CHICAGO — Portillo’s will keep its lemon cake in stores for even longer than planned due to popularity.
The hot dog chain brought back its famed lemon cake this summer a decade after ditching the dessert. The cake was supposed to be available June 13 to July 31 — but the treat was “so loved” that Portillo’s is extending the run to Aug. 31, according to a Portillo’s email.
That will be the absolute last date the cake will be available, Portillo’s said, as oven space will be limited as the holidays approach.
Portillo’s was inspired to bring back the cake after a diehard fan offered a $300 bounty for a piece or the genuine recipe on Reddit.
Ben, of West Lawn, said he’d grown up sharing the cake with his father and had become so desperate to taste it again that he’d even tried coming up with similar — but not quite as good — recipes in his kitchen. (Ben asked that his last name not be used so that his Reddit account may remain private.)
Portillo’s made Ben a cake and gave him the recipe, but his quest woke up thousands of other fans who started asking Ben and Portillo’s for the recipe. Ben even created an online petition, lobbying Portillo’s to bring back the cake. The petition got more than 1,900 signatures.
That’s when Portillo’s decided to bring back the cake for a limited time.
“I was just overjoyed. I couldn’t believe it,” Ben said in May. “It was the best possible thing. It was exactly what I wanted. Something about it just resonated with everybody.”
The cake is baked in stores every morning while it’s available, Portillo’s said in a news release. It’s composed of two layers of yellow cake with lemon frosting.
“After we connected with Ben, we were inundated with messages from other customers,” Portillo’s CEO Keith Kinsey said. “We received inquiries from across the country asking us to bring the cake back. Ben’s plea for his favorite menu item really resonated with a lot of people; we couldn’t have asked for more passionate response from Portillo’s fans.”
Portillo’s has maintained there aren’t plans to bring back the cake permanently — but fans are hoping that can change.
“It was the greatest cake in the world, and [everyone] should definitely try it because it’s not gonna be here for long,” Ben said.