17 Target 2023 Fall Food Items, Ranked

Fall is here, there, and everywhere, including at everyone's favorite store: Target. Along with fall-scented candles, fluffy blankets, spooky decor, and flannels, Target is a great destination for specialty autumn groceries. You don't have to go far to be confronted by pumpkin spice and everything nice, including apple, cinnamon, maple, pecan, and even more intriguing seasonal flavors like black sesame and brown butter. All the favorite snacks, desserts, and more get dressed up in their fall finest, and this team is excited to taste as much as possible.

Our most recent trip to Target was quite the journey through aisles of Gourmet Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes and Harvest Brown Butter Flavor Pretzel and Caramel Popcorn Mix. That's a mouthful to say, and we had more than a few mouthfuls to taste and rank. Nothing was bad, but we'd probably swipe left on a few things next time around ... and plan to run right back to the store to stock up on some of the other more fantastic items. Let's get into our ranking of Target's 2023 fall food items.

17. Mini Pecan Pie

There are so many amazing pies to eat in the autumn season. Warmly spiced pumpkin, classic American apple, and comfortingly creamy sweet potato all come to mind. It can be hard to fit them all in. The solution? Mini pies. Target offers up some great, convenient single-serving pies like this Mini Pecan Pie. It allows you to leave worrying about baking that perfect flakey crust, or choosing between fall flavors when investing in a whole pie, on the shelf. It's easier than all that with a cute little mini pie. 

Now, ease does come with a few drawbacks. The filling-to-crust ratio is much smaller, and the crust on these pies can't compete with an excellent homemade one. It's more dry and dense than buttery and layered, so if you're not a crust person, you'll probably be a little disappointed. If you have a sweet tooth, however, you're going to be on cloud nine, because this baby is super sweet. That thick, syrupy filling is a little much and lacks nuance. Still, if you pop it in the oven to warm up nice and slow, then top it off with some butter pecan ice cream, it's a decadent and homey dessert to treat yourself to after a productive trip to Target.

16. Apple Cinnamon Pecan Trail Mix

This Apple Cinnamon Pecan Trail Mix is jam-packed with just about everything that could possibly be associated with apple and cinnamon. While many trail mixes lean heavily on basic peanuts, raisins, or M&Ms, this one goes with pecans. It's not false advertising; there's not just a pecan here or there. If you're munching a nut in this trail mix, it's guaranteed to be a pecan, no fillers needed. The pecans taste different than what you're used to, though, because they're glazed with a sweet apple-cinnamon coating. 

The rest of the trail mix is dried cranberries, apple chips (which can get a little too chewy, admittedly), and cinnamon-dusted yogurt-covered pretzel balls. This isn't a high-protein, superfood trail mix; it's very sweet and geared more toward a fun fall tasting experience. If you like your trail mixes more as a yogurt topping or car snack than for the actual trails, this fits the bill.

15. Pumpkin Spice Soft Sandwich Cookies

For a cookie that's just a little less childlike than the Halloween Frosted Sugar Cookies, but still sweet, soft, and cakey, try these Pumpkin Spice Sandwich Cookies. They are small in circumference but not in stature; the cookies are nicely thick and pillowy, the filling much taller than that of, say, an Oreo. We didn't find that they had an aggressive flavor of pumpkin spice. It's more of a light hint — a cool autumn breeze, if you will. 

We found that the cookies themselves are actually a tad savory. Many pumpkin spice desserts go heavy on cinnamon and light on other notes like ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, but these Sandwich Cookies have a better balance of flavor. We especially liked them warmed up for a few seconds in the microwave! Our biggest issue with these cookies is that they are indeed rather diminutive, in both size and amount, for the cost Target charges. Whether or not six small cookies are worth $4 when there are so many other Target fall finds to choose from is up to you.

14. Brown Butter Flavor Pretzel Mix Caramel Popcorn

At Target, there's plenty of representation for all the big fall flavors, like pumpkin, apple, and maple, and we love to see it. But what we love even more is seeing the store branch out and cover some lesser-known fall flavors that deserve just as much credit. Brown butter is at the top of that list. Brown butter occurs when you cook butter slowly and carefully over low to medium heat until it Darkins and turns a toasty brown color. It then has an equally toasty flavor. That's a magical touch to anything from savory pasta dishes to upgraded chocolate chip cookies. 

Seriously, if you've never tried brown butter, your life is about to change. That said, this brown butter flavor pretzel mix caramel popcorn from Target isn't going to give you exactly the same mind-blowing experience — but it's a great starting point. The deep, rich, intense buttery flavor is dripping with autumn warmth and is a no-brainer with typically already buttery popcorn. The pretzels are a fantastic bonus that adds a little more salty umami flavor to this innovative snack mix. Target is really doing something right here. Though the flavor was off the charts, the snack mix is certainly not as light and breezy as you might want from the popcorn and pretzel break, and all that butter and caramel make you wonder if a few handfuls would be better as a dessert than as a snack. The other minor critique is that we barely got any pretzels in our bag.

13. Pumpkin Mini Scones

First and foremost, to anyone reading this ranking who just happens to be from the United Kingdom: These are not your scones. British scones are much more like biscuits (American biscuits, that is, not British biscuits, which are cookies ... this is getting too confusing), not too sweet, and meant to be eaten with clotted cream and jam. American scones are often much more moist and heavy. These Pumpkin Mini Scones from Target are yet another degree separated because they are short-textured, very cakey, and covered in glaze. 

The pumpkin spice flavor is minimal. Blink and you'll miss it, really, but these little treats are still pretty winsome. If you just want a bit of something sweet with your hot fall beverage, a mini scone will do the trick. For more authentic, substantial scones, try your hand at baking them yourself. It's really not that hard, especially with a great recipe for classic English scones to guide you.

12. Pumpkin Shaped Frosted Sugar Cookies

It's okay to be a bit of a food snob — or, to put it a little more mildly, a "foodie" — about certain things. The perfect chewy Neapolitan pizza crust and the symphony of authentic flavors that come together to create a traditional northern Indian curry deserve their accolades. But you will never find anyone on this team turning their nose up at a store-bought Lofthouse-style sugar cookie like these Pumpkin Shaped Frosted Sugar Cookies. You know, the ones that are impossibly soft and cakey, but also kind of dry, that both crumble and melt in your mouth? And with that almost stale-textured, hardened frosting that tastes like nothing but plain butter and sugar? These are them. 

Though the description might not sound appealing to someone unfamiliar with this particular vein of cookie ... if you know, you know. If you're getting whiffs of nostalgia reading this description and recalling those terribly good cookies, Target's will take you back to a simpler time. They don't have too much frosting, either.

11. Pumpkin Spice Mini Pretzels

Pretzels are one of the best sneaky snacks everyone knows about, but few appreciate them enough. Most people will reach for a potato chip before a pretzel but sometimes I don't know where you try a pretzel and think wow why don't I have these things more often? If you're often on the fence between a savory and sweet snack, a coded pretzel can also really go the distance. Targets, pumpkin spice, mini pretzel twists with white drizzle. Seriously check all the boxes in one convenient snack they're sweet, they're salty and they're very on-theme for autumn. 

The pumpkin spice taste is minimal and what we mostly got was a slightly cinnamony chocolate-covered pretzel, but that doesn't mean they're bad, they're highly Moorish and would be great in the fall snack. Mix with other bits and pieces like candy or popcorn. If you want to get back in the pretzel game, we have the resources you need to choose the best pretzel for your palate.

10. Gourmet Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Cupcakes were very much in style not too long ago. Remember when cupcake-specific bakeries were all the rage? Good times. It can be a lot harder to get your cupcake fix on short notice these days, but luckily, Target has some fall-flavored ones that are actually pretty decent. The Gourmet Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes provide you with a ton of bang for your buck; not only do they have cake and frosting, but a complementary (and complimentary) cream cheese filling. 

It would all be way too much if the frosting were typically, overly sweet store-bought cake frosting, but luckily, it's a light, frothy topping somewhere between traditional frosting and whipped cream. The filling is more decadent and tastes great but takes up a little too much space, crowding out the actual pumpkin spice cake. If there was a little less filling to create a better balance, this cupcake would go from very good to definitely great.

9. Butternut Squash Ravioli

These pasta squares are basically bites of fall. The color alone makes it a worthy autumn dinner, but the taste doesn't hurt, either. Butternut Squash Ravioli have a typical pasta dough shell and traditional scalloped edges, but the filling isn't just plain cheese. Instead, it's a nuanced flavor profile of lightly spiced autumn squash and honey-spiked ricotta cheese. The squash becomes lush and velvety, indiscernible from cheese in texture but providing a mellow, savory flavor that elevates the overall pasta dish. 

This isn't the perfect handmade pasta that you would order at a high-end Italian restaurant, but for a refrigerated-section product from the grocery store, you could do a lot worse. The team agreed that we would buy a package of these again for a future easy fall meal. If you're wondering what preparation might work well with this intriguing ravioli, try a toasty sage brown butter sauce.

8. Apple Fritter Breakfast Bread

Apple Fritters are like donuts — clusters of dough wrapped around chunks of apples, fried, and glazed. A loaf of bread is a loaf of bread, easily stacked for sandwiches or toasted at breakfast time. They seem to exist on different planes, one as a fun treat and the other as a functional staple. But Target presents a clever seasonal mashup in this Apple Fritter Breakfast Bread. It's in the shape of a loaf, but with a crumbly apple streusel on top and ribbons of cinnamon apple filling throughout. Plain and simple, it's fine. But toasted, it's a revelation. 

The apple filling gets warm and comforting, sweet like pie, and with a little of that moreish streusel crumble? What a breakfast. With warm, high-quality butter melting into the crevices and mingling with the cinnamon notes, it's a treat that doesn't feel too rich or heavy. It would also be lovely with cream cheese, as French Toast, or made into bread pudding.

7. Maple Almond Butter Granola

Granola isn't as attention-grabbing as cupcakes or cheese, just as maple and almond butter aren't as attention-grabbing as Pumpkin Spice or Apple Cinnamon. Nevertheless, Target's Maple Almond Butter Granola is our latest go-to fall snack or breakfast topping, and it even can satisfy a nagging sweet tooth. The granola didn't have as many big clusters as we would have liked, but that's probably just because granola is easily squashed. Otherwise, we love everything about this bag. It's an optimal step up from a plain, honey, or vanilla granola, but nothing as crazy and polarizing as Vanilla Confetti or Cookies and Creme (both of which Target also offers, if that's more your sort of thing).

The maple syrup flavor is subtle but definitely there, providing just the right touch of sweetness. The almond butter gives it heft — in nutrition, taste, and texture — and brings along a satisfying warm, nutty flavor. The more we nibbled at it, the more we liked it.

6. Cranberry & Cinnamon Goat Cheese Log

Goat cheese is good at any time of the year; it's incredibly adaptable. It can be a light, tangy addition to beautiful summer salads or provide a rich, creamy component to cold-weather comfort foods like pastas and soups. But our personal favorite way to eat it is straight-up, on a charcuterie board with some meats, crackers, and other nibbles specifically chosen to go with the cheese — and not the other way around because something like this Cranberry Cinnamon Goat Cheese Log should be the star of the show. 

Target's offering isn't the most high-end, pristine goat cheese, but it's utterly smothered in tart cranberry and spiced cinnamon. The result is a kaleidoscope of fall flavors that hit all of Samin Nosrat's checkpoints: salt, fat (the cheese), acid (the cranberries), and heat (the cinnamon). Excellent. Try some on a savory, rustic wheat cracker with some of that bacon jam and report back.

5. Bacon Jam

Maybe it's not a widely held opinion, but this team associates bacon with the fall. Something about those smokey notes, the slight decadence, the crispiness, or the crossover potential with maple syrup just fits right in with the autumn season. It seems that Target agrees with us because it rolled out this upscale Bacon Jam right on time. It's certainly more sweet than a plate of bacon strips would be, but still manages to get the smoky flavor notes and fatty, savory elements captured in a jar. A little goes a long way. 

What are you supposed to do with this stuff? Think of it like spreadable bacon. Obviously, it's a chic accouterment to an autumnal charcuterie board, but if you think it only pairs with cheese and crackers, think again. How about a BLT? Spread some of this on and your sandwich is immediately elevated. We're also thinking about slathering it on some fresh-from-the-oven cornbread.

4. Maple Vanilla Whipped Dairy Topping

A lot of fall foods go with whipped cream (pumpkin pie, apple crumbles), and hot beverages practically beg for it (Pumpkin Spice Lattes, hot chocolate). There's nothing wrong with going for the regular can of whipped cream. But if you're already adding your topping at home, why not choose a can for your fridge that has a little extra something fun added? Target's Maple Vanilla Whipped Dairy Topping is a delightful addition to any of the fall treats listed above. A homemade chai latte with maple vanilla whipped cream? What a dream. A lazy brunch of maple syrup-doused pancakes? You know what to do. 

We weren't prepared to make room in our lives for this throughout the entire season, but now it's going to be a staple. The flavor is sweet, maple-y, and has just a hint of vanilla bean ice cream essence. Being able to top anything off with a bit of autumn is just irresistible.

3. Black Sesame Hummus

Hummus is one of our all-time favorite snack foods. Some classic hummus with carrot sticks, celery, pretzels, or pita chips pretty much can't be beaten. You have probably tried some of the more common flavor varieties, too, like roasted garlic or red pepper. All good options. But we had never seen anything like this Black Sesame Hummus before.

The moody, dark hue is ideal for a spooky season snack, but does the actual taste fall flat once you get past the gimmick? Not at all. Sesame is such an underutilized flavor. Sesame seeds have a fantastic toasty, nutty umami flavor, like peanut butter, but can be ground into a much finer paste and folded into hummus to give it an extra layer of smooth, robust flavor. It's something both familiar and entirely different, a classy and innovative twist on typical hummus. We can't get enough of this stuff, so we recommend buying several while they're still in season.

2. Pumpkin Spice Madeleine Cookies

Madeleines are lovely little cakes that, for some reason, are widely known as cookies. A crown jewel of French baking, you can still buy some solid Madeleines from a grocery store, and these Pumpkin Spice Madeleine Cookies prove it. We really enjoyed every bite of these soft, spongey treats that boasted the perfect amount of light pumpkin spice flavor. These with a warm Starbucks Latte would be a perfect picture of fall coziness. 

They aren't too sweet, either, which is a nice change of pace from all the frostings and cream cheeses and pies of the season. If you're embarking on your journey towards improving your French cooking and baking skills, Madeleines are a great place to start. They are resilient little cookies, and fairly easy to bake. Getting their traditional form and shape to look perfect can be a challenge, though, and that's why you should be sure to read our best tips and tricks in order to achieve the ideal Madeleine.

1. Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream

Pumpkin Cheesecake is already a sweet autumn twist on a classic dessert all by itself, but making it into ice cream is taking everything a big step further. This Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream's base tastes just like pumpkin cheesecake, and has a fun swirl of graham cracker "crust." A lot of nontraditional or inventive new ice cream flavors can have too much going on or incorporate too many competing flavors, but this one strikes a beautiful balance. 

The cheesecake flavor brings a little tang, the spice mixture is present but not overpowering, and the graham cracker swirl is a great way to add a little flavor variance without going overboard. Who would have thought a pumpkin cheesecake ice cream could be subtle and elegant? We were so excited to find this pint. A scoop or two next to any of the other Target fall baked goods would be delicious.