Hometown Bakeries: The Secret Ingredient is Love

As sugar plum fairies dance in our heads, these local bakeries play to all of our favorite holiday-season indulgences. Hear from the bakers behind these landmarks about some of their best-selling treats.

Our region is filled with locally owned bakeries that serve up a delicious assortment of cakes, cookies, breads, pies and other delectable treats. We asked some of our favorite bakers to share their favorite items with us. But don’t take their word for it. Get out there and try these delightful goodies for yourself.

Amy Peterburs Stuebs, Lorelei Bittner’s Bakery

“Our Old World stollen is crafted with butter, spices, golden raisins, spiced Barberitos rum and candied fruit, coated with a sugar mix or topped with white icing. It’s a traditional German Christmas bread that dates back to the 15th century. We have a recipe written in 1927 by the first generation of our bakery. We’re now the fifth generation and, over the years, we’ve improved the original recipe to have a dense, but soft, inside and a rich almond crust.” Find it at 495 Interchange N., Lake Geneva.

Sarika Singh, Hey Sugar

“For hot chocolate weather, we have drinks that are over-the-top, decadent and Instagram-worthy. Everything we make at Hey Sugar is a sweet delight.” Find it at 507 S. Third St., Geneva.

Pamela Strelcheck, Rosie’s Gluten Free Sweets

“My absolute favorite item is our Friands. They are delightful little European oval-shaped cakes that are rich, dense, tender and moist. They come in a variety of flavors. Beaming Blueberry Lemon and Cha Cha Chocolate are the favorites.” Find it at 1400 N. Seminary Ave., Woodstock.

Beata Kochmanski, Konrad’s Bakery

“We sell a lot of kolaczki. It’s a very popular seller for Christmas. Our yule log is a beautiful centerpiece and dessert at the same time. We also sell Christmas petite fours, gingerbread cookies and sugar cookies during the holidays. It’s hard to choose just one item.” Find them at 9531 Ackman Road, Lake in the Hills.

Kellyanne Kozel, Cheshire Cakes

“Our red velvet brownies are my go-to snack. I’ve been eating one a week for the past couple of weeks.” Find it at 40 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake.