It's officially pumpkin season, and to mark the occasion, pumpkin flavored drinks and desserts are being rolled out at fast food outlets nationwide. Dunkin' Donuts is getting in on the action with a new pumpkin pie doughnut ($1), a yeast doughnut filled with pumpkin pie flavored buttercream that's topped with white icing and graham crumbs. I nabbed one of those, plus a pumpkin cake doughnut as an insurance policy.
Despite its name, there's really nothing that screams "pumpkin pie" about the pumpkin pie doughnut. The graham crumbs taste like dry cereal, the icing is standard issue, and the greenish-brown goo inside tastes only vaguely like cinnamon (and looks pretty nauseating). According to the ingredients list, there isn't any pumpkin in the doughnut at all. In fact, the only thing it has in common with pumpkin pie is a mention of "spices" in the filling (which spices? we'll never know). Unsurprisingly, this doughnut doesn't taste the least bit like pumpkin pie. If I had any say in this doughnut's future, my order would be to terminate it.
The pumpkin cake doughnut was marginally better, but mostly because it was fresh and tasted like cinnamon. It has the appearance of pumpkin pie, but that could be more due to the presence of "caramel color" than actual pumpkin (pumpkin is listed in the ingredients, but the doughnut contains less than two percent of it by volume). It's more like a cinnamon cake doughnut with food coloring.
If you were hoping for a shortcut to the goodness of pumpkin pie, you won't find it at Dunkin'. You're a lot better off with a pumpkin latte... at Starbucks.
About the author: Erin Jackson is a food writer and photographer who is obsessed with discovering the best eats in San Diego. You can find all of her discoveries on her San Diego food blog EJeats.com. On Twitter, she's @ErinJax