This weekend we discovered that we have a huge problem on our hands.
One big – well, colossal – problem that has put us in quite a sticky situation.
What is this “problem” you ask? None other than a *serious* obsession with over-sized cake donuts!
Many of you are probably thinking this is a wonderfully sweet problem to have (and if we are being honest, we actually agree with you), which is exactly why we decided to introduce you to our newest (best) friend: Sugar Shack Donuts!
Now, before you get any thoughts of boring, dry, tasteless donuts in your head (yes, they do exists!), we need to get a few things straight up front. Sugar Shack crafts some of the most unique, fresh, and flavorful donuts this side of the Stars and Stripes. And when we say “craft,” we mean it.
Sugar Shack’s hand roll-and-cut technique sets it apart from many major donut chains throughout the nation. Large automatic baking systems? Bye Felicia! The manual technique allows customers to enjoy the freshest, handcrafted small batch-donuts every day.
This sweet shop is the brain child of founder Ian Kelly, who, after years of traveling the U.S. as a fine dining chef, was looking for a change of scenery. He certainly found it. In an abandoned car lot in Richmond, Va., of June 2013, Sugar Shack was born. Nearly three years later, Sugar Shack has expanded (thank you donut gods) as patrons can enjoy these creations in seven additional locations (one just opened in Arlington, Virginia, fyi!) with two more in the works for Florida and North Carolina.
We specifically visited the fine folks at the Old Town Alexandria location. Let us tell you – they know what they’re doing! The flow of customers was constant. So much, in fact, that we had to attempt multiple times to even get to the donut display to pick out which ones we wanted. (Don’t let this in any way stop you from going, though. Sugar Shack has their production process down-pact and always has a display window chock-full of yumminess).
We ultimately decided to trust the judgement of the barista, who delivered the scrumptious bundles of sinful sugar pictured below:
Pictured from left to right, you can find the Maple bacon, Original with sprinkles, Samoa, Glazed Red Velvet, Oreo cookie, and Fruit Loops.
As southerners, we immediately went for the red velvet. The donut itself was moist yet light with a cake-like consistency. The cream cheese glaze was still hot and sticky when we pulled it apart (have napkins ready!)
This one deserves a close up:
At that point we knew we needed some coffee to offset the sweetness of the donuts. Thankfully, Sugar Shack had us covered there, too. In addition to offering an array of donuts, they create dozens of coffees and teas with unique flavors. (We went with both the Vanilla and Lavender lattes).
Both lattes were very sweet, but not enough to be overwhelming. It was the perfect pairing! We do recommend having a cold glass of ice water or milk on hand as well to offset the hot textures.
Next, as coconut freaks, we decided to bite into the Samoa. It was like one giant Girl Scout cookie! (Just try to imagine that…) The coconut was crispy, and the melted chocolate mixing into the dough with each bite was pure perfection!
Stuffed to the brim already (I mean, seriously. Just look at the size of these things!) the wonderful staff invited us back to the kitchen to watch where the magic happens. As it was Super Bowl weekend, the donut artists on hand were assembling a pretty “sweet” special order. For the Bronco fans out there, check these out:
And for the Panther fans out there still nursing their wounds (sorry) check out these beauties:
Sugar Shack regularly caters parties, galas, and even weddings! (For all you brides out there, can you imagine a giant, colorful donut tower? We can!) They also make giant donut cakes that come in two different sizes (12 inch and 16 inch) and endless flavor combinations. Check out their Instagram account for more details!
Special orders not included, Sugar Shake makes more than 8,000 on any given day (it takes each baker less then 2 seconds to make a glazed donut by hand! Talk about mad skills…) In addition to the flavors that we mentioned above, patrons can also get their hands on Chocolate Butterfinger, Cinnamon Sugar, Chocolate M&M, Sea Salt Caramel, Blueberry Glazed, and Apple Cake donuts. (Options may vary based on day and time you visit).
Any company whose motto is “fresh products are the best products” definitely deserves our full attention and respect. With it’s commitment to building communities, keeping jobs local, and creating fresh, handcrafted products, Sugar Shack is sure to continue to feed the nation (and our obsession) delicious donuts for years to come.