Every Little Debbie Fall Snack Cake, Ranked

·4 min read
Photo:  Lauren Harkawik
Photo: Lauren Harkawik

For those of us who always take note of seasonal snacks, and for whom those snacks mark the passage of time, fall is hard to miss. Pumpkin spice has taken over every aisle of the grocery store.

As soon as September hit, the scent of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves hung in the air at the supermarket. I soon found the culprit: a basket of scented pinecones that was invading the produce section with its spicy odor. Fall, it’s clear, has become increasingly pumpkin spiced.

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Photo:  Lauren Harkawik
Photo: Lauren Harkawik

Though it might be hard to remember, there was a world of seasonal treats before pumpkin spice. Little Debbie’s fall lineup of snack cakes offers a connection to that past time—which is to say, it’s not all pumpkin spice, but each one is its own little taste of fall flavor.

In celebration of the season, here’s a ranking of everything Little Debbie has released for a limited time only. See what’s worth buying before the last leaves fall.

5. Chocolate Fall Party Cakes

The Chocolate Fall Party Cake comes in a pack of two.
The Chocolate Fall Party Cake comes in a pack of two.

These Chocolate Fall Party Cakes are similar to one of Little Debbie’s year-round offerings, the Zebra Cake. However, the combination of chocolate icing, chocolate filling, and yellow cake is unique to this seasonal product.

The inside of the Chocolate Fall Party Cake has vanilla cake and chocolate filling.
The inside of the Chocolate Fall Party Cake has vanilla cake and chocolate filling.

Although in appearance it’s one of the more festive treats—the fall-themed sprinkles really pop on the chocolate icing—this ended up being the least interesting (and therefore my least favorite) of the offerings. The chocolate fails to offer much added richness beyond what you’d get from a Zebra Cake, so the sprinkles are really the defining feature here.

4. Pumpkin Spice Rolls

The Pumpkin Spice Roll is individually wrapped.
The Pumpkin Spice Roll is individually wrapped.

I do not begrudge pumpkin-spice-flavored things. Some of these products are good, and I do like a good pumpkin spice latte at this time of year. The Pumpkin Spice Roll didn’t do it for me, though.

The inside of the Pumpkin Spice Roll is competing rolled layers of cake and filling.
The inside of the Pumpkin Spice Roll is competing rolled layers of cake and filling.

The pumpkin spice flavor profile of the cake and the super sweet taste of the filling (which I almost always like) were in a real competition here, and neither ended up winning the battle. If you’re after something that embraces the flavors of pumpkin spice, I think there are better snack options out there. There’s a reason that many pumpkin desserts are paired with a more muted cream cheese frosting.

3. Vanilla Fall Party Cakes

Vanilla Fall Party Cakes come are packaged in pairs.
Vanilla Fall Party Cakes come are packaged in pairs.

Though they’re slightly less visually festive than the chocolate version, the Vanilla Fall Party Cake is a spot-on combination of yellow cake, vanilla icing, and cream filling.

Vanilla Fall Party Cakes are white frosted yellow cake with cream filling.
Vanilla Fall Party Cakes are white frosted yellow cake with cream filling.

Like Zebra Cakes and Fancy Cakes, the year-round Little Debbie classics that are nearly identical to this sprinkled fall iteration, there’s a discernible saltiness in these that elevate the experience of eating one, and I didn’t detect that slight savoriness in the chocolate version. These Fall Party Cakes are a win for me.

2. Brownie Pumpkins

Pumpkin Brownies are individually wrapped.
Pumpkin Brownies are individually wrapped.

Brownie Pumpkins are, in appearance alone, the standout fall-themed treat in Little Debbie’s lineup, though they admittedly skew Halloween more than any of the other snack cakes. For what it’s worth, if I got one of these in my trick-or-treat bag as a kid, I would have been stoked, so good for Little Debbie for leaning into the holiday potential here.

Pumpkin Brownies are not pumpkin flavored — just pumpkin shaped. They’re a chocolate brownie with vanilla icing.
Pumpkin Brownies are not pumpkin flavored — just pumpkin shaped. They’re a chocolate brownie with vanilla icing.

These are not pumpkin flavored—the pumpkin refers solely to the shape and stamped icing. Beyond their appearance, they’re very similar to Little Debbie’s other brownie treats: Cosmic Brownies, which are studded with little bits of crunchy chocolate candy, and walnut-topped Fudge Brownies, which are discontinued (but there is a petition to bring them back that you can sign, if you feel so moved).

Though I grew up enjoying crunchy chocolate candies and walnuts, I always scraped them off of the Little Debbie brownie before I took a bite. Why? I don’t know. Maybe crunch just isn’t something I want or need in my brownie experience. Whatever the case, that makes these brownies a home run for me. There’s nothing to scrape off, they’re totally festive, and they’re delicious.

1. Pumpkin Delights

Pumpkin Delights have a gingerbread cake and pumpkin filling. They’re individually wrapped.
Pumpkin Delights have a gingerbread cake and pumpkin filling. They’re individually wrapped.

Is their smile cute? Not really. Do they look a bit demonic? Yes. Are they my favorite Little Debbie fall treat? Also yes.

I need to come clean. I went into this taste test already familiar with, and enthusiastic about, the Pumpkin Delight. I did approach the exercise with a healthy skepticism, open to the idea that I might be won over by something else in the lineup. But that simply did not happen. The Pumpkin Delight is a perfect fall treat. Here’s the important thing: they are not pumpkin spice flavor. They are a molasses cookie (think gingerbread) with a pumpkin puree (which Little Debbie says is made of American pumpkins).

Pumpkin Delights are a chewy cookie with pumpkin (not pumpkin spice, *pumpkin*) filling.
Pumpkin Delights are a chewy cookie with pumpkin (not pumpkin spice, *pumpkin*) filling.

It’s unclear when these treats were first released, but anecdotally, I remember having them as a kid in elementary school in the 1990s. Starbucks first released the PSL in the early 2000s. It stands to reason that these were a pumpkin treat that predated the widely marketed concept of pumpkin spice, which is why instead of being nutmeg-, cinnamon-, and clove-forward, they’re pumpkin-forward. If you haven’t had one, you should. It might change the way you think about fall.