Pumpkin Season 2017 Taste Test #5

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This past weekend I baked the remaining bread, muffin and cupcake mixes I had left, as well as tried a couple more products. Frankly, nothing this week really wowed me, but here are my comments on each one.

Pumpkin Season 2017 Taste Test #5

Exclusive Holiday Edition Foodstirs Organic Chocolate Chippy Pumpkin Bread Mix

Foodstirs Organic Chocolate Chippy Pumpkin BreadI purchased a three-month subscription to Foodstirs’ kits and have been having some fun with them. (I’ll be posting my results later.) Because I’m a customer, they sent me a coupon for a dollar off my next in-store purchase (you can find Foodstirs mixes at grocery stores and Target). Since I had the coupon, I thought I’d check out what they had … and found this pumpkin mix, as well as pumpkin pancakes. You can only get these two products at Target, and by the time I got there they were on clearance. So, you may not be able to get some for yourself until next year. Check your local Target, just in case, though.

This pumpkin bread is different than the ones I tested last week because it has chocolate chips in it. I liked the novelty of it and was impressed that they achieved a nice balance of having just enough chips to add flavor without overpowering the pumpkin bread flavor.

To my tastebuds, this bread didn’t taste much different than banana bread or peanut butter bread (perhaps a fusion of the two?). The pumpkin flavor was light and you can barely discern the spices (cinnamon, vanilla, ginger and other, according to the box).

Of course, this may be a plus since there are a lot of people who are adverse to pumpkin or pumpkin spice flavors. I think this pound cake-like bread would make a great part of a breakfast or brunch. Perhaps lightly toasted with some butter? And, if you get two packages, you could easily make a nice Bundt cake!

Foodstirs Organic Chocolate Chippy Pumpkin Bread
Foodstirs Organic Chocolate Chippy Pumpkin Bread

Rating

thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin

Limited Edition Decadent Duncan Hines Pumpkin Spice Cupcake Spice Cake & Frosting Mix

Duncan Hines Pumpkin Spice Cupcake Spice Cake & Frosting Mix

The box comes with cupcake mix, frosting mix and a bag to pipe the frosting with.

These light and fluffy cupcakes are flavored with a combination of cinnamon, allspice, coriander, ginger, and nutmeg. The texture — and flavor — is light and airy, just as a cupcake should be.

The mix comes with a frosting mix — add butter and touch of water — for an orange, faintly pumpkin-spicy frosting. It was very tasty. Not too sweet, but clearly a buttercream frosting.

In my opinion, these cupcakes strike a nice balance of just the right amount of spice, balanced with the sweet. They are good enough to serve without the frosting.

Note: The instructions suggest you fill the cupcakes with frosting. I found that when I did that, the frosting overwhelmed the cupcake. If I were to do this in future, I’d just top them with frosting.

cool cupcakes in the pan first
allow to cool thoroughly on a rack before frosting
frosted pumpkin spice cupcakes

Rating

thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin

Krusteaz Supreme Muffin Mix Pumpkin Spice

Krusteaz Supreme Muffin Mix Pumpkin SpiceThese simple, lightly spiced muffins underwhelmed me. They are really not that spicy. They are really not that pumpkin-y. In fact, they are kind of nondescript. If I didn’t know they were pumpkin spice muffins, I would think they were ordinary spice muffins.

Again, this might not be a bad thing. Krusteaz is a good brand, so the quality is good. The flavor just didn’t impress me.

Rating

thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin

R.W. Knudsen Limited Edition Sparkling Pumpkin Spice Juice

R.W. Knudsen Limited Edition Sparkling Pumpkin Spice JuiceTired of sparkling apple juice? Are you looking for a different kind of beverage to serve your guests? Then this could be a nice change of pace.

This is a non-alcoholic, sparkly beverage made from both apple and pumpkin juices. To me, it both smelled and tasted like mulled cider … only a bit different.

Compared to Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Juice, it has a more mild apple flavor. I’m guessing the pumpkin juice is having that mellowing effect, however I couldn’t identify pumpkin as a flavor. And although it was reminiscent of mulled cider, it was also somehow different.

Frankly, I’m struggling on how to describe this beverage. It was unoffensive without being particularly interesting, either.

Rating

thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin

Trader Joe’s Pumpkin O’s Cereal

Trader Joe's Pumpkin O's CerealCompared to Cheerios, this O’s cereal is larger and lighter in texture. The flavor, however, is just robust enough to get your attention without screaming, “This is spice!”

I enjoyed them with some Oat Milk. If I were a cereal eater, I’d totally buy these again, if only for some variety to my breakfast. If fact, I would choose them over Cheerios, which I felt had a bit too much spice by comparison.

Rating

thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs up pumpkin
thumbs down pumpkin

Previous Pumpkin Tastings

Forthcoming Pumpkin Tastings

  • Pumpkin pancake mixes: Foodstirs Organic Pumpkin Spice Stacks Pancake Mix, Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pancake and Waffle Mix, and Krusteaz Complete Pancake Mix Pumpkin Spice Light and Fluffy
  • Pumpkin bar mixes: Betty Crocker Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Bar Mix vs. Krusteaz Supreme Bar Mix Pumpkin Spice
  • Pumpkin cookie mixes: Betty Crocker Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Cookie Mix vs. Krusteaz Bakery Style Cookie Mix Pumpkin Spice

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About the author

Carma Spence, The Own Your Awesome Mentor, loves to be the wind beneath her clients' wings. With Carma's Cookery, she is taking her passion for empowering people and blending it with her passion for cooking, gift-giving and entertaining. She has been experimenting in the kitchen since she was four years old and loves trying out new recipe ideas.