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BestReviews baking expert shares what you'll need to make Valentine's Day desserts

Expertly reviewed by Andrea Boudewijn
Alvina Wang/BestReviews

Sweet treats to delight your date

Preparing Valentine’s Day dinner at home is a cozy and romantic way to celebrate the holiday of love. In the spirit of Feb. 14, a sweet treat following the main course is a must. You can be prepared to make a tempting dessert with the guidance of BestReviews baking expert Andrea Boudewijn. As a Cordon Bleu-trained pastry chef, she offered pro-level tips about what it takes to make Valentine's Day desserts that are as special as they are delicious. 

Shop this article: Wilton 55-Piece Master Cake Decorating Tip Set, Baker's Edge Brownie Pan and KitchenAid Classic Series Stand Mixer

Boudewijn’s favorite Valentine’s Day desserts

Most days of the year, any dessert will do. Boudewijn said that Valentine’s Day is a holiday when you want to indulge in something special. 

"I love to make something rich and sumptuous, something sexy. If I'm not making my honey's favorite dessert, I lean toward chocolate," she said, adding that she loves a warm five-nut brownie made with coconut oil for a little flavor flair topped with homemade ice cream.

Boudewijn has another dessert choice that's unique and great for Valentine's Day. "It’s the American version of the famous French dessert, the Opera Cake. This involves baking an almond cake, soaking it with dark rum simple syrup, and layering it with ganache and French mocha buttercream in between. Stunning," she said.

Make it special

Do you want to take your Valentine’s Day desserts to the next level? Boudewijn recommended some simple yet elegant ways to make your sweet delicacies stand out: 

  • Sprinkle on some edible gold flakes to add a touch of pizzazz.
  • Top off baked goods with white sanding sugar so they sparkle.
  • Make a simple syrup to add a burst of flavor to your favorite dessert.
  • Use five parts simple syrup to one part alcohol for best results.

Boudewijn included a recipe for a simple syrup that will make an excellent addition to your special desserts for Valentine’s Day and beyond. 

"Simple syrup can be used over a bowl of ice cream, to soak a cake, to glaze a pie or brownies or even just as a decoration on the plate under a slice of something amazing," she said.

Simple syrup (rum, Grand Marnier and rye variations)

  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cups of sugar


Place sugar and water and bring just to a boil. Take it off the heat, cool and store it in the freezer.

When you want to mix flavor into your simple syrup, blend 5 ounces of simple syrup with 1 ounce of the alcohol. Don't add more alcohol than that or it will create a bitter, overpowering flavor of alcohol and will cause you to lose the delicate sweetness of your dessert. If you need more simple syrup than that, double or triple your amounts.

Boudewijn's recommended baking tools for Valentine's Day desserts

Wilton 55-Piece Master Cake Decorating Tip Set

Boudewijn recommended a comprehensive cake decorating kit for creating beautiful cakes for your Valentine's Day dessert. We love this one by Wilton for its 55 well-made pieces that can be cleaned in the dishwasher. 

Baker's Edge Brownie Pan

If you want to serve chocolatey goodness this Valentine's Day, you need a brownie pan. It's the unique maze pattern of this pan that ensures your brownies will have nice crispy edges. They'll also slide off the nonstick surface with ease. 

KitchenAid Classic Series Stand Mixer

If you want a tool that makes it possible to mix dessert ingredients to perfection, you need one of the best stand mixers. "To make everything sweet and savory with the perfect consistency, use a KitchenAid," advised Boudewijn. 

Godiva Chocolatier Signature Truffles

Boudewijn said there is a simple way to make a cake extra special for your Valentine. "Chocolates are never a bad idea, and Godiva is the best. Place some of these chocolates on or around the sides of a special cake."

Nomeca 12-Color Cake Food Coloring Set

If you want to make a cake with the colors of Valentine's Day, this food color set includes 12 colors that will bring out your culinary creativity. Boudewijn said the right colors can be used to create a beautiful red velvet Valentine's Day cake.

Nostalgia Chocolate Fondue Fountain

Chocolate-covered strawberries are a classic Valentine's Day treat. You can make your own at home when you have a chocolate fountain that turns chocolate into a dippable delicacy. 

Parrish's Magic Line Round Cake Pan

"If you're baking a personal cake for the two of you, Parrish's is the best brand out there. Consider getting a 6-inch round for two people, or this 8-inch round model if you want leftover cake," Boudewijn said. 

Amazon Commercial Nonstick Silicone Spatula Set

Don't forget the silicone spatulas for stirring, spreading, serving and more. This set includes four spatulas in two sizes for a variety of needs. 


Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker

For an extra-special treat, Boudewijn recommended investing in an ice cream maker, "If you're feeling ambitious, try making your own specialty ice cream just for your valentine," she said.  

Worth checking out

  • A well-made ice cream scoop like this stainless steel tool by Midnight Scoop is a must-have if you'll be serving ice cream. 
  • If you are making pies, Boudewijn said, use quality pie pans like this pair by Pyrex.
  • For romantic cookies, this heart-shape cookie cutter is cute, and you'll want some quality baking sheets, too.
  • A marble rolling pin with a wooden holder is as elegant in design as it is practical.
  • Don't forget a topping, such as the delicious whipped cream you can make with the Isi Gourmet Food Whipper.  
  • Boudewijn said that homemade cotton candy is a memorable Valentine's Day treat. The Cotton Candy Express is our favorite budget-friendly machine. 
  • "Silicone baking mats (such as this set of two by Silpat) greatly reduce the odds of burning your baked goods like cookies," she said. 

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