Ah, fall. The season of changing leaves, scarves, decorative gourds… and everyone losing their minds over pumpkin spice anything. While we (begrudgingly) accept that those Starbucks lattes aren’t the most terrible thing ever, there are a number of NYC spots that deserve some pumpkin spice hullabaloo more than the ubiquitous coffee chain. Instead of just slapping some cinnamon and nutmeg into a recipe and calling it a day, these three treats are taking the spice game to the next level—and unlike your latte, may even have some actual pumpkin inside. Whether layered with eggnog, highlighted in a macaron, or given a savory spin inside a dumpling, these menu items will quell your craving for the good stuff. Well, at least until winter rolls around and you have to wait a year for another fix.
Pumpkin Trifle Pudding
Sugar Sweet Sunshine Bakery
Like SSS's legendary pumpkin cupcakes, this seasonal trifle pudding is only available in the autumn months and well worth the wait. At this Lower East Side bakery, crumbled pumpkin cake layers get tossed with whipped cream and eggnog pudding to produce a rich flavorful mess. You can keep it dainty with a meager shot, or wolf down a whole 16 ounces by yourself. We won’t tell.
Pumpkin Spice Macaron
Stop by one of the two Thomas Keller outposts in New York and make sure you nab the pumpkin spice macaron when it enters seasonal rotation. This classic French pastry, made with almond flour and filled with rich buttercream, requires precise baking for a crisp exterior and chewy center. The bakers here have a heavy hand with the pumpkin flavoring, and the hint of cloves and cinnamon make the little treat a bite-sized slice of pumpkin pie.
Sweetie Pie Dumplings
Place an order for the four sweetie pie dumplings and watch the workers prep and fold the dough in front of you as they stuff it with homemade pumpkin filling. The steamed sweet dumplings, with their mix of pumpkin pie, goji berries, raisins, honey and condensed milk, are worth the short wait.