It is spooky season and we’ve got scary statistics for you! According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 9-in-10 children don’t eat enough vegetables and 6-in-10 children don’t eat enough fruit. Yikes. Well, perhaps during autumn (aka pumpkin spice season), we can up the consumption of fruit. That’s right — pumpkin is botanically categorized as a fruit, even though it’s typically thought of as a vegetable.
Local Spots to Get Your Pumpkin Fix with Your Little Pumpkin
To help you get your fill of pumpkin with your little pumpkin (or witch or ghost or whomever), here’s a round-up of local spots in Orlando serving up frighteningly good pumpkin treats.
Crumbl Cookies (Winter Park and Waterford Lakes)
Each week, Crumbl Cookies switches up their menu to feature four to five different specialty flavors (with their Milk Chocolate Cookie always available). Currently, the Pumpkin Roll Cookie is a rockin’ choice. It features iconic fall spices and an appetizing spiral of vanilla cream cheese frosting.
Jeremiah’s Italian Ice (Multiple locations)
Why opt for a standard slice of pumpkin pie when you can have it Gelati-style? Yes, Jeremiah’s stacks on heaps and heaps of autumn awesomeness. Picture a Pumpkin Pie Italian Ice layered with soft vanilla ice cream and butter cookie crumbles. Word has it that Jeremiah’s “Pie Series” will continue with other holiday classics too.
Light on the Sugar Bakery Café (Winter Park)
We can’t confirm that Light on the Sugar is actually a healthier place, but we can confirm that their Pumpkin Cream Puff is back for another season. This quaint little shop blends a house-made pumpkin pie with whipped pastry cream. Then, this goodie is whimsically topped with a chocolate ganache.
MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes (Winter Park)
This scrumptious burger joint is shaking up their shake menu with – you guessed it – the Pumpkin Spice Shake. MOOYAH says it blends 100% real hand-spun ice cream, pumpkin spices and graham cracker crumbs. This limited offering is available through November 6.
Nekter Juice Bar (Winter Park)
Packed with healthy ingredients like cashew milk, bananas and agave, this wholesome treat lets you indulge in seasonal flavors without the guilt. Nekter’s Pumpkin Almond Bowl features a creamy pumpkin spice base on top of house-made pumpkin mousse. It’s finished with hemp granola, diced red apples, pepitas and a dash of pumpkin spice.
Small Cakes Cupcakery & Creamery (Orlando)
As showcased on the Food Network, this hidden gem whips up gourmet cupcakes, ice cream, cookies, macarons, brownies and more. During the month of October, sink your teeth into Small Cakes’ Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcake. As the name describes, it’s a mix of pumpkin batter with chocolate chips sprinkled in, and topped with buttercream and a pumpkin candy cone. Pop into the Small Cakes shop on Universal Boulevard or order delivery through UberEats, DoorDash and GrubHub.
Southern Hill Farms (Clermont)
The Fall Festival at Southern Hill Farms (through November 13) is one of the most popular seasonal events among Orlando families. In addition to a corn maze, carnival-style rides, a pumpkin patch and sunflower u-picking, Southern Hill sells an array of artisan food items including pumpkin treats. Definitely plan to grab a mason jar of their Pumpkin Butter. Smother it on toast or pancakes to start the morning off right with your little pumpkin.
Sparkle Boxes Orlando (Ocoee)
It seems like every holiday, I try to bake a themed cake or cookies but it’s typically an epic fail. I can’t be the only one, right? Well, a fellow Orlando mama has rolled up her sleeves and pulled out her rolling pin to do the work for those of us who lack the snack knack. Check out the fall menu of Sparkle Boxes Orlando, a cottage foods home bakery, and set your pick-up to be at the bakery site, Winter Garden Village or The Grove in Windermere. Satisfy your sweet tooth with the Chocolate Covered Pumpkins, an order of three perfect pumpkin-shaped treats with buttercream. The cake flavor options are vanilla, chocolate, apple, carrot and, of course, pumpkin.
Sugar Dough Bakehouse (Audubon District – Orlando)
In the Audubon District, find another sensational sweets maker: Sugar Dough Bakehouse. This place specializes in French pastries, and it should definitely be on your foodie bucket list. Plan to arrive when doors open because the limited quantities of the newly-released Pumpkin Cheesecake Croissant Roll are flying off the shelves. It’s a buttery, flaky, house-made croissant roll filled with pumpkin cheesecake blended with pastry whipped cream, and topped with white chocolate ganache and graham cracker crumbs. Yup, we’re drooling over here too!
The Glass Knife (Winter Park)
You won’t need a knife (or fork) to feast on the Pumpkin Cake Donut made by The Glass Knife. This pumpkin-spiced cake-style treat is coated with a brown butter glaze and topped with nut streusel, toasted pumpkin seeds and an unexpected but welcomed hint of smoked salt. The Glass Knife is also featuring other limited edition donuts, including the Autumn Spice Latte.
The Salty Donut (Orlando)
So, let’s not sugar-coat it… The Salty Donut has some of the best donuts in town! However, their seasonal take isn’t a standard cake or yeast-style donut. The Pumpkin Spice French Toast is a delectable brioche filled with pumpkin spice French toast cream and finished with a maple glaze and Biscoff cookie crumbs. This is definitely one of the best pumpkin treats in the area. For a complimentary boost of java, opt for the Cinnamon Cereal Milk Latte (this coffee is for adults only; not suitable for kids).
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Gelato at Peterbrooke Chocolatier (Winter Park)
- Pumpkin Mousse Cheesecake at Sister Honey’s (SODO – Orlando)
- Pumpkin Pancakes at Peach Valley Café (Multiple locations)
- Pumpkin Pie Blizzard at Dairy Queen (Multiple locations)
- Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake at Nothing Bundt Cakes (Multiple locations)
- Pumpkin Spice Latte Custard at Abbott’s Frozen Custard at Hamlin (Horizon West)
Why Pumpkin for Your Pumpkin?
Pumpkin, according to the Mayo Clinic, is nutrient-rich due to its bright orange hue. This color comes from beta-carotene, an antioxidant and precursor to vitamin A — meaning beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is important to preserve vision, fight infections, maintain healthy skin and bones, and regulate cell growth and division. Pumpkin is also low in calories, and a good source of fiber and potassium, which helps your muscles contract, regulate fluids, maintain normal blood pressure and balance minerals in and out of body cells.