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Why Were Corn Flakes Invented?

Why Were Corn Flakes Invented? With all of the internet rumors and speculation swirling, the real reason might surprise you! 

A stack of caramel cornflake brownies.
Caramel Cornflake Brownies by House of Nash Eats

The Origins of Corn Flakes Cereal (+ 21 Cornflakes Recipes!)

A recent trend sees TikTok users encouraging viewers to Google everything from “where does vanilla flavoring come from?” to “why were graham crackers invented?” The answers are often wild enough to send the internet into a collective tizzy.

The latest viral “why was X invented” trend? Corn Flakes. Let’s just say, social media has A LOT to say on the origins of our favorite high-fiber breakfast cereal.

Speculation as to why cornflakes were invented may have scandalized the internet, but it turns out that they weren’t created for the reasons you might think. Let’s get into separating fact from fiction. Plus, check out a round-up of our favorite cornflakes recipes when all’s said and done!

Who Invented Corn Flakes?

The original Corn Flakes breakfast cereal was invented by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, an American doctor and nutritionist, in 1824.

Dr. Kellogg was the director of a sanitarium in Michigan, where he treated both wealthy and poor patients who could not afford hospitals. For all his good doings, Dr. Kellogg also dedicated a large part of his later life to eugenics. 

He also practiced abstinence, believing that sex was harmful to one’s physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. For this reason, he was an advocate of a pure, unstimulating diet of bland food for himself and for his patients. This led him to invent the famous flaked cereal, produced by his family’s Kellogg’s Cereal Company.

The Internet Rumor, Debunked

When it comes to the origins of Corn Flakes cereal, the online rumor mill has gone into meltdown lately. One Twitter user lamented, “I can never look at cornflakes the same after finding out why it was invented.” 

The viral claim making the rounds on social media: Dr. Kellogg invented Corn Flakes to stop the American people from masturbating. 

Countless TikToks and Tweets will tell you that Dr. Kellogg, in his sexual abstinence, believed that certain seasonings and flavors could increase sex drive. And for this reason, he invented Corn Flakes cereal as a bland, anti-masturbatory breakfast food.

They say that you can’t believe everything you read on the internet. Online fact-checkers Snopes is here to set the record straight: This online myth on the origins of the breakfast favorite is “mostly false”.

Everyone can take a deep breath. Dr. Kellogg did advocate for a bland diet and sexual abstinence as part of healthy living, but he never specifically referred to Corn Flakes as a way to discourage masturbation. 

So, Why Were Kellogg’s Cornflakes Really Invented?

In a turn about as boring as the cereal itself, Corn Flakes were invented simply as an easy-to-digest morning meal. Indigestion was a common health problem at the time, and Dr. Kellogg created the cereal as a palatable healthy food for his patients at the Sanitarium. According to historians, Kellogg’s never actually advertised cornflakes as “anti-masturbatory” at all. 

Sorry to burst your bubble, internet. But if you want to inflate it again, just have a look at Why Graham Crackers Were Invented instead. 

21 Ways to Cook With Cornflakes

Wild rumors set aside, one thing is certain: humble cornflakes steal the show in these easy recipes and baking ideas below.

A stack of caramel cornflake brownies.

Caramel Cornflake Brownies

Get your fix of chocolate and crunch with these homemade fudgy brownies topped with chewy, caramel-coated cornflakes. The combination is totally irresistible!

An oval casserole dish with a green bean casserole in it, topped with cornflakes and Parmesan.

Cheesy Creamed Green Beans

If you love a classic creamy green bean casserole, you need to try this version sprinkled with bacon, cheese, and crispy cornflakes.

Funeral Potatoes

This classic funeral potatoes recipe is cozy comfort food made from cheesy hashbrown potatoes topped with crispy cornflakes, then baked.

cutting into oven fried chicken breasts and holding one part of the chicken with a fork

Oven Fried Chicken Breasts

Cornflakes give this crispy chicken tons of extra crunch! This easy oven-fried chicken recipe is a healthier twist that the whole family goes crazy for. Serve it with green beans for a well-rounded meal.

Up close image of cheesy potato casserole in a white casserole dish with a scoop being taken out.

Cheesy Potato Casserole

Jazz up your classic potato casserole and bring cornflakes into the mix! Make this easy recipe for a creamy potato bake topped with a layer of buttery cornflakes.

Snacking Granola Clusters

Hungry for a healthy snack? Make these homemade granola clusters filled with old-fashioned oats, coconut flakes, honey, nuts, and crushed cornflakes cereal.

Overhead view of cowboy cookies on the corner of a cooling rack

Cowboy Cookies

Giddy up with these fully-loaded cowboy cookies! This easy cookie recipe has it all: cornflakes, oats, coconut, pecans, and more wrapped up with chocolate and peanut butter flavor.

A baked apple on a plate with a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with caramel sauce.

Secret-Ingredient Baked Apples

Soft baked apples are a delicious fall treat, filled with the flavors of cinnamon and spice. The filling in these stuffed baked apples contains a secret ingredient: cornflakes!

Healthy Peanut Butter Cornflake Bars

Just 3 ingredients are all you need to make these vegan, gluten-free, and healthy peanut butter cornflake crunch bars. These are a perfect no-bake treat to make up in minutes and take on the go.

A slice of ham breakfast casserole lifted out of a casserole dish.

Overnight Ham Breakfast Casserole

Get a headstart on breakfast with this savory overnight breakfast casserole. An easy recipe filled with juicy ham, cheese, and flaky croissants baked beneath a crunchy cornflake topping.

Blueberry Cornflake Muffins

These moist and fluffy blueberry muffins have a crunchy cornflake streusel topping, for a contrast of flavors and textures that’s truly next-level.

Stacked cookies covered in cornflakes with a piece of maraschino cherry baked into the top.

Cherry Winks Cookies

This old-timey recipe for cherry winks is making a comeback! These are chewy, crunchy, and all-around delicious cookies made with chopped pecans, cornflakes, maraschino cherries, and sweet dates.

Cornflake Chicken

Crispy cornflake chicken tenders are an easy family dinner idea that you’ll come back to again and again. Tender chicken pieces are dredged in seasoned cornflakes and baked to golden perfection in the oven.

A Mexican fried ice cream ball with chocolate and caramel syrup, whipped cream, and a cherry on a plate.

Homemade Fried Ice Cream (No Frying!)

Enjoy the irresistible cool creaminess and satisfying crunch of deep-fried ice cream, minus the frying! You’ll love this easy recipe for Mexican fried ice cream made by rolling your favorite ice cream in a layer of cinnamon cornflakes.

Cornflake Christmas Wreath Cookies

Festive and fun wreath cookies make the perfect addition to any holiday cookie platter. These easy cornflake wreaths are colored bright, merry green, and decorated with cute licorice bows. Ready in 20 minutes!

Green cornflake wreaths on a white surface decorated with cinnamon heart candies.

Cornflake Marshmallow Wreaths

Another recipe for homemade cereal wreaths, this time with Frosted Flakes! A fun variation made with extra sweetness and lots of mini marshmallows.

No-Bake Cornflake Cookies

These no-bake cornflake cookies couldn’t be easier to make. Filled with peanut butter flavor and drizzled with chocolate, they’re the perfect sweet snack!

Fried ice cream with whipped cream and cherries.

Homemade Fried Ice Cream

Make your very own authentic homemade deep-fried ice cream with just a few ingredients. Scoop, roll, and fry these delicious desserts made from creamy ice cream coated in a crunchy cornflake and crushed cookie shell.

Thick and Chewy Cornflake Cookies

These homemade chocolate chip cookies are thick, chewy, and coated in cornflakes for added crunch. Make easy cornflake cookies for your next potluck or bake sale and watch them disappear from the plate.

A stack of three oatmeal cornflake walnut ranger cookies.

Classic Ranger Cookies with Cornflakes

These easy Ranger cookies put a new twist on classic oatmeal cookies! Chopped walnuts and cornflakes add lots of extra crunch to the chewy, buttery middles.

Cornflake Cookies

Prepare to become addicted to these chewy, crispy old-fashioned cornflake cookies filled with crushed cereal, oats, and pecans. Easy and so tasty!

Hungry for more fun and easy recipes featuring your favorite pantry ingredients? Be sure to visit the recipe finder!

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