Anyone who knows me is well aware of my addiction to sweets. Cakes, cookies, cannolis, cheesecakes, chocolates and churros could easily be my life’s purpose. Believe me; I’ve got the dental bill to prove it.
Luckily, I’ve been able to put my talented taste buds to work to scope out some of the best bakeries in town. I ate my way through South Florida, feeling completely guilt-free as I declared myself a cake enthusiast. Think of these competitive reviews as the Hunger Games of bakeries. May the frosting be ever in their flavor.
Chocolada Bakery & Café
1923 Hollywood Blvd
Hollywood, Fla. 33020
My experience at Chocolada can be described in one word: passionate. Yes, I know that may be a bit dramatic, but let me explain. I had absolutely no intentions of looking for a bakery the day I found Chocolada; Chocolada found me. What attracted me to this Hollywood hot spot was the live music playing at the entrance. But the lively music was the least of my concerns as soon as I spotted the array of desserts enclosed within the restaurant.
It was heaven with a cherry on top. After a pleasurable 15 minutes of trying to decide which dessert to choose, without offending the others of course, I went with the dulce de leche cake. This delectable treat was delivered on a silver platter, complete with a milk chocolate top layer, soft moist vanilla cake center, French vanilla custard and caramel-covered diced peaches. This cake stood no chance; I practically devoured it with my eyes before I actually ate it.
Chocolada Bakery & Café not only offers heaven-sent desserts, but also has an impressive dinner menu. From a variety of fancy signature Romanian dishes to family-friendly kids meals, this menu is compatible with even the pickiest eater. However, if you plan on eating a meal here, then you better bring the dough — and I’m not talking doughnuts, sadly. With entrée prices ranging from $10 to $25, it’s easy for college students to spend their week’s worth of food allowance in one night. So if you’re going to stop by, make sure it’s for the dessert, not the dinner. The Cake Enthusiast rates Chocolada’s Bakery & Café a 4 out of 5.
7855 Pines Blvd.
Pembroke Pines, Fla. 33024
Royal Treatz is located in what looks like an abandoned parking lot — not a very “royal” first impression. However, once you meander up the courage to walk in, you’ll learn that it’s not all that bad. Though it is small, it’s clear that this bakery’s mission to bombard you with a variety of different treats. Whether it be the mural of cupcakes plastered on the wall, the topping bar for ice cream, or the 8 ft. glass case filled with every cupcake imaginable, this place makes it difficult not to indulge in some type of treat.
Although Royal Treatz had a wide variety of cupcakes to choose from, I decided to opt for its signature cupcake — The Red Velvet. Unfortunately, it looked better than it tasted. I had high hopes for this bakery, but I was let down after rooting for this underdrog bakery. The cake was dry and tasted more like a chocolate cupcake rather than red velvet. Even the frosting was dry, which I founnd completely odd. How do you make dry frosting? After three hesitant bites, I ended up throwing the cupcake out the window for the birds to eat. It’s not often I throw away cake, let alone a red velvet cupcake, but it was just insulting my pallet.
Sorry, Royal Treatz, maybe my taste buds were just too regal for your cupcake. The Cake Enthusiast rates this bakery a 2.5 out of 5.
Stork’s Cafe Bakery
2505 N.E. 15th Ave.
Wilton Manors, Fla. 33305
Stork’s Café Bakery’s slogan is “Bringing a unique combination of an upscale coffeehouse, bakery and bistro café, all rolled in one.” Quite frankly, I couldn’t agree more. Stork’s Café Bakery is where Starbucks meets the Cheesecake Factory. It’s the perfect spot to grab a quick coffee and Danish pastry, read a good book and relax.
This café’s tranquil vibe can slow down any frantic college student’s busy day. Not to mention, it’s open 6:30 am to midnight every Monday through Friday and 7 a.m. to midnight on Saturday and Sunday. Sounds like perfection to me. Plus — wait for it — they deliver. With affordable prices ranging from $6 to $10, this bakery was clearly made with college students in mind. It has a nice selection of sandwiches, pastries, coffees, teas, salads, smoothies and anything else you’d imagine a bakery to have.
It didn’t take long for me to decide what I wanted; the homemade white chocolate raspberry cheesecake had my name all over it. It looked really simple — no over the top decorations or elaborate frosting designs, just a plain cheesecake with a light raspberry drizzle on top. But despite its ordinary look, the taste was nothing short of amazing. I’ve proudly had my share of white chocolate cheesecakes and their version tops them all. My pallet has never embraced such a rich, thick, decadent cake before. The only problem I had with this bakery is that its cake selection was pretty limited. However, the selection they did have was good enough for me. It’s evident their theme is quality over quantity.
The Cake Enthusiast rates this bakery a 4 out of 5. Keep up the good work, Stork’s.
1102 Lincoln Road
Miami Beach, Fla. 33139
Pardon me while I take a deep breath. Serendipity 3, my, oh my, where have you been all my life? This restaurant is hands down, thumbs up, the best bakery in town. The scenic Lincoln Road view, the bigger-is-better theme, and the fact that this is probably the closest I’ll ever get to eating at a real-life Willy Wonka factory are just few of the reasons I am head over heels for this South Beach attraction.
The original Serendipity 3 in New York only offers desserts, which is clearly its specialty. But, the Miami Beach version offers a full course entrée menu, so of course, I had to take advantage of this edible serendipitous experience. I ordered the smoked chicken quesadillas, a side of onion rings, and — drum roll please — red velvet cake. My last experience with red velvet cake didn’t go well, so I decided to give it another try, and, boy, am I happy I did.
This cake reminded me why I’m a self-appointed Cake Enthusiast. One bite of this velvety delicacy and I was floating on a cloud of cream cheese frosting. The only issue with this four-layered, burgundy colored, rainbow sprinkled, chocolate drizzled masterpiece was that it was delivered to me with two spoons. Was I supposed to share this heaven-sent treat? I don’t think so.
Although Serendipity 3’s menu items are pretty costly, with desserts starting at $12, the experience is surely worth it, especially given the blissfully indulgent portion sizes. The Cake Enthusiast rates this bakery a 5 out of 5.
My experience sampling bakeries was pretty sweet — literally. While most bakeries made me proud to tote around my extensive dental bill, others made me ashamed that I have it. Chocolada had the largest selection of unique treats. Stork’s had the tranquil vibe every bakery should have. While Royal Treatz had a great concept, it just couldn’t quite deliver. So, with its circus-like food presentation, yummy entrée dishes and mouth-watering desserts, Serendipity 3 definitely takes the cake.