Whatever your relationship status or feelings about the holiday itself, Valentine’s Day is a great time to indulge in dessert, from classic chocolate mousse and crème brûlée to molten chocolate cake and truffles. But all of those are loaded with dairy, eggs, and often flour—so what’s a vegan and/or gluten-free dessert lover to do? Not miss out, that’s for sure. These vegan, gluten-free versions of all your favorites are just as satisfying, even if it’s not the allergy-friendly status that allures. They’re straight-up delicious, so dig in! And the fact that they’re (relatively) healthy? Even more reason to love them.
The Best Vegan Chocolates
If you'd rather skip all the work, we've rounded up the best vegan chocolates you can buy.
Call them cliché if you want, but molten chocolate cakes will never not be fantastic, and no one need miss out. This vegan, GF version is made with gluten-free flour, cocoa powder, strawberry puree, coconut milk, vegan chocolate chips, and a little aquafaba, among other things. They’re made in silicone cupcake molds (heart-shaped ones if you have ’em). And make sure you buy a gluten-free brand of baking powder, like Clabber Girl or Rumford. Top with your favorite dairy-free ice cream for extra decadence. Get the Easy Vegan Gluten-Free Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes recipe.
Cup4Cup Gluten Free Flour, $11.47 on Amazon
An all-purpose gluten-free flour you can substitute in almost any recipe that calls for conventional.
Vegan chocolate chips and peanut butter (or whatever other nut or seed butter you prefer), melted together, smoothed into a pan, and set in the freezer for one hour. That’s all it takes to achieve this lusciously creamy treat, but feel free to dress it up a bit by sprinkling shaved chocolate, sea salt flakes, freeze-dried raspberries, or even gold leaf on top! And if you can’t wait an hour, use it warm and call it vegan fondue. Get the 2-Ingredient Vegan Fudge recipe.
Vegan cheesecake can be made a few different ways, but this recipe goes with the time-honored method of soaking cashews and blending them into a creamy mixture with coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla—and in this case, strawberries for festive flavor and color. Drizzle liberally with dark chocolate and it evokes that other classic V-Day treat (chocolate-covered strawberries, of course). Get the Vegan Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Cheesecake Bites recipe.
These vegan churros are easily made gluten-free too when you swap in a GF flour blend meant for baking. Coated in a mix of sugar and powdered freeze-dried strawberries, they’re pretty perfect. But dip them in chocolate and they’re even better. The heart shape isn’t hard to form, either. Get the Vegan Heart-Shaped Churros with Strawberry Sugar recipe.
Coconut sugar, tahini, vanilla extract, and coconut oil combine to make a golden, gooey, vegan caramel that gets enrobed in dark chocolate for loveable bite-size treats. No time to get a heart-shaped mold? No excuse not to make them—you can just use an ice cube tray instead! Get the Vegan Salted Caramel Chocolates recipe.
Red velvet cake is full of problematic ingredients for vegans and gluten-free folks (flour, eggs, buttermilk, cream cheese…), but this moist cupcake version is made with a homemade GF flour blend, dairy-free milk, and a vegan buttercream to top off the romantic red confection. Get the Gluten-Free Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes recipe.
This creamy, deeply chocolatey mousse is made with avocados for a silky, allergy-friendly, and vegan treat with a hint of cinnamon (and a little almond butter or coconut cream to smooth it out). Get our Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse recipe.
Crème brûlée is pretty much all eggs and dairy, but you can make a creamy vegan version with soft tofu and coconut cream. (If you’re unsure about the tofu, try a soy-free vegan version made with pumpkin puree instead.) Either way, you can’t forget the crackly burnt sugar top! Get the Vegan Crème Brûlée recipe.
Tintec Culinary Blow Torch, $13.47 on Amazon
This refillable butane torch (with safety lock) is a great, safe way to play with fire in the kitchen.
This vegan, gluten-free skillet cookie made with almond butter (or seed butter), coconut sugar, flax eggs, and coconut flour is meant for sharing, but who will know if you eat the whole thing by yourself? The pools of melted dark chocolate and sprinkle of flaky sea salt certainly make it tempting. Be sure to get gluten-free rolled oats. Get the Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Oatmeal Skillet Cookie recipe.
Make sure you get gluten-free rice cereal (always check your labels) and vegan marshmallows for this easy, chewy, gooey treat—you’ll swap the usual butter out for coconut oil, and won’t miss a thing. Plus, once more, there’s added chocolate (and crushed GF graham crackers if you want). Use heart-shaped cookie cutters if you’re into themed desserts. Get the Vegan Gluten-Free S’mores Rice Krispies Treats recipe.
Vegan, gluten-free chocolate cake meets truffles—or cake pops without the fuss of sticks. However you want to think of these easy treats, they’re swoon-worthy. Crumble your cake with coconut cream, roll it into balls, freeze, and dip in melted chocolate. The pink topping here is just shredded coconut with smashed raspberries—genius. (And if you don’t want to bake, cashews, dates, and cocoa powder make for fine, fudgy brownie-style bites.) Get the Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Balls recipe.
Check out the best YouTube cooking shows for vegans for even more great ideas—and browse some of the best vegan cookbooks.
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Header image courtesy of Love Me Feed Me.