Sylvia Patterson, mom of spooky-silly goth Twitch streamer DJ Patrixia, is an absolute vibe master, and it comes out in her imaginative confections. The self-taught baker owns Sweets by Dragonflies, which is amazingly affordable and has a quick turnaround, with vegan options. And while Patterson can reliably recreate anything you’d find at a grocery store bakery (basketball cake, anyone?!), she shines when she can be a little offbeat.
After seeing the brain cakes she offered last Halloween—dense treats with thick swirls of frosting like brain folds—I reached out to her at Christmastime. My birthday is the day after Christmas, so as a person of goth persuasion, I was looking for something both festive and macabre to serve at my birthday party. With only a week until the celebration, I shot her an email asking if she could make two brain cakes updated for the season, insisting nothing would be too outlandish. Enter Rudolph the Braindeer and Frosty the Snow Brain.
The former had bone-like antlers, a chocolate button nose, and eyes that didn’t quite look in the same direction, and its exterior was airbrushed to look slightly bloody and oozing. The latter was an uncanny pinkish gray with a jaunty little top hat, trimmed with spruce and berries that hid a gash where the two hemispheres met. Together, the cakes were the perfect combo of seasonal, funky, and gruesome. When she delivered them (yes, she delivers!), I couldn’t stop squealing and sending pictures to friends. All my party guests gushed about the inspired, unusual eats—which fed way more than advertised. She’s now my go-to baker.
Sweets by Dragonflies
best of chicago: Food & drink
Best of Chicago 2022 is presented by