Full disclosure: I don’t eat a lot of Pop Tarts. I know what most of them taste like from memory, but I can’t specifically recall the last time I ate one.
An office drone, I eat my breakfast in the office. I like to stick with more grown-up breakfasts like Greek yogurt with granola. I would hate to get called into a business meeting and have to let my boss know I needed a few more minutes because my Confetti Cupcake Pop Tarts were in the toaster oven. Call me crazy, but a grown man in business attire shoving Hot Fudge Sundae Pop Tarts in his face doesn’t exactly scream “Promote me!”
To those points, I uncharacteristically avoided these Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts since their introduction in 2010. It’s funny how starting a junk food and craft beer blog changes your rules on everything.
Unwrapping these Limited Edition Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts, my first thought is that the colors are all wrong. The Pop Tarts are the standard pale white with an even whiter frosting and, for some reason, sprinkles that include purple, red, and yellow colors. The brown pumpkin color we’re all familiar with rests in the center. I think these would look more appetizing aesthetically if they used the same frosting they use on the Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts to align more with actual pumpkin pie, then adding some white accents to mimic a whipped cream topping. Some of these Pop Tarts look like they were frosted by a disgruntled Kellogg’s employee who was just mailing it in.
But looks aren’t everything (except in dating), so let’s dig in. I recall from my childhood being too lazy to toast the Pop Tarts – the recommended serving suggestion. Eaten in this manner, the Pop Tarts weren’t anything special. The pastry is dry and mostly flavorless. It could benefit from more salt. It’s not exactly a great representation of a buttery and crumbly pumpkin pie crust, but it’s the standard Pop Tart fare so I hesitate to be overly critical. Eating portions with the white frosting helps deliver some much-needed sweetness.
But we all want to know about the filling. Does it taste like pumpkin spice? It does! I checked the ingredient list and was delighted to see real pumpkin, ginger, and nutmeg. I just wish there were more filling to overpower the blasé pastry. Before reaching any conclusions, I toasted one like a real life human being.
Mmm! This vastly improved the experience. The crust suddenly had a toasty, buttery flavoring to it. When warmed, the pumpkin spices in the filling popped a lot more. I no longer felt like I was eating a child’s breakfast, so long as I closed my eyes and paid no attention to the questionably-colored sprinkled measles that lie atop the pastries.
Kellogg’s deserves much props for the pumpkin filling inside these Pop Tarts. It’s no wonder these have been a recurring Fall seasonal since their introduction. I still wish the filling-to-pastry ratio was improved, but I’m not sure we possess the advanced Pop Tart technology to do so under the current formula. Luckily, we have plenty of other pumpkin spice products to deliver more of that sweet pumpkin goodness. I will exit with my personal serving suggestion. Keep in mind I’m now a garbage human.
Made Me Consider Adding Sprinkles to My Pumpkin Pie Rating: 2.5 out of 10
Warmed My Pumpkin Heart When Warmed Rating: 8 out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 out of 10
*UPDATE*: I now eat Pop Tarts all the time.
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