October has a flavor, and that flavor is pumpkin. Don’t even try to fight us on this, or quibble about how what we think pumpkin tastes like is actually a myth perpetuated by food corporations. Just bring us every orange-colored, nutmeg-dusted, pumpkin-spiced dish we can gobble up. It may not always feel like fall in L.A., but, by golly, it can taste like it. With that in mind, here are 10 new pumpkin-flavored bites available around town to snag while they last.
1. Pumpkin Pie Doughnut at Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken
What two foods are trendier than doughnuts and pumpkin-spiced anything? Astro understands, so they’ve combined them into one square-shaped treat. The fluffy doughnut is stuffed with pumpkin pastry cream, then topped with a combo of vanilla buttercream frosting, pumpkin spice glaze, and a bit of sparkly orange sugar.
2. Fondant Pumpkin Cupcake at Bouchon Bakery
It’s a tiny pumpkin! Made of cake! Pumpkin flavored cake! Obviously, you need this in your life, right down to it’s adorable cinnamon-stick stalk. At $8, it’s not the cheapest cupcake on the block—but it definitely is one of the fanciest.
3. Pumpkin Pie from Huckleberry Cafe
It doesn’t get much more classic than pumpkin pie. There are plenty of spots to get a good slice around town, but we’re partial to the pumpkin pie at Huckleberry, a fantastic spin featuring all the flavors your nostalgic soul craves.
4. Kabocha Pumpkin Spice Latte at Créme Caramel L.A.
No orange chemical goo in this latte! Créme Caramel L.A. roasts kabocha squash with all the nutmeg, cinnamon, and other spices you crave to create a flavorful syrup, then adds espresso, condensed milk, and salted caramel to complete the delicious drink.
5. Pumpkin Budino at Pizzana
We are on-record fans of budino here, so obviously this new pumpkin version at Pizzana had to make the list. The dessert menu at the pizzeria shares pastry chef and co-founder Candace Nelson with another little sweets shop you may know called Sprinkles. This fall treat combines silky pumpkin budino pudding with a dollop of sweet whipped mascarpone and a brittle of candied pumpkin seeds.
6. Kabocha Squash Ravioli with Pepitas at Crossroads Kitchen
Not all pumpkin dishes have to be sweets. In this dish, toasted pumpkin seeds are used to add an extra layer of texture to a creamy—but vegan—dish of housemade ravioli stuffed with kabocha squash and harissa. The pasta is a limited-edition menu item only available this autumn.
7. Spiced Pumpkin Bon Bons at Sweet Rose Creamery
Brentwood, Mid-City, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, and Studio City
Sweet Rose Creamery has multiple seasonal offerings that all start with their spiced pumpkin ice cream, including a Halloween-themed sundae topped with little ghost marshmallows, but we’re picking the bon bons as our treat of choice. Mini scoops of ice cream, dipped in a fall jacket of Guittard dark chocolate, on sticks, because any food is better when you can eat it on a stick.
8. Minute ‘Til Midnight at Officine BRERA
Start your day with a pumpkin spice latte, end it with a pumpkin whiskey cocktail, just as the old saying goes (yep, pretty sure that’s a saying). This twist on a classic Old Fashioned adds a housemade pumpkin purée to Buffalo Trace bourbon and rich walnut bitters. Sounds like the perfect thing to sip after eating every squash-stuffed pasta on the menu.
9. Vanilla Frosted Pumpkin Spice Loaf at Erin McKenna’s Bakery
As ever, Erin McKenna comes through for all the vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, and kosher eaters, with this take on the season’s favorite flavor. The loaf is also available without the creamy vanilla frosting should you insist on a less-sugary option.
10. Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls at Cinnaholic
What could be more decadent than a pumpkin pie cinnamon roll? Maybe one that comes from a bakery that lets you add your choice of any of 20 frosting flavors (we think maple or chai sound like good matches, but you decide) and 22 ice cream parlor-style toppings from pie crust crumbs to chocolate chips. At least these seasonal sugar bombs are 100 percent vegan because at least that sounds kind of healthy.
11. The Harvest Moon at Lifehouse Tonics
The Harvest Moon gives you all your pumpkin pleasures in a way better-for-you form. Instead of gobs of sugar and “pumpkin flavor,” this adaptogenic smoothie includes a combo of tumeric, medicinal mushrooms, spices, and actual, natural pumpkin. Added bonus: It’s packed with immune-fortifying ingredients to help you avoid any seasonal sniffles.
12. Wood Roasted Pumpkin Pizza at Pitfire Pizza
Even your pizza is getting in on pumpkin season. At Pitfire, they’re baking up a pie topped with wood-oven roasted pumpkin, goat cheese, seasonal greens, and pepitas. The dish is currently available at all of the chain’s locations, but only for a limited time.
13. Warm Pumpkin Sticky Rice Dessert at E.P.
For this dessert, Chef Louis Tikaram looked to his Indian heritage and created an homage to the traditional ‘barfi’ dessert served during the Hindu festival of Diwali which fell on October 19 this year. The dish is a block of sticky rice cake, served warm, topped with young coconut sorbet, a pumpkin spice sauce, and a coconut crisp.