Doughnut Plant Pumpkin Doughnuts
You know autumn is in full swing when Grand Street is lined with people devouring Pumpkin Doughnuts from nearby Doughnut Plant. Offered in both cake and yeast form, it's a flavor to love, especially with a finish of caramelized pumpkin seeds, nutty and crunchy, iced over in a spiced glaze. The cake doughnut in particular is slightly softer than their usual cake doughnuts, a cozy pumpkin flavor hinting of cloves and cinnamon.
Pumpkin Trifle at Sugar Sweet Sunshine
Banana Pudding and the Chocolate Bomb Pudding may be offered year-round at this famed Lower East Side bakery, but only in the autumn months does the pumpkin pudding make a debut. The pudding looks messy, and it is, but it's is all part of the fun, with crumbled pumpkin cake layers tossed with whipped cream and eggnog pudding. You'll end up with a toothache, but it's worth the sacrifice.
Pumpkin Brownies at Fat Witch Bakery
Unlike most brownies at Fat Witch, this seasonal creation features only a sliver of the bakery's signature buttery brownie under a thick layer of pumpkin cake. The sweet and soft cake is cinnamony, moist, and gently spiced. It's more akin to a pumpkin cake with only a whisper of chocolate, than it is to our general understanding of a brownie. Regardless, it's certainly a sweet that's easy to love.
Lady M's Pumpkin Nuage
Meet the Pumpkin Nuage from Lady M: essentially a pumpkin cheesecake but a million times more elegant and luxurious. Pumpkin, and not cream cheese, is the focus, all set against a graham cracker crust. The spices are subtle and round out the overall profile of a lightly whipped and seriously melt-in-your-mouth cheesecake.
Pumpkin Ice Cream at Sundaes and Cones
Recommended by serious eater Alaina Browne, the pumpkin ice cream at Sundaes & Cones is a definite neighborhood go-to. Solid and satisfying, and best in a sugar cone and not the cup. It's that extra bit of crunch that completes this particular flavor, like a makeshift frozen pumpkin pie. It's nothing fancy or extravagant, but a total feel-good dessert, especially when enjoyed with a friend at one of the window seats.
Pumpkin Gelato at Il Laboratorio del Gelato
Pure and potent with lasting pumpkin flavors. Gentle on the spices and hardly sweet—this is pumpkin and cream all the way with little else to interfere. If you're a fan of squash flavors (and who isn't), also keep an eye our for il Lab's butternut squash gelato. It's more rounded and softer in flavor than the pumpkin, fun to contrast side by side.
Locanda Verde's Pumpkin Loaf
Mark your calendars, Locanda Verde brings back their annual pumpkin loaf around the first week of November. It's speckled in toasted pumpkin seeds, dense and impressively moist. Practically a pound cake, rich in butter and full of that straightforward pumpkin flavor, lightly spiced. Pair with the house apple cider, and you've got a complete autumn breakfast to-go.
Pumpkin Cupcakes at Doughboy Bake Shop
The Pumpkin Cupcakes from Doughboy Bake Shop are almost too moist thanks to chunks of fresh pumpkin meat stirred into the cupcake batter. It's a fun departure from the usual cupcake, the pumpkin element undeniably front and center, accented with cinnamon and nutmeg. It's paired with a swirl of cream cheese frosting, but the cake is best part.
Doughboy Bake Shop: 535 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014 (map); 212-206-8135
Pumpkin Puffs at ChikaLicious
At ChikaLicious Dessert Club, the Pumpkin Pie ($4.95) substitutes a traditional pie shell with a double "crust" puff pastry. The pie filling hints gently of cinnamon and nutmeg, and is pudding-soft, making each triangle a dreamy, flaky hand-held pie. Unfortunately they don't warm it up for you; the best solution is to take it home and toast it in the oven for a few minutes. Guaranteed to be even more delicious.
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies at One Girl Cookies
Whoopie pies gets proper treatment at One Girl Cookies. Their four-bite pies are neither too big nor too small. Two plush rounds of soft pumpkin cookie-cakes are bound together with a sweet swoosh of cream cheese frosting. In the summer, they trade in in the cream cheese filling for a scoop of Il Laboratorio del Gelato's ricotta gelato. Brilliant. And delicious both ways.