, vitamin D, omega-3—and nothing else. Translation: It only has the nutrients vegans are actually low in. Read my full review of Future Kind’s multivitamin here (with 10% discount).

2. This is the best vegan starter kit I know of. It’s a bundle of 9 beautiful e-books that help you transition to a healthy plant-based diet—the right way. The advice is spot-on, and it has print-outs and checklists that make it easy to implement. Read my full review of Nutriciously here.

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