Multiple Starbucks drinks

It’s time to run, not walk to Starbucks, because the full fall menu is now available. While the 2022 lineup doesn’t include any brand-new drinks, this season sees the return of the crowd-pleasing pumpkin spice latte and a reinvention of the chain’s Apple Crisp Macchiato — this time around it’s made with Starbucks oatmilk. The spooky season pastries returning to shelves are the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin, Pumpkin and Pepita Loaf, and Pumpkin Scone, joined by an adorably wide-eyed twist — the vanilla cake and buttercream Owl Cake Pop, decorated as the sage bird in delicious lavender frosting.

We can’t lie, this ranking was tough; most of Starbucks’ fall offerings are worth returning for again and again. Whether you plan to stick with the classics or are looking for a new personal fall favorite, our comprehensive ranking of the entire Starbucks fall menu — plus a few fan-made secret drinks — can help you pick the best pastry and beverage to bring along to the pumpkin patch this fall. As an added bonus, all options make for great photo opps to spice up your fall ‘Gram, too.

14. Iced Pumpkin Spiced Latte

Starbucks Iced Pumpkin Spiced Latte

We were expecting so much more on the pumpkin delivery in this one, especially after sampling the hot and blended versions of the Starbucks PSL. The espresso and other components are well-balanced enough, but we still hoped to feel as if we were sucking pumpkin pie up through a straw, which unfortunately was not the case. Autumn spices are still prevalent in the Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte though, so the target wasn’t entirely missed here. The pumpkin is more of an afterthought to a vague sweetness — this latte comes across as more syrupy than anything.

It just seems the pumpkin punch is lost somewhere in translation from the hot and blended recipes to the iced one. The drink appeared to have been prepared just fine, so something in the proportions seems off. Despite its flavor and textural shortcomings, the latte may just be lacking in centerpiece a bit. It’s still far from being an unenjoyable creation. Cinnamon dolce, white mocha, and caramel may give the iced PSL the sparkle it needs against all this tough fall competition.

13. Harry Potter Pumpkin Juice

Starbucks Pumpkin Juice

Potterheads know that students on their way to Hogwarts in the fictional Harry Potter universe often enjoyed pumpkin juice while aboard the Hogwarts Express. And since train rides through the countryside and a moody gray sky over Hogwarts fit the autumn aesthetic pretty well, no way were we going to pass up the secret Starbucks rendition of Harry Potter Pumpkin Juice in our fall haul.

This fan creation is just apple juice with pumpkin spice sauce added. As excited as we were — who doesn’t love a boy-who-lived-inspired secret Harry Potter drink at Starbucks? — the apple taste in this beverage was far too strong for it to pass as pumpkin juice. Right away, we noticed some density/solubility issues with the pumpkin sauce not quite mixing into the apple juice, so that could be the culprit behind the issue. This recipe could also just not call for enough pumpkin sauce, or maybe half of the apple juice should be replaced with water.

12. Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato

Starbucks Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato

Beautiful and warm, Starbucks’ Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato is heaven. It’s made with apple spice syrup, the brand’s own oatmilk, brown sugar flavor, and cinnamon. As dreamy as this drink is, we did prefer the iced version over this hot one. The apple flavor was slightly too subtle, which feels anticlimactic in a drink meant to celebrate apple. The strongest note of the fruit is in the aftertaste of the drink or towards the bottom where the most apple spice syrup has settled.

However, the sensation of spice — all that cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg goodness we love and expect in a fall drink — seems stronger in the steamed drink than in the iced one. We’re not sure if this has to do with how the heated milk changes the drink or how the ingredient portions change from hot to iced, but it’s clear that Starbucks-goers who prefer apple over spice should start with the iced version, and those who like a little stronger autumn heat in their brew should do the opposite.

11. Owl Cake Pop

Lavender Starbucks Owl Cake Pop

When it takes just a bite or two to satisfy your sweet tooth, the best way to do so is with a cake pop. These adorable cake munchkins have been on Starbucks shelves for over a decade (via Fact Casual) with the look and theme of the pops changing over the years. We would have loved to see a spice cake pop variation to commemorate the harvest season, but we suppose we’ll settle for an absolutely precious purple owl instead. Besides the cute new look, everything on the inside of the Starbucks Owl Cake Pop is already familiar: vanilla cake and buttercream, mixed and mashed into a dense ball and dipped in icing.

If you’ve already had a Starbucks cake pop, we won’t be telling you anything that you don’t already know: The pop itself is rich and moist, the soft frosting shell is sweet white chocolate, and the portion size is perfect for a quick afternoon pick-me-up. If we had any room for want in Starbucks’ cake pops, it’s that a thin, crunchy chocolate shell — think Dairy Queen dip cones — might provide better contrast to the glue-like, heavy mouthfeel of the cake pop than the thick, soft frosting coat. Otherwise, the only thing new here to review is the owl itself, and he gets a 1,000 out of 10 for cuteness.

10. Iced Pumpkin Chai

Starbucks Iced Pumpkin Chai

It’s hard to imagine a weekend of apple orchards or sunflower fields without a chai by your side. Similar to other Starbucks fall drinks, Pumpkin Chai can be ordered hot, over ice, or blended, and we chose iced at random to include in our lineup. Starbucks’ chai concentrate is notoriously sweet, groaned about by Starbucks fans and food bloggers far and wide. While sugar still definitely feels like the main ingredient in this one, the cinnamon, clove, and other notes in the pumpkin spice syrup do well in balancing out that sweetness overload. It’s not perfect, though, and we do think a hot Pumpkin Chai would be better in terms of drinkability.

We think the perfect cocktail here to achieve a chai-pumpkin, sweet-spice zen is about three-quarters pumpkin and one-quarter chai, give or take, based on preference. Using oatmilk or almondmilk may curb some of the thick, creamy mouthfeel of the Pumpkin Chai, and adding a shot of blonde espresso can mute the candy-like taste.

9. Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin

Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin

Besides pumpkin spice lattes, there’s no better way to enjoy the autumnal squash than as a baked good. The Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin is not a new menu item, but it keeps coming back for good reason: The dense, moderately-spiced muffin contains a smooth cream cheese core and pillowy top that is sprinkled with chopped pepitas (pumpkin seeds) for added crunch. The textural variety between the muffin, cream cheese, and pepitas is what made this pastry a favorite for us. It’s not as spiced as the loaf and far more cakey in mouthfeel; logistically, it might feel difficult to eat at points, because you have to actively avoid ending up with an entire mouthful of just the gooey filling, leaving the rest of your muffin woefully cream-cheese-less. A swirl might have solve that problem, but perhaps at the expense of the rich softness that the cream cheese core delivers.

While they’re prone to falling off as you eat, the pepitas are a great touch. The nutty texture is an element that you may not have actively missed if it were never present, but definitely realize is necessary when you picture the muffin without them. With most of its sweetness drawing from the cream cheese well and a heady pumpkin flavor, this muffin feels like a pumpkin pie for breakfast.

8. Pumpkin Patch Latte

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte with Matcha

Matcha is known for providing unexpected twists to Starbucks drinks. A strawberry matcha tea from Starbucks blew us away earlier this summer, for example. Fans of the mermaid coffee brought matcha to the fall harvest with the Pumpkin Patch Latte — a secret drink that calls for a classic Pumpkin Spice Latte with a scoop or two of matcha steamed with the milk. We’re not sure where the "pumpkin patch" moniker came from; maybe we’re meant to imagine tractor hayrides because of matcha’s hay-like sweetness, or perhaps the green color is supposed to symbolize pumpkin leaves and vines.

Initial impressions are that the matcha in the milk does make this drink’s presentation a little sickly between the green and the orange hues. However, if you’re a matcha fan and can look past the color, this is definitely a quirky twist on the classic. The earthy matcha balances out the sweet pumpkin sauce, but we were disappointed that the addition drowns out the cinnamon and clove, so this drink was enjoyed while missing the spice element. It goes without saying that this drink should only be tried by matcha lovers: Matcha is an acquired taste and while its infamous grassiness isn’t as prominent here, the tea’s flavor is still very strong.

7. Pumpkin Spice Latte

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte

The hot Pumpkin Spice Latte is a familiar, cozy classic. We also visited Dunkin’ for its recent fall rollout, and it turns out that Starbucks’ take on the drink is more lively spice-wise, having an actually discernible presence of the cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg that the brand claims to incorporate into the drink. Starbucks’ PSL is full-bodied and warming, creating the slightest heat in the back of the throat. The silky steamed milk and espresso give the spices a good depth, and we felt solidly satisfied with the amount of pumpkin the drink delivered. This latte is sweet and indulgent, so if you’re hoping for a lighter fare, ask for your favorite milk alternative — but be aware that this should only be an option for personal taste reasons, and dairy-intolerant coffee drinkers should avoid the pumpkin sauce altogether. Despite the sauce being veganized overseas years ago (via Starbucks) it remains a dairy-based flavoring here in the U.S. since it’s made with condensed skim milk .

We have one suggestion to PSL drinkers everywhere: Ask your barista to steam the pumpkin pie spices that they would be dusting over top of the whipped cream into the milk instead. Just trust us — you don’t want to be enjoying your latte and then confront a clump of spice after the whip melts. The flavor is a lot, and the texture is beyond weird.

6. Iced Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato

Starbucks Iced Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato

Think crunchy golden leaves and Sunday football as a homemade Honeycrisp pie bubbles in the oven — those are the images invoked by the Iced Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato. This vegan drink claims to layer the flavors of apple and oat, cinnamon and brown sugar, and Starbucks’ blonde espresso. The apple is subtle, just as it would be in a fresh baked fall dessert. We applaud Starbucks on its switch to the milk alternative as standard for this one (but don’t worry, you can still sub in a different milk if preferred). The oatmilk join forces with the brown sugar flavor to truly create the perfect taste of that crumbly oat streusel topping on apple crisp.

To some palates, the taste of apple could come across as a touch too soft. It’s not a tart, bright, picked-right-off-the-tree flavor that you’d associate with the fruit. While we don’t think a better (pumpkin-free) trio of autumn ingredients exists than apple, oats, and brown sugar, next time we’ll dare to add a shot of cinnamon dolce flavor to bring out more of the "spice" in apple spice.

5. Pumpkin Scone

Starbucks Pumpkin Scone

In general, we dread most chain cafe scones. They’re usually not fresh, and they suck the moisture out of your mouth like a bone-dry sponge. Their entire relevance seems to revolve around companionship to a hot cup of coffee or tea, and even then, opting for a scantily-drizzled cinnamon chip breakfast brick seems silly when there are muffins, puff pastry, and donuts abounding.

That’s why we were surprised at the Starbucks Pumpkin Scone. It’s nothing new, but we’ve dodged it every fall season. We were surprised at how masticable the scone was — nothing like a fresh muffin or a soft croissant, sure, but still nowhere near a classic teatime tooth chipper either. The icing cast brings a sweet, crunchy zing to the taste and texture, and tasted ever so slightly of lemon zest. The zigzag drizzle tastes like a spiced pumpkin royal icing, but doesn’t contribute much to the scone overall other than aesthetics. We’d consider this one to be gently spiced and somewhat intensely pumpkin. It’s low on the sweet scale and light enough fare to enjoy semi-regularly. For its airier texture, more compact mobility, and overall better flavor, we preferred this one to the muffin.

4. Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino

Frozen and blended versions of cold-weather flavors are always an unexpected way to switch things up. The biggest concern is how the well the recipe translates, but in the case of the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino, it deserves no less spotlight than the hot PSL. Overall the drink is smooth and velvety in texture and moderately sweet, making it an easily drinkable Frap (some are, in our opinion, not stomach-able past a couple of drinks). Right off the bat, the first taste that registers is pumpkin, but it doesn’t overwhelm the spices or the Frappuccino roast.

We definitely recommend asking for extra pumpkin sauce in this one to unlock a more intense fall taste — or don’t if you like it mild to moderate. Other flavors can certainly be added if you’d like a little variety in your fall beverages, but we think the frozen PSL is a winner just as she is: simply straightforward and divinely yummy. Don’t forget to slurp up the whipped cream at the end.

3. Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew

Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew

For a not-too-sweet, not-too-pumpkin S-bucks treat, turn to the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew. We think it’s been grappling for the fall pedestal with the PSL ever since debuting in 2019. Truthfully, the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew and the iced Pumpkin Spice Latte are very different drinks that will satiate very different coffee drinkers. Where PSLs are dessert-like in sweet creaminess, the cold brew’s only dairy is from the foam cap. The cold brew is lightly sweetened with vanilla syrup, but you’re otherwise relying on the cold foam for the pumpkin spice flavor.

So what does this mean? If you opt for the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, be prepared for a much more voluminous flavor than what you’ll find in the iced PSL. You’ll also get an overall stronger tasting coffee — the zingy, pungent cold brew has little to compete with when there’s less syrup and milk involved. As is typical with all cold foam cold brew drinks, this beverage is bound to lose strength in the pumpkin flavor as it progresses, since the majority of your foam will be consumed in the first half.

Adding a dash of pumpkin sauce to the cold brew itself, or fully stirring in the foam before drinking (which is a pain with open-mouth lids and kind of defeats the purpose of cold foam, doesn’t it?) may even the taste out. This isn’t Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew slander — just know your sweetness and pumpkin-ness expectation levels before you shell out a few singles on this coffee.

2. Pumpkin and Pepita Loaf

Starbucks Pumpkin and Pepita Loaf

The Starbucks Pumpkin and Pepita Loaf is the lemon pound cake of fall. There are no shortcuts as far as flavorful, savory pumpkin here. The sponge is very compact, but the density seems to allow the loaf to retain its moisture very well. Starbucks describes the pastry as "gently spiced," but we felt the notes of cinnamon, ginger, and clove were more pronounced compared to what we experienced with the other pumpkin-spiced pastries.

Complimenting the robust, hearty loaf are the crunchy pepitas on top. Toasted and spiced, these pumpkin seeds are delicious on the loaf or on their own. Compared to the muffin and scone, this option focuses on the aromatic intricacies of pumpkin and fall spices rather than creating a sweet, indulgent pastry. It’s definitely the autumn snack of choice for Starbucks-goers that have a low threshold for sugary flavors. The lack of lactic accents — frosting, cream cheese — may please some and bore others. We recommend picking up a loaf on your next swing through Starbucks, but bring it home and save it for the next morning. Pop it in the microwave — your entire kitchen will swell with fragrance — and enjoy with a cup of bold black coffee.

1. Apple Crisp Oatmilk Frappuccino

Starbucks Apple Crisp Oatmilk Frappuccino

Picture this: It’s almost fall, and you’re standing over the new candles at Bath and Body Works. The names feel like they belong in a bakery — come on, Pumpkin Cinnamon Bun? Pumpkin Pecan Waffles? You can’t convince us there is not a very hungry fall fanatic behind these. The successful marketing earns each scent a hearty sniff. You know it’s not a matter of if you’re leaving with candles today, but how many.

If the bizarre thought has ever crossed your mind of just what these exquisitely aromatic candles taste like, the Starbucks Apple Crisp Oatmilk Frappuccino is your answer. (At least, we think. We’ve never eaten candles before, we promise.) This drink is just barely spicy in all the best ways. Apple and oatmilk are a dynamo duet, and the texture is buttery-smooth. We got so much more complexity out of the blended version of this drink than the hot and iced — and the hot and iced were dang good. The Frappuccino roast cuts any sweetness overload that would have occurred, and the heap of whipped cream and apple spice syrup is an indulgent finale (or beginning, whatever stars your bucks) to the drink. The coffee could potentially be omitted for a caffeine-free option, but otherwise, we truly don’t think a single thing needs to be changed about this one.