Just admit it. You've probably wanted to try all the pumpkin spice treats in sight but you don't want to be branded as a basic PSL-loving student. Honestly, we don't blame you. With the pretty fall leaves crunching under your rain boots, it's hard not to get into the spirit. Especially with exams on the way, you deserve some PLC (pumpkin, love and care).

Pumpkin spice treats are found in every supermarket and coffee shop these days, but choosing the bad from the good takes time and dedication (and a big chunk of your daily sugar intake). That's why I decided to do the hard work for you. I'm going to give you the lowdown on similar pumpkin spice treats in a supermarket vs. coffee shop battle. 

The treats were judged on three things: aesthetics (1 = Pinterest fail, 5 = Insta-worthy), basic level (7 = neutral, 14 = alkaline and PSL-approved) and taste (1 = bleh, 5 = YAS).

Supermarket Brand vs. Tim Horton's Pumpkin Spice Muffin

chocolate, cupcake
Jamie Graham


Aesthetics: 3/5 (look at that luscious frosting)

Basic level: 10 (pumpkin/carrot cake hybrid)

Taste: 3/5 (good but only for one bite—the frosting gave me trust issues)

Coffee Shop

Aesthetics: 3/5 (got that homemade look going on)

Basic level: 8 (a bran muffin with a hint of nutmeg and the ghost of pumpkin spices past)

Taste: 2/5 (meh)

Supermarket Brand Pumpkin Spice Cookie vs. Tim Horton's Pumpkin Spice Doughnut

chocolate, pumpkin
Jamie Graham


Aesthetics: 2/5 (just an unassuming cookie with big hopes and dreams)

Basic Level: 13 (clearly it's the inside that counts)

Taste: 4/5 (every spice that you associate with fall is brought together to have a party in your mouth)

Coffee Shop

Aesthetics: 3 (classic, vintage, retro, and old school)

Basic Level: 11 (has the pumpkin spice flavor down to a P)

Taste:  2/5 (the pumpkin spice tastes like it was made in a first-year chemistry class)

Supermarket Brand vs. Starbucks Pumpkin Art Cookie

cake, pumpkin
Jamie Graham


Aesthetic: 0/5 (i'm bitter because it broke)

Basic Level: 8 (if there wasn't a pumpkin on it, we would only see a sad little sugar cookie)

Taste: 1/5 (tastes like something a mom would buy their 3-year-old once Halloween is over because it was on sale)

Coffee Shop

Aesthetic: 4/5 (I like that it doesn't try so hard to look fall-esque)

Basic Level: 13 (bonus points for coming from Starbucks)

Taste: 5/5 (cookie tastes like the crust of a Portuguese custard tart and the frosting is thick white chocolate; highly recommend)

Supermarket Brand Pumpkin Spice Cupcake vs. Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Scone

chocolate, cupcake, cream, buttercream, caramel, butter
Jamie Graham


Aesthetic: 5/5 (all cupcakes are cute AF but this one looks almost gourmet)

Basic Level: 10 (would be a nice accent in a fall picture, but it's missing that pumpkin spice goodness)

Taste: 5/5 (quality cream cheese icing is a gift from the dessert heavens)

Coffee Shop

Aesthetic: 4/5 (it was probably so satisfying to frost)

Basic Level: 12 (it has that yellow leaf-colored frosting to boost its rating, and it's from Starbucks)

Taste: 4/5 (the scone itself was perfectly spiced and almost cake-like, and who doesn't like cake?)

The Verdict

pumpkin, chocolate
Jamie Graham

At the end of the day, coffee shops have better pumpkin spice treats than the grocery store. Why? Generally, they're less revolting, more Insta-worthy and entice you to get a good ol' cup of joe to go with them.

Hopefully, this review will help with the most basic decision a pumpkin spice lover can make.