Food | Food Issue 2019 | McKinley Park

Classic Cakes, New Space

McKinley Park's Kristoffer's Cakes

Asia Babiuk

Looking for a place to order a custom cake for your best friend’s birthday or your grandparents’ anniversary? Well-known and well-loved for their fluffy tres leches cakes, which come in a variety of flavors, Kristoffer’s Cakes should top your list. For those unfamiliar, tres leches is a type of sponge cake made without butter, which results in a cake that’s full of holes and dry enough to be soaked in three types of milk (evaporated, condensed, and heavy cream) to give it texture.

Kristoffer’s tres leches sits comfortably at a level of sweetness somewhere between I-should-have-skipped-lunch and I-am-craving-something-a-little-something-sweet. In addition to the usual suspects, vanilla and chocolate, they also bake cakes in flavors like caramel, coconut, cappuccino, chocolate mint, and rumchata ($23–$37). At the café, they serve the cake by the slice ($3.75) along with other treats like cupcakes, cookies, and chocoflan—and coffee, to wash it all down. Savory—or slightly more savory—options on their menu include tamale types like Mayan, sweet corn, and abuelita ($4).

Owners Carlos and Cristina Chavarria just opened their bakery and coffee shop in McKinley Park last November, but they have many years in the Chicago cake business under their belts. According to Eater, the couple handed their previous shop in Pilsen—Kristoffer’s Café—to new management and moved to Florida in 2013. They returned more than a year ago and started selling to vendors in Naperville and online, using apps like Doordash, Postmates, and Grubhub.

The new café has ample seating in the front and space to host events like weddings, birthdays, and other special events in the back. Since their opening, they have hosted an indoor flea market every couple of weeks to attract customers from different neighborhoods of Chicago. (Manisha A.R.)

Kristoffer’s Cakes, 1735 W. 35th St. Tuesday–Saturday, 11am–7pm; Sunday, 10am–6pm. $2.25–$60. (773) 801-1831. kristofferscakes.com

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Manisha AR is the Weekly’s chief of staff and a writer who graduated from the New Arts Journalism program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is interested in film, video, performances and storytelling. Her last story for the Weekly was a profile of eleven South Side arts spaces. 

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