A Sparkling Vintage Life

The Rose Keeper, Day 4: Dressel’s Bakery

In THE ROSE KEEPER, Clara’s favorite cake is a chocolate whipped cream cake from Dressel’s Bakery in Cicero.In a rather melancholy scene at the hospital where she works, “With a sigh, Clara glanced down the hallway toward the break room, then turned away, knowing her presence at the party would no longer be welcome, even though the chocolate whipped cream cake from Dressel’s Bakery was her very favorite too.” (Don’t worry; she doesn’t stay sad forever!)

I ran across this interesting article about Dressel’s Bakery in the Chicago Tribune. Seems I wasn’t the only one who loved it. I do remember the cakes being available in the freezer section of Jewel, although it seems to me the frozen cakes weren’t quite as good as the fresh variety. But they were still plenty good. And then one day they simply weren’t there anymore.

Those who remember Dressel’s cakes seem to fall into two camps: those who liked the chocolate whipped cream best, and those who preferred the strawberry.  A quick survey on a local Facebook group yielded many comments, of which the following are representative:

“I drool just thinking about that cake. Loved it! We had it for every birthday!”

“I used to walk there on Cermak to get my cakes. I loved that store.”

“Oh, man, I’m drooling I loved that cake. Very devastated when then closed the Dressel’s stores.”

“Chocolate whipped cream cake was an absolute MUST for all our birthdays.”

“My choice for birthday cake was always the yellow whipped cream cake with strawberry filling!”

There are a few recipes floating around on the internet, promising to taste just like the original. I’ve been collecting them, but haven’t gotten up the nerve to try one yet. Maybe it’s the sort of thing that’s perfect in memory only.

What was your favorite dessert as a child? Or now?

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