Yea or Nay-Pumpkin Spice


Jessie: In New Hampshire, shivering under a wool blanket and hoping the furnace is fixed sooner rather than later!

Autumn is well and truly in the air and in the past few years that has come to mean Pumpkin Spice everything. From coffee to air freshners pumpkin spice is the belle of the season.

So, Wickeds, I wondered how each of you feel about it? Do you swoon to see the signs proclaiming it to be available at the local Dunkin Donuts or do you just find it all baffling?

Liz: Next to summer, fall is my absolute favorite season, and it’s mostly because of the pumpkin spice craze. Beginning October 1, I make it my mission to have as many pumpkin-flavored anythings as possible. Although I much prefer Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes over Dunkin Donuts any day….

Sherry: I’m not a fan and don’t rush out to buy everything from M&Ms to Oreos flavored with pumpkin spice. That said I do make an excellent pumpkin spice cake that I’ve been making for about ten years (that predates the craze, right?). It’s so easy — two ingredients a spice cake mix and a can of pumpkin. You mix the two together and bake it at 350 for 25 minutes. It’s low calorie and full of fiber. It doesn’t need frosting because it is so moist.

Jessie: I really dislike tinkering when it comes to my coffee. I like it black and very strong, with no sugar so the idea of gussying it up with dessert flavors just leaves me cold. I guess I don’t really get the whole pumpkin thing unless we happen to be talking about pumpkin squares with cream cheese frosting. Or jack-o-lanterns. But I think I will try baking Sherry’s cake! That sounds intriguing.

Barb: When I rule the world, (not that anyone has asked me to), everything will have a season. In North America, that will mean cider in September and October, pumpkin spice in November, and peppermint hot chocolate in December. No overlapping or rushing the seasons! I do treat myself to a pumpkin spice coffee (or maybe two) and a peppermint hot chocolate, but only in the appropriate month (as decreed by me). (They’ll be a lot more changes when I rule the world, btw.)

Julie: One of my favorite parts of the pumpkin spice craze is how much Liz loves it. Because, seriously, she’s a wicked healthy eater. And yet, she stands in line for her pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks, which have never seen a real pumpkin. But I digress. I love pumpkin pie, and was surprised that the craze doesn’t taste like that. I can take it or leave it. But eggnog latte season? THAT is my favorite.

Edith: Only in pies! Never in coffee! But I think I’ll try Sherry’s cake, too – except maybe I’ll make the spice cake from scratch and use canned pumpkin for the butter and eggs part.

How about you, dear readers? Fans of the pumpkin spice, or not?

71 Thoughts

  1. What I find confusing is when is there actual pumpkin involved, and when is it just the spices used in pumpkin pie (cinnamon and nutmeg, I assume). I love pumpkin pie. I love my coffee black and unflavored. I love both cinnamon and nutmeg. I would probably like pumpkin added to certain baked goods. But I don’t want everything in the world to taste like pumpkin pie.

  2. Completely unmoved by pumpkin spice. I like a decent pumpkin pie – for Thanksgiving. Messing up a perfectly delicious coffee with foo-foo pumpkin spice is just not for me. While I would not rule with quite as iron a fist as Barbara, I rather agree with her dictated proper time periods for certain flavors. So long as she agrees that starting October 1 through April 1 is the proper soft pretzel baking period.

  3. I don’t like pumpkin. There. I said it. I love fall but my flavor of choice is apple. I will put apple and cinnamon in just about everything except coffee and beer. Pumpkin does not belong in beer!

    1. I agree: pumpkin definitely does not belong in beer (and I don’t even especially care for beer).

  4. Meh. As far as I can tell, pumpkin on its own doesn’t taste like anything–the flavor is all in the spices. I’d rather put the same spices in something apple. (And carve the pumpkin!)

  5. Put me in the nay column, especially when it comes to coffee. Like a good Mainer, I like mine “reglah”–thats cream and two sugers (actually half and half and two Splendas) and no strange flavors.

  6. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake roll, occasional pumpkin cookies(real and portable) but that is about it. Agreed that the pumpkin spice is way over the cliff. Coffee-black, no spice!

  7. My husband just texted me that on the way into town this morning he saw a sign that read “Pumpkin Spice Oil Change” in front of a garage. Now that I might go for, lol.

  8. I love pumpkin spice, up until December 1, because by then I’m sick of it, LOL! And I would totally vote for Barb to rule the world. Where do I sign up to become a lady in waiting or other trusted advisor?

  9. I am a fan of the pumpkin spice cake too. Sherry’s recipe sounds so much simpler than mine. I’m going to have to try it.

    I like flavored coffee so I’d try the pumpkin spice coffee. I had some sort of spice tea in a French bakery this past weekend while celebrating our 23rd wedding anniversary and I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. (I also love Trader Joe’s seasonal pumpkin body butter.)

  10. I’m a fan. Although I do think Trader Joe’s carries the pumpkin spice thing way too far. I don’t drink coffee – blech!!! hate it! – or go near anything coffee-flavored, so I miss that confluence of coffee/pumpkin flavors.

    Sherry, love that cake idea! I learned a great, similar trick a long time ago. Mix any appropriate cake mix with a can of crushed pineapple. Only those two ingredients. You get a delicious, moist cake with reduced calories. Although I’m a frosting girl, so it’s hard to imagine eating any cake without it!

  11. Pumpkin, yes. Pumpkin spice, no.

    It’s the cardamom. I’m not a fan.

    Trader Joe’s does have a bunch of pumpkin products but most are not spiced. So the pumpkin Joe-tarts (I rename everything the real name with Joe somewhere in it) are just punpkin flavored – a little sweet, a little unusual.

    1. Are they like a jam tart? Tiny and round with a bottom crust Or are they a Poptart? Because pumpkin Poptarts might be too far even for the current craze!

      1. Pumpkin poptarts. They’ve actually had them for years – long before everything started getting pumpkin spicy. Like english muffins and butter and cream cheese … and LIP BALM. All things I’ve seen at the store this past weekend.

  12. I’m not a coffee fan, so I can leave that. But I do like pumpkin pie, so the “pumpkin spice” of baked goods appeals – Sherry’s cake sounds wonderful. I posted on Facebook about my bagels. According to the ingredients there is real pumpkin and cinnamon in there, so that’s okay (and with cream cheese, I’ll admit I like it). Some of the candles (usually more expensive) are good, like my house when I’m making pie, and some are truly awful.

    But Barb? When you rule the world can I come live there? I adore spiced cider and peppermint-cocoa!

  13. Overkill with the pumpkin! However, I make yummy and adorable pumpkin mini-muffins from scratch and pumpkin bread from a mix. That’s my contribution to pumpkin mania.

    People should leave coffee alone. It’s coffee. Why mess with perfection?

  14. I like pumpkin spice in pumpkin treats such as desserts. Not a fan of pumpkin drinks.

  15. I don’t like coffee, so that doesn’t appeal to me, but I love just about everything else Pumpkin Spice. Last year, I was buying so much pumpkin stuff from Trader Joe’s it was almost funny. Every week, I came home with something new I had to try.

  16. A Pumpkin pie and a cup of black coffee please. Though I love the spice smell I have never been sucked into the retailer’s craziness. We do the oranges studded with cloves well before Christmas too.

    1. I agree that the pie with the black coffee makes a great balance. I loe those oranges too! Do you tie ribbons round them and hang them up or rather pile them into a bowl or basket?

  17. My problem with pumpkin spice is that Iove pumpkin and Iove pumpkin pie spices, but I don’t like overly sweet. And “pumpkin spice” tends to be heavily sweetened and shy on the nuanced flavor of pumpkin. Orange food-coloring tends to substitute for delicate pumpkin.

    I’d rather scoop a quarter cup of pumpkin into my oatmeal and sprinkle on the spice than get anywhere the sticky-icky flavor of most fluorescent orange things dubbed “pumpkin spice.”

  18. I’ve been in love with pumpkin pie spice since i was a kid. That mix of spices is the flavor of happiness. I love pumpkin just as much. When the whole PSL and its ilk started happening I felt vindicated. Now, after so many seasons of the stuff, I feel a little embarrassed.

  19. I think pumpkin spice is best in pumpkin pies, or possibly a pumpkin based fruit cake, preferably smothered in whipped cream (NOT Kool Whip).

  20. does the pumpkin spice coffee have actual pumpkin in it with the spices?
    last year i tried it with just the spices… yuk! this year i’m thinking i have some spiced pumpkin mix in the freezer, i should take it out and try it…
    i love pumpkin pie and pumpkin cake.

  21. I am perfectly happy to rush the season, haha. I’ve always been a pumpkin fan, long before the PSL came along (in fact, I had to be pushed into try it, it sounded gross, haha). The moment my daughter goes back to school in September is when I give myself permission to go pumpkin crazy. Pumpkin bread, bars, pie and yes, now I do indulge with a Starbuck’s pumpkin spice latte at least once a year and pumpkin spice creamer in my coffee.

    But I don’t think everything needs to be pumpkin. I tried the Oreos last year and umm, they were gross. Truthfully, I prefer to bake my own pumpkin items because commercial mixes tend to be over spiced and overly sweet, in my opinion.

  22. all this talk about pumpkin spice….. another group i’m in, was talking about rice pudding, and i had taken the spiced pumpkin out to try in coffee, and thought, hmmmm pumpkin spiced rice pudding sounds a lot better!! it’s in the oven now

  23. Today on the news they said that pumpkin spice and maple flavors were neck and neck. It has to be real maple syrup for me.

  24. It’s time for me to make the Shaker recipe for Pumpkin Bread that I have, but that is it. I used to say, “To each his own” , but I am overwhelmed with EVERYTHING becoming ‘pumpkin spice’. There are pumpkin spice dog treats, for crying out loud. Two up from your announcement on Facebook for this post, there was a recipe for Pumpkin Spice Kettle Corn.C’mon!

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