Chilango’s Bakery A visit to this bakery is a little like shopping at Target - we never leave with just one treat
5427 Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI 48209
- Neighborhood: Corktown & Southwest
- Price Level:
- Vegetarian Options
- Free Parking Available
- Hours: Mon-Sun: 6AM - 8PM
- Phone: (313) 554-0133
Stopping by Chilango’s Bakery in Southwest Detroit is a little like shopping at Target. We always come in for just one thing – a slice of tres leches cake, a few churros – and end up leaving with an entire cart full of things we didn’t know we needed, but absolutely had to have.
But unlike that extra lip gloss or polka dot handbag we don’t really need, everything we take home from Chilango’s is appreciated and savored. This snug little shop on Vernor Hwy. makes a wonderful assortment of traditional Mexican dessert.
Grab a tray and go to town on the smorgasbord of sweets displayed in glass cases and on rolling baking racks throughout the bakery.
The thing we often come to Chilango’s for is tres leches cake, because they make a very tasty version of this classic Mexican dessert. The recipe starts out with a simple sponge cake, but that’s where ordinary leaves the party. A mixture of sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream are poured over the fully baked cake, and all the air bubbles in that sponge cake start to sop up every last drop. Its whipped cream topping is light and perfectly balances the creamy cake underneath.
In some ways, tres leches is not like a cake at all, at least not like the typical birthday cake topped with frosting that we’re used to eating. It’s more like a Mexican tiramisu, with a sweet milk flavor instead of coffee.
We can never resist scooping up a few orejas (“ears”) while we’re here, which are these big, crisp and light puffed pastries twisted into an ear shape. Cuernos, a treat that’s shaped like a croissant but denser and less flaky than it’s French cousin, are also a smart (read: delicious) pick.
One of the most well-known Mexican pastries is conchas, or pan de huevo: a shell-shaped, cookie-like sweet with a shell-shaped sugar pattern. You’ll find these in ample supply at Chilango’s. They also make piedras, a pastry that’s traditionally made with stale bread and drizzled with chocolate. It’s great for dunking in your coffee or a warm mug of hot cocoa.
That doesn’t even cover half of the delectable treats you’ll find packed into Chilango’s bakery. There are sweet empanadas, donuts, pound cakes, muffins, and little tarts filling with sweet cheese or fruits. Then there are the rows and rows of cookies, in every variety: from little pink sugar cookies you’ll want to gobble up by the dozen to chocolate-dipped confections the size of your face. Soft, chewy, cinnamon-dusted churros are kept warm all day long, just waiting for you to enjoy.
Chilango’s also makes rosco de reyes – a popular braided bread with a little plastic baby baked inside. It’s a bit like a New Orleans king cake, but instead of eating it for Mardi Gras you’d typically enjoy this dessert on King’s Day in January.
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