Credit: Kiki Yablon

cake balls at Bleeding
Heart Bakery

1955 W. Belmont

1010 North Blvd., Oak Park

When you’re a “local, sustainable, punk-rock” bakery, how can you justify wasting all the foodstuff that gets pared away to construct every special-occasion cake? You can’t—and that’s how Bleeding Heart Bakery came up with cake balls. Cake balls ($1.50 a pop) look a lot like doughnut holes, but they’re actually dense nuggets of premium cake mixed up with frosting and rolled in chocolate and other toppings. As you might expect, the selection of flavors changes based on the big cakes being assembled that day, but on a recent visit the trays were stocked with Oaxacan (chocolate with a spicy kick), strawberry-basil (rolled in white chocolate and vanilla crumbs), chocolate-coconut, and red velvet. If, like me, you’re not really a frosting person, you’ll crave them more than any cupcake.