Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Pumpkin Dessert Reviews and $30 Gift Card Giveaway!

I was asked by the fine people of Darden Restaurants to try out their seasonal pumpkin desserts to which I said me? Taste free desserts? Don't mind if I do! As you can tell by my recent posts, I am a huge sucker for festive fall flavors and pumpkin is definitely being used everywhere these days. As you can see below, the picture shown to the left is the restaurant's picture and the one to the right is the dessert I was served (like I needed to clarify that with my crapily lit photos). I always like to compare what they actually serve you compared the pretty picture on the menu and I must say that all of these desserts looked much larger (and, dare I say, more delicious) in person.




Pictured above is the Pumpkin Spice Lava Cake from Longhorn. This warm pumpkin spice cake is filled with a cream cheese icing and drizzled with Maker’s Mark® bourbon-caramel sauce and candied pecans. This was perhaps my least favorite of the three. While the cake did have a nice flavor, I personally found it to be a tad too dense and overly sweet, the pecans in the caramel sauce, however, was a tasty treat. When I think of a lava cake, my mind immediately goes to a warm flowing center, not extra icing.


Next we have Red Lobster’s Pumpkin Pie in a Jar. It is layer upon delicious layer of light and creamy pumpkin and cream cheese mousse with a graham-cracker crust, topped off with sugared pecans. This dessert was tasty, although I think that someone left out some of the graham-cracker crust because there wasn't much texture in between the mousse layers. The flavors were good though and I like it because it was a lighter dessert and you didn't feel too heavy (or guilty) after eating it.


Last we have Olive Garden’s Pumpkin Cheesecake which is pumpkin cheesecake topped with whipped cream, caramel sauce and ginger cookie crumbles. This was by far my favorite of the three, perhaps because I have always been partial to cheesecake so when someone throws pumpkin into the mix it just gets that much better. This cake was actually larger in person than the picture ad, and it could have easily feed four people. The decadent whipped layer on top mixed with the all to familiar fall spiced cheesecake was heavenly.

Enough of looking at all these delicious desserts! WIN a $30 Darden gift card and try one yourself! To enter, simply comment below. Limit 1 comment per person please, a winner will be randomly selected on October 25 at 8:00pm.

**I will be doing a follow up post, creating my own pumpkin themed dessert inspired by the three I tasted - so stay tuned!

27 comments :

  1. I like anything and everything pumpkin!!

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  2. I LOVE seasonal treats, too!!! Great reviews!

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  3. Posting on your blog because I like food and free stuff!

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  4. I can't figure out how to comment and not be anonymous - I guess that is because I'm old!!! Loved the cheesecake!

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  5. I love Olive Garden & Red Lobster!!

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  6. I'm loving the current pumpkin craze! I must have that cheesecake ASAP!!!

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  7. I just made a pumpkin run to Trader Joe's last night!

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  8. I'd love to try Pumpkin Cheesecake :)
    adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

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  9. All of the options look amazing and in order to know which is the best I would have to eat them all lol! My wife loves fall, which is why we got married in October :)

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  10. Wow, all of these desserts look wonderful! Pumpkin just says fall to me, and fall is my favorite season!

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

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  11. I cannot wait to try them all.

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  12. I love Pumpkin Pie

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  13. I'd love to be able to try one of these desserts!
    bingomamanorma at gmail dot com

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  14. I love pumpkin flavored things! The pumpkin cheesecake looks great!

    freebiequeen15@gmail.com

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  15. Tough job, but you soldiered though, eh? They all look tasty, but I do enjoy a bit of chocolate with my pumpkin.... :)

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  16. Well, I'm now tempted to try all three of these delights! i love pumpkin too!!!!! DP



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  17. Pumpkin Spice Lava Cake! Must try this one.

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  18. I love anything pumpkin!

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  19. Love the giveaway!

    mandaoverturf at yahoo dot com

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  20. All of these desserts look delicious! Good reviews :)

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  21. Oh yes, I want all of this tonight.

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  22. Those desserts look so good!

    hewella1 at gmail dot com

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  23. Thank you everyone who entered! Congrats to Jesse Robinson! If you would send your address to apatz18@gmail.com I will mail you the gift card! I will be hosting another give away sponsored by Ocean Spray within the next couple of weeks so if you didn't win this time you can try again!

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  24. Hey Annie, how's it? Don't worry, not here for a gift card. I've been so busy that I hadn't taken a look around the blog. Very cool setup, keep up the good (nifty?) work!

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  25. Thanks Kyle! Hopefully you'll be able to catch the next giveaway! :)

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Tell me what you think, I'd love to hear from you!