Every New Pumpkin Spice Item At Starbucks, Ranked

The newest items on Starbucks' fall 2023 menu are shaking up the rankings.

Starbucks is the creator of the pumpkin spice craze, but when you're the originator of a phenomenon like that, it can be hard to top your own creation. The coffee chain brought back some tried and true pumpkin spice favorites this year, but was selective when it came to new additions.

The newest pumpkin-spice-flavored menu items at Starbucks do hold their own in the rankings, even going so far as to shake things up a bit. On its regular nationwide menu, Starbucks chose to add only one new pumpkin spice drink: the Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte. Interestingly, the bakery lineup of pumpkin-flavored options remains the same at Starbucks locations.

However, as a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the original Pumpkin Spice Latte, there are a few new drinks and bakery items exclusive to Starbucks Reserve Roastery locations. Those items include the Pumpkin Spice Whiskey Barrel-Aged Iced Latte, Pumpkin Spice Espresso Martini, Pumpkin Spice Cake, and Pumpkin Maritozzo. Take a look at how these new pumpkin spice offerings at Starbucks stack up in 2023.

5. Pumpkin Spice Espresso Martini

Cost: $18 for 7.5 ounces 

Before getting into why the only booze-filled option is the lowest in the rankings, it should first be noted that this author is not a big fan of the recently re-popularized espresso martini. Nothing against the coffee-forward cocktail; it just isn't my go-to drink order at a bar.

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That being said, the Pumpkin Spice Espresso Martini from the Starbucks Roastery balances the flavors of pumpkin, cinnamon, and espresso well enough to make the drink fairly enjoyable. The martini has a heavy layer of pumpkin-spice-dusted whipped cream on top, which, although tasty, takes up almost half the glass. Other, more enthusiastic espresso martini fans might feel cheated by the creamy layer overpowering the drink.

Toppings aside, the cocktail itself is not too strong, and its presentation is as perfectly seasonal and Instagram-worthy as one would expect from Starbucks. Espresso martini lovers might have stronger criticisms than I do, but pumpkin spice lovers will enjoy the little buzz they get from their favorite flavor being spiked.

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4. Pumpkin Spice Whiskey Barrel-Aged Iced Latte

Cost: $12.50 for 12 ounces

Being that the Pumpkin Spice Whiskey Barrel-Aged Iced Latte is only offered at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery locations, presentation plays a key role in making this drink as special as it can be. The beverage contains no alcohol, which means it must do its pumpkin spice predecessors justice while also living up to its name without being spiked.

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The drink is straight-up satisfactory. It tasted exactly like what you would expect an iced pumpkin spice latte to taste like, but nothing more unique than that. Per the brand, the drink contains espresso combined with whiskey barrel-aged coffee, pumpkin spice sauce, and milk poured over ice with Starbucks Reserve Whiskey Barrel-Aged whipped cream and pumpkin-pie spices sprinkled on top.

The Whiskey Barrel-Aged whipped cream was the standout ingredient. I could not get enough of it, so much so that I found myself using the straw to try to scoop it out to eat on its own. Aside from the whipped cream, the drink required a good stir to get all the flavors melding together. Once I did that, it tasted just fine, but I could not pinpoint any sort of whiskey barrel-aged quality. This made the drink not-so-special in the end, at least not special enough for its $13 price tag.

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3. Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte

Cost: $5.75 (Grande)

The best new pumpkin-flavored drink from Starbucks is also, thankfully, the most widely available. The Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte, sold at Starbucks nationwide (not just at the Reserve Roastery), contains a blend of spiced chai notes with pumpkin cream cold foam and a dusting of pumpkin spice. This beverage is creamy and sweet, tasting more of chai than pumpkin. It was so enjoyable that I finished it in minutes.

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I would absolutely order this drink again, but its pumpkin content is not what draws me to it. In fact, the main reason this beverage doesn't earn the top spot in these rankings is simply that its actual pumpkin flavor is barely detectable compared to the other offerings. True pumpkin spice fanatics might be left wanting more, but the average Starbucks enthusiast will be more than satisfied with this creamy, flavorful beverage.

2. Pumpkin Spice Cake

Cost: $11.50

Princi Bakery is a New York City–based brand licensed by Starbucks and sold within Starbucks Reserve Roastery locations. The price point on these baked goods is much higher than the bakery items you'll encounter at any normal Starbucks outlet, but the experience of eating them is altogether different, too.

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The Pumpkin Spice cake is topped with caramel sauce, toasted pumpkin seeds, and a Princi chocolate square. This moist and absolutely perfectly sized little cake hit every note it was meant to, precisely embodying the fall vibes of a Pumpkin Spice Latte. Every bite is sticky and full of pumpkin flavor without being overwhelming. The pepitas and caramel sauce, meanwhile, help vary the texture so that the cake isn't just one big mushy experience.

I can't emphasize enough what a perfect pumpkin spice menu item this cake is and how well it would pair with other seasonal drinks. It's definitely pricey at $11.50, but good enough to be worth it, at least once during the fall season.

1. Pumpkin Maritozzo

Cost: $9.50

Never having heard of maritozzi in my life, my expectations for the Starbucks pumpkin version were nonexistent. A maritozzo is a traditional Roman pastry consisting of a roll split open and filled with whipped cream. Per Starbucks, the new Princi item features a brioche bun filled with pumpkin mascarpone and topped with a dusting of powdered sugar.

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The massive amount of mascarpone filling is daunting to behold. Staring down the pastry, my initial questions were: How is a person meant to eat this? Won't the cream just come gushing out the sides as soon as I take a bite? To reduce the mess, I sliced it in half—this was easier than I thought it would be, making it an ideal item to share. The mascarpone tastes exactly like pumpkin pie filling, though the texture is a bit lighter and airier. The brioche bun is nothing special on its own, but it serves as a fine vehicle for the standout filling.

The Maritozzo's price point is pretty high, but if we're ranking on pumpkin flavor, which we are, the dominance of this bakery item just can't be denied. The biggest flaw is that it isn't available at Starbucks nationwide. But it's packed with true pumpkin flavor, and that is why it gets the top spot.

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After a day filled with so much pumpkin spice, I might just be done with the flavor before autumn even truly arrives. Good thing Starbucks has some fun apple-flavored stuff this season, too.

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