Here’s the local pumpkin spice roundup nobody asked for
Fall confections of the edible, drinkable & show-off-able sort
The leaves are turning orange and the temperatures are slowly dropping, which can only mean one thing: pumpkin spice. Whether you ironically or seriously enjoy the popular flavor, local spots are going beyond the latte to celebrate the changing of the seasons with pumpkin-inspired goodies. Grab these finds while fall is in full bloom — many are only offered seasonally, after all!
Bloom Bake Shop
Bloom is layering up for fall, but with cruffins and streusel instead of jackets and hats. Its pumpkin rum cake has three sections of decadent cake, smeared with maple cream cheese and candied seeds. Not afraid to get a little sticky? Opt for a “beautiful mess” layer cake in a cup.
The Soap Opera
Soy melts, bath bombs, shea butter lotions, you name it and The Soap Opera’s got it in everybody’s favorite autumn aroma. A scented sachet will pumpkin spice up any room, car, closet or other space you put it in — you can even use it in your vacuum cleaner to eliminate odors building up inside the bag.
Rosie’s Coffee Bar and Bakery
Entirely from scratch and covered with cream cheese frosting, Rosie’s seasonal pumpkin cinnamon rolls will have you adding “Call ahead to reserve my roll” to your to-do list every day. (Well, other than when they close up shop Mondays and Tuesdays.)
Willy Street Co-Op
The reliably-delicious grocer’s online and in-person stores carry goodies like Greenbush Bakery’s pumpkin spice cake donuts, RP’s fresh and frozen pumpkin tortellini and ravioli, and even treats like Mrs. Beaster’s elk sweet pumpkin ‘biskits’ for fido.
Longtable Beer Cafe
Enjoy the community burger — using grass-fed beef from nearby Highland Spring Farm — which is stacked with sage goat cheese, radish slaw and pumpkin butter atop a piece of Madison Sourdough brioche. Order a beer from Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales on the side (although the similarity is in name only … you won’t be sipping on squash).
Hubbard Avenue Diner
While there aren’t pieces of pumpkin in this dish, the mission surely is good enough for us to give them a pass. Through the month of September, Hubbard Avenue Diner is offering a slew of dishes, including the butternut squash and apple salad, with all proceeds benefiting Second Harvest Foodbank. Topped with toasted pumpkin seeds, apples, feta and squash, this salad will leave you feeling fulfilled in more ways than one.
Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream
At Madison Chocolate Shoppe, you’ll find Snap-O-Lantern with a smooth and spicy pumpkin base, heaped with ginger snap cookies in an amalgamation of ice cream goodness. Grab a scoop in a dish, cone or whatever you like at any of its six locations across town.
Little Luxuries Madison
This State Street gift shop always has a unique revolving door of products coming in and out, but these felted soaps by Janet Marie Felted Goods may take the cake. (Or should we say pie?) Your hand washing game just got elevated with these super cute sudsy balls in scents like spice, fig and honey oatmeal.
When it comes to Lane’s bakery, only two words are necessary: pumpkin kringle. (No, seriously just look at this Wisconsin delicacy.)
Sencha Tea Bar
Seasonal lattes are in abundance at Sencha, and the recently reintroduced (but always indulgent) pumpkin chai latte shake is much more filling and interesting than the typical PSL.
Madison Chocolate Company
Free of gluten — but not of a pumpkiny punch — are Madison Chocolate Company’s pumpkin bars with lemon zest cream cheese frosting and scones laden with pumpkin spice and white chocolate. Keep your eyes peeled as Turkey Day nears for mini pumpkin pies!