We Tried Dunkin' Donuts' Entire Fall Menu So You Don't Have To

Pumpkin spice hit hard and early this year. While Starbucks may be the company that started the craze back in 2003, Dunkin' Donuts went all in on the theme this year and released an extensive fall menu. Not only that, this "fall" menu dropped on August 16 this year, notably earlier than last year and earlier than many other competitors.

The fall lineup this year is unsurprisingly pumpkin spice-heavy. In the words of "Dune," "He who controls the spice controls the world." There are pumpkin lattes, pumpkin coffees, pumpkin donuts, and pumpkin muffins. There is so much pumpkin it is gourd overload. Unsurprisingly, there is a bit of a hierarchy to the quality of all these fall-flavored goodies. We tried everything on the fall menu this year so that you wouldn't have to. Now we are here to present our findings so you can start your fall mornings off right, even if it is still summer. That's what the iced drinks are for, anyway.

12. Nutty Pumpkin Iced Coffee

The Nutty Pumpkin Iced Coffee takes the pumpkin spice latte and adds one syrup, hazelnut. In theory, this is a great idea. Warm spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg should pair beautifully with hazelnut and really pump up the flavor of the drink. However, after trying this, we have to wonder, how can something have so much syrup and be so flavorless? In fact, the Nutty Pumpkin Iced Coffee was easily the blandest item on the fall menu.

Let's start from the beginning. The base of this drink is Dunkin's Original Blend Iced. The only way we can describe it was weak. Maybe it was watered down with ice and cream, but the coffee flavor was flat and lifeless. Next, there is a "touch" of hazelnut, which is a good way to describe it because it was so light you would not know it was there. Finally, you have the pumpkin-flavored swirl syrup, which, by the way, has no pumpkin in it. Nor does it have spices. What it does have is brown sugar and "natural and artificial flavors." The one good thing we can say about this drink is it is not overly sweet, but that is because there is no flavor that actually sticks out.

11. Pumpkin Spice Iced Signature Latte

The Pumpkin Spice Latte is the pinnacle of the fall seasonal menu, yet the iced version is a mere shadow of its hot relative. Part of the problem is its espresso base. While it isn't utterly flavorless like the Nutty Pumpkin Iced Coffee, it provides a somewhat burned flavor. We have to wonder if the beans were over-extracted or if this is a result of being mixed with the pumpkin-flavored swirl syrup. Once again, though, as an iced drink, you really lose the would-be flavors from the pumpkin swirl syrup. It just comes off as mildly sweet. The brown sugar is there, but it doesn't add much to the latte itself.

The one saving grace of this drink is the whipped cream. The whole drink is topped with whipped cream with a caramel drizzle and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Finally, we get some kind of spice in this pumpkin spice season. It is too bad it is just as a topping and not in the drink.

10. Pumpkin Frozen Coffee

Okay, this one is definitely a milkshake. Before we get to the rest of it we have to address just how sweet this drink is. The first three ingredients are water, milk, and liquid cane sugar. We haven't even gotten to the coffee yet. Even once we do, there isn't standard coffee in it, but a coffee swirl syrup instead. Yes, the drink has coffee in it, but it is not the same as having cold brew or espresso in the drink itself. The coffee is definitely more of an aftertaste here than the star of the show.

In addition to this, we have pumpkin swirl syrup, which again is really just brown sugar-flavored. The caramel swirl syrup is drizzled around the cup and on top of the whipped cream. It works well as an extra nod to fall flavors, but between all these syrups and the cream, this is more of a milkshake than a frozen coffee. Don't get us wrong, if you want a milkshake-like drink, it is tasty, but considering the name implies both "pumpkin" and "coffee," neither of which are really present, we really can't give it a higher rating.

9. Pumpkin Iced Chai

You may have noticed at this point that the iced drinks are not doing too well here. Part of this is likely because being cold and cut with ice means the already weak coffee flavors of Dunkin's are weakened even further. But even the likes of the iced pumpkin chai cannot hold up to the hot version. That being said, the Iced Pumpkin Chai Latte was not bad, and it certainly had a fall flavor. Part of this is because chai naturally lends itself to the pumpkin spice season. Dunkin's chai has cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg, which helps to make up for the fact that the pumpkin swirl syrup doesn't actually have pumpkin or spices in it.

The Pumpkin Iced Chai is a simple drink that gives you a quick bit of fall, but honestly, it continues to fall into the Dunkin' trap of lacking flavor. The chai itself is surprisingly not spice-forward and comes off a smidge floral. Quite frankly, it can't hold a candle to Starbucks Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte.

8. Nutty Pumpkin Coffee

Being hot really helps the Nutty Pumpkin. We can finally taste some of the flavor coming through, including the hazelnut. The hazelnut syrup flavor is not sweetened. It is simply flavoring and some color from fruit juice. We appreciate this because it means the drink does not become cloying when paired with the pumpkin swirl syrup.

The nutty pumpkin does still have cream in it, which provides a softer flavor, though notably, this is not a latte. It is a coffee with added syrup and cream. While being warm does definitely help bring the flavors out and blend them together, the result is still a little boring. With no real pumpkin or additional spices to boost it, what we have here is a brown sugar hazelnut coffee. It is not an unpleasant drink, but it also does not make us want to go apple picking or throw on cozy sweaters.

7. Pumpkin Coffee

The Pumpkin Coffee is the simplest of the drinks on the fall menu. It is simply a hot original coffee with pumpkin swirl syrup in it. Is it a little boring? Yes. But it actually had more flavor than most of the other drinks because it didn't have additional milk or cream in it. Without those additions, you get a basic, albeit weak, cup of coffee that is a little sweet and has a slightly rounded flavor from the pumpkin swirl syrup.

This drink is warm, inoffensive, and does give off a fall feeling with the brown sugar flavors. It is objectively not as spice-forward as some competitors' versions of the drink, but if you are looking for a simple coffee beverage, it does the trick. We suspect this drink will do even better as the weather changes and fall actually hits. Then a warm, comforting drink like this will really find its place.

6. Pumpkin Chai Latte

Once again, we see the hot version of the drink really standing up better than its iced counterpart. The Pumpkin Chai Latte is still surprisingly floral, but the chai spices come out substantially more. Finally, we have a drink on the fall menu that actually gives us a taste of fall spices. The chai latte, in general, is a regular member of the menu. What sets this one apart is the addition of the pumpkin swirl syrup.

We are still on the fence about how much the pumpkin swirl syrup actually adds to any of these drinks, but we will say for the pumpkin chai latte, the molasses flavor from the brown sugar does help round out the spice flavors and really brings this drink into the fall. The steamed milk gives this latte a creamy feel without it becoming a full-on milkshake like the Pumpkin Frozen Coffee. We also appreciate that instead of just pouring some cream into it, the company actually uses a steamed milk base. It adds a level of sophistication and nuance to the drink that many of the other drinks just do not have.

5. Pumpkin Iced Coffee

This is it. The lone iced drink that is better than its hot counterpart. Not only that, the pumpkin iced coffee is better than most of the other drinks on the menu in general. This drink is simple and effective. It is Dunkin' iced coffee with two pumps of pumpkin swirl syrup. It is because of its simplicity that this drink is so effective.

Without the addition of milk or cream, the coffee really stands out. Iced coffee is a wonderful thing, but when bogged down with cream and syrups like in the Pumpkin Spice Signature Latte Iced, you lose out on most of the coffee flavor. We also appreciate that this drink is not as sweet as many of the other offerings. It still offers a hint of brown sugar with the pumpkin swirl syrup but is not bogged down. Now, if you want to add extra syrup or some milk or cream to top it off, you are able to customize the drink at Dunkin', but for those who enjoy a simple iced coffee, this is an excellent option that puts you in the fall spirit without all the pretense.

4. Pumpkin Muffin

We have finally made it to the truly excellent Dunkin' treats. We know Dunkin' has tried to brand itself with coffee in recent years, but it is the donuts and baked goods where it truly excels. The pumpkin muffin we got was objectively not well made. As you can likely see, there was a large portion that was not mixed well and was slightly burned, which is why we were so surprised by how good it tasted. The pumpkin muffin has a pumpkin and spiced base, topped with streusel and, theoretically, "a drizzle of white icing." We say "theoretically" because the one we got clearly did not have any icing on it.

Despite the disappointing quality of our muffin, the pumpkin flavor was spot on. The texture was a little sandy but not in an unpleasant way. The only major downside is we still feel Dunkin' is skimping on the spice flavor, as this was definitely pumpkin-heavy. Still, it was enjoyable and had our muffin been better made, it probably would have ranked higher.

3. Pumpkin Spice Signature Latte

The final drink we are reviewing is the Pumpkin Spice Signature Latte. As much as we did not like the iced version of this drink, the hot version fixes almost every problem. The Pumpkin Spice Signature Latte starts with espresso and steamed milk, has unsweetened vanilla syrup, and, of course, pumpkin swirl syrup. The whole thing is topped with whipped cream, caramel syrup, and cinnamon sugar topping.

Now, with the iced version, the star of the show was the whipped cream. That was literally not possible with the hot version because the whipped cream and toppings melted into the drink almost instantly. Before we took the lid off, it had dissipated into the drink. We weren't even mad about it, though, because it meant the Pumpkin Spice Signature Latte actually had some spices in it and had the addition of a bit of caramel. The whole drink was far better balanced than the other fall menu drinks, and we finally got a coffee drink that gave us a bit of the promised spice.

2. Pumpkin Munchkins Donut Hole Treat

Dunkin' Munchkins are undeniably adorable, and the pumpkin ones are no different. The pumpkin Munchkins have a lot going for them. They are a cake-based donut that actually tastes like pumpkin and has a notably orange color. They are then covered in a simple glaze. We love the cake donut base, which we will talk about more in a bit. For now, though, we want to focus on the Munchkin-specific details.

Munchkins can be ordered in quantities as small as one and as large as 50, so there really are a lot of options in terms of pack sizes. The downside, though, is that you really do not want just one. One Munchkin is really just a bite of donut. If you are getting a large pack of Munchkins and throwing in some pumpkin ones for ambiance, we get it. But it is hard to justify ordering a single pumpkin Munchkin when the price for a three-count is only $0.10 different than a whole pumpkin donut.

1. Pumpkin Donut

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the pièce de résistance of the Dunkin' Fall menu is the one, the only, pumpkin donut. This is a cake donut covered in glaze, and it is delightful. The cake texture works perfectly with the pumpkin, giving it a warm and comforting taste while maintaining some structure. The glaze pairs well and adds a touch of sweetness to the whole donut.

We appreciate that Dunkin' did not go overboard with toppings or fillings with the pumpkin donut. It is simple without being basic. Additionally, because it is a cake donut rather than a yeasted donut, it saves better overnight. The next day, the donut was still nearly as good as it was the first day, which can not be said for most donuts.

Our one complaint is, once again, that Dunkin' seems terrified of spices. The pumpkin donut literally does not contain any. However, they are marketing this as a pumpkin donut, not a pumpkin spice donut, and it definitely delivers on the pumpkin. We would order this again in a heartbeat.