We Tried Chick-Fil-A's Autumn Spice Milkshake. Here's How It Went

While others are busy arguing whether pumpkin spice or apple pie is the best fall flavor, Chick-fil-A has opted to go in an equally-spiced but less controversial direction. Released on September 12th, Chick-fil-A is offering the Autumn Spice Milkshake for a limited time during the fall season. While it's got the same warm baking spices that you'll find in both pumpkin and apple pies, it doesn't have any of the fruity or squashy flavors that spark such heated debates — instead, it focuses on the spices we can all agree on.

We've tasted everything Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts have to offer when it comes to autumn beverages and treats, so we were curious what Chick-fil-A might have to contribute to the seasonal lineup. It must be something special, considering it's the first new milkshake flavor that the fast food chicken chain has released nationwide in four years, according to PR Newswire — unlike Shake Shack, Dairy Queen, and Steak n' Shake, which all also carry seasonal milkshakes, but change-up the flavors pretty regularly.

So we headed to Chick-fil-A to taste the new Autumn Spice Milkshake and see what all the fuss is about. Is it really that good, or are we just obsessed with all things fall? We've got the answers for you, along with what's in it, how much it costs, and when and where you can find it. Here's what you need to know.

What's in the milkshake?

The Autumn Spice Milkshake is neither pumpkin nor apple-flavored, but it's still got plenty of those autumnal baking spices that everyone loves so much in it. The menu description specifically lists both cinnamon and brown sugar spice cookies, which are crumbled into the milkshake. We dug up the ingredients list online for the milkshake served at our specific location, to try and get a better idea of what all the flavors are in this milkshake. Now, the ingredient list is massive and a little intimidating, but there were a few ingredients that stand out flavor-wise. In addition to the cinnamon, the shake includes brown sugar in both the shake and the cookies, sweet potato puree, sweetened condensed milk, orange peel and oil, vanilla extract, as well as both natural and artificial flavors. So there's quite a bit happening (just not pumpkin or apple). The sweet potato isn't an apparent flavor, but it could have been used for coloring or to round out the autumnal flavor.

The milkshake itself reportedly uses the same Icedream dessert base, which is Chick-fil-A's soft serve offering and is available on its own in either a cup or a cone. It's not technically ice cream, because it likely doesn't meet the very specific standards to be called ice cream. But the Icedream is made with typical soft serve ingredients, and, according to Chick-fil-A, both the Icedream dessert and milkshakes were some of the most ordered items on the menu in 2019.

What's the nutrition information?

It shouldn't come as a surprise that milkshakes aren't considered "healthy" food, but that doesn't mean you have to go without them. For anyone who loves milkshakes, a look at the nutritional information can help you figure out how best to work one of these creamy delights into your lifestyle. Beginning with allergies, the Autumn Spice Milkshake contains dairy, soy, and wheat (most likely from brown sugar spice cookies). The vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate milkshakes don't include soy and wheat, so they'd be more appropriate choices for those looking for a gluten-free option.

The milkshake comes in only one size, 16 ounces, so you won't have to worry about which size to order. It comes with whipped cream and a cherry on top, which add 60 and 5 calories respectively to the shake. Before the toppings, the Autumn Spice Milkshake has a total of 585 calories. A quick look at the nutritional breakdown shows up that it's got 16 grams of fat, 60 mg of cholesterol, 575 mg of sodium, 99 grams of carbohydrates (including 91 grams of sugar), and finally 12 grams of protein. We ordered the shake with both whipped cream and cherries and found the portion size to be very filling, to the point that it could be a stand-alone meal, or easily shared with someone else if you want to enjoy it and still save room for a chicken sandwich.

How much does it cost and where can you find it?

We ordered the Autumn Spice Milkshake from a Chick-fil-A location in Manhattan, and before taxes, it cost $5.49. But we looked at a handful of other locations online and found that price varies depending on the location. At restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina, and Columbus, Ohio, the shake costs $4.49. In Hollywood, the shake is available for $4.99, and at a location in Houston, Texas, the shake costs $4.59. It's likely that if you're placing an order for delivery, the price of the shake will be higher, and include additional delivery charges. The same shake delivered in Charleston costs $5.85 before taxes, fees, and tip.

The press release for the Autumn Spice Milkshake stated that the shake will be available nationwide, September 12th through November 12th, while supplies last. So it looks like you should be able to grab one of these shakes at nearly any location in the U.S. over the next couple of months. There may be hiccups in supply here and there, and closer to November the shakes might start to be phased off of menus to run the inventory out. But you have a little bit of time to make it to your favorite Chick-fil-A spot to give them a try. Also, you should know that if you want to order the shake with whipped cream and cherries, you'll have to do that at one of the locations since it's not included on delivery milkshakes.

What other treats does Chick-fil-A offer?

Milkshakes were added to the Chick-fil-A menu in May of 2006, according to QSR Magazine. The original four flavors that the restaurant chain released back in 2006 are all still available, including vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and cookies & cream, all blended with the Icedream soft serve. Since then, seasonal and limited edition flavors have made appearances on the Chick-fil-A treat menu. The stand-alone Icedream soft serve is available in a vanilla flavor, making it easy to blend with a nearly infinite number of other flavors.

Chick-fil-A then created other Icedream drinks, including the Frosted Lemonade, which is made with the restaurant's regular or diet lemonade, and Frosted Coffee, which is created with cold brew coffee. There have been several riffs on the Frosted Lemonade, including a Frosted Strawberry Lemonade, Frosted Sunrise (made with SimplyOrange juice), and the Frosted Key Lime.

Additionally, the restaurant offers a chocolate chunk cookie and a chocolate fudge brownie for those looking for a smaller treat to nibble on. For those who are craving a little sweetness but keeping an eye on their sugar, Chick-fil-A also offers a fruit cup and a greek yogurt parfait, which you can find on the sides menu.

Our verdict: Easy to love for anyone ready for fall

What struck us about the Autumn Spice Milkshake is how unfussy it is compared to many of the other seasonal offerings on the market. It doesn't have a complex flavor profile, and it's essentially a cookies and cream milkshake — but made with brown sugar spice cookies instead of chocolate cookies. Because of that, it's immediately likable and enjoyable. The texture of the milkshake is delightful, not too thick that you can't drink it through a straw, and not so soft that it's basically flavored milk. It also doesn't melt super quickly while you're enjoying it, which is a plus considering it took us more than 20 minutes to drink it.

The cookie bits that have been crumbled into the milkshake have a pleasing crunch and almost gingerbread-like flavor to them. They're small enough not to clog the straw, but not so tiny that they get lost in the shake. It's mostly a shake for cinnamon and vanilla lovers, although the spice flavors seem slightly more complex than that. We also appreciate that the cinnamon flavor is authentic tasting, not like eating a handful of Red Hots candies. We ordered the shake with whipped cream and cherries, although we think it would be perfectly enjoyable without them. Ultimately, we think it's easy to enjoy without having to choose which pie flavor is your favorite, and a great way to get into the fall spirit while it's still hot outside.