Ever since the unfortunate and untimely discontinuation of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pie Spice Cookie Butter – the universal selection for best pumpkin product of all-time by anyone who ever let it pass their lips- I’ve often been asked what’s the best pumpkin thing you can get at Trader Joe’s. Trader Joe’s, after all, is perhaps the greatest champion of pumpkin and fall seasonal flavors.
The best product left at Trader Joe’s, however, isn’t even a Trader Joe’s product.
Let me tell you all about O&H Bakery’s Pumpkin Caramel Danish Kringle.
O&H Bakery Pumpkin Danish Kringle
According to Wikipedia, a Kringle is a Scandinavian pastry – a Nordic variety of pretzel, and also the surname of Jolly Old Saint Nick. But if you ask me? A Kringle is the glorious lovechild of a croissant, a Danish, a pumpkin pie, a pecan pie, and baklava… at least the Pumpkin Caramel Danish Kringle is.
It doesn’t look like much, all bagged up in nondescript packaging, so you have very likely walked right past it in the bakery section.
Allow me to unwrap one for you and change your life forever:
The Kringle is a large, relatively flat oval of wonderful things. They’ll run you $7.99 and serve 12, though you’ll quickly realize “12 servings” is a hilarious joke and impossible standard. An actual encounter from my 2018 Kringle run:
Me, to Cashier: I’m gonna need you to not judge me for buying 3 Kringles, ok?
Cashier: Judge? I’m jealous! I only live with one roommate so I can’t do it…
Me: … I live by myself.
They are THAT dangerous – the kind of thing that will test the willpower of even those with superior self-control.
The Kringles are sourced from O&H Bakery in Racine, Wisconsin, where they’ve been baking them since 1949. You can actually purchase these online (though they will run you SIGNIFICANTLY more money), and they come in ALL KINDS of delicious flavor combinations. Behold the Birthday Cake Kringle, and the Turtle Kringle.
Trader Joe’s only offers four of these seasonally throughout the year (if I’m not mistaken), but it’s this Pumpkin Caramel Kringle that deserves your immediate attention.
Let’s talk about its construction because it will pretty much sell itself. The dough is super flaky and slightly buttery – very light like a croissant. Inside is a ton of pumpkin filling that is unapologetically pumpkin. It’s more straight pumpkin flavor than pumpkin spice, though it’s accented perfectly with cinnamon, ginger, and allspice. It’s not incredibly sweet on its own – think pumpkin pie filling, but with a texture more like what you’d find in a cheese Danish.
On top is a caramel flavored icing that brings just the right amount of sweetness, and then it’s garnished with slightly syrupy pecans to round out the flavor. It freezes well so you can safely buy 100, and it tastes even better when warmed in the oven.
Honestly it’s one of the most well-rounded desserts I’ve ever purchased from a store.
So next time you’re at Trader Joe’s, walking around with your head down and your heart broken that Pumpkin Cookie Butter is a goner, march your sad little ass over to the bakery section and get yourself 12 little slices of Pumpkin Spice Heaven.
We will get through this together – you, me, and 2,400 calories of Kringle.
- Did you really buy three? For now.
- Is it BETTER than the cookie butter? They’re too different to compare, but maybe!
- Which other flavors do you want to try? All of them.
Place of Purchase: Trader Joe’s
Rating: 10 out of 10
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