There is just something so evocative about October. The leaves changing, the air getting colder, the slight sense of ominous foreboding about something wicked coming for us around the pike... it puts me in a Hogwarts frame of mind. All I want to do is climb into a Harry Potter book, take a walk into Hogsmeade with Ron, Harry, and Hemione, and enjoy a frothy cup of Butterbeer. While it seems this option is left unavailable to me, happily there is a store offering Butterbeer donuts to celebrate Halloween to make up for living in this sad reality where Hogwarts isn't real (so I'm told).
Sugar Shack Donuts and Coffee, a Virginia-based chain of donut stores that were originally opened in 2013 in Richmond, recently announced it would be offering Butterbeer-flavored donuts in October. All 12 of the Sugar Shack stores (throughout Virginia, with one recently opened in Washington, D.C. and two locations in Florida) will be offering these special donuts with a side dish of *magic.* Because not only will there be Butterbeer donuts made in small batches throughout the day, the donuts will also be sold with a tiny Golden Snitch. So it will basically be like you won the Quidditch match and went down to Hogsmeade to celebrate. Dreams really do come true.
The "Golden Snitch" is essentially a delicious, glazed donut hole with two tiny vanilla fondant wings attached, according to Spoon University. As for the Butterbeer-flavored donut; it's butterscotch-flavored with a vanilla glaze. If ever there was a time I truly wished I could apparate, now would be that time. Or even if I could fly on a broom... something.
So that's the good news; that Butterbeer donuts with a side of Golden Snitch exist in this actual world for us Muggles. Now for the bad news; the donuts are only available at the Alexandria and D.C. locations right now, according to Spoon University, while the rest of the locations plan on making them throughout October. Although, to be fair, Sugar Shack is offering anyone who walked in to one of their locations with a physical copy of a Harry Potter book a free house donut, so that's something. Sugar Shack also shared this offer with its customers on Facebook on Monday, and I wish I could have been there to see it:
Bring in your wand and perform a spell, and we'll give you a free house donut. Real wands only, no pencils or sticks from outside.
Swish, and flick.
The other glitch? You have to live in Virginia, Florida, or D.C. to get your hands on one. And while some of us might be willing to move for these Butterbeer donuts, it might not be possible for everyone. Here is a list of the locations, just in case you live close by.
- Richmond, VA
- Alexandria, VA
- Arlington, VA
- Charlottesville, VA (this location is expected to open in November)
- Cocoa, FL
- Fredericksburg, VA
- Chesterfield, VA
- Melbourne, FL
- Henrico, VA
- Stafford, VA
- Virginia Beach, VA
- Hanover, VA
- Washington, D.C.
Sugar Shack representatives explained the inspiration behind the Butterbeer donuts in an email to Romper:
Michelle Roessel (Pastry chef/BOH Manager) and Alexandria and Lexi Works, (Head Pastry Chef/GM Arlington) created it based on their love for all things Harry Potter. The kitchen staff has creative freedom to come up with anything that inspires them, and this clearly did.
So what's a girl to do if she doesn't live in one of the three states and also doesn't happen to have a dose of floo powder on hand? You could try making these delicious Butterbeer cupcakes from Epicurious if you're feeling especially industrious. These are made with buttermilk and feature a buttercream frosting, and I just put on seven pounds writing that.
Or you could try your hand at making actual Butterbeer with this tried-and-true recipe from Delish if you want to go super old-school. It's made with heavy cream, cream soda, and — you guessed — it a whole lot of butter.
Still, it would be way better if we could just get our hands on Butterbeer donuts, I think.
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