This time of year people love to refer to those who adore pumpkin spice as “basic,” and they aren’t using that word in lieu of “standard” or “classic” – it’s a negative thing.
But basic doesn’t always have to be bad, and truth be told, pumpkin spice isn’t really all that basic compared to a lot of other flavors. Starbucks simply bred a generation of UGG-boot clad young girls that fawned over their PSL’s and tarnished the rep of us truly spicy folk forever.
Some things are truly basic though, and I mean it in a good way. Sometimes the most basic things are the greatest, like chocolate chip cookies, white cake, vanilla bean ice cream, and a classic glazed doughnut. In a natural collision course of good versus bad basic, Krispy Kreme has cranked out a fresh spin on their money-making staple for several days only (for a second year) with the Pumpkin Spice Original Glazed Doughnut.
The doughnut smells almost identical to Krispy Kreme’s iconic Original Glazed – yeasty, greasy, and sweet. Its color is notably darker, taken from a pure light tan to deep speckled brown. The size, shape, and overall appearance, aside from the color, is a classic KK affair.
The flavor is subtly spicy with little flourishes of cinnamon poking through the soft yeasty fried profile. There aren’t any deep earthy notes of cloves or nutmeg, and no discernible squashy pumpkin flavor either. The ingredient list didn’t offer me any clues, but to my palate, this is a KK glazed doughnut that’s spiked with a decent, but not aggressive, amount of cinnamon. Texturally, this pumpkin pastry is everything I’ve come to expect and love from the Kreme family – soft and doughy with a very light and airy bite that nearly dissolves on the tongue.
Although the spice-level doesn’t thwart me into a cascading pile of crunchy leaves, what it does do very well is temper the usually hyper-sweet OG Krispy Kreme Doughnut. The presence of cinnamon helps balance out the intense sugariness of the glaze and makes it a much more well-rounded eating experience. I have no issues with the strong smack of sweet that the original version delivers but I know some people’s complaint about KK is they can be too cloying, and this may be a very short lived solution to that problem.
When washed down with coffee, as all doughnuts should be, the spicy cinnamon flavor becomes much more pronounced. Whereas the bitter coffee usually acts as a much-needed relief from most sugar-forward doughnuts, the bitterness actually causes a bit of a spicy sparkle that proves the existence of all those little brown dots and begins to channel the post-chew tingle of ginger.
Krispy Kreme’s Pumpkin Spice Original Glazed Doughnut isn’t a must-try by any means, but it isn’t a downgrade from their already stellar OG offering either. It’s a mellow and fun take on one of the best items the fast food industry offers, and if you’re in the area the next time this flavor inevitably pops up for “one day only,” it’s worth a stop, but don’t drive too far.
(Nutrition Facts – 190 calories, 100 calories from fat, 11 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 85 milligrams of sodium, 22 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.)
Purchased Price: $1.29
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Airy, crisp glazed texture. Presence of spice helps balance out the sweetness. Cinnamon all over my errythang.
Cons: Subdued spices until activated by coffee. No true pumpkin flavor. Only available on special days.