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Treat yourself to seasonal desserts and drinks


With fall approaching, the days are getting longer, the air is becoming more brisk and my craving for sweet treats is growing by the minute. I find myself yearning for a drink that warms my hands as I sip it, along with a dessert or pastry infused with spice and everything nice. 

So take some time away from school and work and treat yourself with some of my favorite autumnal treats on the peninsula. 

Café Carmel’s Pumpkin Cheesecake

Seeing as cheesecake is my favorite dessert, I took rating this cake very seriously, and I am delighted to say that Café Carmel’s cheesecake left me completely satisfied. The immense pumpkin flavor and creamy consistency immediately made me think of a pumpkin pie I would share with my family on Thanksgiving. 

Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte 

Every year, Starbucks comes out with their fall flavored drinks, the mostly popular being their pumpkin spice latte, and every year I order it only to be left a little disappointed. This latte is warm and the pumpkin flavor is very much evident, but sometimes this drink can be a little too sweet, leaving you searching for a glass of water.

Starbucks’ Pumpkin Scone

One of my favorite things about Starbucks’ scones is that they can be viewed as a breakfast item or a dessert, and no matter what time of day you have this pumpkin scone you will be pleased. This pastry screams fall and all things Halloween, but just beware of the strikingly sweet frosting! 

But seasonal doesn’t have to mean pumpkin. There’s plenty of other ingredients that are in season during the months of autumn and highlighted in local restaurants’ recipes. 

Sweet Reba’s Apple Pie Cake 

Sweet Reba’s Apple Pie Cake is a vanilla cake, filled with apple pie filling and cinnamon cream cheese frosting, and topped with vanilla buttercream. (Photo by Riley Palshaw)

Available only during this time of the year, this apple pie cake is guaranteed to make your taste buds happy, as I know it made mine. The recipe for this vanilla cake, filled with apple pie filling, cinnamon cream cheese frosting and topped with vanilla buttercream, was actually created when the owner competed in and won “Cake Wars,” a baking battle televised on Food Network. 

Revival’s beet jam and goat cheese ice cream is vibrant in both its flavor and its color. (Photo by Riley Palshaw)

Revival’s Beet Jam and Goat Cheese Ice Cream

Now I know what you’re thinking: Beet jam and goat cheese? What’s that even taste like? Well I can assure you it tastes spectacular. The flavors in this ice cream are subtle and compliment each other to a T, and they do this without leaving an odd taste in your mouth like you would anticipate with ingredients like beets and goat cheese. This is a cold and refreshing seasonal dessert, perfect for those all-too-familiar heat waves we get in the fall. 

Carmel Valley Roasting Company’s Salted Caramel Mocha

This salted caramel mocha is a seasonal item on their menu, available only during this time of the year, which is such a shame because it may be my new favorite hot drink. It is so rich and the chocolate is intense, but doesn’t cross the line of being overly sweet thanks to the salt from the salted caramel flavor incorporated in the drink as well. 

Alta’s Rose and Geranium Pot de Creme paired with their Pine and Huckleberry Latte makes for the perfect autumnal treat. (Photo by Riley Palshaw)

Alta Bakery and Cafe’s Rose Geranium Pot de Creme with Strawberry Gelee

I was not sure what to expect before I tasted this pot de creme if I’m being entirely honest. I know rose is a very delicate ingredient to work with, so I was apprehensive about there being too much of it. But that was not the case. This perfectly sized cup of goodness has the perfect hint of rose, and the strawberry gelee adds the sweetness that it needs. The pot de creme is also topped with raspberries and granola, adding to the impeccably presented dish. 

Alta Bakery and Cafe’s Pine and Huckleberry Latte 

I also ordered this item not knowing what to expect, but once I saw the breath-taking latte art created with the froth, I knew that whatever expectations I had would be exceeded. The bitterness from the pine counteracted the sweetness of the huckleberry, joining in complete and perfect harmony. Although these flavors aren’t typically thought of when discussing ingredients seasonal to fall, this latte still manages to deliver the sense of fall that we all know and love. 


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