Summer is here, reminding us to appreciate life’s simple pleasures, including our favorite over-the-top treats. Fortunately, the dessert landscape of Miami is a wonderland ice cream, tarts, cakes, pies, and other incredible-looking sweets that taste as good as they look on the gram, and some of the best options are found at the heart of it, in the Downtown/Brickell area.
From light and refreshing options to modern takes on decadent classics, here is a list of the best options to help you eat your way through this treat-laden neighborhood.
One day, a croissant met a muffin and went for a dip in cinnamon… with sugar, of course. The result is a tasty, adorable crossover shaped to a muffin form, filled with tricolor vanilla pastry cream and white chocolate pearls for a balance of buttery goodness and rich flavors. The fluffy purple icing and gold unicorn horn complement the harmonic magic with a playful visual. Priced at $8 per piece, the treats are available daily in limited quantities.
The concept behind the French macaron is simple: sweet meringue-based confections made with egg white, icing sugar, granulated sugar, and almond flour sandwiched together with a flavorful filling. They are the perfect little pick-me-up and delicious summer treats, especially when executed to perfection, supersized, and filled with ice cream. Atelier Monier’s crisp and moist macaron shells can be customized in six different colors and filled with up to three gelato or sorbets flavors of your choice such as lychee, pistachio, and banana split ($6.95).
Sagrado’s Cafe luscious Brazilian brigadeiro gives you all the chocolate you’re craving with minimal effort. Decadently addictive, these sweet treats melt in your mouth with the flavors and textures of gently cooked sweetened condensed milk and cocoa powder. The simple mixture is traditionally rolled into bite-sized balls and dressed up with chocolate sprinkles ($2 each), but this downtown spot also takes it to the next level with cake in heart-shapes ($4 each) and cake in a jar options ($11).
Husband-wife duo David and Puja McLennan’s coffee cart at Icon Brickell offers luscious slices of gluten-free lemon ricotta almond cake – a lovely, delicate, and moist treat that doesn’t require any icing. In this version of the Italian favorite, almond melds with the intensity of lemon, and the moisture of the ricotta cheese increase the decadence factor. Since the cake is made with almond flour, it’s perfect for those who’d like to avoid gluten. Enjoy it with a double espresso for a punchy kick ($6.50 per slice).
Miami native Michael Reiss has reinvented the classic Jewish, biscotti-type almond cookies known as Mandel bread. Balanced beautifully in the sweet spot between cake and cookie, each slice includes the traditional mix of eggs, flour, sugar, and vanilla. But instead of packing almonds, they are infused with a nut-free almond extract derived from apricot pits. There’s an original option studded with chocolate chips, along with “Michael’s Gone Bananas” and “The One With Sprinkles” creations, along with a special DIY kit packing one loaf, Nutella, sprinkles, and marshmallow fluff ($40). Shipping is free nationwide so you can easily send this treat to relatives and friends.