After a long summer, it’s finally fall! The heady scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger mix with sweet pumpkin in the air, which just means one thing… Pumpkin spice season is upon us. And if you’re like me and have waited all year for this, you want to make the most of every fragrant moment of it.
Though a PSL is great, the ultimate expression of pumpkin spice must surely be found in the baked goods made with it. From pies and cakes to cookies, donuts, and macarons, San Antonio has an abundance of talented bakers who would love to tempt you with their sweet and spicy treats this fall.
It was a hard task, but someone had to do it: the ultimate list of the very best pumpkin spice treats in the Alamo City is here. So whether you’ve always loved pumpkin spice or are a relatively new convert, you’ll find something new, exciting, and most importantly, delicious to try. What’s more, all these treats are from small makers and much-loved local businesses, so you’ll be supporting the city’s best bakers while you enjoy your favorite fall treats.
1. Bakery Lorraine’s Macarons
Bakery Lorraine’s pumpkin spice macarons return for 2021, with their delicate, vibrant shell dusted with crushed pumpkin seeds and a lightly spiced, creamy filling. Their authentic and moreish macarons are the stuff of local legend, and the pumpkin spice version is here for a very limited time. So run, don’t walk, and pick up a box from their stores in the Medical Center, The Rim, and at the Pearl. Best enjoyed with a steaming cup of coffee.
2. Annie’s Petite Treats Cake Balls
These perfectly crafted morsels of deliciousness are a must for any fall holiday! We always order some for our Thanksgiving table and they are a huge hit every time. Kids (and adults) will love the look of these adorable pumpkin cake balls, but it’s the taste that keeps us going back for more. Break through the sweet shell to find soft, moist cake, perfectly spiced with cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. Annie’s Petite Treats—from cake balls to apple pie cookies, mini pies, and decorate-your-own sheet cakes—are the perfect addition to your fall party or family night in this season. Follow her on Instagram for flash sales and the opportunity to grab your goodies before they sell out.
3. Broadway Daily Bread’s Assorted Pumpkin Bakes
Can I go to Broadway Daily Bread and not get a sour cream pecan muffin? Maybe, but only if there are pumpkin spice options available. Luckily for me (and you!) they heard the call of the fall season, and they went all out in response. With pumpkin ricotta cookies, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin rolls, and pumpkin iced cookies on the menu, there’s something for pumpkin spice lovers young and old.
4. Bird Bakery’s Pumpkin Spice Cupcake
I’ve never met a Bird Bakery monthly special that I didn’t like, but their pumpkin spice cupcake is top tier! The cake is sweet, spicy, and moist with pumpkin but manages to be dense without being too heavy. The cream cheese frosting has just the right amount of tang to balance out the cake, while the finish is almost too beautiful to eat. Like many of Bird’s signature bakes, this cupcake offers the perfect bite. It’s only available in October, so catch this cupcake while you can.
5. The Art of Donut’s Pumpkin Pie Crumble Donut
If like me, you’re a die-hard pumpkin lover, I don’t really need to add anything more to this title in order to tempt you to try this. The Art of Donut’s small-batch, hand-crafted donuts have rightfully earned their place on the food lover’s paradise of N. St Mary’s. The pumpkin pie crumble donut is a yeasted ring, glazed in pumpkin spice, and topped with a cloud of creamy frosting and cracker crumble. Both flavor and texture together create a taste sensation: just like pumpkin pie, but in donut form! Other seasonal options are available, and if you’re looking for a fun weekend activity their “decorate your own” fall or Halloween-themed donut box will be a huge hit for a party, holiday, or rainy weekend morning.
6. Sunshine Bakery’s Pumpkin Spice Concha
This family-owned panadería has served San Antonio from its bakery on N. New Braunfels since 1977. With a menu of traditional and vegan options, they can easily cater to all tastes and dietary requirements. This fall, try the Sunshine Bakery pumpkin spice concha, a treat that is equal parts adorable and tasty! Candy corn cookies and other seasonal (and spooky) treats are also available, alongside an absolutely delicious vegan pumpkin spice horchata latte, made with coconut milk.
7. Plantyful Sweets’ Pumpkin Cheesecake Donut
Plantyful Sweets is a plant-based, gluten-free, modern bakery that serves both superfoods and super delicious treats. Owner Gaby’s fall offering is the incredibly tasty pumpkin cheesecake donut: a vegan, soy-free, cake donut made from oats, with all the yummy pumpkin spice notes you could hope for. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the season if you (or a friend!) have an allergy or intolerance. Even if you don’t, everyone will still enjoy these super delicious treats. Pair it with one of their signature Planty Spice Lattes or a Golden Matcha Latte to put a real spring in your step this fall.
8. Lick Ice Cream’s Hazel’s Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
At the time of writing this isn’t available yet, but I see absolutely no reason why Austin-based creamery Lick Ice Cream won’t be bringing it back to their fall line-up this year. It’s the perfect expression of Texas pumpkin spice—spicy, comforting, creamy, yet cool and refreshing. Just the kind of fall treat you want when the weather hasn’t quite caught up to the season yet. As well as their pumpkin pie ice cream, Lick also offers tempting ice cream pies—an unusual and unexpected thanksgiving centerpiece for your table this year.
9. Nadler’s Bakery Pumpkin Pie
A San Antonio institution, Nadler’s Bakery and Deli has been baking cakes and pastries in the Alamo City since 1963. It’s the perfect place to enjoy pumpkin spice in its original form: the humble yet magnificent pumpkin pie. Their crust is crisp and delicious, the pumpkin filling light, creamy, and pleasantly spicy. I can guarantee you’ve never had a better or more satisfying pumpkin pie than the one from Nadler’s! Adorable fall leaf cookies are also available, and they are just the perfect sweet treat to pack for a fall picnic or trip to the pumpkin patch.
10. Magnolia Pancake Haus’ Pumpkin Waffle
Celebrate the fall season at local brunch hotspot Magnolia Pancake Haus, where they are celebrating pumpkin spice season with crisp and tasty waffles. The batter is made with pumpkin and baked to perfection, before being topped with a spicy glaze, whipped cream, and caramelized pecans. I’m literally drooling as I type this description of my ideal breakfast! Caramel apple waffles and French toast are also available. Take a friend for brunch and split your plates for the best of both fall worlds!
Finally, some Honorable Mentions that aren’t from small businesses. Here are a few other things to look out for on the pumpkin spice trail in San Antonio:
- The limited pumpkin spice flavor at Nothing Bundt Cakes, available at their Bandera, Stone Oak, and Broadway bakeries.
- The limited run of pumpkin spice, apple cider, and maple-glazed donuts at your local Krispy Kreme.
- One of the very best pumpkin pies ever, with a thick graham cracker crust, at J. Alexander’s restaurant at The Quarry (and probably at the relatively new sister restaurant, Redland’s Grill, near Six Flags).
- Enjoy a flight of pancakes at Snooze A.M. Eatery, including their special pumpkin pecan seasonal pancake! Brunch daily at The Quarry, Huebner Oaks, and Vineyard.
I hope you’ve found something new to tempt your tastebuds this pumpkin spice season! If your favorite pumpkin spice treat didn’t make it onto my list, please share it with us in the comments below.