10 Suprising Things to Do with Cereal

Cereal goes way beyond the bowl with creative uses that play up its crunch and texture. Whether you prefer a sweet cake topped with chocolate puff cereal or savory fried chicken rolled in crushed cornflakes, here are 10 recipes that think outside the cereal box.

Cereal, Reconsidered

Put down the milk. Cereal is way more versatile than its a.m. reputation. Here are 10 reasons why.

#1: Decorate a Cake

Surprising Use: Chocolate-flavor puffed cereal makes a pretty and sweet topper for angel food cake.

About the Recipe: Make quick work of an adorable dessert with this simple cake topping. Make your own drizzling icing from powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla, then top the cake with chocolate cereal.

#2: Add Crunch to a Crisp

Surprising Use: Whole grain cereal flakes with multigrain clusters make your fruit crisps crunchy.

About the Recipe: Cereal flakes tossed with melted butter offer a crisp bite atop baked apples and dates. Maple syrup and apple pie spice bring sweetness to the dessert.

#3: Process into Crumbs for a Crust

Surprising Use: Ground whole grain nugget cereal makes delicious crumbs for a cheesecake crust.

About the Recipe: Use a food processor to create fine crumbs from your cereal. A few spices pep it up. For the cheesecake center, a splash of a favorite liquor gives the filling richness.

#4: Top Ice Cream

Surprising Use: Rice cereal adds texture to smooth ice cream.

About the Recipe: Heat and combine coarsely crushed rice cereal, butter, chopped almonds, corn syrup, and brown sugar for a sweet-crisp ice cream topping.

#5: Coat Chicken Before Oven-Frying

Surprising Use: Use cornflakes instead of bread crumbs to coat fried chicken.

About the Recipe: This is an easy way to use bottom-of-the-box cornflakes -- you'll need 1-1/4 cups of the crushed cereal plus a few spices to quickly coat chicken drumsticks and thighs.

#6: Give Crunch to Ice Cream Sandwiches

Surprising Use: Cornflakes provide a pretty, crunchy edge to ice cream sandwiches.

About the Recipe: Pep up a super-simple ice cream sandwich (made with purchased cookie dough and ice cream) by rolling the dessert in a bowl of cornflakes to create a decorative edge.

#7: Perk Up the Pastry in a Baking Recipe

Surprising Use: Lay whole cornflakes on top of homemade pastry dough for more texture.

About the Recipe: Basic ingredients make up the pastry in this apple bar recipe, but a layer of cornflakes elevates the finished treat. Inside, tart cooking apples flavored with cinnamon satisfy your comfort-food craving.

#8: Pair with Nuts and Dried Berries in a Cookie Mix

Surprising Use: Toss wheat cereal flakes into cookie batter.

About the Recipe: The crunch in these cookies is partially thanks to wheat cereal flakes. The cereal makes a natural partner for chopped walnuts and dried cranberries in this 110-calorie cookie.

#9: Add Heartiness to Healthy Biscuits

Surprising Use: Include bran in your homemade biscuits with the help of bran cereal.

About the Recipe: Whole bran cereal provides extra fiber in these naturally sweet biscuits. Rolled oats and blueberries round out the twists to an otherwise classic biscuit recipe.

#10: Give Structure to No-Bake Candy

Surprising Use: Crisy rice cereal adds structure and crunch to chocolaty peanut butter candies.

About the Recipe: Need a quick candy recipe? This one fills the bill with crispy rice cereal, peanut butter, melted chocolate, and chopped peanuts providing favorite flavors.

Bonus Idea: Top a Cheesy Potato Casserole

Surprising Use: Instead using of crackers, get buttery flavor from cornflakes atop your cheesy potato casserole recipe.

About the Recipe: This eight-ingredient side-dish casserole is finished with crushed cornflakes, which add crunch and a layer of flavor that tops dry crackers.

More Surprising Things to Do with Cereal

Want no-recipe recipes using cereal? Here are two to try:

-- Grind up a colorful cereal as sprinkles for your cupcakes.

-- Roll a cheeseball in bran cereal for a crunchy coating.

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