Honey Smacks Cereal | Homemade and Naturally Sweetened

Homemade, Naturally-Sweetened "Smacks" Cereal | Breakfast |

Sweet cereal is one of those things that I hate loving so much. One of my favorites is Kellogg’s Honey Smacks.

Does the bright red box with a green frog named Dig ‘Em, ring a bell?

I haven’t bought it in years because as a kid who was basically raised on cereal, I have left it behind for more nutritionally sound breakfast options.

But every so often I get a craving that nothing else will satisfy. There is something magical about the combination of cold milk and crunchy cereal. You can eat half a box without blinking.

So instead slamming the door on good childhood memories, I created an honorable stand-in.

Kellogg’s Smacks have the following ingredients:

Sugar, wheat, dextrose, honey, contains 2% or less of vegetable oil (hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated soybean), salt, caramel color, soy lecithin, BHT for freshness.

The funniest part about these is that the 1990’s commercial actually promised that your kids would jump up and down (like the frog) after eating this cereal. I can’t believe that was their marketing campaign! Buy this cereal and your kids will be bouncing off the walls on a sugar high!

We’ve come so far, America.

Smacks without all those yucky ingredients would be great! As long as they still deliver on that nostalgically sweet, light and crunchy cereal my childhood dreams are made of.

Well these do!

My ingredients: Honey, Maple Syrup, Brown Rice Syrup, Salt, Organic Puffed Kamut.

And just like any good cereal, these are delicious for breakfast or a late night snack.

They taste SO LEGIT and they are a piece of cake to make. Smacks also makes a great granola-type thing, sprinkled on yogurt. Or handfuls and handfuls, hold the yogurt.

I used Arrowhead Mills Puffed Kamut but I have also made these for my sister (who eats gluten free) and used Arrowhead Mills Puffed Rice. Both taste great!

This is such a cute Christmas gift, packaged in a large canning jar!

Homemade, Naturally-Sweetened "Smacks" Cereal | Breakfast | Copycat Kellogg's

Homemade, Naturally Sweetened “Smacks” Cereal

Serving size: 1 1/2 cups

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 7


  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 ounce bag Arrowhead Mills puffed kamut (use puffed rice for gluten-free)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Stir first 4 ingredients together in a large bowl.
  4. Gradually stir in puffed kamut, mixing thoroughly to combine.
  5. Divide the cereal mixture between the two baking sheets, spreading the cereal to the edges of the pan in a thin, even layer.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes then remove from the oven and mix/turn cereal. Return to the oven and bake 4-5 more minutes. Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn. (Note: It will not seem firm and crunchy until it cools.)

  7. Let cool for 10 minutes and then break up into small clusters. Allow cereal to cool completely.
  8. Store in an airtight bag or container.

Recipe Notes

These keep well for 2 to 3 weeks if they are in an airtight container or plastic bag. I actually prefer a plastic zip bag, because then I can squeeze out all the extra air for optimum freshness.

Because these keeps so well, they make a great gift and even hold up well in the mail (just leave a little air in the bag so the cereal isn’t crushed).

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    1. You could definitely try it with honey or maple syrup instead! Brown rice syrup is thick (thicker than honey) and slightly less sweet, but I am fairly confident you will get the same result with honey or maple syrup. Let me know!

    1. Hi Kay! I think agave could work, but you could also just use more honey and maple syrup. For the 1/4 cup of brown rice syrup you could substitute with 1 teaspoon of molasses (if you have it) and then fill the measuring cup the rest of the way with honey or agave. The hint of molasses would just add that flavor similar to brown rice syrup. Hope that helps!

  1. Hi do you think I could use simply sugar free maple syrup in lieu of honey and corn syrup? If so, would I have to add more fat like butter or another ingredient since no sugar?

    Btw this was only recipe I could find that made sense!

    Thank you for what you do.

    1. Hey Dan!
      My recipe does not have corn syrup. It does contain brown rice syrup. But yes, you could use sugar free maple syrup. If you don’t add another kind of sweetener though, it will probably taste very maple-y, and not quite as neutral as smacks. But still tasty, I’m sure!

  2. This recipe is amazing. Thank you, taste just like the box stuff with awful corn syrup. So happy I found this so I didn’t need to experiment haha. And the rice puffs for gluten free! I could hug you! However the Maple syrup in the ingredients is missing “cup” I would assume it’s “cup” for that’s what I did so hope that’s what it’s supposed to be.

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