Ella Cafe
courtesy of Ella Cafe

Hidden inside the Design District's Palm Court is Ella, a collaboration between venerable Miami chef Michael Schwartz and his daughter Ella. This bright, industrial space offers a variety of café items, including avocado toast, Greek yogurt, salads, sandwiches, and juices. But at the bottom of the seasonal menu is something even sweeter: a rotating doughnut special. Expect flavors such as brown sugar, cinnamon, and white chocolate; brown butter and orange; and melted chocolate and toffee. Each treat costs $3 and comes crowned with a decorated doughnut hole. All doughnuts are unique and made individually by hand. Ella stays on trend with fashionable flavors too: She's created varieties topped with matcha green tea icing, caramel, or cocoa.

Readers' choice: The Salty Donut

Best Cupcakes
Julia Rose Photography

The belief that everything tastes better with a little booze inspired Lola Rivera to begin experimenting. As Miami's craft beer scene flourishes, she has created an assortment of alcohol-and-sweets pairings, including vanilla rum, chocolate stout, and Tortuga rum bite-size cupcakes. Most of them can be made gluten-free — and vegan too. Lola the Baker, which does not have a storefront, operates on a made-to-order basis. Nicknamed "Cupcakes on Tap," her business allows customers to order by the dozen ($10 to $20). To contact Lola the Baker, email [email protected].

Best Desserts
courtesy of MdoughW

You might have seen a photo of a rainbow-sprinkled cookie-dough ball oozing creamy liquid chocolate on Margo Wolfe's MDoughW Instagram page. Wolfe, the creator of Miami's first cookie-dough dessert company, rose to social media fame through gluttonous postings of rich, cream-filled dessert mashups. Her fans are located around the world, but Miamians can enjoy MDoughW treats (around $25 to $30) on UberEats. That's right. Flavors such as Funfetti, cookies 'n' cream, rainbow cake, and chocolate-chunk dough stuffed with a brownie can be ordered and delivered across South Florida. That way, you avoid MDoughW's online shop and the need for shipping. The brand is also known for inventive collaborations, including cinnamon-sugar-infused cookie dough wrapped around a half-portion of a Knaus Berry Farm roll, and a guava pastelito from Versailles stuffed inside flavored dough. When limited-edition collaborations are available, they can also be ordered on UberEats. Each treat begins with a cookie-dough base and is then filled with another sweet. The blend allows Wolfe to dream up the craziest and tastiest confections Miami has ever savored.

Readers' choice: Fireman Derek's World-Famous Pies

Sweet Delights Bakery
courtesy of Sweet Delights

Martha Stewart's recipe for key lime pie calls for condensed milk, egg yolks, key lime juice, and a touch of zest to be whisked together. For Paula Deen, it's those same ingredients, plus a touch of cream. But if you want to get South Florida's most famous pie right, you should probably start with advice from Miami's own phenom baker, Debra Allen, owner of Sweet Delights, housed in a tiny but whimsically spray-painted building that would be more at home in the artsy Wynwood than it is in the Goulds neighborhood of South Miami-Dade. (The bakery will move July 1 to 28838 S. Dixie Hwy. in Homestead.) Her customers know her as the vivacious and smiling Miss Debbie, but you can also call her the pie queen. For Allen, the ultimate key lime pie filling ingredients are a well-kept secret, one she's guarded since she began making the pies in 2010. The only ingredient the self-taught baker will divulge: fresh, hand-squeezed key lime juice. Her treats cost $5.50 for a slice, $12 for a half-pie, and $23 for a whole. They are available in a rainbow of flavors, from tamarind, guava, and ginger to mamey and mango. She's even made an eggnog key lime variety for the holidays. These additions are just enough to lend a hint of color and tinge of flavor but not overwhelm the delicate key lime. Allen's traditional, meringue-topped key lime pie remains the most popular: A hefty slice of creamy, pudding-like custard is cradled in a paper-thin butter-and-graham-cracker crust and crowned with pearly meringue whose fluffy peaks glimmer a golden brown. You can opt for a slice with or without the meringue. It's the stuff dreams are made of.

Cream Parlor
Christian Portilla

Cream Parlor is much more than a spot to snag sweet, frozen scoops. Think of it as your home away from home, stocked with delights such as creative ice-cream flavors, flaky pastries, and knickknacks that offer a sense of comfort. Cream Parlor, a sky-blue hole-in-the-wall ice-cream shop and café that opened on Biscayne Boulevard in August 2016, is the creation of husband-and-wife duo Johnny and Ainsley Tsokos, who dreamed of sharing their favorite foods with the public in a quaint space with a vintage vibe. The eatery caters to all diets, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free, and prices range from $2.95 to $10.95. Sandwiches come on Zak the Baker bread, and the selection of house-made ice creams is varied and playfully named. Try a few scoops of the Prince-inspired flavor, Purple Rain, covered with berries and dark chocolate, or the pastel rainbow of Unicorn Poop, topped with Lucky Charms marshmallows.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®