Pumpkin spice products are a must. We’ve tested a few so you don’t have to.
Look no further: We – CNN’s Leah Asmelash and Scottie Andrew, food connoisseurs and the occasional pumpkin spice enthusiast – have tried a random assortment of these products so you don’t have to. What we found surprised, disgusted and sated us for better or for worse.
Lea Asmelash: Not spicy enough with the pumpkin !!! Hit me in the face with a drop or don’t bother!
Scottie Andrew: Good for stirring my coffee with it. Meh all alone. Maybe if they had been tinted orange I would have liked them more.
The verdict: DO MORE, TRADER JOE’S!
Hot cocoa blend with pumpkin and spices, Good & Gather
THE: I mean, you can’t really screw up the hot chocolate.
HER : I opened the bag of cocoa powder and inhaled it for a moment. Then it sort of lodged in my throat and I choked a bit BUT the end product was a perfect mix of pump and shock.
The verdict: A cup of joy adapted to the seasons.
Hostess Pumpkin Frozen Cupcakes
THE: If fall is the taste of orange dye, this is it. But not the worst with coffee.
HER : This cupcake brought me back to elementary school lunches, so dots for nostalgia, but the frosting had the consistency of a melted candle, so the dots were anchored for the wax.
The verdict: Good for nostalgia, bad for eating.
Pumpkin and Frosted Mini Wheat Spices
THE: Looks like they just put some orange frosting on a regular mini wheat. Chalk notes?
HER : Chalky is right. They’re a little better when they soften in milk, but otherwise just a slightly sweeter miniature wheat.
The verdict: Alright, if you’re desperate.
THE: Wait … I’m not mad at this. I think I like them. It really tastes like pumpkin pie.
HER : I love it when dessert is masquerading as breakfast, and I especially love when that dessert is as pumpkin as this PopTart.
The verdict: PopTart gang forever.
Pumpking Imperial Ale, Southern Tier Brewery
THE: It’s spicy and pumpkin and hot and whatever I want in the fall, but in beer form. It’s like drinking a season.
HER : It tasted like someone who squeezed a pumpkin, fermented it, and bottled it. I paired it with butternut squash mac and cheese and felt like an epicurean.
The verdict: If you like beer, drink it.
Beloved Pumpkin Tonka Bath Gel
THE: I feel like washing my hands in carved pumpkins and golden leaves. I’m in.
HER : What a beautiful balance this gel has found between dessert and hygiene. It made the Halloween aisle smell of JOANN fabric in my bathroom.
The verdict: Luxuriously autumnal without overwhelming the senses.
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Acorn Spice Multi-Surface Spray
THE: This is what I imagine being suffocated by cloves.
HER : I admit I bought this thinking it said “pumpkin spice”, but I clearly can’t read. Using it to clean, I felt like I spilled some fall themed scent oil and spread it out.
The verdict: Sticky fucking.
Glade Pumpkin Spice Things Up Automatic Spray
THE: It’s like infusing my whole house with fall joy. Cover my whole body in this.
HER : The smell was nice, but a little goes a long way – trust the woman who can’t wash the scent of pumpkin spice from her hair.
The verdict: Less is more. Use with caution.
And with that, we humble pumpkin connoisseurs end this tasting journey. Go ahead and enjoy, fall loving friends. But first, here are a few products that we haven’t tested this year but very recommend:
To Califia Pumpkin Spice Latte Cold Brew, Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Joe Joe’s, Birch Benders Pumpkin Spice Pancake and Waffle Mix, and this Trader Joe’s pumpkin-shaped batter – we didn’t taste you for this test, but we love you. Thank you for your service to the pumpkin.