38 Pumpkin Spice Offerings, Ranked From Worst to Best
Every year, pumpkin spice season starts earlier and earlier. Last year, it began with the launch of the Starbucks PSL in September, and this year, we received the very first products of the season: Lindt Lindor Pumpkin Spice Milk Chocolate Truffles and PS Cheerios. Sorry, folks, but it looks like pumpkin spice season is going to be at least three months of solid celebration. Take a look at our rating of the product. Be sure to check back week to week, because we will continue to review pumpkin spice products as they are released.
— Additional reporting by Erin Cullum and Nicole Perry
Starbucks Via Instant Pumpkin Spice Latte
When you need to get your Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte fix, it’s worth making a stop at your nearest location instead of opting for the Starbucks Via Instant Pumpkin Spice Latte that you can make at home. While it’s incredibly convenient (you simply mix the powder with hot water), the flavor is no match for an actual latte made by a barista. The powdered mixture has dairy powder, sugar, instant coffee, and pumpkin spice flavors, and it leaves you with a chalky aftertaste and a perfume-like lingering flavor.
Dancing Deer Baking Co. Pumpkin Spice Dessert Bites
"Dessert bites" is a bit of a vague phrase, and we can't quite figure out what these Dancing Deer Baking Co. Pumpkin Spice Dessert Bites are trying to be. Kind of like a blondie, these bites are heavy on the molasses and are quite dry in consistency. If you served these at a Fall dinner party, you'd certainly have leftovers at the end.
Boulder Canyon Pumpkin Pie Kettle Cooked Potato Chips ($5 for 4 bags)
While we applaud the creativity of Boulder Canyon Pumpkin Pie Kettle Cooked Potato Chips, after one bite, it's clear why most chip manufacturers stick to pumpkin spice flavoring instead of going fully for it with a pumpkin pie flavor. These were simply way too sweet.
DavidsTea Pumpkin Cheesecake Tea
Unlike Pumpkin Chai from DavidsTea (more on that later), this Pumpkin Cheesecake Rooibos Tea is really low key on sweetness, even though the ingredients include white chocolate. Although that isn’t a bad thing, drinking a cup of this tea is pretty underwhelming, and we’d rather be eating an actual slice of pumpkin cheesecake.
Pumpkin Spice Latte Peeps ($3)
Peeps are extremely polarizing: you either love or hate them. Some of our tasters couldn't wait to try these PSL-inspired Peeps, while others grimaced and stayed as far away as possible. Ultimately, the artificial flavor of the coffee-like Peeps with a white chocolate coating isn't enjoyable enough to keep us going back for more. "I want to like this, but I truly just don't understand it," one reviewer wrote.
Sprouts Cranberry Pumpkin Crisps
Similar to Trader Joe's Raisin Rosemary Crisps, these Cranberry Pumpkin Crisps are thin and crunchy crackers with chewy bits of dried fruit throughout. You get notes of cranberries, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and a whole lot of pumpkin spice . . . a little too much, actually. A spread of cool, tangy goat cheese would round out the spiciness of the crisps, but snacking on these on their own doesn't leave us coming back for more.
Dancing Deer Baking Co. Pumpkin Spice Shortbread Cookies
The cookie part of the Dancing Deer Baking Co. Pumpkin Spice Shortbread Cookies gets bonus points for being perfectly buttery and crunchy, but the pumpkin spice coating only hurts the flavor. The overwhelming amount of pumpkin spices overtakes the pure taste of the shortbread, and we wish it were a little more subtle.
Sprouts Pumpkin Iced Cookies
Sprouts Pumpkin Iced Cookies are like pillowy bundles of sweetness and spice. The thick and chewy cookies are just the right amount of crumbly, and they're dipped in a sugary frosting that complements the spices in the dough. The main drawback is they're a little floury and could benefit from more moisture.
Nonni's Pumpkin Spice Biscotti ($3)
Nonni's Pumpkin Spice Biscotti start off with a really crisp texture and enjoyable sweetness, and there's a saltiness that rounds out the sugary frosting.
Pumpkin Spice Milano Cookies ($3)
We typically love flavored Milano cookies, but we were disappointed by Pumpkin Spice Milano Cookies. The filling basically tastes like scented wax candles, though the cookie itself is as good as ever!
Sprouts Pumpkin Pizzelle
Part waffle cone and part cookie, these Sprouts Pumpkin Pizzelles are a Fall twist on a classic Italian cookie. They're not bursting with flavor and aren't as crunchy as we would have liked, but they'd pair really well with homemade butterscotch and coffee for an afternoon treat.
Chobani Pumpkin Spice Greek Yogurt ($1)
Points to Chobani Pumpkin Spice Greek Yogurt for not being way too sweet and for actually tasting like pumpkin. That said, it's not very memorable and a bit chalky.
Lindt Lindor Pumpkin Spice Milk Chocolate Truffles ($4)
As the catchphrase implies, these truffles are "irresistibly smooth" and basically begin to melt the second they touch your taste buds. Made with real pumpkin powder, they have a robust pumpkiny flavor, which some found hard to handle in the heat of July, while others felt instantly transported to Fall.
DavidsTea Pumpkin Pie Matcha
Matcha is having a moment in 2016, so it's no surprise that DavidsTea offers Pumpkin Pie Matcha this time of year. If you're a fan of the earthy green tea, try this sweet version with hints of one of your favorite Thanksgiving desserts. It's satisfyingly sweet and not artificial tasting, and it's quite possibly the trendiest pumpkin spice product yet.
Nature’s Path Pumpkin Flax Granola
Haters of traditional pumpkin spice foods are sure to appreciate Nature's Path Pumpkin Flax Granola, which is a more savory option that contains just a hint of cinnamon and molasses. What mostly makes the granola pumpkiny is the addition of pumpkin seeds, which provide a textural contrast to the crunchy oats and flax seeds. Not particularly exciting but definitely not bad, this granola would be a great addition to yogurt or acai bowls.
Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies ($4)
There’s only one way to describe Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies: like guilty pleasure grocery store cookies. Soft and cakey, cinnamon-y and sweet, the cookies could definitely pair well with a cup of coffee or glass of milk. The only thing we didn’t love: the ultrasweet "cheesecake" chips.
Chobani Flip Pumpkin Harvest Crisp ($2)
Chobani Flip Pumpkin Harvest Crisp has a dessert-y topping that adds a nice textural contrast to the creamy yogurt. One editor wrote, "LOVE. Tastes like Christmas." Overall, the Harvest Crisp was more of a hit than the Pumpkin Spice because of its crumbly topping that reminds us of pumpkin pie.
Boom Chicka Pop Pumpkin Spice ($4)
Boom Chicka Pop Pumpkin Spice flavor doesn’t hold back on the spices — it’s really sweet and salty, almost like a cinnamon roll. What you won’t find is the pumpkin; instead you’ll detect cinnamon and nutmeg. We approve of this decision wholeheartedly.
Sprouts Old Fashioned Pumpkin Snaps
Sprouts Pumpkin Snaps are similar to a traditional ginger snap cookie but are heavy on the pumpkin flavor — in a good way. The crunchy cookies aren't overly sweet and have just the right amount of spice. You could easily pulverize these crisps in a food processor and use as a crust for pumpkin pie.
Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Spice Swirl Bread ($4)
While we wish it was a bit more moist, we're otherwise smitten with Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Spice Swirl Bread . Not terribly sweet, it tastes akin to the brand's cinnamon swirl bread with just a hint of pumpkin to differentiate the two. Toast up a slice and slather it with salted butter (or pumpkin butter, for a more-is-more treat).
Sprouts Sea Salted Pumpkin Seed Tortilla Chips
Fans of corn tortilla chips are sure to love the Sprouts Sea Salted Pumpkin Seed Tortilla Chips. Made with pumpkin seeds, pumpkin powder, and a trace of lime, these chips are all savory and not at all sweet.
Nonni's Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Biscotti ($3)
The flavor of Nonni's Pumpkin Biscotti totally transforms when it's coated in a generous drizzle of dark chocolate. The crispy biscotti contrasts with the soft layer of icing, and the slight bitterness of the rich dark chocolate complements the pumpkin pie spices really nicely. Pair this with a cup of coffee, and you've got the perfect afternoon treat.
Nuts.com Pumpkin Spice Malted Milk Balls ($10/pound)
Watch out, Whoppers fans . . . these might become your seasonal obsession. The Nuts.com Pumpkin Spice Malted Milk Balls have a superthick candy coating that has just a hint of pumpkin and Fall spices. Eating just a few of these sweet and crunchy malt balls is enough for a sugary snack.
Dreyer's Slow Churned Pumpkin Patch ($6)
Dreyer's Slow Churned Pumpkin Patch is cheap ice cream at its finest. The fluffy, slightly chewy texture and nice spice content make it something we'd scoop up on the regular.
Planters Pumpkin Spice Almonds ($8)
If candied nuts are what you're after, Planters Pumpkin Spice Almonds will do you right. Covered in a crunchy, crackly pumpkin spice glaze, they might not be subtle, but they are satisfying.
Nestlé Toll House Pumpkin Spice Refrigerated Cookie Dough ($3)
Thomas Pumpkin Spice English Muffins ($4)
The sour buttermilk-like flavor and gritty cornmeal exterior make Thomas Pumpkin Spice English Muffins one of our favorites of the season. Pick up a pack for someone who isn't all about pumpkin, as the flavor is very subtle. We can't wait to slather ours with pumpkin butter.
David's Tea Pumpkin Chai ($9)
This loose-leaf tea does not skimp on the pumpkin flavors: there's cinnamon, cloves, caramel, pumpkin candies, and actual pumpkin flakes in this seasonal blend from David's Tea. It's a little on the sweet side, so if you prefer unsweetened black teas, it might be too much for you, but otherwise, it's a must-have tea to keep in your kitchen or at your desk throughout the Fall. You'll want to cozy up to a hot mug of it and let your place fill with the intoxicating aroma.
Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Caramel Squares ($4)
Rolling out to stores between mid-August and mid-September, these Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Caramel Squares perfectly encapsulate Fall flavors. The salty sweet caramel tastes authentically spicy and meshes well with the creamy chocolate. It's a smooth, decadent bite that would pair well with coffee (or even melted into a cup!). Even if you're not a pumpkin spice fan, you might find yourself enjoying these.
Barbara's Pumpkin Puffins ($5)
OMG, Barbara's Pumpkin Puffins are Fall at its finest. Don’t let the orange color dissuade you. These puffs are very pumpkiny (but not on the spicy side). We couldn’t help but go back for a second handful . . . and then a third.
Nestlé Toll House Pumpkin Spice Morsels
Admittedly, we felt skeptical about Nestlé Toll House Pumpkin Spice Morsels ($2), but one chip is all it took to become a fan. Smooth and melty, bursting with pumpkin and Fall spice flavors — and just salty enough — these chips would taste great in baked goods or just eaten by the morsel.
Whole Foods 365 Pumpkin Spice Granola
The Whole Foods Pumpkin Spice Granola packaging looks more like Winter than Fall, but that’s OK because we plan on eating it through both seasons. The whole-grain granola is formed into bite-size crunchy clusters with bits of dried apples and cranberries throughout, and the dusting of cinnamon, pumpkin, and other spices is not overpowering whatsoever. We’d eat this on its own for a snack or sprinkled on top of yogurt for a filling breakfast.
Nature’s Path Pumpkin Spice Hot Oatmeal With Chia
There's nothing artificial about Nature's Path Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal. The whole-grain rolled oats have brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and pumpkin powder sprinkled throughout, and the pumpkin and chia seeds give an extra crunch. Make this on its own or upgrade it into microwave mug pumpkin chocolate chip oatmeal for a seriously satisfying Fall breakfast.
Kellogg's Pumpkin Spice Frosted Mini Wheats ($4)
Kellogg's Pumpkin Spice Frosted Mini Wheats are not exactly heavy on the pumpkin flavoring, but they're more about the spices. The flavors of cinnamon and ginger pair really well with the vanilla frosting, and the pretty orange drizzle on top makes them seem like even more of a treat. This cereal is just like the one you know and love, but with a fun Fall twist.
Sprouts Organic Pumpkin Spiced Apple Cider
Sprouts Organic Pumpkin Spiced Apple Cider is a high-quality apple cider with just a hint of pumpkin and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. It's decidedly tasty at room temperature but would be even better warmed up with a splash of whiskey. Use this to make a quick and easy version of a hot toddy with a pumpkin spiced twist.
Pumpkin Spice Cheerios ($3)
Yes, it's happening — this year brings us Pumpkin Spice Cheerios, and they're SO good. If you're into starting your day with the taste of Fall in your mouth, you'll want to pick these up and give them a try. They're boldly flavored thanks to pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and cloves, and they're not overly sweet.
Pumpkin & Spice Triscuits
Triscuits completely nails the pumpkin spice trend with its limited-edition Pumpkin & Spice Triscuits. The classic crackers are coated in a barely there seasoning of sugar, pumpkin powder, salt, brown sugar, and spices, and the crackers are ever so slightly sweet but mostly savory. These pair well with a number of cheeses, including gouda and goat.
Thomas Pumpkin Spice Bagels ($5)
Thomas Pumpkin Spice Bagels are everything you want in a pumpkin-spiced goodie. Made with real pumpkin and cinnamon, the bagels have visible flecks of spice and intoxicatingly delicious bits of gourd studded throughout. The scent (even when the bagels are enclosed in the bag) will waft through your kitchen in a delightful, gimme-more way. Toast a bagel up and watch your tub of cream cheese disappear at an alarming rate.