Planning to make the perfect dessert for Valentine's Day? Here are my top Valentine Dessert Ideas - at least 30 of them!
All are healthy, can be made easily in advance for a romantic dinner for two - or for a Galentine's Day party. Whether it's dessert in a glass ideas, for two, a macaron dessert, with strawberries, without chocolate or with (see below) - there's something for everyone.
Whether it's bubbly or pink you're after, don't forget a classic Kir Royal French Cocktail for the adults!
Valentine's Dessert - Breakfast or Brunch
These classic thin pancakes are always the perfect treat. Particularly great for a Galentine's breakfast or dessert, as February 14th usually falls around the same time as Mardi Gras! Enjoy with all sorts of typical fillings or toppings you'll find in Paris.
Top with sugar and lemon, homemade apricot jam, crème de marrons (chestnut and vanilla spread) or orange curd and serve with a few chopped strawberries or raspberries. However, our personal favourite Valentine crêpe dessert is with salted caramel sauce.
Valentine's Desserts Without Chocolate
Bavarois Recipe with Red Fruit
The lightest and easiest fruity dessert to make in advance. Made with just 5 ingredients, don't worry if red fruits aren't in season and too expensive. This recipe works just as well using frozen mixed red fruits!
A light fruit crème brûlée is the ultimate dessert for two recipe. It's quick to make, made with fresh berries, topped with an elderflower sabayon and toasted under the grill. An elegant dessert that can be whipped up in 30 minutes. For those lucky enough to find fresh, flavoursome berries on other side of the world from France.
Remember Brandy Snaps, the retro crispy caramel wafer-like tubes filled with light whipped cream? Give them a twist with mint, lime and rum and turn them into Mojito Snaps! They’re a lot easier to make than you think. Find out how to store them, fill them and stop them from getting soft or chewy. Great made in advance - just fill on the day!
This silky French classic, served in so many brasseries around Paris, is the perfect Valentine dessert recipe for two. This easy recipe is ideal to make a day or two in advance and is particularly light, as it uses whole milk, not cream. Moreover, it's lighter on the sugar than many classic recipes, as the caramel is sweet enough.
Bourdaloue Tart (Pear and Almond)
I have many more apple tarts - but seduce your Valentine with the ultimate Parisian Bourdaloue tart or make little tartlets.
It’s a classic pear and almond tart found in many patisseries, and has been glazing around Paris since the 1900s.
Love blueberries and lemon? Then enjoy this by the slice or make this in individual ramekins, cooking for half the time. Again, either with fresh or frozen blueberries and the best lemons you can find.
I thought poaching pears was difficult and fussy when I first came to Paris, but these poached pears with coffee (gluten-free) couldn't be easier. Coffee and pears make a great couple. Serve in large bowls to catch the lovely poaching juice and have fun decorating the sides with a large paintbrush.
Although the dessert is without chocolate, decorate the bowls with melted chocolate and serve with chocolate or mocha macarons. Also good with mendiants.
As it's pineapple season, cut out heart shapes in the middle of each pineapple slice to make these individual rice puddings with caramelised pineapple, French style.
Shape the rice pudding around the pineapple rings and serve it in the vanilla caramel sauce used to roast the pineapple.
It's hot! Easy recipe for sliced roasted pineapple – oven baked in a sticky vanilla, ginger, cayenne pepper/chilli caramel with dark rum. Great with coconut macaroons.
Make individual pistachio tartlets and top with strawberry or a chocolate. This recipe was one of my sources of inspiration for my book, Teatime in Paris, where you’ll find the original tartlet recipe with their step-by-step instructions in more detail in the chapter on tarts.
This is the ultimate French lemon tart. Without any cream in sight, this is made with the best, seasonal lemons. Frankly, this is the kind of tarte au citron you'll find in some of the best Parisian pastry shops. Either make one big one and enjoy over the next few days, or make tartlets.
Macaron Valentine Dessert Recipes for Two
This has to be one of our best dessert in a glass ideas. These gluten free dessert shots are inspired by the Parisian Ispahan with rose, raspberry and lychee.
For more pink inspiration, see these pink macarons.
A great macaron dessert for 2. Serve in a large glass serving dish with 2 spoons! The macarons in place of the traditional trifle sponges make this gluten free.
Where France meets Italy for dessert. We love tiramisu macarons but what about making a tiramisu dessert with Parisian macaron shells to replace the traditional savoiardi ladyfinger biscuits? The result is a gluten free version of the Italian creamy coffee classic.
The most scrumptious raspberry macaron filling made with fresh raspberries in a white chocolate ganache. With a subtle hint of rose, these are the kind of macarons we see in Parisian patisseries and, most importantly, are fondant and not too sweet.
Why is it that salt added to caramel is so agonisingly addictive? As a result, this must be the most popular macaron flavour – confirmed by the Parisian pâtisseries in my Top 20 Best Macarons in Paris. Full recipe extract from my book, Teatime in Paris.
Ice Cream Valentine Desserts
Don't churn down the idea of homemade ice creams in February! (Pun groan, thanks!)
This no-churn ice cream is perfect for the winter in France. Known as Glace Plombières, it's made with candied fruits. Popular at Berthillon on Île Saint-Louis, it's easy to make at home. Serve with a little apricot jam (with lavender) that's been slightly heated.
Celebrate lemon season and keepy your hot Valentine cool. Serve with strawberries and a macaron or two.
Cranachan Parfaits - with Oat Praline & Shortbread Thins
Cranachan is a traditional Scottish dessert often served for St Andrew’s Day, a Burn’s supper in January or just a good Scottish celebration. To celebrate the Auld Alliance in France with Scotland, I have given it my own original French twist to make my original Cranachan Parfait.
The result is a no-churn honey and Whisky ice cream topped with crispy oat praline and served with fresh raspberries on thin rounds of buttery shortbread.
This Chestnut Vanilla Ice Cream makes me dream of holidays in France – and particularly of my husband’s island of Corsica. Candied chestnuts are such a festive French treat during the holiday season but I love this light and easy Valentine dessert.
This popular French ice cream cake dessert is ideal for Valentine's Day. A celebratory dessert (gluten free), it's often found in the freezer cabinets in French pâtisseries. To make your own, just add a tub of sorbet, meringue and whipped cream.
Chocolate Desserts for Valentine's Day
This is my healthy French answer to red velvet chocolate cake. This recipe both gluten free and reduced in butter and sugar! My best recipe, recently updated for an exciting upcoming scientific food experiment, is so fudgy, fondant and moist, there’s no need for any frosting or creamy filling.
For a melting heart of dark, bittersweet chocolate, make these easy individual lava cakes. Just call them 'moelleux au chocolat' (pronounced mwa-le o'shokolah) in your most romantic French accent.
Made in just under 30 minutes! If "You've lost that loving feeling; Woah-woh-oh...", add a warming glow of ground or candied ginger to these classic lava cakes and add a few raspberries or pomegranate seeds.
Halve the recipe's quantity for a dessert for two - with one left to share. Prepare the batter and have them ready in the moulds just before dessert. When ready to serve, bake for no more than 8 minutes.
Crack into this easy recipe for milk chocolate crème brûlée with passionfruit. A French classic dessert with a fruity, acidic twist with chocolate – or surprise your Valentine instead with a centre of melted dark chocolate.
These extra light mousses without cream are ideal for an easy, make-ahead dessert.
This is not unlike our favourite French chocolate mousse without cream (the recipe is also on video).
However, in this recipe I added passion fruit and used just egg whites - then topped each pot with some caramel nougatine. The extra nougatine can keep days longer to linger on delicious moments.
White Chocolate Mousse with Rose
A fluffy light white chocolate mousse with whipped cream and an egg white. Rose and orange blossom are added for that extra French touch. Healthy with no added sugar, this is great on its own or as part of a bigger dessert below. Serve with pink macaron shells for something special.
This rose and white chocolate mousse doesn't just stop there. Add a layer of rhubarb & strawberry compote or cheat and use good quality rhubarb compote (Bonne Maman do a good one). Serve with strawberries and tuiles.
Love pink and roses at Valentines? Then pair rose with white chocolate in a panna cotta. Here I cheated with the sauce using frozen dark cherries as they're not in season but the partnership is wonderful.
Add a heart-shaped macaron or two to add the perfect finale to this gluten-free dessert. Here's how to pipe out macaron hearts.
French Hot Chocolate is perhaps the ultimate love potion. This recipe is similar to the dessert-like drinks served in many Parisian cafés and only has 4 ingredients. In Paris for a romantic weekend? See my Guide to the best tearooms in Paris.
The Ultimate Valentine Dessert Gift Idea
Plus, at the bargain price of each book, you can bring Parisian tarts, éclairs, teacakes and much more to your own kitchen with a recipe tour of the best pâtisseries thrown in! It's a gift that keeps on giving.
Have a very Happy Valentine's from Paris.
This post was originally published 11 February 2016 but is now completely updated to include more recent dessert recipes.