It’s no secret that Chicago has become a destination city for foodies and gourmands, nearly on the same level as New York City. Whether you live here or are just here for a short visit, there really are endless choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you’re the type of person with a perpetual sweet tooth, you’ll appreciate this list of the most unique baked goods and bakeries in Chicago.

XO Marshmallow by Lindzi Shanks of The Trendy Sparrow

Lindzi Shanks is the co-owner of XO Marshmallow, a company creating artisan marshmallows inspired by Chicago. The ingredients are really interesting (Kahlua Coffee, Elderberry, etc.)—you can see what’s currently available on the Etsy shop. Shanks is more popularly known as the woman behind The Trendy Sparrow, an online store selling apparel, mugs and gifts, but her marshmallows are on point. 

Sprinkles Cupcake ATM

50 E Walton St

Sprinkles Cupcakes is a cupcakery that many in Chicago turn to for special events, birthdays, and corporate parties. But what’s truly unique about this Chicago bakery is it’s fun and convenient cupcake dispenser—an ATM machine! Look for the large pink block outside of the bakery, insert a credit card, and get your cupcake. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

A photo posted by Kent Tong (@kdtong) on

West Town Bakery Gluten-Free Sweets

15 E Ohio

Another Chicago bakery with a unique offering is West Town Bakery, part of The 50/Fifty Restaurant Group. There are two locations in Chicago—one in West Town, and one in River North. The reason this cupcakery is unique is because it offers gluten-free cupcakes and cakes—ones that actually taste good, to boot. Plus, one of them is next to an excellent pizza place with gluten-free options (Roots), which makes it a perfect dessert spot after dinner.

Emoji Cookies at Beatrix

519 N Clark St

Beatrix’s most unique baked goods are their goofy emoji cookies and other seasonal favorites, like conversation heart cookies with funny sayings on them. Beatrix is also another River North spot that offers gluten-free goodies that taste incredible, so check out their cookie options if you have that dietary restriction.

A photo posted by BEATRIX (@beatrixchicago) on

Mindy’s Hot Chocolate

1747 N Damen Ave

Mindy’s Hot Chocolate is a dessert bar that focuses on pairing baked goods and other treats with indulgent hot chocolate. Chef Mindy Segal is a famous (and sometimes controversial) Chicago chef who put her years of experience into creating this spot. Her book, Cookie Love, is also attests to her love for and expertise in desserts.

A photo posted by @k_blanchie on

Krispops by Public Lives, Secret Recipes

Another Chicago personality who’s a master in the kitchen is blogger Caitlin of Public Lives, Secret Recipes. She offers Krispops, which are a mix between cake pops and rice krispy treats, often in artsy arrangements. Indulge your inner child and order through the shop on her website.


Now that you’ve learned about the unique bakeries around here, why not try your sweet tooth on Chicago’s best donuts? And you’ll definitely want to get in on the best food festivals happening this Spring, while you’re at it. 

What’s the most unique baked good you’ve tried in Chicago? Tell us about it in the comments with as many drool-worthy details as possible.

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