Swedish Bakery Blog

June 2016

With the official start of summer just around the corner many things come to mind. Cookouts and street festivals, beaches and pools, tan lines and sunburn. But here at Swedish Bakery, we’ve got one thing on our minds when the warmer weather rolls in. Weddings. (Well, wedding cakes to be precise.) One trend that never seems to go out of style is flowers. Whether hand crafted by one of our skilled decorators, or lovingly arranged by a professional florist, flowers are the perfect way to add a little, or a lot, of personality to your cake.

As the center piece of most weddings, the cake is one of the first details guests gush over. Whether two or five tiers, the cake is an expression of the couple’s tastes and the overall style and theme of the event. With the rare flowerless wedding aside, flora and foliage still reigns supreme whether opulent and lush, or modern and subtle. The cake can easily be an extension of the bride’s bouquet, or the eye-catching centerpieces. Flowers are great way to incorporate both color and texture to a white buttercream cake with pops of pink peonies, orange ranunculus, or peach roses. Alternatively a monochromatic look gives the cake an elegant and sophisticated touch with white rose and hydrangea cascades. Any way you slice it, flowers continue their reign as the perfect touch to a Swedish Bakery wedding cake. (Pun completely intended.)

Tying the knot soon? Call 773.561.3461 today to schedule your tasting and consultation, or click here for further information. 



 January 2016

After a brief hibernation, Swedish Bakery has once again reopened after our annual holiday closure. It’s back to the grindstone, school is in session, and though it may be gray and gloomy on the streets of Chicago, inside the bakery it’s all purple, green, and gold.

The King Cake, a traditional Lenten time treat, has been enjoyed throughout much of Western world since the Middle Ages. Quite different from its bread like predecessor, King Cakes as we know them today are made from Danish dough, and filled with cinnamon and almond filling. Topped with icing and colorful sprinkles, this seasonal delight is baked with a trinket inside that traditionally represented the Christ Child, but in modern times has come to symbolize luck and prosperity.

In 1872 during a visit to New Orleans, Grand Duke Alexis Alexandrovitch Romanoff of Russia was said to have chosen the colors purple, green, and gold for that year’s Mardi Gras festivities. It was not until 20 years later in 1892, during the Rex Parade, that the colors where affirmed by the year’s Rex, or Mardi Gras King. Each color holds a representation with gold for power, green for faith, and purple for justice. It was around this time that the French introduced the King Cake to New Orleans, and the version was we know it today was born.

Although rarely found baked into the cake these days, the plastic baby is a staple atop most King Cakes. A bean, or in Swedish Bakery’s case a Maraschino cherry, is baked into the cake in lieu of a bit of hard plastic. The individual lucky enough to find the cherry in their slice of cake may be designated “king” or “queen” for the evening, and be given the responsibility for purchasing the cake next time Mardi Gras rolls around.

At Swedish Bakery you can choose from two varieties of King Cake. The “Traditional” is topped with colorful sanding sugar, a plastic baby, and Mardi Gras beads. Our “Orleans” style King Cake is decorated with icing sugar, colorful sprinkles, a plastic baby, and Mardi Gras beads. Both varieties are made from our Danish dough and filled with almond filling and cinnamon, and contain a Maraschino cherry prize. Our King Cakes are available now thru Saturday, March 26th so be sure to place your order to ensure availability.

Hot Cross Buns will be available starting Wednesday, January 13th, until Saturday, March 26th. Choose from our traditional variety made from plain cinnamon dough with candied fruits and raisins, or our fruit topped option made from plain dough with raisins, and topped with preserves, cheese, custard, or streusel. Semlors will also be available at this time in both plain and whip cream varieties. Paczkis will be available from Thursday, February 4th, until (Fat) Tuesday, February 9th. Prepacked boxes of 12 are available with or without our Prune Paczki, and are a great option for an office Mardi Gras get together. These delicious treats don’t stay around for long so be sure to place your order as soon as possible!

Please call 773.561.8919 or visit us in-store to place your order. You can find more information regarding our location and hours of operation by clicking here

 September 2015

Autumn is upon us, and though it may be the last thing many of us Chicagoans wish to think about (see: worst winters in human history), we certainly can’t help but get a little excited for the changing leaves; chunky knit sweaters and the unavoidable pumpkin spice everything.  Let’s face it; fall in Chicago is a something to be treasured, and with any luck we won’t be sweating through our t-shirts come October and Michigan Avenue’s crosswalks may actually become somewhat passible.

Aside from slightly less congested streets, autumn in Chicago brings with it the memories of the scents and flavors that are quintessentially fall.
  Cinnamon, salted caramel, apple cider and yes, even pumpkin.  Fall is quickly overtaking spring’s wedding season popularity so it’s no wonder that couples are looking to this crisp, favorable time of year to say, “I do.”

Incorporating the flavors and feelings of fall into your wedding cake is as easy as, well…apple pie!
  (You thought there was a pumpkin joke coming, didn’t you?)  Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your fall wedding cake.

Keep it Seasonal and Consider the Menu

Keep in mind what will be in season come fall.
  Strawberries may be plump and juicy during a July tasting and consultation, but come October you may find those same delicious strawberries aren’t so delicious imported from thousands of miles away.

A majority of caterers work with what is available and in season.  This means that the produce they use will be at its peak flavor and freshness, thus creating for their clients, dishes of higher quality and taste.  When considering which flavors to feature in your wedding cake, simply look to your menu!  Rich, decedent flavors such as ganache and hazelnut compliment the earthy, comforting foods of fall.

Incorporate the Textures and Colors of Autumn

Fall is awash with rich jewel tones, earthy hues, and natural organic textures.
  Even a subtle rustic finish on a buttercream wedding cake can bring in the feeling of the season without being overwhelming.  For a larger impact consider a fondant frosted wedding cake in a deep wine or crimson hue, accented with neutral toned floral clusters or a subtle, embossed pattern.  From simple to elaborate, fall offers up an endless array of decoration possibilities.

Fall Means Flowers?  (Yes, really.)

Most of us think of spring when it comes to blooming buds and greenery, but a wide variety of flowers are at their peak availability during fall, and even some well into winter.
  Bulbs such as tulips and amaryllis are easily manipulated by growers to bloom during the colder months, making them an ideal crop to flood the markets during this time of year.  Dahlias and other mum type flowers are readily available during autumn and come in a variety of bright, rich tones to compliment a fall wedding.

If flowers aren’t your thing consider incorporating the season’s bounty with marzipan gourds, apples, leaves, and yes, pumpkins.
  (Okay pumpkin, we get it!)  Succulents are a great trend right now and compliment the bright hues of fall with their neutral, silvery tones.  Whether gumpaste, fondant, or fresh from the florist, fall flowers are an excellent way to bring color and appeal to your wedding cake.


 August 2015 

 The scent of cinnamon fills the air, dotted with hints of cardamom, anise and toasted almonds.  Rich, velvety coffee is poured into a Lindberg cup; steam swirling from the top in delicate, dissipating curls.  Drops of pearl sugar glisten atop warm, inviting kanelbullar, waiting to be devoured.  You wonder where is this magical place and how do I get there?  But this tempting scene is more than simply a place, this, is fika.  


Pronounced (fee-ka), the Swedish tradition of the coffee break (accompanied with a treat no less), is being celebrated all month long here at Swedish Bakery.  A social institution in Sweden, fika can be enjoyed almost anywhere with anyone.  You can fika at home with your family, at the park with your friends or even at work with your fellow employees.  Many businesses have a designated fika room (or fikarum to be exact), where employees may go to relax, reflect and socialize.  Now doesn’t that sound like a great idea to bring up at the next board meeting?

One of the top three coffee consumers in the world, the average Swedish citizen will consume 39 gallons of the strong stuff in a single year!  (And they won’t be taking their cup-of-joe in a “to go” mug either.)  For the people of Sweden, coffee is a very serious event, and fika is a chance to slow down, take a break and enjoy life.


But that doesn’t mean there is only one way to fika!  Everyone fikas differently, so don’t be afraid to try it for yourself.  All month long we will be offering even more delicious Swedish pastries to enjoy with your fika (along with bags of delightful Swedish coffee.)  And don’t forget about our daily Anniversary Month specials on select items.  So invite your sister, your mother, your cousin, and even your old college roommate over for some fika this weekend.  You may wonder how you ever got along without it…

Show us how you fika by using the hashtag #swedishbakeryfika on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!  (Don't forget to tag us in your posts!)