In a time when many of us crave comfort food and desserts especially figure in big, I had to weigh in once again on my best desserts in Miami of 2020 (plus, you readers know how I love dessert). Though with COVID -19 closures and challenges, there were fewer restaurant openings this year that yours truly went to, there were still 11 standouts covering categories of ice cream, cake, pies, and even a milkshake as dessert. You’ll see that some selections are more over the top than in years past. But after all, we have to indulge where we can this year. And if you’re looking for great desserts offering home delivery, check out the link at the end. Enjoy!
Middle Eastern desserts aren’t usually my first choice but the unique Kunafa at Tur Kitchenin Coral Gables made me a convert. It’s flaky phyllo dough filled with creamy ricotta cheese, rose water, and walnuts and pistachio on top, much better than the well known baklava dessert.
Is it super sugary? Yes. Over the top? Yes. But the Cookie Monster Make a Wish milkshake at Sugar Factory in South Beach made the list as a dessert experience. OMG was that wild. The oversize mug was coated in dark chocolate with chocolate chip cookie bits affixed to the chocolate. Cookies and cream ice cream are blended with vanilla sauce, topped by a blue frosted donut with an accompanying blue buttercream cupcake. The milkshake was very creamy and delicious. Want breakfast as dessert? Get their pancakes. Note that they’re opening another branch in Aventura early next year.
The dessert I ordered the most in 2020 for my dinner parties was the Italian Crostata from dolce-e-salato-home-bakery. A crostata is an open face tart made with jam or fresh fruit and a buttery pastry crust that’s almost cookie like. I varied between the raspberry and apricot, with the latter winning out as tops. Even my super picky Italian friend gave it high marks.
A birthday dessert duo that gets top marks is the signature vanilla meringue cake from Cipriani. Better yet, team it with their creamy, rich vanilla gelato and you’ll be in heaven.
High Dive in West Palm Beach scored with its goodie bowl. Get this, it has chocolate mousse batter, chocolate cake scraps, roasted banana sorbet, broken chocolate cookie, smoked sea salt caramel and chocolate chip cookie dough. Incredible.
A top cake selection was the refined olive oil cake from MILA in South Beach, a beautiful sight to behold and so delicious, made with Japanese white tea, bruleed figs, fig compote, goat cheese foam and pine nuts. Don’t miss it.
Once again, the Great Wall of Chocolate cake from P.F.Chang’s makes the list. a towering six-layer chocolate cake with rich chocolate frosting between each one and chocolate chips.
The specialty Eden Bars are better described as Snickers brownie bars. They’re “a brownie, meets cake, meets candy bar, all in one bar” and they’re sold by the pan. Take them over the top with choice of add ins like peanut butter chips, peanut butter cups, M&M’s and Snickers bar bites. . E-mail email@example.com or call 917-478-6348. @edenbarbakery on Instagram.
Surprising that the best chocolate souffle I’ve had is not in a French restaurant in Miami but rather in the Spanish-Basque Leku in the Rubell Museum. It has just the right texture — light but with a texture and a deep chocolate flavor. It is served with raspberry sorbet.
Weighing in again this year is the honey onyx pistachio gelato from Forte dei Marmi. And what a presentation, in a natural cut travertine bowl from a San Pietro marble quarry near the town of Forte dei Marmi.
Though this post is about Miami desserts, I’m making a second exception to the list and including one that I just had in Delray Beach at Lionfish restaurant because it was so delicious and innovative. A creative riff on key lime pie (and much better in my book) is their key lime pie bombe. The centerpiece is what looks like a lime but it’s actually Florida key lime curd surrounded by brown butter graham crunch, blackberry compote and dabs of soft meringue. Divine.
For more top desserts, these offering home delivery, click here.