Fast Food Review: New! Cinnamon ‘N’ Raisin Biscuit from Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s

Once upon a time, I would get really excited by the combination of cinnamon and raisins. Once upon a time, there was nothing I’d rather eat than Great Harvest’s Cinnamon Burst Bread or Panera’s monster Cinnamon Bagels. Even when confronted with a carbophobe health world that was quick to point out the threat of Type II diabetes from the consumption of massive quantities of refined sugar and flour, I greedily risked a lifetime of needle pricking just to get my sweet, sweet cinnamon fix on. Alas, those days are long since gone, lost within the memory of overly sugary, margerine-y goodness that has given way to impostors of lackluster taste and texture.

Carl’s Jr., jumping off the back of sister chain Hardee’s, is giving me a chance to revise those sweet memories with their new 99 cent Cinnamon ‘N” Raisin Biscuit.  Advertised as “Hot and Fresh” and “Made from Scratch”, the sweet creamed top biscuit has made its way to western markets over the last few weeks. Attempting to revive my childhood fondness of all things overly cinnamon and sugary, I stopped in to grab one the other day.

Man, why do I even bother eating breakfast anymore? This thing is just one massive disappointment. The icing is not at all creamy. Creamy would be to say it either has cream, or has the properties of cream. But when the icing’s first three ingredients are sugar, water, and corn syrup, “creamy” isn’t the most precise adjective to describe it. Don’t be fooled; there isn’t even an artificial fat in the mix, which is more like a thickened donut glaze that yields a rubbery goo once you give it a poke. Problem is, it tastes worse than it looks. It’s one thing to be overly sweet, but it’s another to be overly sweet and taste like, um, nothing. The latter is ok. Take Froot Loops, for example. They taste like Red #40 and Blue #20 – which I enjoy – and mimic the flavor of actual fruits not found it nature. But the Cinnamon Raisin Biscuit icing just tastes like bland sugar. Not even the kid who lives of pixie sticks would eat this.

The biscuit, to be fair, has a decent texture. It’s warm and flaky and not at all crumbly. Homemade it could pass for, at least if homemade means anything not coming from a frozen Pillsbury stick, which is good enough at 99 cents. It’s a little disconcerting to see partially hydrogenated oil as the second ingredient in something that apparently contains no trans fat, but what the heck, I had walnuts in my oatmeal last night, so my good cholesterol can afford the hit (aha, fight fat with fat!). But I’d rather it taste good, which it doesn’t. There’s no discernible, rich buttermilk flavor. OK, that’s fine, but I better get some sweet cinnamon burst drops then. Strike two. There are a few raisin pieces, but they don’t have much sweetness, and the cinnamon comes across as old and devoid of accompanying sweetness. It’s a rapid series of disappointments. It’s not super filling either, and as you can see from the pictures, it’s pretty small. For 300 calories I think I’d rather just have a small cake donut, which will at least leave me burping up that fried dough taste for the rest of the morning.

Pros: Have a buck? You're in luck. Served warm and hot. Less sugar than a package of Twinkies. Biscuit texture is pretty decent.

Cons: Doesn't taste like Red #40, or anything else for that matter. Icing is way too sweet with taste of nothing but glucose, which doesn't taste good. No sweetness in biscuit. Presence of PHO requires me to compensate with walnuts, which technically, I am not a huge fan of. Breakfast disillusionment on the even of entering the "real world" will likely lead to me living off of Waffle Crisp and Cool Whip into my 20s.

Taste: 4.75/10
Value: 7.00/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 8.25/10
Price: 99 cents

Overall GrubGrade: 4.75 (Poor)

More Info: Hardees.com
Nutrition Facts:
Carl's Jr./Hardee's Cinnamon 'N' Raisin Biscuit
Calories: 300
Total Fat: 15 g
Saturated Fat: 5 g
Trans Fat: N/A g* (contains PHO)
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 680 mg
Total Carbs: 10 g
Fiber: 1 g
Sugars: 17 g
Protein: 3 g

15 comments on “Fast Food Review: New! Cinnamon ‘N’ Raisin Biscuit from Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s

  1. Shannon says:

    I’m a little surprised that these weren’t very good. Cinnamon rolls are a popular southern treat. Oh well. Did you get a chance to try the Caramel Crumb Biscuit which I think this replaced? If so, how do they compare?

  2. ohiorn says:

    I remember loving these when we would eat breakfast one Saturday every month with my parents. Of course that was 20 years ago so I am assuming they have changed according to this disappointing description. There were abundant raisins and icing everywhere and they came in a pack of two. It was heaven, now eww. Crushing hopes and dreams everyday lol.

  3. SkippyMom says:

    Shannon this isn’t a cinnamon roll – it is a cinnamon biscuit. BIG difference. HUGE!

    Anyway…the icing scares me, but your post cracked me up, especially the cons.

    Nice job Adam. Will avoid at all costs or a buck. 🙂

    • Shannon says:

      Yep, you got me. I am not familiar with cinnamon raisin biscuits. For some reason, when I saw that biscuit, which looks unappealing and probably has a texture I would not want in my mouth, my mind immediately ran to something that I have enjoyed. Why you felt the need to use caps is beyond me.

  4. Brent says:

    I’m a little surprised. I live in the land of Hardees who has been serving cinnamon raisin biscuits as long as I can remember and they are much more tasty than you describe.

    • Adam says:

      Remember, I got this out west at a Carl’s Jr. It was not advertised on their website, and it may have ingredient changes from the Hardees recipe. Again, my biggest problem was the lack of sweetness in the biscuit, and the overbearing sweetness with no flavor on top. There is clearly a disconnect here. Also, I can report that three days into the real world I have yet to consume Waffle Crisp, although I did just polish off a Dunkaroo 🙂

  5. Tyler M says:

    These have to be different than Hardee’s. Here in Tennessee, this is probably one of the best and most popular things you can get at Hardee’s for breakfast (not best for you nutritionally, but taste wise). Our Hardee’s is usually lined out to the highway just for breakfast in our small town. Once breakfast stops, it’s a ghost town there. But I am almost certain that these cinnamon raisin biscuits are not the same as they look.

    • ohiorn says:

      I agree with Tyler. Hardees must have a different item. They are way better then the above described hot mess.

      • Mike N says:

        I second (or third or fourth) that — I haven’t had one in a long while, but the Hardee’s version were always very tasty, particularly out the saltiness and greasiness of a bacon egg and cheese biscuit.

    • Clevegal42 says:

      I agree, too. I’ve this at Hardee’s and while the icing was WAY too sweet, the biscuit was darn tasty. I’m sorry that you had this disappointment – if you ever travel east you should find a Hardee’s and give it another shot.

  6. Adam Bomb says:

    A real Hardee’s cinnamon raisin biscuit is the real deal. I’m pretty sure they’re exactly the same as when I had them 15-20 years ago as a child. I’m wondering if maybe they’re being made, frozen, and shipped to Carl’s Jr. instead of being made from scratch like Hardee’s…

    I used to make those biscuits as a teenager, and they were absolutely amazing right out of the oven.

  7. Deanna says:

    I remember when Hardee’s started selling those here in Georgia – gosh – probably 30 years ago. They were to die for! I haven’t had one in years, but I hope you just encountered an anomaly! (And now I want to find a Hardee’s and have a Cinnamon Raisin Biscuit!)

  8. wibia says:

    I love these. I would agree though, they are a Cinnamon Biscuit. I have a lot more of these than I would like to admit at times.

  9. harriett says:

    Love the Cinnamon Biscuits, so excited that Carl Jr’s was offering them. Went back and low and behold they had quit serving them, why? People were just getting to know about them in Sierra Vista, AZ. If you have ever had a Hardee’s cinnamon biscuit you would know how delicious they are.
    (please no mention of my name.)

  10. Jack Newman says:

    Why can’t we get these particular biscuits in California?