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7 Fall Flavors that Aren't Pumpkin Spice

Fall is one of the most beloved times of the year for two reasons: beautiful foliage and the start of the holiday food season. When you think fall, what flavors come to your mind? For many enthusiasts of the season, that flavor is probably pumpkin spice. But there are many other classic fall flavors that can get customers into the fall spirit, no pumpkin needed. Not only are these great for incorporating into baked goods or creative entrees, but they are ideal as fall coffee flavors as well! Explore 7 essential autumn flavors below.

two glasses of apple cider next to two apples and cinnamon sticks on wooden table

1. Apple

Apples are a fall-friendly ingredient that can be used in a variety of recipes. You can’t beat a glass of fresh apple cider on a fall day, and hard apple cider will warm you up on a chilly autumn evening. Apple cinnamon cupcakes, freshly-baked apple pie, and homemade apple sauce are delicious alternatives to pumpkin-flavored treats. Thanks to a growing season that ranges from August to October, apples are the perfect produce selection for your fall menu.

2. Salted Caramel

Sticky, salty goodness. This sweet treat is perfect for customers craving an escape from spice. Caramel candies, cookies, and hot drinks are all good ideas. Caramel lattes have an especially autumnal quality that's comforting on a cold day. For a special fall-themed treat, caramel apples are always a crowd pleaser.

stack of pancakes with maple syrup and pecans on top

3. Maple

Maple-bacon cupcakes, anyone? Maple flavor invokes visions of pancakes on lazy Sunday mornings and frost-covered maple trees on crisp, autumn days. What better flavor to represent the fall season? Maple has recently moved into the spotlight thanks to delicious concoctions like maple spice lattes and maple syrup cocktails.

4. Hazelnut

The sweet, buttery flavor of hazelnut pairs extremely well with coffee or hot chocolate. This flavor has become a favorite in recent years, largely due to the increased popularity of Nutella spread. Hazlenuts can be used in sweet or savory recipes and add a rich, nutty flavor that befits the harvest season.

5. Pear

The pear harvest falls between August and October, making this fruit another great option for your seasonal menu. Pear flavor tastes great with a variety of spices, including cinnamon, star anise, and vanilla. Whether you make pear cider, pear crumble, or fancy poached pears, this fall fruit is simply scrumptious.

6 ginger snap cookies on a pan

6. Ginger

Ground ginger can add a kick of flavor to a wide range of foods but is especially delicious in gingerbread. While gingerbread is associated with Christmastime, gingersnap cookies are a perfect autumn cookie, especially when paired with hot tea. As an added bonus, ginger is a natural pain reliever.

7. Chai

Chai combines the flavors of aromatic spices like cardamom, clove, and cinnamon. To make chai tea, the spices are added to a strong cup of black tea and mixed with creamy milk. The result is a warm, soothing beverage that’s perfect to sip on a crisp, autumn day. Not just for tea, chai flavoring can be added to everything from cookies to ice cream to pancakes.


With so many flavors of fall, why stick with the same old pumpkin spice theme? This season, try exploring some of the delicious fruits, nuts, and spices that make autumn a special time of year. Whether you’re crafting new specialty coffee drinks, adding pastries to your bakery case, or planning a fall-themed menu, there are a variety of fall flavors and ingredients that will bring your recipes to the next level.

Posted in: Coffee & Tea | Seasonal | By Michale Ferguson
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