Starbucks’ fall 2023 menu items ranked

The Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin at Starbucks is a great fall sweet treat option. It is one of nine seasonal Starbucks added this season. (Abbigail Marshall | Collegian media Group)

Starbucks is arguably best known for its extensive — and delicious — fall menu offerings. As we round out the first month of the 2023 lineup, there are some new items working their way into customers’ hearts. Are you deciding whether to stick with the classic Pumpkin Spice Latte or branch out? Here’s a list of menu items I think are worth the money, ranked from the most underwhelming to simply superb.

  1. Owl Cake Pop

While cake pops might be a Starbucks staple, this vanilla cake pop with vanilla frosting does not add to the fall menu whatsoever. The only piece of the pop that exudes fall is the owl-like decoration. Even with the beak and ears, it isn’t a special enough pastry to push it past the bottom spot.

  1. Pumpkin Spice Latte

Placing the classic Pumpkin Spice Latte second-to-last might be shocking, but nostalgia is no longer cutting it. Offered hot or iced, the latte is a safe option. While the strong pumpkin and cinnamon flavors are always delicious, this staple is a little too simple for my taste. If you’re not looking to expand your fall flavor horizons, you won’t be disappointed by this latte. However, I can assure you there are better options awaiting you.

  1. Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato

The Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato combines blonde espresso, oat milk and notes of apple, cinnamon and brown sugar. The drink is served hot or iced. Starbucks’ choice to combine blonde espresso and warm brown sugar balances the notes of crisp granny smith perfectly and the apple flavor isn’t too sweet. For those not on the pumpkin spice train, this drink is a great option. 

  1. Pumpkin Bread

Starbucks’ pumpkin bread has long held a special place in customers’ hearts. The dense, sweet pumpkin spice flavor compliments the slight crunch of the seeds on top. When paired with a fall drink, this is a great addition to your morning lineup. This comforting, warm slice is not a stand-out of the group, but is sure to satisfy.

  1. Apple Crisp Oatmilk Shaken Espresso

The Apple Crisp Oatmilk Shaken Espresso features the same flavorings, espresso and milk as the macchiato, but it’s shaken instead of layered. Again, the bright blonde espresso pairs perfectly with the apple flavor in this drink. But the flavors are a little more muted, allowing the creamy oat milk and warm cinnamon notes to shine. Less sweet than its sister drink, this is a great option for those who want a taste of apple pie — without the blood sugar spike.

  1. Baked Apple Croissant

This new addition to the Starbucks lineup came out of the gate hot. The baked apple croissant features warm apple filling and layers of flaky croissant dough topped with a sugar sprinkle. The buttery flavor of the classic Starbucks croissant shines through in this autumn variation, and the addition of apple makes this treat the perfect fall snack. This rookie is the perfect choice to add to your cart.

  1. Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin

Wanting a little more from the basic pumpkin bread? The pumpkin cream cheese muffin should be your new go-to. Boasting the same flavors and slight crunch of the pumpkin bread, the addition of cream cheese is the perfect way to balance the pumpkin and cinnamon flavors. The slightly tangy but sweet cream cheese pairs perfectly with this already-loved classic — and takes it to new heights. This muffin is well-deserving of the top spot on the list for pastries.

  1. Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew

If the Pumpkin Spice Latte is too intensely sweet for your taste, the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew is the perfect solution. With Starbucks’ famous cold brew as the base, you can’t go wrong with this drink. The addition of creamy cold foam is my personal favorite way to infuse fall flavor into your espresso base. As you sip, the pumpkin spice flavor seeps into the more acidic cold brew and is a delicious balance of sweet and bite.

  1. Pumpkin Cream Chai

Even though the Pumpkin Cream Chai is a newcomer, it is more than qualified to take the crown. The drink, coming hot or iced, combines classic chai flavoring with the beloved pumpkin spice, creating a warm blend of flavors. On the iced version, the addition of the same pumpkin spice cold foam featured on the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew tops off an already impressive drink. This smooth, sweet beverage is my new all-time favorite Starbucks drink and is a must-add on your next trip through the drive-thru.