22 Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Foods, Ranked From Worst to Best
Trader Joe's goes hard on the pumpkin spice offerings, tapping into the obsession. So far, we've sampled 16 seasonal products; some are solid, others, not so much. Keep reading to see which are worth tossing in your shopping cart and which are best left behind.
Trader Joe's Pumpkin Ice Cream
We've had delicious, inexpensive pumpkin ice cream, and Trader Joe's Pumpkin Ice Cream ($4) is not it. It's way too sweet and all spice but nothing nice. The funny, slippery texture doesn't help either.
Trader Joe's Pumpkin Joe-Joe's
We were so very excited by the idea of a new Joe-Joe's flavor (we adore the peppermint version), but Trader Joe's Pumpkin Joe-Joe's ($3) are just not very good. On the pro side, the texture is solid; there's a good contrast between crunchy cookie and creamy center. On the con side, the flavor is artificial-tasting and mild. Womp womp.
Trader Joe's Pumpkin Pie Spice Cookie Butter
We wanted to love Trader Joe's Pumpkin Pie Spice Cookie Butter ($4), but here's the honest truth: it's not worth the calories. We appreciate the crunchy bits of speculoos cookies that are mixed in, but it's not as good as the TJ's speculoos cookie butter (and far inferior compared to Biscoff butter). We were put off by the greasy texture and the flavor is just so-so. If you just broke up with your SO, this might be a good option for eating your feelings; otherwise, it's a pass.
Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels
If you simply ate with your eyes, Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels ($5) would be a winner, through and through. The sprinkling of Hawaiian sea salt helps to balance the sweet caramel and bitter chocolate, but the chocolate-to-caramel ratio is way off. (The chocolate shell is twice as thick as it ought to be, at least.)
Trader Joe's Country Pumpkin Spice Granola Cereal
Trader Joe's Country Pumpkin Spice Granola Cereal ($2) has a fun texture thanks to crunchy Corn-Pop-like nuggets that are in the mix. Other unexpected additions (coconut and raisins) weren't our favorite, but weren't offensive either.
Trader Joe's Mini Pumpkin Tea Scones
First things first, Trader Joe's Mini Pumpkin Tea Scones ($4) have nothing to do with scones. They're very cakey and not rich enough or appropriately dense to qualify as the biscuit-like pastry. if you think of them as muffin tops, they're pretty good, and the icing is tasty.
Trader Joe's Pumpkin Pannetone
Trader Joe's Pumpkin Pannetone ($5) is serviceable, but a little drier than is ideal, with a bizarre alcohol aftertaste. We'll be sticking to classic pannetone.
Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Coffee
Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Coffee ($4) is neither good nor bad; the coffee is on the robust side and boasts an authentic nutmeg note. That said, it's not memorable.
Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Waffles
Though a really good toaster waffle, Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Waffles ($2) didn’t deliver enough pumpkin or spice flavor. We’d still love to try them with a few dollops of pumpkin butter.
Trader Joe's Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps
Clearly a knockoff of Lesley Stowe's Raincoast Crisps, Trader Joe's Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps ($4) aren't quite the same, as they are smaller and crunchier. However, they are still snackable, and at about half the price, they're quite the deal. All the Fall flavors are represented in the cracker; we can't wait to try them topped with a gooey hunk of brie or blue cheese.
Trader Joe's Iced Pumpkin Scone Scones
Trader Joe's Iced Pumpkin Scone Scones ($3) taste like a denser iced pumpkin spice doughnut hole. Some tasters felt that the supersweet, heavily spiced icing overpowers the cookie-scone hybrid, and others thought they were on par with Starbucks's lineup of seasonal treats.
Trader Joe's Pumpkin Tortilla Chips
We love the shatteringly-crisp texture of Trader Joe's Pumpkin Tortilla Chips ($2), but had mixed feelings about the intensity of salt and spice level (they're not super salty and heavily dusted with pumpkin spice).
Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter
Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter ($2) nails the acidity thanks to lots of lemon. It’s just a touch of sweet, which we love, but it’s a little thin compared to other pumpkin butters out there. For the price point, we are fans.
Trader Joe's Pumpkin Pie
Not surprisingly, the crust on Trader Joe's Pumpkin Pie ($5) doesn't compare to homemade; it's very homogenous in texture, not flaky. Still, it's not bad, and the well-spiced, not-too-sweet filling deserves a thumbs up.
Trader Joe's Mini Pumpkin Pies
Like with the full-size pumpkin pie, Trader Joe's Mini Pumpkin Pies ($4) are not comparable to homemade, but still pretty solid. We think they deserve an extra half point for being so darn cute.
Trader Joe’s This Pumpkin Walks Into a Bar . . . Cereal Bars
Basically identical to a Quaker Oats Cereal Bar, Trader Joe’s This Pumpkin Walks Into a Bar . . . Cereal Bars ($2) almost fall into the territory of apple pie (apple flakes are the second ingredient), but they are nevertheless good, sweet, and salty too.
Trader Joe's Pumpkin Biscotti
Trader Joe's Pumpkin Biscotti ($4) are not too sweet and have a really good crisp, crumbly texture. The flavor is more pumpkin-y than pumpkin spice, but we're definitely not complaining.
Trader Joe's Pumpkin Macarons
Found in the freezer section, Trader Joe's Pumpkin Macarons ($5) win major points for being extremely cute. The filling tastes exactly like pumpkin pie and the macarons act like a nutty almond crust. Can we have another . . . and another?
Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Rolls With Pumpkin Spice Icing
Everything about these Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Rolls With Pumpkin Spice Icing ($4) is reminiscent of Pillsbury ready-to-bake cinnamon rolls, except for the pumpkin part, of course! We would gladly serve these up for special (and, um, lazy) weekend mornings.
Trader Joe's Mini Ginger Pumpkin Ice Cream Mouthfuls
The flavor of Trader Joe's Mini Ginger Pumpkin Ice Cream Mouthfuls ($4) is great; the combination of ice cream and cookie makes for a ginger-heavy salty-sweet experience. The cookies are a bit gummy (not at all like a gingersnap); this may or may not bother you.
Trader Joe's Pumpkin Cheesecake
Like TJ's classic frozen cheesecake, Trader Joe's Pumpkin Cheesecake ($7) is pretty darn good for a frozen dessert. The pumpkin flavor is mild, but that's our only complaint.
Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Seed Brittle
Salty, buttery, and adequately spiced, Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Seed Brittle ($4) tastes almost like cinnamon toast, plus the nuts are perfectly roasted.