Panera's New Ham, Egg & Cheese On A Cinnamon Crunch Bagel Review: An All-Out Breakfast Flavor Battle

Panera's Cinnamon Crunch Bagel has been with the chain for so long, that it's almost as old as the name Panera itself. Originally called The St. Louis Bread Co. when it was founded in 1987, a decade later the name was changed to its current form. In 1998, Panera got super sweet on a breakfast bread idea that almost resembled a dessert, and it proved to be a lasting favorite that's still being ordered for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and as a snack today. While the Cinnamon Crunch Bagel was always there for the taking and the making into a sandwich, it took until 2023 for Panera to fully point the way. Just in time for the calendar to almost turn to fall, here rises its Ham, Egg & Cheese on a Cinnamon Crunch Bagel breakfast sandwich.

Claes Petersson, head chef and chief food innovation officer for Panera Bread, said in a press release, "For years we've seen how much our guests love our Cinnamon Crunch Bagel, and it inspired us to create a sandwich with a sweet and savory combination that is delicious for breakfast." 

Will breakfast ever be the same? Or is it more like broken, fast? We grabbed our bread basket and headed off to our nearest Panera to see what all the fuss was about. And without further ado, here's our chew and review...

What does Panera's Ham, Egg & Cheese on a Cinnamon Crunch Bagel taste like?

While Panera's Ham, Egg & Cheese Cinnamon Crunch Bagel is wider than it appeared in photos, it doesn't look like much more than just a Cinnamon Crunch Bagel and smells like it too, overpoweringly. The bottom bun is a shiny and slippery platter of butter, and the top bun looks like what the floor of a cinnamon factory must look like at the end of the day — excess amounts of cinnamon, clumped together.

The folded egg is pale yellow, fluffy, devoid of salt, and doesn't have much of a taste. The greasy, twin slices of thinly-sliced ham, which feel like they've been torn right out of a plastic package straight from a grocery store shelf, provide a bit more savory edge to the sandwich. The white cheddar is melted between the ham and the top bun, and could not be isolated for flavor. 

Bitten as a whole, the top bun certainly has a crunch to it, and its compact wad of cinnamon dominates and engulfs the entire flavor of the affair. While hints of the other ingredients try their best to compete, this is practically a brittle breaded pile of cinnamon.

What is Panera's Ham, Egg & Cheese on a Cinnamon Crunch Bagel made of?

The ingredient list of the Ham, Egg & Cheese on a Cinnamon Crunch Bagel includes a folded scrambled egg, black forest ham, white cheddar, salt, and pepper sandwiched between a Cinnamon Crunch Bagel. The Cinnamon Crunch Bagel contains vanilla and cinnamon-flavored confectionery drops, brown sugar, vinegar, honey, and a cinnamon sugar topping. The ham is uncured and contains sea salt, cane sugar, vinegar, cultured celery juice powder, natural smoke flavor, and acerola cherry extract.

The bagel sandwich has 630 calories, 21 grams of fat, 350 milligrams of sodium, and 87 grams of carbohydrates, with 34 of them being from sugar. It also contains 27 grams of protein.

When and where to order Panera's Ham, Egg & Cheese on a Cinnamon Crunch Bagel

Panera's Ham, Egg & Cheese on a Cinnamon Crunch Bagel is a seasonal fall menu item that became available nationwide on August 30, although MyPanera members were given an opportunity to taste it on August 21. They retail at a suggested price of $6.79 to $7.79, and can only be ordered during Panera's breakfast hours, which have varying opening times per location but end at 10:30 a.m. sharp at all locations.

Like all Panera menu items, the Ham, Egg & Cheese on a Cinnamon Crunch Bagel can be ordered in the store, at a kiosk, or at the drive-thru where available. Using the Panera app allows for preordering, complete customization, and marking favorite items for future ordering. Delivery is also an option where available.

How to order Panera's Ham, Egg & Cheese on a Cinnamon Crunch Bagel

The Ham, Egg & Cheese on a Cinnamon Crunch Bagel sandwich can be completely customized. Any of the main ingredients can be removed or you can order extra for an additional cost. If for some reason the Cinnamon Crunch bagel flavor doesn't speak to you, all other bagel flavors are available to substitute, as well any of the breads. The same goes for subbing or adding additional cheeses, meat proteins, and extra toppings like veggies and aioli sauces. Egg whites are also an option.

Since the Ham, Egg & Cheese on a Cinnamon Crunch Bagel sandwich isn't available beyond breakfast, there is a hack available that will basically get you almost there, minus the egg. Order a Deli Ham Sandwich, switch the bread to a Cinnamon Crunch Bagel, add a slice of white cheddar cheese, remove whatever ingredients you don't want, dig up a cooked egg somewhere, heat, and voilà!

The final verdict

If Panera's seasonal Cinnamon Crunch Latte wasn't enough cinnamon or crunch to start your day, then perhaps the new Ham, Egg & Cheese on a Cinnamon Crunch Bagel is just the perfect companion piece you've been waiting for. For us, this new entree on Panera's breakfast menu is far from a morning glory.

It's hard to see how anyone could endure the entirety of this overly spiced-up sandwich, unless you found yourself at a Panera and had a hankering for Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and swapped out the milk for an egg, cheese, and pedestrian ham. The Ham, Egg & Cheese on a Cinnamon Crunch Bagel is strictly for hardcore cinnamon lovers only. We could only make this a suitable item for breakfast by undoing its whole purpose for being. Perhaps removing the Cinnamon Crunch Bagel from the equation and replacing it with an Asiago bagel is the only path forward out of Cinnamonville. Population: one less eater.