What Makes a Fruitcake Edible? Just Add Booze.

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In need of a last minute hostess gift? What about the timeless and often dismissed fruitcake? Emily Smith, Chief Baking Officer of Sweet Cake’s Bakery in Ukrainian Village provides a way for locals to purchase a gift of fruitcake that is actually edible- and has customers raving about as the standout on the holiday treat menu.

A new take on the traditional, Sweet Cake’s fruitcake incorporates all the warm winter spices you crave for comfort, like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and coriander. But, inside is the surprise- brandy-soaked fruits like cranberries, cherries, apricots, and candied orange peel, and on top, a brandy syrup sauce. Sold as a one-pound loaf, often two people can eat the whole thing in one sitting.

And yes, they’re open this weekend.

About Sweet Cakes

Beginning with a solid education in science (B.S. from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) and art (with a portfolio full of watercolors), baker Emily Smith got into the habit of working in kitchens so she could eat better. Progressing to the front of the house, Emily worked as server, then spent time on the business side as an office manager with the Chicago based Lettuce Entertain You group, before entering the Culinary Institute of America (CIA)’s Baking and Pastry program. After interning at James Beard Award winner Leslie Mackey’s Macrina Bakery in Seattle, she was ready to venture out on her own. Sweet Cakes opened in 2007 with Vern Smith, who was persuaded out of retirement to work with his daughter. The bakery offers pastries baked fresh daily, from scratch. Food allergies run in the family, so traditional sweets sit alongside wheat-free and vegan pastries. The bakery offers classics like homemade croissants, brioches; handmade bagels on Saturday and Sunday mornings; and tiny pies filled with local fruit and non-traditional flavors like the rootbeer float cupcake and her signature: the Egg, a cornmeal muffin with roasted corn, cheese, and herbs with a whole egg in the center.  Always up for a challenge, Emily offers a variety of items, changing the flavors and textures with the seasons.

Sweet Cakes Bakery. 901 N. Damen. 773.772.5771. http://sweetcakeschicago.com/

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