Plenty of celebrations have come and gone during the pandemic, but birthdays will always require at something special no matter what. Forget the balloons and streamers, we’re here for the crown jewel of the occasion: the cake. Everyone has their own go-to place for ordering a gorgeous creation, and Miami is filled with wonderful local bakeries to introduce into your family’s tradition. Here are some of our favorites:

Traditional

Sometimes you just want a classic, beautifully frosted cake, and that’s totally respectable. We’ve loved The Little Sugars for years now, and their adorable, artisanal creations cover all manner of beauty and flavors that make it well worth the trip to Hollywood. If you’re looking for a cake that will be a crowd pleasure, Cloud 9 is a great place to go. Their baked goods are as homemade and classic as they come. Take it all up a notch with The Glass Oven‘s FOMO-inducing cakes, which never cease to amaze or hit the spot. You also can’t go wrong with dBaker’s in Midtown, where they take simple flavors and transform them into colorful works of art.

Photo of The Little Sugars by Tami Jill

Something Different

Maybe the birthday person is not down with just any buttercream cake, so you might want to switch it up with an element of surprise. Frudeco specializes in luxurious, personalized creations that can spell out initials or numbers all topped with things like macarons, fruits, chocolates and more. Fireman Derek’s is a household name for a reason, and changing out a traditional cake for one of their show-stopping pies or cheesecakes won’t disappoint. Cakes by Cec focuses on gorgeous ‘naked’ cakes a-la Milkbar, but her flavors are very much Miami. Think: dulce de leche, mixed berries, and guava.

Via Frudeco

French Style

Nothing says “classy celebration” like a graceful, French dessert and luckily, Miami’s got a badass roster of French bakeries around town. A go-to for many locals is Gran Paris, which pushes out a beautiful blend of “Fruban” creations. For a more neighborhood-friendly classic, Chocolate Fashion‘s dedication to consistency and next-level treats doesn’t miss a beat. If you want French luxury, look no further than Atelier Monnier, whose array of french desserts will give you decision fatigue. Finally, a best-all-around favorite is Bonjour Bakery in Kendall where every baked good is better than the last.

Via Coral Gables Love

Latin Classics

It’s nearly impossible to find a single street in South Florida that doesn’t have at least one Latin bakery along it. For the specific offerings of a classic Cuban bakery, head to Pastelmania who, while known for their pastelitos, are masters of birthday cakes as well. A serious local gem is the Peruvian cake studio, T’antay, who makes masterpieces you might not want to slice into but will most definitely have you drooling instantly. And for the absolute OG? There is no birthday in the Bunster household without a strawberry pavlova from Piononos on Key Biscayne.

Via Piononos

Vegan or Gluten-Free

Just because some of us have dietary restrictions doesn’t mean the birthday indulgences need to stop. Give thanks to the bakery that pretty much started it all, Bunnie Cakes, whose vegan and gluten-free creations will make you double-take for being just as delicious as the regular kind. The House of V, though more traditional vegan, incorporates colorful fruits, flowers, and patterns that make every cake a total winner. Bettersweet has amassed a local cult following, and with good reason. Their array of options rival any non-vegan bakery, and they taste (and look) just as good.

Via Bunnie Cakes

Cover photo via T’antay Miami.