Ode to a Pumpkin Pie

— by Caroline on Crack


Nothing says autumn like the warm spices of a pumpkin pie, and then after Thanksgiving we make way for cold, sharp pepperminty things. So for the quick week we have left, I offer up some pumpkin pie alternatives for those who just can’t get enough.

Cold Stone Creamery’s Pumpkin Pie in the Sky creation: Pumpkin ice cream with graham cracker pie crust, ribbons of caramel and fluffy whipped topping. Sounds delish, but whenever I go into Cold Stone, I ALWAYS have to get something with chocolate. So someone else try it and tell me how it is.

Pumpkin Ale from Trader Joe’s: Not for the beer connoisseur but a fun autumn ale filled with pumpkin and spicy aromas. While in Trader Joe’s one customer held it high and yelled down the aisle to her friend, “YOU GOTTA TRY THIS PUMPKIN ALE! IT’S SOME GOOD SHIT!” With an endorsement like that, how can you resist?

Spiced pumpkin pancakes at Hugo’s: The highlight of this WeHo hipster hot spot’s breakfast menu are these pancakes doused in butter and syrup.

8401 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, California 90069
(323) 654-3993
Cross Street: Orlando Avenue

Sprinkles Cupcakes pumpkin cupcake: Spiced pumpkin cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. You can’t go wrong with Sprinkles, and this would be a fun alternative dessert to follow up your turkey dinner.

9635 S Santa Monica Blvd
Beverly Hills, California 90291
(310) 274-8765
Cross Street: Bedford Drive

Starbucks’ pumpkin cream cheese muffin: Unlike their chocolate cream cheese muffin, the cream cheese here is actually creamy instead of cakelike. I love this muffin, it’s spicy and goes so well with the eggnog latte…or vanilla latte. I’d add the pumpkin spice latte to this list, too, but I asked one of the baristas what she thought of it and she said it was eh.

There are also pumpkin smoothies by Robek’s and Jamba Juice, but personally, I prefer the creamier pumpkin pie shake from Jack in the Box. But I’m bad like that.

So I wanted to end this list with a pumpkin pie martini and where to get one but unfortunately I couldn’t find a place that still makes them ever since Bols discontinued its Pumpkin Smash liqueur. (Not even Lola’s or the Abbey* has it.) Torani makes a new pumpkin spice syrup so if you want to make your own pumpkin pie martini, I suppose you can substitute the syrup for the schnapps* in the recipe below for your Thanksgiving, um…cocktail party.

Pumpkin Pie Martini
– 2 parts vanilla vodka
– 1 part pumpkin schnapps*
– Splash of cream
– Sprinkle with nutmeg

Shake all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. And strain into a martini glass. Garnish with nutmeg.

_* It’s on the Abbey’s online martini list but when I asked them to verify they did still make ’em, they acted like I was insane. “Heh. No, we don’t make PUMPKIN martinis.”_