A street view of the Sugaree's storefront during the night of a full moon

About Our Bakery

A Slice of Southern Hospitality

Since 1997, Sugaree’s has created made-from-scratch cakes in historic New Albany, Mississippi. Our cakes are rooted in traditional, Southern recipes and a devotion to simple, premium, locally-sourced ingredients. We are in love with our town, proud of the traditions we sustain, and delighted to have become a celebrated, nationwide ambassador of classic Southern layer cakes. Community, authenticity, and history are baked into every cake
we make.

We Bake to Bring 

People Together

What’s the best part of a freshly-baked dessert? While some might say it’s the frosting, we think it’s getting to share a slice with our favorite people. To share food is to share a piece of our heritage and our hearts.

Spending time around the table creates memories and connects us to one another. Our mission at Sugaree’s is to make that table bigger and bigger, and pass around enough plates and forks to ensure that everyone gets a taste of real southern food and culture. We hope that our desserts give you and your loved ones the chance to slow down, enjoy good times, and make new traditions around your table. Share your Sugaree’s moments with us:

Group photo of the Russell family with a caramel cakes

Our Treats Are Worth Writing Home About

A slice of strawberry cake on marble countertop

Southern Layer Cakes

Our cakes are made the slow, old-fashioned way with time-honored techniques. Our caramel icing is made in a cast iron pot and takes eight days to prep. It’s a difference you can taste.

A variety of cupcakes arranged on a green countertop


Our cupcakes are made with the same delicious recipes we use for our layer cakes – just in bite size versions! Well, they might be a bit bigger than bite size... unless you’re an alligator.

a selection of pies on display


Every pie starts with our homemade lard and butter crust. We always use locally-grown pecans, sweet potatoes, and strawberries. Southern Living put our chocolate meringue pie on their “Top Ten Best Southern Pies” list!

an arrangement of brownies and bars

Brownies & Bars

Our brownies are rich and moist — not too cakey, not too fudgy. We use very high quality chocolate and butter for all of our bars.

a variety of cookies and tarts


We’ve collected recipes from family and friends (like Ms. Voncile, a lunchroom lady known for her tea cakes) to make our cookies and we use high quality chocolate, local pecans, and European butter.

Various cakes in glass display amongst greenery

Special Occasion Bakes

Celebrate with Sugaree’s! From birthday cakes to gift baskets, party trays, smash cakes, and more, Sugaree’s has memorable, delicious desserts for every giftable moment or special event.

Group photo of the Russell family with a caramel cake

Every Cake Must Be Up to the Standards of One Person: My Mom

“I grew up learning to bake with my mom and grandmother. My mom was one of those people who made 30 kinds of Christmas candy, and everything else you can imagine. Our family tables were where important memories were made, sacred spaces with homemade food at the center.

The setting didn’t have to be fancy. My grandmother’s holiday dessert table was a big piece of wood set across the washer and dryer in the laundry room. The food and the community it created were the important parts. With Sugaree’s cakes, I’m sharing that love, honoring family, and passing on those memories.”

- Mary Jennifer Russell

What People Are Saying

The O list taste testers were rendered speechless (mouths full) by this moist cream—cheese pound cake from Sugaree’s Bakery. It’s made using a recipe from Robbie Ray, a Mississippi woman who clearly knows her way around a cake pan.”

After trying the chocolate cake, one of us here at HuffPost Taste immediately thought, ‘It tastes just like my mom’s!’ Another HuffPost editor exclaimed, ‘It tastes homemade.’ Still another editor who has sworn off sugar took one look at the cake and devoured a slice. It was simply irresistible. The cake itself was super moist, and the frosting was buttery and heavenly. Mostly, it tasted like home, childhood and happiness.”

It only took one bite, and we fell in love with this bakery in New Albany, Mississippi. Sure they have layer cakes galore, but the pies are what we dream about.”

The folks at Sugaree’s Bakery know their way around a dessert. I wasn’t alone in my thoughts when a coworker took a bite and, between chews, was able to say only, ‘oh, my god!’”

Sugaree's Bakery in New Albany, Miss., lets us all in on the Southern tradition. The caramel cake is the classic, made by melting sugar in a cast-iron pan. The red velvet is not too sweet and terrifically tender, and these cakes arrive in perfect condition, frozen and on dry ice.”

Meet Mary Jennifer Russell — the Face Behind the Frosting

Sugaree’s founder, President, and boss baker, Mary Jennifer Russell – or MJ – is a woman of many talents. When she established Sugaree’s Bakery in 1997, MJ was still fresh out of college with a Biology degree from Ole Miss. By 2017, she had been named Mississippi’s Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

As an entrepreneur and change-maker, she has paid it forward in many ways to her beloved New Albany community. From 2012-2020 (a nine year run) she spearheaded the Biscuits & Jam Farmers’ Market held every Saturday morning starting in late May and continuing through the summer. Sugaree’s added to the offerings of dozens of local farmers and food artisans with concerts and free biscuits, jam, and coffee.

Mary Jennifer’s community activism has included multiple successful and significant grants to support improvements in New Albany, as well as farm-to-table dinners, concert series, folk art markets, economic development efforts, and other community events. She has hosted workshops on Livable Communities and was invited by the EPA Office of Sustainable Communities to speak at the New Partners for Smart Growth national conference in Baltimore in 2017.

Jennifer holding a strawberry cake