REVIEW: Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Pie Donut

Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Pie Donut

If I were to brainstorm the myriad amount of ways in which an autumnal delicacy like pumpkin pie could be improved upon, I’m fairly certain deep-frying it would be at the top of the list.

Luckily, Dunkin’ Donuts is saving me from the prospect of attempting such an endeavor in the privacy, but not-completely-covered-by-insurance confines, of my own kitchen by introducing a new Pumpkin Pie Donut as part of their seasonal fall menu. Unlike the classic pumpkin cake donuts, which every grocery store in America features this time of year, the new Pumpkin Pie Donut features a “pumpkin pie flavored, buttercreme-filled yeast shell” that’s topped with white icing and graham cracker crumbles. And because it’s a donut, it is of course caressed by the loving embrace of hot fryer oil.

I tend to appreciate the aesthetic beauty of Dunkin’ Donuts products, although I’ve often found their donuts to be on the small side. This donut is no exception, although I suppose my arteries would appreciate not being subjected to an actual fried pumpkin pie, and instead getting off for a more “modest” 380 calorie donut. In any event, an initial bite of the edges of the donut leaves a lot to be desired; namely in the whole pumpkin pie department.

Perhaps my donut had the unfortunate luck of sitting around in the store for too long, or perhaps I tend to hold my yeast-raised donuts to higher than mass-produced standards, but the plain shell lacked the airy spring of a really good yeast donut, and tasted only of that characteristic dough and nutmeg aftertaste that’s present in most of Dunkin’s donuts.

But who are we kidding? Obviously there’s no reason just to nibble around the yeast shell, no more so than there’s reason to just nibble on the crust of an actual pumpkin pie. We bite into donuts and pies, and what’s the first thing most of us chomp through when it comes to actual pumpkin pie? The whipped cream, of course.

Dunkin’s white icing might share a similar color with the traditional and sweet accouterment to pie, but that’s about all they share. Cloyingly sweet and unnaturally hardened, the icing might work on a sugar cookie, but here the glycerol flavor overpowers and clashes with the doughy interior and buttercreme filling. The graham cracker crumbs were thankfully crunchy and plentiful, but they lacked a distinct cinnamon flavor and instead tasted too much like a boring old frozen pie crust.

Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Pie Donut Inside

The only authentic pumpkin flavor comes from the buttercreme filling. While it’s filled with plenty of questionable ingredients that might not make their way into a traditional buttercream (nothing says homemade like Yellow 5 and Guar Gum!), the faux buttercreme has a delightful pumpkin flavor complete with all those sweet warming spices like cinnamon and ginger. The only problem is that the texture, which dissolves on the tongue like the way Cool Whip would do, is unfulfilling. Speaking of filling or lack thereof, my completely trigonometric challenged eyes estimated the creme only took up about a third of the volume within the shell. That’s like a pie that’s two-thirds crust and only a third filling!

Dunkin’ Donuts had a real opportunity to add to their pumpkin-flavored product line with this donut, but they screwed it up. Maybe they didn’t screw it up as bad as me trying to create a fried pumpkin pie by dropping a frozen Marie Callender’s pie into a Dutch oven of boiling shortening, but definitely to the point of making a donut not worth buying again.

(Nutrition Facts – 380 calories, 180 calories from fat, 20 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat*, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 380 milligrams of sodium, 0 milligrams of potassium, 46 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 24 grams of sugars, and 4 grams of protein.)

*Made with partially hydrogenated oil.

Item: Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Pie Donut
Purchased Price: $1.00
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Dunkin’ Donuts
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Aesthetically pleasing. Authentic pumpkin flavor in the “buttercreme.” Only a dollar. Not having to attempt to fry a frozen pumpkin pie and burn my home down.
Cons: Cloying white icing that tastes like some chemical I can’t pronounce. Dense and tasteless shell. Graham cracker crumbles lack cinnamon flavor. Poor interior coverage of buttercreme filling. Attempting to apply mathematical concepts to donut fillings.

31 thoughts to “REVIEW: Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Pie Donut”

  1. As a pumpkin lover, I was excited when I saw this review. After reading it I’ve lost a lot of my enthusiasm… though I bet I will try one anyway… if my neighborhood DD has them. They didn’t bother making the regular pumpkin spice donuts last season and I had to resort to (horrors!) going uptown to get my fix!

    As always, Adam… Great review!

    1. Thanks. The pumpkin cake donut is much better. Actually, I’ve had quite a few good pumpkin donuts from larger grocery stores that have their own bakery. If you’re looking for underrated pumpkin items I suggest Einstein Bros/Noah. They have a wonderful pumpkin cream cheese that would be a really good filling.

  2. Holy mother of all things pumpkin … I had NO idea!! Ok there’s a DD on the corner, but with the exception of that horrible icing hard top I’m looking forward to this! mmmm pumpkin pie donuts!

  3. I had quite a different experience. I encountered this big guy when I had my car in for repairs and I needed to hang out in the “lounge”. The top is the same as a totally different flavor they had in the summer, so I grabbed it. I hate pumpkin pie, so I was sad when I learned that’s what it was, but I was hungry, so I pressed on. My donut had roughly 3 lbs of filling. At one point I was questioning physics. I didn’t understand how so much was crammed in such a small space. It tasted pleasant. Vaguely autumnal spiced. But with that much filling, it got pretty cloying towards the end. It left a slick feel in my mouth. If you’re a fan of pumpkin pie, it’s worth the dollar. If you’re not a fan, and you get it for free, you won’t curse the gods over it.

  4. I bought one of these donuts when my local DD was out of the regular pumpkin cake donuts, and I needed to faux pumpkin fix. I had no idea they were carrying these until that point.

    To me, the filling tasted like the little plug of white frosting which covers the hole in their Bavarian Creme donuts, colored with orange food coloring and filled with pumpkin pie spices…. in short, tasty and sugary if seemingly lacking real pumpkin. It melted in my mouth like that frosting – not like Cool Whip. It definitely didn’t have pumpkin pie texture. The donut itself was the same as what they use in Boston Creme and other raised/filled donuts.

    Overall, it was fine and if they were to carry it year-round, I might buy it again. But, since I generally eat just one donut at a time, and this is the season of pumpkin, my first choice would be their basic pumpkin cake donut (which, by the way, seems much bigger this year than last year.) I also think they could improve on this donut if they just got rid of the outside glaze.

  5. They really needed to run this by a test group. Like desperately…I couldn’t get over what the filling looked like – I won’t say what, I’ll let people decide on their own. It isn’t hard; it can only look like one thing. And it isn’t “Pumpkin flavored buttercreme” lol…it really didn’t taste like anything…what they should’ve used is the pumpkin donut dough, and filled it with a whipped cream flavored buttercream…they could’ve done a LOT better.

  6. I’m going to have to completely disagree with this review. I’m not a pumpkin lover, however, this was probably the best tasting donut I’ve tasted from D&D. It was fresh and warm, the buttercream filling inside was delish, and the icing with graham cracker crumbs on top brought it together. Since, I’ve had it five days ago, it’s been hard for me to refrain from buying another one. A pumpkin lover’s delight!!!

  7. I am not a pumpkin fan at all, but I was hungry and my work was giving free donuts out so I grabbed the biggest and best looking one. After a bite I realized it was pumpkin, and thought that it wasn’t so bad. As I ate more, the spices were getting way too strong and I couldn’t finish the last two bites. There was tons of cream filling, which may have been the reason I couldn’t finish it. Also it has been about 5 hours and I can still taste the dang pumpkin in my mouth when I belch or yawn. If your not a fan of pumpkin, I wouldn’t try it because of the after taste. If you love pumpkin, then this is or you.

  8. My husband bought this doughnut tonight OMG taste like chemical we spits it out and throw it away. Yak!!! I just hope we don’t get sick.

    1. so glad it was not just my donut that tasted like chemical, actually it tasted like kerosene or some fuel. So disappointed I cheated on my gluten free diet for nothing but that’s what I get for cheating I guess LOL

      1. Maybe there is something off about some of the pumpkin “buttercreme”? I bit into my pumpkin pie donut to find the whole car suddenly smelling like . . . spray paint? The first taste of donut tasted like that too, but I took another taste and another just to be sure . . . overall the donut tasted ok, not great, but not terrible. But every time I burped later in the day, that spray paint/fuel/chemical taste came back. Yuck!

        I hope I don’t get sick.

    2. YES – I just googled pumpkin pie Dunkin Donuts for this exact reason! It tasted like some kind of chemical. I had my husband taste it to see if it was just me and he said it tasted like airplane glue. I’m waiting to see if I get high.

  9. Love every thing pumpkin…except these chemical crap donuts! Really strange and unpleasant. I took a bite and handed it to my gf and we both said paint thinner. Later that day a friend brought us two (not knowing we had tried them that morning) and we tasted those to make sure we didn’t just snag a bad one and the same thing… Super icky.

    1. Me and my friend thought someone fake nail fell in the mix! It was so bad i was terrified I was poisoned. I just had it tonight and it was soo bad. I really hope we’re not poisoned. Why would it taste like that!?!

  10. After being shocked at how bad this donut was I had 3 friends try it….our 4 responses to the taste of the filling were:
    burnt plastic
    model glue
    detergent or a cleaning product

    Horrible donut, I hope we didn’t just get poisoned.

  11. I would have to agree with the three latest comments.

    I just tried the doughnut with a friend and the filling definitely had a chemical/plastic taste to it. It was very unpleasant. The rest of the doughnut was fine though.

    I wouldn’t recommend this doughnut to anyone!

  12. I tried it today and “thought” it tasted a little funny. Now every time I burp it tastes like burnt plastic. I love dunkin but this one is not a good donut… which is disappointing because usually anything they offer I’m all over!

  13. I tried the donut and the reviews about the chemical tasting filling are right. I needed to make sure that other people had this experience so I could make sure I didn’t get a poisoned donut! Ugh! Would NOT recommend.

  14. So wish I had read these reviews prior to eating and bringing my staff these pumpkin pie Donuts from Dunkin. Worst donut ever! We definitely tasted a burnt plastic taste. YUCK

  15. This morning my friend and I were sharing the pumkin pie donut. Into our first bite, we both had strange looking’s but neither of us had the courage to say what we were thinking. Until my friend say this donut looks like blank blank blank. Into the garbage it end up.

  16. This morning my friend and I were sharing the pumpkin pie donut. Into our first bite , we both had strange look, but neither of us had the courage to say what we were thinking until my friend said ” this donut looks like blank blank blank blank. Into the garbage it went.

  17. It doesn’t help the filling looks like dog droppings. The pumpkin cake donut is so much aesthetically and palate pleasing.

  18. This Doughnut tastes like kerosene. It was absolutely horrible. The Sunset Park Brooklyn DD on 2nd Ave decided to push this horrible creation by not making any regular cream donuts. Im seriously nervous that this doughnut had some cleaning chemicals in the filling. . Horrible.

  19. This Doughnut tastes like kerosene. It was absolutely horrible. The Sunset Park Brooklyn DD on 2nd Ave decided to push this horrible creation by not making any regular cream donuts. Im seriously nervous that this doughnut had some cleaning chemicals in the filling. . I honestly cant imagine that anyone in taste tests actually thought that this would be a good idea for a treat.

  20. Glad I found this thread! I too thought I was going to die after eating the donut. I immediately thought it tasted like acrylic! Thank goodness everyone else has the same experience.

  21. Sorry but if you think that Dunkin’ Donuts deep fries their donuts you are insane. A deep fried food when touched or squeezed will leave oil on your hands. Dunkin’ Donuts’ donuts do no such thing… They’re yeast donuts that are baked.

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