In Fredericksburg, Virginia there are two very popular donut shops. There’s Sugar Shack and then there’s Duck Donuts. The rivalry is so big that there have been twitter fights between Fredericksburg residents and the donut shops. Everyone has an opinion and today with the help of my gal Sara, we are going to put these two donut companies head to head and choose the best donut shop.
If you read my Street Style & Donuts blog post then you know that donuts are my favorite dessert. I want to go ahead and put all of my personal information on this topic out there before we dive into the judging. I have had Sugar Shack donuts on multiple occasions but I have never tried Duck Donuts before. My favorite donut flavors are Strawberry and Coconut. Strawberry is the flavor we are putting to the test today <3 Of course all opinions are my own (and Sara’s) and if you end up liking the one we liked the least that is TOTALLY okay! Both companies are amazing and everyone has different preferences! Sara and I both used NO bias towards either brand.
Now let’s dive on it. Everything will be scaled on a 1-10 scale.
At Duck Donuts Sara and I both got one donut and they came in separate mini donut boxes which were super cute. We both agreed that the packaging of Duck Donuts was not only cute but very Instagramable. It definitely beat the paper bags we got from Sugar Shack. Sugar Shack does give out boxes when you order 6 or more donuts. But Sara and I both (separately) ordered two and we received the paper bags.
Duck Donuts: 10
Sugar Shack: 1
2. Store Atmosphere
I unfortunately didn’t get a photo of the inside of Duck Donuts and honestly it’s because there was nothing to show. At Duck Donuts all of the donuts are made to order which is a very nice quality. But when Sara and I walked in we were very very confused. Neither of us had ever been in a Duck Donuts before and the employee was in the back. Eventually the employee came out and said hi to us. For about an awkward minute we stood there looking around trying to find the donuts and that’s when I saw the part of the menu that said made to order and we both let out a loud “ohhhh”. I ordered a vanilla donut with strawberry icing and coconut shreds. Sara ordered a vanilla donut with lemon frosting, coconut shreds, and raspberry drizzle.
At Sugar Shack they don’t have the made to order option but when you walk in you see all of the yummy donuts on display. These are the donuts you can choose from. There were two employees working and they both greeted us and asked us what we wanted. It was so hard to not walk away from Sugar Shack with a whole dozen because everything looked and smelled so YUMMY. Instead of each of us getting six we both decided to get two donuts. I ordered a strawberry donut and a chocolate coconut donut. Sara ordered a red velvet cake donut and a beignet donut.
Even though Duck Donuts is made to order I still feel that they should have donuts on display. The store was very large and empty and it left Sara and I (two new customers) very confused. You would expect it to be like an ice cream shop where are all of the toppings in huge glass cases and you can watch the person make your yummy donut. When you walk into Sugar Shack you know exactly what to do and you can physically see how good everything looks.
Duck Donuts: 3 (left us confused and was very bland)
Sugar Shack: 10 (it was just so cute inside and everything looked SO YUMMY)
Presentation is always one of the most important factors when it comes to food. You want what you are eating to not only taste good but look good. Sugar Shack SMOKED Duck Donuts with presentation. The raspberry drizzle on Sara’s Duck Donuts donut looked like ketchup and the drizzle style was very simple. On her beignet donut it had a fun star pattern. Both of our Duck Donuts boxes had coconut shreds in it and Sara’s drizzle even ran over. This made the donuts look messy to pick up where as on the Sugar Shack Donuts everything was in place. When also comparing the two donut shop presentation skills, I paid attention to how pink my strawberry frosting was. The Sugar Shack frosting was the most pink and also had strawberry seeds visible.
Duck Donuts: 4
Sugar Shack: 8
4. Is it Instagram Worthy?
For both pictures I wanted to hold up the donut(s) over my eyes to show off their cuteness. Unfortunately the Duck Donuts donut would have ended up on the ground. The donut was very mushy (will discuss this more in the quality category) and the coconut shreds were falling everywhere. I wanted to see how the coconut on the Sugar Shack one would hold up so I went ahead and used both donuts to cover my eyes. The Sugar Shack donuts held their ground. They weren’t mushy so when I flipped them sideways I didn’t have to worry about them losing shape or breaking. The coconut shreds stayed in place as well.
Duck Donuts: 6
Sugar Shack: 9
The most IMPORTANT aspect is the taste of the donuts. Don’t get me wrong both donuts were good but there are some major factors that went into deciding. Number one was flavor. Both of my donuts had strawberry icing on them but only on one donut could I taste the strawberry and that was my Sugar Shack donut. I even took off the coconut on part of my Duck Donuts donut to try and taste the strawberry icing but it tasted like vanilla icing dyed pink. To make sure I wasn’t going crazy I had Sara try the donuts and she said the same thing.
The next important factor is texture. The Sugar Shack donuts were thick and fluffy while the Duck Donuts donuts were mushy, soggy, and I cannot believe I’m even typing it…moist.
The last factor of taste is which donut did my tummy want me to finish. The only donut I could finish was my true to the taste of strawberry, Sugar Shack Donut.
Duck Donuts: 5
Sugar Shack: 9
I’ve already dived into the quality a good bit but I want to recap it all here.
Both donuts were served warm. The Duck Donuts were very thin, squishy, mushy, moist, and a little soggy. What I mean by soggy is it felt like they were soaking in the icing for hours. While the Sugar Shack donuts were thick, fluffy, and topped with icing instead of soaked in it. The Sugar Shack donut wasn’t dry either it had the perfect amount of moistness (ah I hate that word). I got a donut from both companies with coconut on it so I could compare the quality of the shreds. Both coconut flavors tasted the same but you couldn’t see the iconic donut hole on my Duck Donuts donut. It looked like a mini cake and not a donut.
Duck Donuts: 4
Sugar Shack: 8
At Duck Donuts they give you the creativity to choose your own own toppings and mix the flavors however you want. This puts all of the creativity onto the customer and not the store. At Sugar Shack they make up their own creative flavors. They have basic, classic donut options but then they also have the fun unique options such as; maple and bacon, Samoa, s’mores and tons more.
Duck Donuts: 7
Sugar Shack: 8
For one Donut at Duck Donuts it cost $1.20.
For a house donut at Sugar Shack it cost $1.95.
For a speciality donut at Sugar Shack it cost $2.95.
In total I paid $1.75 at Duck Donuts where I got one donut and I paid an even $3 at Sugar Shack where I got two.
Duck Donuts: 8
Sugar Shack: 8
DRUM ROLL PLEASE!
Out of the possibility of 80 points total…the results are in….
Duck Donuts: 47/80
Sugar Shack: 61/80
SUGAR SHACK IS THE WINNER! YAY!
Like I said earlier if you prefer Duck Donuts that is totally cool and if you prefer Sugar Shack like us then you’re cool too! Everyone has different preferences <3
Let me know in the comments if you are team Sugar Shack or team Duck Donuts!
If you haven’t tried them, judging by the images in this blog post which donut shop would you choose?
This was such a fun blog post for me to make and I had a blast taste testing the donuts with my friend Sara. Make sure to give her a follow on Instagram!
Love who you are!
xoxo, marta bean.