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The Pumpkin(?) Spice Doughnut at Dunkin' Donuts Fails to Live Up to Its Promise

The Pumpkin Spice Doughnut at Dunkin' Donuts leaves much to be desired.
The Pumpkin Spice Doughnut at Dunkin' Donuts leaves much to be desired.
Photo by Joanna O'Leary

Among the many things I admire about Dunkin' Donuts is its steadfast commitment to using every holiday under the sun as an excuse to issue theme/specially decorated baked goods and drinks. Not that capitalizing on certain annual fetes is unheard of in the food world (hey there, M&M's!), but Dunkin' Donuts never seems to run out of innovative ways to showcase its sensitivity to seasonal ingredients.

This fall, for example, Dunkin' Donuts, in addition to having offered confections for Halloween, is also selling lovely general autumnal celebratory (and Thanksgiving!) doughnuts in the form of pumpkin muffins, pumpkin Munchkins, pumpkin spice doughnuts and pumpkin pie doughnuts. I was particularly excited by the description of this last item: "pumpkin pie-flavored yeast shell filled with buttercreme and topped with white dipping icing and graham cracker topping."

In the candy haze of Halloween, I forgot to stop by Dunkin' to try the pumpkin pie doughnut, but received a timely reminder to do so when I cut through a parking lot recently in an attempt to circumvent some horrific South Shepherd traffic:

You don't have to run ...
You don't have to run ...
Photo by Joanna O'Leary

"Last call"? Yikes. I exited my vehicle tout de suite and ran into Dunkin' Donuts. Much to my dismay, the South Shepherd location did not, at least on this day, carry the pumpkin pie doughnut, so I reluctantly opted for the pumpkin spice.

After two bites, it became readily apparently this donut is misleadingly named. There is not a trace of pumpkin flavor. What dominates instead is an overwhelming taste of allspice. Or maybe nutmeg. I can't really tell because my taste buds were numbed from just a few mouthfuls. Thank God the OD ingredient wasn't cinnamon or else I might have had pulmonary damage.

So, Houstonians, don't fret that the pumpkin spice donut is on its way out. Good riddance; I would prefer a pedestrian frosted doughnut glazed in autumnal hues any day. I would not recommend that this particular variety be a part of your pre- or post-Thanksgiving celebrations. I'll get myself a pumpkin pie doughnut soon and let you know how it tastes.


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