Kimberly Holland

Fall has arrived at your favorite neighborhood grocery store—and it’s delicious.

Kimberly Holland
September 14, 2018

If the presence of petite pumpkins, decorative gourds, and a scent of spice as you walk in the door doesn’t give it away, Trader Joe’s has fully embraced the coming fall season. Indeed, alongside some late summer watermelons and peaches, you’ll now find pumpkin Kringles, pumpkin spice cereal, and maple leaf cookies. We gathered everything our local store had and gave them a try. Here, our favorites:

Maple Leaf Cookies

  • 5/5 stars
  • $3.49

For a company with a laid-back surfer vibe, Trader Joe’s nails the New England fall essence in these maple cookies. The leaf-shaped cookies are tender and buttery, and the cream filling has the just-right hint of maple sweetness. They’re quite sugary, thanks to the creamy filling, so one is plenty to satisfy for a snack or after-dinner treat. (But don’t mind us if we reach for two.)

Candy Corn Popcorn

  • 5/5 stars
  • $3.99

Great pumpkin! If you get nothing else, snag a bag of this Trader Joe’s Candy Corn Popcorn (or maybe three). It’s totally a guilty pleasure: crunchy popcorn kernels coated in a crispy sweet coating that mysteriously boasts all the flavors of candy corn. Mixed into a snack mix with peanuts (and maybe actual candy corn pieces), this will be a real winner at Halloween parties.

Kimberly Holland

Pumpkin O’s

  • 4/5 stars
  • $2.49

A hint of pumpkin pie warmth greets your tongue at the first bite of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin O’s. Sweeter than most O-shaped cereals, this breakfast confection is definitely a treat. For the healthy eater, the first ingredient is whole-grain brown rice, and for the pumpkin spice obsessed, there’s a lot to love here. Spoon up a bowl all season long.

Kimberly Holland

Petite Pumpkin Spice Cookies

  • 4/5 stars
  • $2.99

If you love a yogurt-coated animal cracker (and who doesn’t?), these delicately spiced shortbread cookies are for you. Their small shape is perfect for small hands, but those of us with larger hands will be thankful for the ability to grab a few more. They’re crispy-crunchy with a melty coating. And more importantly, they’re just plain fun.

Kimberly Holland

Chocolate Mousse Pumpkins

  • 4/5 stars
  • $2.99

Mini pieces of moist chocolate cake are topped with a layer of silky mousse and wrapped in colorful orange chocolate. It’s quite cute and festive, and these will look beautiful on a coffee table for a happy hour or autumnal dinner party. Get them while they’re fresh; it’s easy to see how these could quickly dry out and be less appealing. Still, they’re a fun little treat that’s plenty sweet.

Kimberly Holland

Pumpkin Biscotti

  • 3/5 stars
  • $3.99

While biscotti are meant to be little cookie-like accoutrement to your morning coffee, these pumpkin biscotti are a bit too sugary for our tastes. The pumpkin and spice are perfectly pitched, which actually makes these cookies great on their own or with milk later in the day. With your breakfast coffee, however, it may be a bit too much to handle. Still, the biscotti are tender with a just-right crumb and texture. The appearance isn’t much to brag about, but the flavor (on its own) will be a winner for some.

Kimberly Holland

Pumpkin Danish Kringle

  • 3/5 stars
  • $7.99

This large kringle, a flaky Danish-like soft pretzel, is stuffed with a brown sugar caramel that turns glossy and smooth in the oven. It’s topped with sticky sweet white icing and crunchy bits of pecan. It’s best served warm, and for less than $10, you can feed your breakfast or brunch crowd a treat with minimal effort.

Pumpkin Waffles

  • 3/5 stars
  • $1.99

Trader Joe’s waffles are a great option for grab-and-go breakfast. For the fall, they offer a pumpkin variety, but don’t grab it if you want major pumpkin spice flavor. The gourd flavor is very underwhelming, though the waffle as a whole is still quite good—toasty, nutty, with a hint of pumpkin sweetness.

Kimberly Holland

Pumpkin Spice Coffee

  • 3/5 stars
  • $4.99

If you don’t offer pumpkin spice coffee in the fall, are you even a real grocery store? Trader Joe’s obligatory offering is gently spiced with cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. It’s very fragrant and quickly fills a room (who needs a candle?), but if you like your coffee more “clean,” this option will be a bit muddled for your tastes.

Kimberly Holland

Pumpkin Pancake & Waffle Mix

  • 3/5 stars
  • $4.99

The pre-made pancake and waffle mix is a great go-to for fall weekends. It mixes up beautifully and cooks well, but the flavor might be a bit underwhelming for some. Forego the maple syrup for a schmear of pumpkin butter to achieve peak autumnal flavor craze.

Kimberly Holland

Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps

  • 2/5 stars
  • $1.99

Trader Joe’s Fig Crisps are among the best cracker-like options for your fancy cheese boards, but perhaps you shouldn’t be tempted to reach for these seasonal alternatives. The dominant flavor here is rosemary, followed far behind by a bit of cranberry tartness.

Kimberly Holland

Pumpkin Tortilla Chips

  • 2/5 stars
  • $1.99

The idea is admirable; the execution is quite off. These pumpkin-infused corn flour tortilla chips are a bit soggy (maybe from the pumpkin puree) even for something fried and crispy. The bag hints at flavors of pumpkin puree, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, and nutmeg, but the delivery is... tortilla chip with some hint, way off in the distance, of a spice candle. Two stars for being sorta crispy and basic enough to serve with a good dip.

Keep Your Eye Out

While our local store didn’t have these items, keep a watchful eye at your local Trader Joe’s for these treats. The company is still transitioning from summer to fall, so lots more may be making the way to the store shelves now.

Spiced Pumpkin Madeleine Cookies

Soft, cake-like cookies are ideal for a coffee time treat or afternoon pick-me-up. These hold great promise.

Pumpkin Joe-Joe’s

The iconic TJ’s cookies will now be available in the seasonal flavor.

Pumpkin Soup

Complementing their array of creamy, light soups will be a seasonal pumpkin offering.

Fall Zucchette Pasta

Perhaps not pumpkin flavored, but the pasta appear to be shaped like the bottom half of a pumpkin. How cute!

Pumpkin Spice Toaster Pastries

Sure! Why not?

Pecan Pumpkin Instant Oatmeal

A whole-grain morning breakfast with a hit of autumnal spice. It sounds like a dream come true on crisp fall mornings.

Greek Nonfat Pumpkin Yogurt

Give us a bit of pumpkin granola, and we’ll probably be sold.

Whole Milk Apple Caramel Yogurt

Does anything say fall more than a caramel-coated apple? In yogurt form, we might love it more.

You May Like