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Sugar Shack


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!donut9

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:donut2jpg

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).donut6

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.

  1. Leslie says

    These look amazing! I must scour my town for donut shops other than Krispy Kreme & Dunking Donuts. I need one of these! I love shops that have personality, this one looks great! Thanks for the introduction to this place.

    1. Karen Hopkins says

      Thanks Leslie for the support! We hope you will get to try Sugar Shack next time you’re in DC!

  2. Chels (@Inspire_Indulge) says

    Oh, YUM!! Donuts are my hugest weakness. I wish I would have known about this place when we visited DC last summer!

  3. Chrissa - Physical Kitchness says

    O.M.G YES please. I want that somoa in my mouth RIGHT NOW. Actually, ALL of these look amazing!!!!

  4. kage2015 says

    These look amazing. I could splurge once a month and indulge.

  5. Karin Rambo says

    Oh my word those donuts look delicious!

  6. Kristen says

    wow!! These look incredible!! I love that they have huge broncos donuts! So awesome!

  7. Rachel Gault (@rachelgault) says

    OHMYLANTA this looks amazing. I’d be in big trouble if I lived close to this place!

  8. Those donuts look gorgeous!! Plus the hanging donuts are really cool.

  9. Ana says

    Oh my! I’m so jealous that I don’t have that amazing store in my country! The donuts look so good! I’m sure they taste like heaven + they are so cute! Really wish I could try them.
    Indie Suns | Bloglovin’ | Instagram

  10. Miss Melissa (@Melissamchee) says

    The Oreo cookie donut looks delicious.

  11. heyimsara says

    Oww this made me crave donuts so bad but in my time zone it’s night time (thankfully I think) and I can’t get them from anywhere!
    I’d never heard of this shop before thanks for introducing it! Gotta visit next time I’m in the States.

    Much love,

  12. The Southern Thing says

    I would be in sugar heaven with all of those donuts. Looks amazing!

  13. noemi says

    I am licking the laptop screen!!! what did you do to us?! lol … Thank you for sharing!

  14. These donuts look incredible! If anyone’s looking for similar delicious donuts in LA, DK Donuts has some that look pretty good (although maybe not THIS beautiful!)

    XOXO – Danielle

  15. Home by Jenn says

    Oh man those look good! I love how many different options there are to choose from. Thanks so much for sharing!

  16. January Erskine says

    Now thats my kind of problem!! They look so good specially that maple bacon…mouth watering yum

  17. globalmunchkins82 says

    OMG… I went through a crazy stage where I wanted to open an artisan doughnut shop and the one pictured was like the one in my dreams. I will definitly have to make a visit someday 😉 YUM!!!

  18. TamaraG says

    Those are some of the best looking donuts I have ever seen!

  19. Looks delicious! I love finding little hidden gems like this during my travels. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Chelsea M. says

    These look so delicious and pretty! I’m always excited to find fellow restaurant bloggers!

    Chow Down USA

  21. Dominique says

    Love your blog! The pictures of all those colorfully delicious doughnuts make me a little more happy on this day that I feel a little low:) thank you !

  22. Lynda @ Toddler Baby World says

    Thank you very much. This article adds to my knowledge and very helpful!

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