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Romantic, non-chocolate desserts for Valentine's Day

Patricia Conte has a background in marketing communications and works as an independent writer. In 2010, she was given the opportunity to combine her love of writing and food when she started as a contributing writer for the Food channel...

Never mind the chocolate!

What? Go without chocolate on Valentine's Day? Some of you might take issue with this, but once you see these delicious, romantic, non-chocolate desserts, you'll forget (at least for a bit) all about chocolate!
Creamy cheesecake with raspberry sauce

Step out of the (chocolate) box this Valentine's Day and make a dessert for your sweetie that doesn't include chocolate. Hard to imagine? Think again! These non-chocolate desserts are delightful and your honey will see you in a whole new light for your ingenuity!

Creamy cheesecake recipe with raspberry sauce

What's not to love about creamy cheesecake? This is a traditional cheesecake recipe that your honey will be glad you made time for! For added romance, this cheesecake gets drizzled with fresh red raspberries. How romantic!

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups sour cream
  • Mint sprigs for garnish
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Parchment paper

Raspberry sauce:

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries (or one package of frozen if you can't find fresh, thawed)
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Use a large mixing bowl to combine and beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Individually add each egg, beating well after each. Mix in the lemon juice, vanilla and salt. Beat in the sour cream until blended.
  3. Lightly coat an 8-inch springform pan with 2-1/2-inch sides, and line the bottom with parchment or waxed paper coated with the nonstick spray. Wrap the outside of the pan with a double layer of foil to keep the mix from leaking out.
  4. Pour the batter into the pan. Set the pan in a large roasting pan and surround it with one inch of very hot water.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes. Turn off the oven without opening the door and let the cake cool for one hour.
  6. Remove the cake and place on a cooling rack for about an hour. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Unmold the cake onto a plate and garnish with the raspberry sauce and mint sprigs.

Raspberry sauce:

Add the fresh (or thawed) berries to a bowl, pierce with a fork to let the juices run out, add the lemon juice and confectioners' sugar and mix well. Refrigerate before serving.

Pomegranate and strawberry mousse recipe

Light and fluffy, this dessert will make you feel like you're on cloud nine with your sweetie! What makes this dessert even more romantic? It's a low-calorie dessert -- leaving you feeling less guilty about enjoying other Valentine's Day goodies!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh or thawed frozen strawberries, plus extra strawberries to garnish
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 (7 ounce) container regular or 2 percent Greek yogurt

Directions:

  1. Add 1/4 cup of the pomegranate juice to a bowl along with the gelatin. Let the mixture stand for about four minutes until the gelatin softens.
  2. Meanwhile, add the strawberries and salt to a food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. In a saucepan over medium heat, add the remaining pomegranate juice and sugar. Bring to a simmer, and stir frequently until the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and gently add the gelatin mixture. Allow the mixture to cook for just a minute; then transfer to the food processor with the strawberry purée.
  5. Blend the mixture for about 10 seconds to combine, and then pour it into dessert bowls (or martini glasses).
  6. Cover the desserts and refrigerate them for a few hours until they're set.
  7. Serve garnished with fresh strawberry slices.

Red velvet cupcake recipe with cream cheese frosting

These red velvet cupcakes have "love" written all over them! The beautiful red color symbolizes your love for your valentine and the cream cheese frosting? Well, that'll just send you head-over-heels!

Yields 24

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1-1/2 cups buttermilk (room temperature)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • Red food coloring
  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 ounce package of instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
  • Cupcake liners

For frosting:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 (8 ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) cupcake tins with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, instant vanilla pudding mix, salt and baking soda, and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer (or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment), beat the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla extract, vinegar, food coloring and oil until well blended.
  4. A little at a time, add the dry ingredients to the mixture. Mix until well-combined and smooth.
  5. Pour the batter into the cupcake tins until they are about 1/2 full with batter.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean, making sure to rotate the pans halfway through the baking time. Cool completely before frosting.
  7. For the frosting, sift the confectioners' sugar in a bowl and set it aside. Use your electric mixer on medium speed (or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment), cream together the butter, cream cheese and vanilla until well-blended.
  8. A little at a time, add the sifted confectioners' sugar to the butter mixture. Beat until thoroughly blended.

Affogato with amaretto recipe

Leave it to the romantic Italians to concoct a heart-racing dessert! Affogato is the Italian word for "drowned," which is how the ice cream is served… drowned in the espresso. Impress your sweetie with your Italian and your dessert-prep skills!

Yields 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint premium vanilla ice cream or gelato
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 4 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
  • 6 Italian-style almond cookies, roughly crumbled for garnish

Directions:

  1. Pre-chill four dessert bowls by placing them in the freezer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, allow the ice cream to soften slightly.
  2. Add the boiling water and espresso powder into a measuring cup and stir until powder has completely dissolved.
  3. Scoop out 1/2 cup of ice cream and add it to each of the prepared dessert bowls. Top the ice cream with one tablespoon of the liqueur and then add some of the crumbled cookies. Serve immediately.

Valentine's Day is one of the most romantic times! Show your love for your valentine by thinking outside the chocolate box with a non-chocolate, romantic dessert recipes!

More Valentine's Day desserts to try

Mini heart whoopie pie
Panna cotta recipes
Healthy Valentine's treats

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