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Sweet Somethings

Dessert... It’s the sweet ending to your special day—and, quite likely, the course your guests are most looking forward to. But how do you take your cake to the next level and avoid being ordinary? We challenged Chicago’s top bakers to wow us with beyond-the-trends spreads, two-bite morsels and, of course, tony tiers. The result? Six distinctly different concepts that are raising the bar on reception confections.

From left: Chocolate brownie torte with white chocolate caramel ganache, dark chocolate ganache, hazelnuts and walnuts garnished with chocolate curls and caramelized walnuts and hazelnuts; white buttermilk cake with blackberry Swiss meringue buttercream filling and vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream frosting embellished with fresh flowers and blackberries; and small baskets of fresh strawberries, blackberries and raspberries, all by Toni Patisserie & Café, 312.726.2020, tonipatisserie.‌com

From top: Icing spoons with pistachio buttercream with chopped pistachios; cake batter buttercream with white chocolate pearls and rainbow sprinkles; honey-apricot buttercream with salted Marcona almond and granulated honey; strawberry buttercream with strawberry Pop Rocks; Nutella buttercream with hazelnut toffee bits; cake batter buttercream with white chocolate pearls and rainbow sprinkles; and fudge buttercream with mini marshmallow and Graham cracker crumbs, all by Blue Plate, 312.421.6666, blueplatechicago.‌com

Clockwise from left: Raspberry linzer cookies dusted with powdered sugar; 4-inch lace-inspired wedding cakes; vanilla sour cream cheese cake with brûléed sugar top and fresh strawberries; apricot linzer cookies dusted with powdered sugar, 6-inch white chocolate mousse tart with white chocolate curls; and blueberry brown-butter custard tarts, all by Bittersweet, 773.929.1100, bittersweetpastry.‌com

Boozy red velvet cupcakes with Italian buttercream, Baked the Bakery by Pure Kitchen, 312.224.8277, bakedthebakery.‌com

 

 

Bourbon pecan lace cookies, by Baked the Bakery by Pure Kitchen, 312.224.8277, bakedthebakery.‌com

Blackberry thyme Champagne cocktails, Baked the Bakery by Pure Kitchen, 312.224.8277, bakedthebakery.‌com