If the hole of a donut were the point of an exclamation mark, then the golden doughy goodness around it would be crying, “Eat me!”

—Aimee Serafin

It is rumored that early ones dated back to the 17th Century and contained a mixture of almonds, raisins, chopped apples and cinnamon. Original versions are claimed by Parisian, Dutch, British, and Jewish bakers alike and resembled doughy fritters. They were culinary spinoffs from a Roman dessert cake that was fried and dipped in honey. The fried cakes have since been christened beignets, zeppole, puff puffs, doughnuts or donuts and olykoeks, a Dutch word meaning oily cakes. Legend says the handheld dessert got its trendy hole from Captain Hanson Gregory on a journey across the Atlantic when he used one of the spokes on the ship’s steering wheel to hold the pastry during some rough seas. Although the history of the first doughnut has many origins, one thing is certain: doughnuts are a most-loved snack worldwide. If one thing could bring us together it might be the doughnut.

That is why Shiela’s Bakery in North Augusta carries the power to unify. The folks at Shiela’s know a thing or two about hand-crafted desserts that top confectionery lists around the world. The soft, fluffy golden doughnuts at Sheila’s Bakery are melt-in-your-mouth delicious as are the sweet rolls, fritters and kolaches. Any of the selections would be an optimal choice for the morning before the big holiday meal or a snack for any day of the week. Maybe go for the home-spun cinnamon rolls with brown butter cream cheese frosting or the “best apple fritters in the South” as a natural partner to morning coffee. Try seasonal favorites like Maple Leaf (maple iced doughnut with salty bacon), Autumn Gold (pumpkin sweet roll with cardamom cream cheese frosting) and fruit-filled kolaches (sweet buns with fruit filling).

There is carry-out and online ordering available. Call 803.646.0668 for curbside delivery.

Visit www.sheilasbakingco.com for holiday hours and location.