There’s a Hot New European Dessert in Miami — and You Can Only Get It at Kendall’s

Like all important trends, the best desserts eventually find their way to Miami. Churros. Pestalitos. key lime pie. Buñuelos. Flan. Dulce de leche which, quite frankly, can be served over pretty much anything, including a pile of cabbage, and few people would complain.

Now, a hot new European dessert is making its debut at Kendall’s, the only place you can find it in Miami.

If you haven’t traveled to Eastern Europe in the past several years, you may not have heard of chimney cake. There have been some demonstrations in Miami, but they have been fleeting.

But in cities from Prague to Transylvania to Budapest, the popularity of the sweet dough covered in sugar and baked around a roller until crispy has grown so much that more than one country claims it as their own.

Max Goldstein, owner of the new Chimney Cakes & Co., which opened in the Dadeland Mall, said several countries claim the cake’s origin, including Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic, though most sources give that honor to Hungary.

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A baker sprinkles sugar on a tamarind cake dough.


All three countries want the European Union to make chimney cake its historic dessert, he said, just as France has a special designation and protection for Champagne. Sparkling wine cannot be labeled Champagne unless it comes from a specific French region.

“In every country there is a legend surrounding the chimney cake,” he says. “The recipes are passed down from grandmother to grandson. This dessert has been a tradition for a very long time.”

We’ll leave the EU to trace the origins and tell you that the cakes are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside and coated in sugar glaze, cinnamon or sea salt. They flavor whatever you want to stuff in them (they’re called tamarinds because of their cylindrical shape and hollow middle).

Chimney cakes, after baking, await their filling (which is usually sweet but can be salty).

Chimney cakes, after baking, await their filling (which is usually sweet but can be salty).

At Chimney Cakes, which is located next to the Apple Store, you can make your own surprise cone. If that’s too intimidating, check out the menu, which offers a variety of flavors (chocolate, Nutella, raspberry, lemon, coffee among them) with or without ice cream and specialty toppings. They cost $9.25.

Although the cakes are primarily a dessert or snack to go with coffee — Chimney Cakes & Co. has a full coffee bar, serving Viennese premium brand Julius Meinl — there are also three delicious options for $9.95, one with ham and Gruyère cheese, another with cream cheese and salmon and a third which is a play on the Caprese salad with mozzarella and tomatoes.

“We don’t want to be just a dessert place,” says Goldstein.

A sweet tamarind cake is ready to be eaten.

A sweet tamarind cake is ready to be eaten.

To that end, the business also added a panini press and makes sandwiches on chimney cake bread ($11.25). Picture warm ham and cheese drizzled over crispy dough, the sugar caramelizing into something scrumptious.

Miami, Goldstein says, is the perfect place to appreciate the dessert, which improves with every cultural tweak (his Argentinian family makes it with dulce de leche, he says).

“Miami isn’t just the dessert capital. It’s the food fusion capital,” he says. “It’s something unique about Miami.”

Chimney Cake &  The company offers three savory cakes, including a Caprese-style version and another with salmon and cream cheese.

Chimney Cakes & Co. offers three delicious cakes, including a Capri-style version and another with salmon and cream cheese.

Chimney Cakes & Company

Where: Dadeland Mall, 7535 North Kendall Drive, Miami

Opening: March 18; open daily

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