It’s been over a decade since Starbucks premiered its Pumpkin Spice Latte—the burnt-orange beverage with its own Instagram account that has since become synonymous with sweaters, scarves, and strolling over crunchy autumn leaves. But the fall flavor spans far beyond the PSL, and outposts all over Charm City are using pumpkin spice as a starting-off point to create their own seasonal specialties. From beer to baked goods, here are some of our favorite local pumpkin products.
Michele’s Granola’s pumpkin spice blend: Local granola guru Michele Tsucalas got her start by pedaling crunchy concoctions at area farmers’ markets, and now, she’s created a flavor inspired by the markets’ annual fall harvest. Among the many varieties that Timonium-based Michele’s Granola whips up for the chillier months is a pumpkin spice blend that fuses golden flax, pumpkin seeds, pecans, and pumpkin pie spices. In addition to the year-round 32nd Street Farmers’ Market, Michele’s Granola is sold at retailers including Whole Foods Market, MOM’s Organic Market, and Wegmans. Multiple locations including 3201 Barclay St.
The pumpkin spice snowball at Walther Gardens: Who says snowballs are only a summer thing? At Hamilton-Lauraville’s Walther Gardens, snowball season doesn’t have a cut-off date. The garden’s signature shack, arguably the oldest in existence, uses a French line of specialty syrups that features fall flavors like cinnamon spice, candy apple, and, of course, pumpkin spice. Sample one of the seasonal snowballs while strolling around the picturesque property in search of the perfect gourds and pumpkins this fall (Christmas trees also go on sale later in the winter). 4715 Walther Avenue, 410-426-0546
Pumpkin pastries at Patterson Perk: Complete with exposed brick, dark wood floors, and glowing lamps, this corner coffee shop exudes autumn ambience. When the temperatures drop, Patterson Perk’s chalkboard menu lists seasonal sips such as pumpkin pie and maple dirty chai-flavored lattes. For a morning pick-me-up, pair the warm beverages with a spicy variety of pumpkin-flavored pastries, muffins, and yogurt bread. 2501 Eastern Ave., 410-534-1286
Miss Shirley’s pumpkin cheesecake French toast: Chef Brigitte Bledsoe is always coming up with creative spins on classic brunch dishes at Miss Shirley’s, and as the leaves begin to change, she typically brings back the cafe’s signature pumpkin cheesecake French toast. Stuffed with a mixture of cream cheese, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla extract, the thick brioche French toast is topped with pecans and mini marshmallows, dusted with powdered sugar, and plated with a hefty dollop of whipped cream. Multiple locations including 1 Park Place, Annapolis, 410-268-5171
Atwater’s pumpkin lattes: Not only does Atwater’s serve up some standout soups and sandwiches, but the local farm-to-table chain also offers a slew of fall-inspired takeaway items and coffees this time of year. In addition to desserts like pumpkin bites and pies, the cafe features a warm pumpkin latte using a homemade syrup made with roasted pumpkins and a blend of spices. Multiple locations including 3601 Boston St., 667-309-7146
Pumpkin ice cream from Taharka Bros.: Since 2010, this beloved Clipper Mill creamery has been making headlines with its inspiring philosophy of using its ice cream as a mechanism for social change. With fall just around the corner, the Taharka team is debuting its lineup of locally sourced flavors including pumpkin and maple walnut. Starting this fall, locals will be able to grab a scoop from Taharka’s travelling “Change Maker Mobile,” as well as at more than 75 restaurants, farms, college campuses, and ice cream shops around town.
Local pumpkin beers: We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the bounty of local breweries currently celebrating seasonal releases. From favorites like Heavy Seas’ Great’er Pumpkin and Evolution Craft Brewing’s Jacques Au Lantern to DuClaw’s 31 Pumpkin Spice Lager and Full Tilt Brewing’s Patterson Pumpkin, Charm City is chock-full of fall brews to get you in the mood for apple-picking and leaf-peeping.