Pumpkin pie spice has been around since long before Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte became the symbolic marker for the beginning of the fall season.
As early as 1933, spice companies including McCormick and Thompson & Taylor Spice Co. sold mixed bags of spices (including cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves) that were typically used by bakers to flavor pumpkin pie (pumpkin spice does not inherently contain any pumpkin). Today, pumpkin spice is in everything from Jell-O Pudding to gouda to dog treats. There’s even pumpkin spice Spam (which you can keep far away from me). However, there are still some forms that pumpkin spice has yet to take, and as the resident fall baby here at Sporked, I’d like to ask: What gives?
Most applesauce contains either other fruits or cinnamon—and if something contains cinnamon, it’s already halfway to pumpkin spice town. Considering that applesauce already plays well with other fruits and spices, and pumpkin is rather sweet, adding some pumpkin spice to applesauce could make for an artisanal treat unlike anything autumn has ever seen. Trader Joe’s, I hope you are taking notes.
Pumpkin Spice Sweet Potato Mash
Pumpkin spice sweet potato mash is a dessert mash that would surely be a graveyard smash during spooky season. I’m not too partial to sweet potatoes, but I love the roasted flavor of a good pumpkin pie. I think pumpkin spice could mute the vegetal quality that makes me a bit put off by sweet potatoes, especially if we get some toasted marshmallows involved. What I’m really wondering is why these two autumnal giants haven’t collided in the packaged mashed potato world yet. I’ve never seen the two in the same packaged food at the same time, so we could be dealing with a real Clark Kent and Superman situation here. Sorry to blow your cover, Mr. Mash.
Listen, I’m rooting against my dear, beloved Twizzlers, but Red Vines have a more pronounced spice profile and that makes them better suited to a pumpkin pie iteration. I don’t typically like my licorice to be spiced, but I can’t help but wonder what might happen if we lean into the spice factor and double down. It could be magical. And I know Red Vines are already on the fall flavor train because Candy Corn Flavor Twists exist. You’re a real one for pulling that off, Red Vines. Stay spooky.
Cinnamon Toast Crunch
As I said, if you already have cinnamon in the mix, you’re practically halfway there! For this pumpkin spice-Cinnamon Toast Crunch crossover to happen, all we would need is for a few more spices to be added, namely ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Loads of other cereal brands have released a pumpkin spice version of their product, including big boys like Frosted Mini Wheats, Special K, Cheerios, and Life (you know it’s serious when Life gets involved). I know Cinnamon Toast Crunch’s parent company has been hard at work creating things like Cinnamon Toast Oatmeal and Cinnamon Toast Spread, but all I’m asking, Mr. General Mills, is if your son Cinnamon Toast Crunch can come to the pumpkin spice party this fall. We just don’t want him to be left out.
A pumpkin is a fruit, albeit in the weird vegetable-y way that a cucumber is a fruit, but it’s a fruit nonetheless. From fruit, we can create fruit leather, and fruit leather is really just a less processed Fruit Roll-Up. Now, a Fruit Roll-Up falls into fruit snack territory if you ask me, and I have yet to see a single pumpkin spice fruit snack pop up on my fall radar (my falldar, if you will). And if companies can make fruit snacks based on tea flavors, I’m convinced that there’s nothing fruit snacks cannot accomplish! I will continue to cheer fruit snacks on, soccer mom style, until they are brave enough to make their pumpkin spice debut. Just remember, I love you no matter what, Welch’s.