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Photograph: Emily Nejad/Bon Vivant Cakes

Send a cheeky cake to the Chicagoan you miss the most right now

Morgan Olsen

One of the hardest things about social distancing is that we don't get to see our friends, family members and favorite bartenders whenever we want. But the sooner we get this over with, the sooner we can all get back to our normal lives. Until then, we will happily delight in these quarantine-themed cakes from Chicago pastry genius Emily Nejad, owner of Bon Vivant Cakes.

"I think we're all looking for small moments of joy and humor right now, which is where the cakes come in," Nejad says. "I can't take credit for the idea: Butter & in San Francisco is where they first popped up with phrases like 'Wash Your Hands.' I wanted to put my own spin on it, I wanted a project that expressed the weird mix of deep anxiety and optimism that I think we're all feeling right now, but more than anything, I wanted to make something that made me smile."

Available for no-contact pickup or delivery, these layered confections make it easy to say "I miss you" in the most delicious way possible. The heart-shaped creations serve eight, and customers can choose chocolate or birthday cake batter and select their preferred filling (vanilla buttercream, cookies 'n cream, salted caramel or strawberry preserves). Of course, the most important decision you'll make is figuring out which phrase you wanted etched in frosting across the top. Choose from cheeky options like, "Can't Touch This," "Free the TP," "Stay Home," "In This Together," "Confine Me Daddi," or "Fuck This Sucks." From there, simply pick a few colors you like and Nejad will take care of the rest.

Nejad, whose business is typically fueled by big parties and workshops, is also offering sugar-packed treat boxes, four-layer Mighty Mini cakes and custom creations.

"I was on track to have my best quarter since starting my business four years ago, and then I watched my entire calendar fall apart in two days," she says. "But I'm honestly really excited to have the opportunity to connect with a whole new group of clients who maybe have always wanted a cool cake but couldn't make it happen. This is our moment. I've got time now."

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