As soon as you walk into a grocery store, it hits you. No, not a shopping cart being maneuvered by a distracted little kid, the smell of pumpkin spice (cinnamon, allspice, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Even though outside still feels like summer, the unmistakable scent of pumpkin spice brings you to fall. These items are tempting to grab, but you restrain yourself from having a pantry full of pumpkin spice. Well I decided to use this article as an excuse to try as many pumpkin spice foods as my wallet could handle so you know the best ones to buy! I rated all of the foods and drinks that I try. My ratings were based on overall taste, how strong the pumpkin spice flavor was, and whether the item was worth the price. On the scale, a 0/10 is the lowest rating and a 10/10 is the highest rating. In order to get a more accurate rating, I also be let some of my friends try these foods to get their opinions.
Pumpkin Spice Bagels: 4.7/10
The pumpkin spice flavor was not strong at all which left me disappointed. If you love bagels, then you will love these! If you love pumpkin spice, then I would not waste your money on these bagels. Emily Weber stated that she could not even taste the pumpkin flavor and rated it a 3/10. Chaye Bonner gave the bagel a 10/10 for taste but only a 4/10 for pumpkin spice flavor. This bag of bagels only cost $3.48 at Walmart, which is a good price, but I doubt I buy these again since they did not give off strong fall vibes.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Sandwich Cookies: 6.6/10
With four of my friends giving the cookies a 6/10 and another four of my friends and I giving the cookies a 7/10, the final rating was 6.6/10. These cookies tasted pretty good! The most compliments were given on the cheesecake flavored filling and the complaints were about the lack of pumpkin flavor. Since I am the only one who tried all of the foods and drinks in this article, I can say that these cookies had a medium pumpkin spice flavor compared to the others. Macey Bearden stated that it tasted a lot like a gingerbread cookie and I agree with her. I think that a stronger pumpkin flavor would have gotten these cookies a higher rating. With a price of $3.50 at Target, I could see myself buying these cookies again.
Kellogg’s Special K Pumpkin Spice Cereal: 8/10
This rating comes all from me as I did not have the overwhelming desire to pack thermoses of milk in my lunch so my friends could try this. The pumpkin spice flavor was strong, and the cereal itself tasted great! I obviously had to try the milk at the bottom of the bowl when I was done eating the cereal, and that was tasty as well. If you are looking for a solid pumpkin spice breakfast, I would buy this cereal instead of the bagels. And it will only cost you $3.99 at Target!
Krispy Kreme Pumpkin Spice Cake Donuts: 8.5/10
Just a warning, I am totally biased towards these donuts. These are in my top three favorite donuts at Krispy Kreme. My family loves these donuts, so the box was eaten before I could share any with my friends! If you love sweets, then you need to try these because the delicious glaze on top makes them extra sugary. Biting into these donuts you can tell that they are pumpkin spice flavored unlike the bagels which are the closest thing I can compare them too. These donuts can be found now through Thanksgiving. Although this box was bought at Publix, these donuts are often sold out in grocery stores, but can be found in Krispy Kreme stores.
Pumpkin Cheesecake: 8.5/10
This cheesecake was definitely a fan favorite! If you want to please your friends, bringing in this cheesecake for them does the trick. At $6.99 for a whole cheesecake at Trader Joe’s, this was the most expensive thing that I bought for this article. If you are not an avid cheesecake fan, then I feel the need to tell you that $6.99 for a whole cheesecake is an amazing price! I strongly recommend this cheesecake to pumpkin spice fans and cheesecake fans. I’ll definitely be buying this cheesecake again this fall.
Pumpkin Spice Yogurt Covered Pretzels: 6.4/10
The pumpkin spice yogurt covered pretzels received the most mixed reviews out of everything my friends tried. While two of my friends gave the pretzel a 4/10, one of my friends gave it a 9/10 and the rest of the ratings were somewhere in-between. I personally thought that these pretzels tasted pretty good, but I do understand the low ratings. Because of the yogurt, the pretzels have a tangy flavor. A few of my friends said that these tasted weird, but others really liked the taste. For only $1.99 a bag at Aldi, I wouldn’t consider buying these to be a waste of your money. Even if you don’t like them, chances are one of your friends will!
Pumpkin Waffles: 6/10
If you love Eggo waffles, then you should try these. I appreciated the amount of pumpkin flavor. You can easily tell a difference between these and plain frozen waffles. Without some kind of topping they are a little plain, so if you buy these invest in some syrup as well. Adding syrup did make a difference, but didn’t make me fall in love with them either. At $1.99 a box, I would only buy these again if I already was at Trader Joe’s buying something else, but I wouldn’t make a special trip to Trader Joe’s for these like I would for the cheesecake. But if you do go to Trader Joe’s to get the pumpkin cheesecake, why not get these if you love frozen waffles? As a cheap and easy breakfast food, these aren’t a waste of money, I would just rather have the cereal or donuts instead.
Starbucks Pumpkin Scone: 7.5/10
This scone was scrumptious! I split it with Alana, and we did have slightly differing opinions. I thought that the scone tasted better than she did, but we both agreed that it could have used more pumpkin spice flavor. My biggest complaint is that the icing on top has very little flavor. All it really does is add a different texture to the scone. At only $3.25 from Starbucks, I would buy this again as a snack to go along with my coffee.
Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin: 9/10
Wow! I was quite impressed with this muffin and so was Alana. The muffin was moist and the sweet cream cheese filling on top complimented it perfectly! If I were to go to Starbucks for a snack, I would definitely get this over the scone. The muffin had a stronger pumpkin spice flavor and it was the perfect amount of sweet. I just wish that the cream cheese filling was inside of the muffin too and not just on top. If you are looking for a treat to go with your pumpkin spice latte, this muffin only costs $3.25 from Starbucks.
Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte: 8.75/10
What I am about to say may shock you. September 10, 2021 was my FIRST TIME EVER having a pumpkin spice latte. See I told you it would be surprising. Although you can get this drink hot or cold, I decided to get it cold as outside isn’t exactly fall weather yet. The cup says “That first sip feeling.” What was my first sip feeling? Uncertainty. As someone who doesn’t drink coffee every day, the first sip just felt like coffee slapping me across the face. After a few more sips, it started to grow on me. The more that I drank it, the more that I liked it. At first my taste buds could only focus on the coffee flavor, but as I got closer to finishing the drink, I could taste more of the pumpkin spice. I would definitely get this drink again. It’s not as sweet as a Frappuccino, but the coffee flavor isn’t too strong nor overpowering. For $4.85 for a tall, the pumpkin spice latte is worth your money. Though if you are looking to stay up all night studying, you might want to get a larger size than a tall as I think the sugar from my Starbucks trip effected me more than the caffeine.
Although some of these foods got lower ratings than others, I want to make the point to say that they all tasted pretty good, with the exception of the pretzels in some of my friends’ opinions. None of the foods that I bought were disgusting nor was any of the food thrown away or wasted. Most of the foods that got the lowest scores just did not live up to their pumpkin spice name. If you are going to label something as pumpkin spice, it better taste like pumpkin and pumpkin spice! I got a lot of recommendations for things I did not get to try such as pancakes and smoothies, but if anyone has ideas for another food review article let me know and I may do it!
Thank you to my friends who helped me try and rate these fall treats! Below is everyone who helped me and what they tried.
Alana Overbey (seen in featured image): Sandwich cookies, Scone, Muffin, Cheesecake
Emily Weber: Sandwich cookies, Bagels, Pretzels, Cheesecake
Reese Laird: Sandwich cookies, Bagels, Pretzels
Macey Bearden: Sandwich cookies, Cheesecake
Alicia Semenoff: Pretzels, Cheesecake
Virginia Ravindra: Sandwich cookies, Bagels
Alexis Mae Bacani: Sandwich cookies, Pretzels, Cheesecake
Maria Lindner: Sandwich cookies, Bagels, Pretzels, Cheesecake
Caroline Horton: Pretzels, Cheesecake
Deena Warid: Pretzels
Chaye Bonner: Bagels
Sunny Fang: Pretzels
Nicole Drucker: Cheesecake
Flora Majkrzak (SOA 11): Sandwich cookies
Lilly Skinner: Didn’t try any foods but deserves a shoutout for going to Target and Walmart with me