It's October 1. There's a nip in the air. The leaves are beginning to turn. White girls everywhere are prematurely piling on their cable knit sweaters.
That only means one thing: It's Pumpkin Spice season. Sure people have been indulging in the flavor for weeks now (Starbucks even debuted the PSL over Labor Day weekend), but here at E! News we have a strict cutoff: No pumpkin before October. But since the season starts earlier and earlier every year (we'll be seeing Christmas decorations in stores any day now), we had a lot of catching up to do.
And so The Great Pumpkin Spice-Off was born. We pulled together every major orange snack we could find—from cookies to cream cheese—and ate ourselves sick testing every single thing to finally declare a pumpkin winner. And declare a winner we did. But that's not to say it was easy; no, we toiled long and hard over these spicy delicacies because that's how seriously we take Fall.
We give you The Kind of Definitive Ranking of Most of the Pumpkin Spice-Flavored Snacks. Starting with the best, naturally.
1. Nestlé Tollhouse Pumpkin Spice Cookie Dough
In a word, this is simply amazing. Even the most hardened pumpkin spice hater can't resist the appeal of ooey, gooey cinnamon-y cookie dough—complete with white chocolate chips as the real kicker. And yes, if you're wondering, we didn't even bother cooking the things. If you were looking for a reviewer who has the willpower to do anything other than pop cookie dough pieces like chips, you'll have to take your business elsewhere. On a totally unrelated note, we can recommend that you not attempt to bake these in an office toaster oven. Learn from our mistakes.
2. Keebler Pumpkin Spice Fudge Stripes
We can exclusively report that one E! staffer admitted she could "eat a whole box of these." They're just that good. Although no cooked sweet will top the melt-in-your mouth glory of a piece of raw cookie dough, these fudge stripes offer an honorable alternative if you're worried about being poisoned by salmonella or whatever. They lean more on the "spice" than the "pumpkin," meaning there's a whole lot of nutmeg-ness going on—which in this day of pumpkin overload can be a very good thing.
3. Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts
A Pop-Tart is essentially a flat, frosted pie that you don't have to bake. That makes this a pumpkin-flavored flat, frosted pie that you don't have to bake. If that's not what you're looking for in a snack, we don't know what you're looking for. Of course, if you're one of those people who don't actually like Pop-Tarts, this will do nothing for you. If you're already a fan, though, this is one of the less obnoxious flavor options (s'mores, we're looking at you).
4. Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Spice Swirl Bread
We're not entirely sure if this snack is any different from the standard swirl bread (besides the label, of course), but either way we're not mad at it. Bread? Good. Pumpkin? Good. Swirl? Gooood. This is toast in all it's gluten-filled glory.
5. Philadelphia Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese
This snack comes with a disclaimer. Its fifth-place ranking is conditional on the fact that you eat it with the appropriate vessel. On its own its a bit, well, much. It's pumpkin spice-flavored cream cheese after all. It's not something you can eat with a spoon (like regular cream cheese). We chose to pair it with the aforementioned swirl bread, but we can imagine it would also pair nicely with a plain bagel. Just don't pair it with a pumpkin bagel, because we won't be held liable for the subsequent vomiting.
6. Kellogg's Pumpkin Spice Frosted Mini-Wheats
These don't taste any different than regular Mini-Wheats. Regular Mini-Wheats are gross. Ergo, we've said enough.
7. Pumpkin Spice Latte M&M's
This caused a bit of a rift among our E! counterparts. They're quite the polarizing candy; you're either into them or you're not. If you're into them, you're probably the kind of person who likes candy corn-flavored M&M's, too. If you're not into them, you're probably the kind of person who doesn't like their M&M's to taste like a not-very-good latte. Either way, have your dentist on speed-dial after popping these.
8. Nestlé Toll House Pumpkin Spice Baking Chips
Do you like your chocolate chips to taste like pure plastic? Then give these a try! They might be better when hidden inside a deep, deep layer of, say, chocolate cookie, but good for snacking they are not.
9. Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Spice Milano
Never mess with a cookie as classic as the Milano. We hope you'll learn from your mistakes, Pepperidge Farm.