Here's a feel-good story. With all the independent bakeries closing over the years, pastry chef / baker extraordinaire Emily and Vern Smith have reopened Sweet Cakes Bakery on North Milwaukee Avenue.
For more than six years, father-daughter team Vern and Emily Smith offered their scratch-made baked goods at their Damen Avenue location. When they closed that venue, they put their efforts into a bigger shop and, voila, the 1223 N. Milwaukee Ave. location was born.
In addition to all the decadent treats the bakery is known for, Emily Smith, who is allergic to eggs and dairy products, plans to cater to vegan, gluten-free and other restricted diets as much as possible.
Some of the traditional specialties that await you at Sweet Cakes are The Brioche Bostock (brioche soaked in almond syrup and topped with frangipane and toasted almonds), The Egg (a cornmeal muffin with an egg baked in the center), The French Egg (a twist on the coddled egg that is made with a puff-pastry shell filled with caramelized onions, house-made tomato sauce, Parmesan, and a baked egg), and other specialty cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and fresh bagels daily.
To celebrate their grand reopening, Sweet Cakes will offer free Passion House Coffee Roasters’ coffee the weekend of Jan. 17-19.
Sweet Cakes will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. through the winter, with expanded hours in the early spring. They cater everything from dinner parties to meetings at the office, and all of their napkins, plates, glasses and flatware are compostable, recyclable and / or biodegradable. Since opening in 2007, Sweet Cakes has donated their daily leftovers to St. Stanislaus Kostka’s food pantry, helping to feed more than 20,000 Chicagoans a year.
Sweet Cakes Bakery
Address: 1223 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
Hours: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, hours subject to change in the spring
Website: Under construction