Product Review: Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts from Kelloggs

Wait a second, you’re telling me pumpkin season is over?

It took me the better part of two years worth of wandering around various Walmarts and Targets in four different states before I finally scored a box of Kelloggs’ fall-themed Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts. And although the displays dotting those same Walmarts and Targets have moved on to Sugar Cookie and Gingerbread flavors, there was no way I wasn’t going to pick up the Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts I’ve long heard about.

I’ve talked about my love-hate relationship with Pop-Tarts before. You can read more about it here, but it all comes down to the fact that Pop-Tarts, in general, are the best looking food product you will ever see on a box. Unfortunately, they’re only mediocre once you actually eat them. Once more, they all end up tasting like a generic chocolate or fruit filling surrounded by flavorless crust.

Amazingly, the limited edition Pumpkin Pop-Tarts don’t taste like S’mores Pop-Tarts, and they don’t taste like ”Name your Berry” Pop-Tarts either. Saying they taste like pumpkin pie is obviously a huge stretch (and as someone who ate a magnificent and homemade, fresh-grated ginger containing Pumpkin Pie for Turkey Day, I should know) but they are better than the Baked McDonald’s rendition. And, despite never being blown away by a Pop-Tart before, I do think I’ve discovered my new favorite Pop-Tart.

First, what works. The filling, to be specific. It’s not traditional pie like in consistency, but it has an unprecedented and complex flavor for a toaster pastry. Unlike, say, Libby’s Pumpkin Pie filling, the Pop-Tart “goo” is more of a combination of something vaguely jelly or jam like. The spices are strong but they don’t come across as too heavy — thanks, I can only assume, from a super-sweet initial taste that even makes the blander tasting “crust” worthwhile. I also like the “frosting” on top. It bugs me that it doesn’t melt into a glaze (think of how a donut frosting melts) but it has a sweet flavor that tastes of vanilla.

No, not Madagascar-bean vanilla, but c’mon, this is a Pop-Tart after all. And before you start asking what the sprinkles are for (no, I’ve never had a Pumpkin Pie with sprinkles on it either, unless you count that time Dad burnt the turkey and the fire extinguisher went off) know that they actually caramelize in the toaster oven, giving off a poor man’s crème brûlée effect which makes me consider adding actual sprinkles to actual pumpkin pies in the future.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that we’re still talking in the context of a Pop-Tart. Among other things, this means even the most boring of supermarket glazed donuts creates a similar, if not better, tasting experience. Likewise, the 400 calories in two Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts are relatively easy to consume, leaving you feel like you just got through all of, like, a third of your breakfast. And the crust? Still pretty much worthless on its own, and given the extremely scant helping of filling, you’ll have to space out your bites strategically. And, if it takes me another two years to find a box of these, I guess that means I’ll have to space out those bites very strategically.

  • Pros: Perhaps the best-tasting Pop-Tart I’ve ever had. Sweetness is multi-layered and has great “fall spice” flavor. Filling is addicting. Sprinkle crème brûlée effect. Actually one of the healthier Pop-Tart flavors out there, with “only” 14 grams of sugar per pastry, and no trans fats.
  • Cons: Not actual pumpkin pie. Frosting doesn’t melt like a donut. Skimping on filling. Crust… ugh. Feeling like you’ve only eaten 1/3rd of your breakfast after downing 400 calories. Only comes in 16-pack. Almost impossible to actually find.

Taste: 7.75/10

Value: 7.00/10

———————————–

GrubGrade:  7.50/10  (Good)

(Overall GrubGrade is not an average)

Price: $3.50

Nutrition: Pop Tarts Pumpkin Pie

10 comments on “Product Review: Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts from Kelloggs

  1. Old Fogey Paul says:

    The Old Fogey is a cold O.G.! cough* not sure I like the idea of a pumpking pie poptart. I still wish they would bring back properly frosted grape and the orig versio of wild berry

  2. Guest says:

    Pop-Tarts are horrible creations in every way possible.

  3. JC says:

    Actually not that bad, but not that great either. Would rather have fresh made Pumpkin Pie, much healthier and tastier.

  4. Mikey F Baby says:

    $11.48 on Amazon. I may get some myself!

  5. [email protected] says:

    wow it finally came out!

    I test tasted this back in 2009 through a survey website I am a part of. THey sent me a box of those flavored Pop Tarts

    I am so going to get some

  6. Lindsay says:

    I haven’t seen these! I want. :(

  7. Pasquinel says:

    I haven’t had a pop-tart in over 15 years but had a recent craving for one out of nostalgia. I used to eat the strawberry variety back when the ’80s/early ’90s teenage mutant ninja turtles cartoon series aired and I was hoping sinking my teeth on my recent purchase would’ve evoked those memories. I don’t know if my taste buds have changed or if Kelloggs altered the ingredients but I found these new strawberry flavored ones stale. Very disappointing.

  8. kikurage says:

    I am warry about 200 Calories at a pastry.
    I will eat soon two or three tarts. Bloodcurdling Calories!

  9. Julie says:

    Does the pumpkin pie filling in these taste anything like the Little Debbie Pumpkin Delights snack cakes that come out around Halloween?

    IMO, the Pop Tart flavors that have the most “character” are the Chocolate Fudge, Frosted Cherry, and Smores. And you have to give it to them at least that they’ve got the recipe down on toaster pastries. I have yet to find a generic or name brand equivalent that is even in the same ballpark in terms of quality and taste. I know they have the nutritional value of a candy bar as a breakfast choice, but sometimes they just hit the spot!

  10. Joe Cool says:

    Looks and sounds god awful.

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