REVIEW: Wendy’s Pumpkin Spice Frosty

As someone who loves ice cream and novelty flavors but can’t eat chocolate, Wendy’s has really had my back this past year. Its classic vanilla Frosty has been on vacation and in its place we’ve been blessed with a different topical (but always still vanilla-based) flavor for each season, starting with strawberry last summer and peppermint in the winter and now leading us to the champion of fall, pumpkin spice.

New flavors like these often have one of two problems: they either taste too much like plain vanilla with just a sprinkle of the specialty flavor or go the opposite direction and overdo it with a flavor that’s too intense to enjoy. But pumpkin spice squad, rejoice — both of those pitfalls are avoided here!

I do have to start by mentioning that the color initially gave me a Halloween-level fright. I would typically associate pumpkin spice with a deep, bright orange or perhaps even a rusty brown. This light orange Frosty, on the other hand, is a hue that only reminded me of spicy mayo. Fortunately, if you can abstain from judging this book by its cover, you’ll soon notice that the flavor is just what it’s supposed to be.

Right off the bat, the aroma was pumpkin spice-y but not overpowering, which set the tone for the sophisticated subtlety that this flavor would bring. It was a wonderful blend of sweet and spiced, combining the simple creaminess of vanilla with a lively pumpkin spice flavor whose notes of cinnamon never felt syrupy or artificial. On the scale of autumnal sweets, its mild, balanced flavor reminded me more of pumpkin puree than of the sugar bombs that often occur with pumpkin spice desserts. I was afraid it’d be indulgent to the point of queasiness, but I didn’t feel that way at all.

I also need to shout out the consistency, which, in typical Frosty fashion, was soft enough to melt in your mouth but also held its form well enough to avoid dripping everywhere. This velvety, not-quite-liquid, not-quite-solid state was so intriguing to me that I dared to forego my spoon and try slurping it through a straw instead. Even as someone who loves thick shakes, I admit it was unfeasible right off the bat, but after five or so minutes, when my Frosty had softened a bit, I was able to sip it with ease and really enjoyed the experience.

Perhaps the thing that excited me most about this Frosty, though, is the seasonal potential it made me dream up. What if you dolloped some on top of a slice of pumpkin pie or whipped it into an apple cider float? Of course, it’s absolutely delicious on its own, but the flavor is so clean and well done that I imagine it’d be a perfect complement for any number of creative combos.

If you like pumpkin spice even a little, I’d strongly advise catching this flavor before it falls away like the leaves. Though if you do happen to miss it, you can always join me in making bets for the likely-inevitable spring Frosty… Peeps, anyone?

Purchased Price: $4.24
Size: Large
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 550 calories, 13 grams of fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 260 milligrams of sodium, 94 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 83 grams of sugar, and 14 grams of protein

REVIEW: Goldfish Dunkin’ Pumpkin Spice Grahams

Goldfish Dunkin Pumpkin Spice Grahams Bag

When Pepperidge Farm opened the collaboration gates with its iconic line of Goldfish crackers last year, I was excited about the possibilities. Sure, Goldfish are known for “blasting” things and “extra crunch-ing” things but colliding with other established seasonings for a limited time is fun, especially when they’re done well. Both the Frank’s RedHot and Old Bay collabs were fantastic, but as someone closely watching for future Goldfish marriage partners, I never saw this one coming. The snack that smiles back has officially gone “basic” with Dunkin’ Pumpkin Spice Grahams.

I love that the bag is shaped and colored like a bag of Dunkin’ coffee, but also thrilled that the Goldfish are pumpkin spice-flavored, not pumpkin spice latte. Rather than go the PSL route, the cracker-cookies aim to mimic the chain’s Pumpkin Spice Cake Donut, which is great for me because I don’t need any more caffeine than I’m already consuming.

Goldfish Dunkin Pumpkin Spice Grahams Pour

Immediately the aroma wafting from the bag is like a warm autumn hug with honey-kissed swirls of graham. This is my first pumpkin spice product of the season, and I’m giddy. The taste immediately hits me in all of my fall feelings — mild cinnamon and nutmeg back up a fantastic buttery sweet brown sugar molasses flavor accented by cloves. None of the spices are too aggressive, but they’re all accounted for.

The snack has a really great texture too. I would never call Cheddar Goldfish “dry” as an insult, but these are less so than your classic Cheddar variety. Like many crackers, normal Goldfish can build up to a salty paste when eaten quickly, and these carry a bit more moisture than their cheesy counterparts, crumbling with buttery ease. That gentle crumble makes them hard to stop popping into my mouth. It’s far too easy to down a 52-fish serving without thinking of closing the non-resealable bag.

Goldfish Dunkin Pumpkin Spice Grahams Swimming

The more I eat, the more the spices mellow, and the flavor fades to a mild but delicious graham that’s incredibly snackable. They’re like a more complex sibling to Cinnamon Teddy Grahams. The Goldfish don’t have the aggressive, in-your-face punch of Pumpkin Spice Cheerios, but I don’t think they need that. No matter how much they might like it, I’m not going to throw these fishies in a bowl to swim in milk, and I love how perfectly balanced the flavor is straight from the bag. When I take a break from the fish and return after eating something salty as a palate cleanser, the spice level is right back to being where it was — a mild but present mix of cloves and cinnamon with the subtlest touch of vanilla.

Goldfish Dunkin Pumpkin Spice Grahams Pumpkin

Dunkin’ Pumpkin Spice Grahams don’t really remind me of a donut, and they don’t taste distinctly like pumpkin, but they do summon the flavors of the sweater weather season wonderfully. Perhaps if Pepperidge Farm finished the fish with a glaze like the donut pictured on the bag, they would do better to channel that flavor. But I like these Goldfish more than Dunkin’s donut, so I don’t mind its absence.

Purchased Price: I paid way too much to get a two-pack shipped from Goldfish, but you can get them at Target for $2.39
Size: 6.6 oz bag
Purchased at: Online
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (52 pieces, 30g) 140 calories, 5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Dunkin’ Donuts Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Bottled Iced Coffee

Dunkin Donuts Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Bottled Iced Coffee

What is the Dunkin’ Donuts Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Bottled Iced Coffee?

A limited edition, pumpkin spice-flavored addition to Dunkin’s bottled iced coffee line that made its debut early last year. This is the second new flavor introduced this year, the first being Cookies & Cream.

How is it?

Unlike the previously mentioned Cookies & Cream flavor, which didn’t taste like what it’s supposed to, this one tastes exactly like how it’s supposed to. From the first sip, the familiar spices — ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves — coat my tongue much like brown and orange leaves cover the ground during fall.

Dunkin Donuts Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Bottled Iced Coffee 2

It tastes like I’m eating pumpkin pie with a glass of iced coffee that’s medium on the cream while I sit on my porch watching the fall breezes make those orange and brown leaves dance in my yard at a party I’ll have to clean up later with a rake. I very much enjoyed drinking it, but it’s also not that different from other pumpkin spice iced coffee drinks I’ve had.

If you stuck an incomplete jack-o-lantern on my head with the mouth cut out to act as a blindfold and had me drink various pumpkin spice iced coffees available from stores and fast food chains, I don’t think my taste buds would be able to determine which is which. It’s like finding an orange leaf on the ground with all the other fallen leaves, raking them into a pile, and then trying to find that leaf.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Apparently, I’m REALLY into fall leaf imagery right now. Maybe because we on this rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean don’t experience fall as most of the United States does.

For you caffeineheads, all 13.7 fluid ounces will get you 187 milligrams of caffeine. So make your heart rate spike with pumpkin spice.


The Dunkin’ Donuts Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Bottled Iced Coffee is a pleasant way to sip the fall flavor, but nothing stands out about it. It’s just another good option to get one’s pumpkin spice coffee fix.

Purchased Price: $2.49
Size: 13.7 fl. oz.
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle) 260 calories, 7 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 100 milligrams of sodium, 41 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 39 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Kellogg’s Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Frosted Flakes Cereal

Kellogg s Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Frosted Flakes

I am a grump during the summer, so I generally welcome any hint that fall is around the corner. I was excited to try the Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Frosted Flakes, especially since it was 90 degrees out and I. Am. So. Done. With. Summer.

I opened the box eagerly, hoping for the essence of autumn to wrap me in its crisp coziness. Whoa. The scent was artificial and strong — pumpkin spice wool sweater, pumpkin spice window cleaner, pumpkin spice plastic wrap, but definitely not anything edible.

Kellogg s Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Frosted Flakes 2

Before pouring in the milk, I tasted a few of the dry cereal pieces. Less sugary than regular Frosted Flakes, it was more like corn flakes with a dusting of nutmeg. Unfortunately, I couldn’t imagine eating these dry no matter how desperately I wanted to move on to autumn.

Kellogg s Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Frosted Flakes 4

I was nearing the point of resigning myself to more days of summer by the time I poured the milk. Lo and behold, visions of campfires, football games, and open windows slowly emerged. Faint notes of pumpkin pie were in each spoonful, though the “spice” was a hit or miss in each bite. Some bites were more nutmeg forward, while others were more cinnamon-y. It was hard to detect any pumpkin, leading me to wonder if there was any in there at all, because it was definitely more spice than pumpkin.

Kellogg s Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Frosted Flakes 5

Not wanting to give up on this fall flavor quite yet, I prepared myself another bowl. It was better than the first, tasting more and more like pumpkin pie with each bite. I was pouring even more cereal into the bowl before I knew it, perhaps distracted by the artwork on the back of the box touting “Tony’s Pumpkin Up the Jams Festival.” I used to have a pair of Jams (as did any other hip kid in the 80s) and the idea of having gourds up in them did not sound comfortable. Soon I was daydreaming of fall music festivals, the state fair, hot chocolate, and PSLs.

Aha! Now I know why I was enjoying each bowl of this cereal more than the previous one! The left-behind milk increasingly tasted more and more like the creamy Thanksgiving pie as more spice infused it as I ate. The spice in the milk was balanced and a faint pumpkin flavor peeked through. I almost enjoyed drinking the milk as much as I enjoy a pumpkin spice latte.


Kellogg s Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Frosted Flakes 3

Unfortunately, this was a lot of mediocre cereal to endure for a small amount of goodness. Next time, I’ll get my pumpkin spice fix elsewhere. If I want it on my cereal, I’ll sprinkle some on regular Frosted Flakes instead.

(Why haven’t I thought of that before???)

(Nutrition Facts – 3/4 cup – 110 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 10 grams of sugars, and 1 gram of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.69
Size: 10 oz. box
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Not overly sweet. Mild flavors were not cloying and tasted natural.
Cons: Strong plastic smell. Minimal pumpkin flavor. Needs to soak up milk before best flavors come out.

REVIEW: Pop Secret Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Popcorn

Pop Secret Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Popcorn

Pumpkin makes me pop. It isn’t just pumpkin though. I’m a bonafide cinna-slut, and all things swirling with the spice makes me feel real nice.

Building off of the success of chasing junk food trends and releasing the birthday cake flavored and damn delicious Popfetti earlier this year, Pop Secret are back at trying to win over our trendy hearts with a pumpkin spice microwaveable popcorn.

Pop Secret Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Popcorn 2

Pushing my nose up against the un-popped Pop Secret package gives off the classic microwave popcorn artificial buttery smell with just the slightest tickle of cinnamon in the background. Poppin’ the corn into the micro releases a bit more a distinct spicy aroma, once again accompanied by a more dominant and in-your-face butter presence.

Pop Secret Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Popcorn 3

The popped bag, warm and spewing steam, has a surprisingly nice a ginger smell to it that joins in on the butter party for a little extra nostril tingle. The signature artificial bright-ish yellow color is replaced by a slightly orangey tan that does good enough to channel the skin of a pumpkin.

The flavor of the popcorn is confusing. On my first bite, I get a little squashy pumpkin flavor, but that might be my mind playing tricks in the way it interprets the slightly greasy buttery essence that all good micro-pop carries. But the flavor quickly fades.

Pop Secret Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Popcorn 4

There’s no doubt this is different than regular Pop Secret, but that’s less apparent in any big spicy pumpkin notes and much more about how un-salty it is. There’s barely any saltiness, which could work if it was replaced by cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, but there isn’t really much of that either. Every couple of handfuls I get a soft smooch of cinnamon and ginger, and I like it, but it’s far from the bold flavors I’ve come to expect from microwave popcorn.

Even though there are zero grams of sugar per bag, there is an underlining sweetness to the popcorn, thanks to sucralose (Splenda). Luckily, there’s no weird artificial sweetener aftertaste, but again, there isn’t much autumn intrigue going on either. This popcorn doesn’t taste bad, it simply tastes like kettle corn minus the crucial salty factor that completes the yin and yang of that classic flavor profile.

Does this popcorn taste like popcorn? Definitely. Is it warm and comforting and slightly sweet? You betcha. Does it deliver on the big polarizing flavor that is pumpkin spice? Unfortunately not. It’s still an enjoyable sidekick to a night in with a slasher flick, but not something you need to seek out like the almighty Popfetti from earlier this year.

(Nutrition Facts – 2 Tbsp Unpopped – 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 14 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: Three 3 oz. bags
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Nice pumpkin-y color. Decent sweetness. Mellow hints of ginger and cinnamon.
Cons: Not much pumpkin spice flair. Tastes more like corn than cinnamon. Could use more salty pop.