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Celebrating Eli’s Founder’s Day

Eli SchulmanOn January 22, 1910 our founder, Eli Schulman, was born.  An entrepreneur and restaurateur, Eli became a Chicago icon over the course of his life and continues to give back to his community through his namesake company today.

Eli’s Cheesecake was the dream of Chicago restaurateur and celebrity in his own right, Eli M. Schulman. Over his almost 50-year career, he developed a reputation for serving up great food, providing outstanding service and making every customer feel important. Representing the spirit of the city he loved, Eli was dedicated to helping the community. His motto “charity will never bust you” was exemplified during the great depression, by a sign hanging in his restaurant’s window “if you are hungry and have no money we will feed you for free.”

In the late 70′s, Eli Schulman decided that cheesecake would be the signature dessert for Eli’s The Place for Steak, one of Chicago’s most popular restaurants. Every day, between lunch and dinner, he headed to the restaurant’s kitchen to experiment with cheesecake recipes. He frequently served up his latest versions to his regular customers to get their opinion. After about a year of testing, Eli finalized original plain, chocolate chip, cinnamon raisin, and Hawaiian cheesecakes. Little did he know that he was about to change the world of cheesecake forever. Eli created a “Chicago Style” cheesecake, which is a richer, creamier version of its New York counterpart, baked on an all-butter shortbread cookie crust instead of graham cracker crumbs. The restaurant’s customers loved the new dessert, but Eli wanted to test it outside of the restaurant. In 1980, he decided to offer the cheesecake at a booth at the first Taste of Chicago, then a one day food festival, held on July 4th on Michigan Avenue. The street was packed with people and the Eli’s booth was just as busy… with Eli feverishly cutting cheesecake as fast as he could, all the while wearing a sport coat and tie.

After the Taste of Chicago, many other restaurateurs wanted to serve Eli’s Cheesecake. Eli could not produce enough cakes at the restaurant to keep up with the demand. He was at a crossroads: either just bake the cheesecakes for his restaurant or begin a separate cheesecake business. Four years later, Eli’s son, Marc Schulman, left his legal career to head up Eli’s Chicago’s Finest Cheesecake. First renting a bakery on Chicago’s Northwest side, the company grew and in 1996 built Eli’s Cheesecake World, a 62,000 sq. ft. bakery, café and retail store located at 6701 W. Forest Preserve Drive in Chicago.

Today, Eli’s son, Marc, continues his father’s legacy and The Eli’s Cheesecake Company provides a wide variety of high quality desserts to eager mouths all over the world.  The company, like its founder, remains a Chicago icon, offering scholarships to students and sponsoring various events throughout the city.

Join us this weekend, January 20-22, to help us celebrate what would have been Eli’s 108th birthday!


Eli’s Featured in O, The Oprah Magazine

Check out our NEW Heart-Shaped Cheesecake Cookie Sandwiches, as featured in O, The Oprah Magazine’s February 2018 O List!

The perfect gift for your S.O., your galentine, your mom, and your kids – they’re made of Belgian Chocolate Cheesecake sandwiched between two chocolate shortbread cookies, and creamy Strawberry Cheesecake sandwiched between two all-butter shortbread cookies. You’ll get three of each flavor, decorated in pink, red and white. Order here by 11am CT on February 12, 2018, to get your cookie sandwiches by Valentine’s Day.


Eli’s at The Last Speakeasy

On Friday, December 1st, Eli’s participated in the Chicago History Museum’s Last Speakeasy Event. Eli’s Cheesecake is proud to support the event, which was in celebration of the 83rd anniversary of the repeal of prohibition. Attendees celebrated in the spirit of 1933 with old-fashioned (and now-legal!) cocktails, ’30s themed outfits, and plenty of fox-trotting. The event was of course complete with Eli’s Cheesecake Cuties, fudge brownies and more. We are happy to have had the opportunity to sponsor such a great event!

Guests were greeted with an old-fashioned bar

Guests were greeted with an old-fashioned bar

Attendees enjoyed an assortment of mini Eli's Desserts

Attendees enjoyed an assortment of mini         Eli’s Desserts










D.I.Y. Cheesecake Cuties


Named by Eli’s granddaughter, Elana, Cuties are 1″ x 1″ squares of Eli’s Cheesecake, dipped in rich chocolate. Bite-sized and fun to eat, Cuties are perfect for parties and holiday buffets. With our new D.I.Y. Cuties kit, you can dip, decorate, and enjoy handmade Eli’s Cuties at home.

The kit includes everything you need:

  • 24 Original Plain Cheesecake Cuties
  • Fine Belgian chocolate and a bit of coconut oil, to make the coating
  • Crunchy chocolate sprinkles
  • 24 wooden sticks, for dipping
  • Parchment paper, to help keep the mess to a minimum

Complete instructions are included, or visit for decorating ideas, how-to videos, and more.

Order a DIY Cheesecake Cuties Kit here, or call 800-ELI-CAKE.

Halloween Festivities at Eli’s!

Halloween Festivities are back at Eli’s! The annual October celebration begins on Thursday, October 26, and will continue through Halloween (Tuesday, October 31).  Join us this weekend for games, fun, pumpkins and cheesecake.

Events Schedule

Halloween-Fest-2017Thursday: Eli’s Annual Pumpkin Patch

7am-1pm: Shop Pumpkins & Fresh Fall Produce from Nichol’s Farm, plus FREE Pumpkin Decorating with your purchase of a pumpkin

8am-10am: Free Continental Breakfast with your $5 market purchase

Saturday: Halloween DIY Event

9am-5pm: Decorate a mini, 3″, Jack-O-Lantern Cheesecake. $3.50 each

Sunday: Scary Good Savings

11am-5pm: Save up to 30% on select cheesecakes & dessert! (in-store only at Eli’s Cheesecake Cafe)

1pm-2pm: FREE Cheesecake Bingo

Monday: Trick or Treat at Eli’s

8am-6pm: Wear your costume for a special treat at Eli’s Cheesecake Bakery Cafe!

5pm: Eli’s Halloween Cheesecake Decorating Class, $20 per person. Registration Required, call 773-205-3800 to register (click here for more information)

Tuesday: Trick or Treat at Eli’s

8am-6pm: Wear your costume for a special treat at Eli’s Cheesecake Bakery Cafe!


Eli’s Joins the Fight Against Breast Cancer

BreastCancerAwarenessMonthOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and we are delighted to once again support Chicago’s In Good Taste, a breast cancer research initiative by the Lynn Sage Foundation.

The Lynn Sage foundation was founded in honor and memory of Lynn Sage, a beloved mother, daughter, wife and native Chicagoan who tragically died at the age of 39 as a result of her battle with breast cancer. Money raised by the foundation, with the help of more than 180 participating Chicago establishments, including Eli’s Cheesecake, will help fund local breast cancer research. Eli’s Cheesecake is happy to be a part of this initiative which awards scholarships to talented researchers in the early stages of their careers with the hopes of positioning these researchers to secure larger funding as their careers grow.

PinkRibbonCheesecakeThroughout the month of October, customers can purchase our limited edition Pink Ribbon Cheesecake at our Bakery Cafe, and a donation $1 will benefit the cause. It’s Eli’s Original Plain Cheesecake topped with a raspberry gelee, whipped mousse topping, pieces of white chocolate and finished with a ribbon cookie made with our signature All Butter Shortbread Cookie recipe! Customers can also fill a separate form, available at the front register, if they would like to make a cash or credit card donation.

Looking to have our Pink Ribbon Cheesecake shipped to your house? A portion of proceeds from select items will benefit The Lynn Sage Foundation. You can find all of our Breast Cancer Awareness Cheesecakes online at

Eli’s Community Involvement: September Events

September has been a busy month at the Eli’s Cheesecake Company. We are honored to be able to participate in a wide variety of events in our community:

Chicago Gourmet

Laurel Boger 2015Eli's Eleven-37992017 marks the 10 Year Anniversary of Chicago Gourmet, a sensational weekend full of food, wine, spirits and more! It includes celebrity chef demos, can’t-miss wine and cocktail seminars, and tastings galore of delicious food, wine, spirits, and beer. More than 150 of the finest restaurants and chefs, hundreds of wineries, spirit makers and breweries will be in attendance.

To honor the 10th Anniversary, Eli’s Pastry Chefs are baking up a special BIG Slice Cheesecake! Come on down to Chicago’s beautiful Millennium Park and see our Executive Pastry Chef Laurel Boger and her demo at Chicago Gourmet this Saturday, September 23 at 12:30pm in Decadence Dessert Tasting Pavilion 10. Chef Boger will demonstrate (and sample!) Eli’s Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Sandwiches, featured in our Cookbook! She will also be sampling Eli’s Original Plain Cheesecake… the one that started it all!

Chicago Gourmet runs through September 24. For tickets and more info, visit Chicago Gourmet.

Chicago Sinfonietta

Chicago Sinfonietta is a professional orchestra dedicated to modeling and promoting diversity, inclusion, and both racial and cultural equity in the arts through the universal language of symphonic music. Our core values are built around being bold and daring in all aspects of our work, providing a source of connectivity through music, and ensuring and inspiring a continued investment in diversity and inclusion in classical music. 

Eli’s provided Salted Caramel Tarts (yum!) for the September 16 show, which took place at North Central College’s Wentz Concert Hall.

MCA’s Vernissage

IMG_7914The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) hosts Vernissage, the opening night preview of EXPO CHICAGO at Festival Hall, Navy Pier. This extraordinary benefit, organized by the MCA Women’s Board, is a highly anticipated event each year. This year was particularly special as it coincided with MCA 50, a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the MCA’s founding in 1967. Entering its sixth edition, EXPO CHICAGO presents artwork from 145 leading galleries around the world. The exposition provides critical opportunities for curators, collectors, and art patrons to survey the best in innovative and emerging programs. Proceeds from Vernissage raise significant funds in support of the mission of the MCA’s education department, whose programs offer compelling opportunities to explore, challenge, discuss, and reflect on the MCA’s holdings and the larger world of contemporary art and culture.

This year’s Vernissage event took place on Wednesday, September 13, and was a great event! Guests were able to enjoy some of our gourmet desserts. While Cheesecake is our specialty, we are more than just that, and events like Vernissage are a great way for us to showcase all that we do. A big thank you to MCA for allowing us to sponsor the event again this year!

Green Tie Ball

On Friday, September 15, Eli’s Cheesecake participated once again in Gateway Green’s 26th Annual Green Tie Ball. Chicago Gateway Green’s gala raises funds for CGG’s Expressway Partnership Program. The Green Tie Ball, Chicago Gateway Green’s signature fundraising gala made its first appearance in 1992. What began as a 500-person party held in the street is now one of the most well-known and exclusive charity fundraising events in Chicago, attended annually by the city’s most influential professionals and celebrities, and we are happy to have had the opportunity to sponsor such a great event.

On the dessert menu for the night was Eli’s Original Plain Cheesecake, White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake, Chocolate Mint Cheesecake, Seven Layer Coconut Bar, Pecan Pie Bar, Housemade Fudge Brownie, and Blueberry Oat Bar.







The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture’sRaices Gala

Today is the 4th Annual Gala, RAICES: A Celebration of our Roots at the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture. Each year as part of the gala, NMPRAC selects two major artists to receive their prestigious Ceiba Award, the only national award granted to Puerto Ricans for their artistic and cultural accomplishments.  Join them in honoring this year’s National Puerto Rican Ceiba Award Recipients: Rita Moreno and Quiara Alegria Hudes.

Eli’s Cheesecake is thrilled to be part of this tremendous event by serving our cheesecakes and desserts.

Wood Family Foundation

Eli’s is honored to participate again  in the Wood Family Foundation’s Inaugural Storybook Gala on Friday, September 22 at Morgan MFGin Chicago! Proceeds from this event go to help support Pitch In, an after school mentoring program serving Chicago’s most at-risk children.

The Wood Family Foundation is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2011 by Chicago Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood and his wife, Sarah. The WFF works to improve the lives of children in and around Chicago by raising funds and awareness for its children’s programs and other children’s charities they support. The WFF acts as an advocate for children in the Chicago community, inspiring others to join them in their mission.

For tickets to the Storybook Gala, visit the Wood Family Foundation.

Lou Malnati’s Cancer Research Benefit

This year will be Lou Malnati’s 47th annual Cancer Research Benefit! Eli’s is proud to be able to donate cheesecakes & desserts for all of the attendees. The benefit will take place on Saturday, September 23rd at the Meadows Club in Rolling Meadows.

Starting in 1971, Lou and Jean Malnati hosted their first annual charity event to raise a scholarship fund for a local athlete that would play football at Wake Forest University, in the name of famous Chicago Bear Brian Piccolo, who passed away from cancer. After Lou also fell victim to cancer in 1978, Jean transformed this dinner into the Lou Malnati’s Cancer Research Benefit. To date, the Lou Malnati’s Cancer Research Fund has raised over $3.5 million to benefit organizations who are dedicated to finding a cure for cancer.

All proceeds from the event benefit:

The Hideout Block Party: Sputnik Party

On Saturday September 23, The Hideout will celebrate its 21st birthday, AND 60 years since Sputnik! Join them for a night full of fun, music, and, of course, Eli’s Cheesecake! Proceeds from the party will help support Foundations Of Music. The fun begins at 1:30pm, and a $20 donation will be collected at the door.

September is National Honey Month!

The purpose of National Honey Month is to promote American beekeeping, the beekeeping industry, and honey as a natural and beneficial sweetener. September is significant for honey producers as it is the month that marks the end of the honey collection season for many beekeepers in the United States.

The honey used in Eli’s Cheesecakes comes from the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences (CHSAS), one of the only urban agricultural high schools in the country. Bees are working round the clock on the South side of Chicago so that student beekeepers from CHSAS can harvest enough honey to supply Eli’s with the key ingredient used to produce Eli’s Honey Almond Cheesecake. According to Marc Schulman, Eli’s President, “It’s a win win because by purchasing the honey from CHSAS, we not only support the school financially, but give students the opportunity to participate in many aspects of the food industry.” CHSAS senior Charlie Herrera agrees, “As a food science major, I like the fact that our teachers incorporate real business situations into the classroom… like the honey project.” Students are involved in every step of the process, from harvesting to preparing and bottling to delivery of the wildflower honey to Eli’s bakery located on Chicago’s Northwest Side. We enjoy a strong partnership with the school, providing job shadowing, mentor programs and internships. All proceeds from purchasing the honey as well as a portion of the proceeds from Honey Almond Cheesecake sales go the CHSAS college scholarship fund for deserving seniors.

The Story of Eli’s Honey Almond Cheesecake


All month long, save 10% on Eli’s Honey Almond Cheesecakes & other honey-infused desserts at Eli’s Cheesecake Bakery Cafe (6701 W. Forest Preserve Dr., Chicago 60634).

DIY Eclipse Projector

The solar eclipse is Monday, August 21! Here’s how you can make a projector box from an Eli’s Cheesecake box. Learn how here!

IMPORTANT: This viewer is meant for informational purposes only. This viewer won’t allow you to look directly at the sun during the eclipse. Please use caution while using this viewer. You risk permanent eye damage if you look a the sun without proper eye protection. Do not allow children to use this viewer unsupervised.

You might not be able to see the sun during the Solar Eclipse, but hopefully you can still find Eli’s “Eclipse Blackout Cake” in our Chicago Bakery Cafe!


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Chef’s Appreciation Week

At Eli’s, our people are the most important part of our company. From our highly-skilled and quality-minded bakers to our dedicated sales, marketing and customer service team, everyone at Eli’s is dedicated to making the best desserts for your table and to giving back to our community. This week, we are celebrating Chef’s Appreciation Week by highlighting our incredibly talented Pastry Chefs:


Chef Diana Moles

Vice President of Research and Development

Diana Moles has been a managerial pastry professional for twenty nine years. As Vice President of Research and Development for Eli’s Cheesecake, she has designed countless signature products, and provided customized product commercialization for Eli’s international customers. She was nominated for American Culinary Federation’s Pastry Chef of the year in 2010. Chef Moles began her pastry career as an apprentice with a European bakery in the Chicago area. She completed her professional training at the American Institute of Baking and the Culinary Institute of America. An award-winning pastry chef, Diana is also a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier. She teaches cooking and fine pastry classes in the Chicago area, co-authored The Eli’s Cheesecake Cookbook, and is an advocate for people with disabilities.

Most recently, Chef Moles was honored at the 2017 James Beard Award Gala for her work on Eli’s Honest Abe Honey Caramel Apple Cheesecake, a dessert that is not only made in Illinois, but uses some of our state’s greatest ingredients. The fresh goat’s milk cheesecake, served with house-made honey-ginger sauce,  is baked on a salty almond crust and topped with fresh apples sautéed with butter and cinnamon.





Laurel Boger 2015Laurel Boger

Executive Pastry Chef

Chef Boger is the Executive Pastry Chef and creative Research Chef for The Eli’s Cheesecake Company. Aside from dazzling Eli’s domestic and international customers with her delicious desserts, she is a veteran cake designer at Eli’s for production of giant cheesecakes served at corporate, entertainment and celebratory events. Laurel earned her Baking and Pastry Arts degree at Johnson and Wales University along with her BA from Michigan State University, apprenticed in Germany and established her own signature Bakery Café in East Lansing Michigan before joining the Eli’s team.

Chef Laurel is Eli’s Queen of Big Cakes! She has been honored to create big cakes for a number of events, including both of President Obama’s Inaugurations, Eli’s annual Taste of Chicago Birthday Cake, “Honest Abe” Cheesecake in the shape of the Illinois State Capital for the Illinois Board of Tourism Conference, James Beard Award Gala Welcome Event, and many more.