Whether you’re baking for a romantic partner, a friend, family member, or for yourself – Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to get creative in the kitchen.

Whipping up some homemade heart-shaped biscuits, rich red velvet cake, and fluffy choux buns can be a great way to show a loved one that you care, or to treat yourself to something a bit special.

These 10 Valentine’s Day baking ideas are all about fun shapes, bright colours, and decadent flavours. Let us know which ones you’ll be trying in the comments below!

1. Red velvet cake

Red velvet cake certainly lives up to its name with its smooth, moist texture, and rich chocolatey flavour. Those who love it often describe it as ‘heavenly’ because each light, fluffy bite melts in your mouth.

This cake’s deep red colour also makes it the perfect Valentine’s treat and sets it apart from your typical vanilla or chocolate sponge cake. Plus, when finished with a sweet, cream cheese frosting and a handful of raspberries or strawberries, it looks even more romantic.

If you want to have a go at making your own red velvet cake, check out this classic recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction (which uses red food colouring to achieve the red tint), or this recipe from Good Housekeeping, which takes a more natural approach, and uses beetroot to add colouring instead.

Or, to see a video tutorial, have a watch of the video below.

2. French macarons

French macarons are sweet, delicate, cream-filled cookie sandwiches that consist mainly of egg whites, almond flour, and sugar.

These mini delights are soft and chewy on the inside, crunchy on the outside, and work well as part of an afternoon tea. They’re beautiful to look at too – and reminiscent of cobbled Paris streets and quaint patisseries.

French macarons are also incredibly versatile, and can be flavoured almost any way that you like – from champagne and raspberry, to strawberry cheesecake, lavender, and white chocolate. Take a look at this list of 50 different macaron flavours from diys.com for more ideas.

If you’ve never made macarons before and are looking for somewhere to start, why not try this easy vanilla macarons recipe from Delicious Magazine? Or, check out the video below to see how French chocolate macarons are made.

3. Iced heart cookies

These classic iced biscuits are quick and easy to make, and sure to brighten up your day – or put a smile on the face of someone you love.

Many of us will have fond memories of making cookie-cutter biscuits as a child, and revisiting these memories to make some Valentine’s Day-inspired bakes can be a fun and nostalgic way to spend an afternoon.

Before you get started, it’s worth investing in some heart-shaped cookie cutters (or another shape of your choosing if hearts aren’t your thing). You can pick these up for a few pounds on Amazon. Or, if you’re feeling extra creative, you could try cutting your shapes by hand, or making your own cutters out of tin foil – you can find out how to do this here.

The next part is as simple as making cookie dough using flour, sugar, milk, and eggs; cutting the dough into shapes; baking them in the oven; and choosing how you want to finish them – there are endless colours, flavours, and toppings to choose from.

You could try this recipe from Delish, which will show you how to make classic cookies with pink and red buttercream icing, and sprinkles. Or, to add a twist, why not try these lemon-flavoured heart-shaped cookies from The Happy Foodie?

If pink icing isn’t for you, the video below will also show you how to make some irresistible-looking Italian butter cookies, dipped in chocolate!

4. Chocolate tart

For chocolate lovers, this sumptuous tart could be the perfect way to indulge this Valentine’s Day.

It’s made from eggs, dark chocolate, and cream, which are beaten together; poured into a sweet, crisp pastry shell; and baked until firm.

You can keep your tart simple by just flavouring it with chocolate – or get more adventurous by adding in salted caramel, hazelnut, orange, or various other tempting flavours. Tarts can also be topped with fresh berries for additional colour and flavour.

If you’re looking for a smooth, creamy dessert, that’s quick and easy to make (and will offer the ultimate chocolate fix!), then this simple chocolate tart recipe from Jamie Oliver could be for you.

Or, if you’d like to really push the boat out, you could try this chocolate orange tart from The Happy Foodie, this white chocolate and raspberry tart from Good Housekeeping, or this salted maple chocolate tart recipe from Sainsbury’s Magazine.

If you’d rather make smaller, individual chocolate tarts, instead of one large one, check out the video from Gordon Ramsey below.

5. Strawberry choux buns

Choux buns are light, crisp, pastry balls, which can be filled with a sweet or savoury filling, like whipped cream, custard, greek yoghurt, or cream cheese. ‘Choux’ is the French word for cabbage, and in this context it’s used to describe the cabbage-like shape of these little buns.

While they might be dainty, they certainly pack a delicious punch – and amazingly, the dough consists of only three ingredients: butter, plain flour, and eggs.

You can then experiment with different flavours by trying different fillings. A popular choice is cream and fresh strawberries. If this sounds appealing, take a look at these strawberry choux buns from Delicious Magazine. Other sweet fillings and toppings you could try include caramel and coffee, rose and almond or vanilla and white chocolate.

If you’d prefer a savoury, low-sugar alternative, this recipe from Great British Chefs has a cream cheese and herb filling – or why not try these smoked salmon choux puffs with horseradish cream from Del’s Cooking Twist?

When making choux buns, some people choose to dollop them onto a baking tray with a spoon, while others prefer to use a piping bag – which is available for purchase on Amazon.

To see exactly how to make a basic choux pastry, have a watch of the video below.

6. Croissants

Warm croissants, served with fruit and a cup of tea or coffee can make for a special treat on Valentine’s Day morning – or any morning for that matter. There are also few better smells to wake up to than freshly baked pastries.

The warm, flaky, and buttery pastry of a croissant is delicious on it’s own. Though, if you have a sweet tooth, you might choose to cut yours open and spread it with butter and jam – or for a savoury alternative, you could fill it with a slice of ham and cheese.

Croissants can be challenging to make to start with because the dough needs to rest regularly to develop all its layers. So it’s important to leave yourself enough time, and to treat it as more of a project than a quick bake.

If you want to make a batch of classic croissants, why not try this recipe from Waitrose? It’s relatively quick as far as croissant recipes go; taking a total time of 1 hour 30 minutes (but possibly longer depending on the warmth of your home, as this can affect how long it takes the dough to rise while at rest).

Alternatively, if you’re in a hurry and want to whip up something quickly, you could try making these 3-ingredient Nutella croissants from Gimme Some Oven. They take just 40 minutes, and all you need is some ready-to-roll puff pastry, one egg, and some Nutella.

For more inspiration, check out the easy croissant recipe in the video below.

7. Sweet or savoury tear and share bread

Tear and share bread can be enjoyed with any meal, or as a delicious snack with a spread or dip of your choice. With the emphasis on sharing, this bread can be enjoyed with a loved one as part of a romantic dinner – though it also keeps well, so there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy it by yourself over a few days.

When it comes to tear and share bread, the flavour possibilities are pretty endless. If you have a sweet tooth, you could make these lemon and raisin buns from Catering-Online, this cinnamon spiced tear and share bread from Allinson’s, or this fig and rosemary tear and share bread from Only Crumbs Remain.

If you prefer savoury breads, there are a whole host of interesting recipes you could try, such as this sundried tomato, black olive, and mozzarella bread from Jamie Oliver, this garlic and herb bread from The Happy Foodie, or this smoky jalapeno bread from Priya (who starred in series 10 of the Great British Bake Off).

You might also want to have a watch of the video below to see how to make tomato tear and share pizza bread.

8. Vanilla cupcakes

Sweet and simple, the cupcake has long been used to celebrate Valentine’s Day, birthdays, weddings, baby showers – and almost any celebration you can think of.

While cupcakes come in a range of great flavours, what tends to strike people first is the elaborate way they’re decorated; often piped with intricate icing swirls and topped with fruit, sweets, or chocolate.

If you’re baking for someone else and aren’t sure what flavour to go for, it’s almost impossible to go wrong with vanilla, as it’s a gentle, distinct flavour that’s loved by many.

This vanilla cupcake recipe from Mary Berry will show you how to make light, fluffy cupcakes with pastel pink icing and a sprinkle of your choice, in just 40 minutes. Or, you could try this vanilla cupcake recipe from RecipeTinEats, which applies a Japanese baking technique to classic butter cupcake ingredients to keep the sponge moist for a minimum of four days.

If you fancy experimenting with other flavours, why not try making these banana cupcakes from Baking With Granny, or these lemon and blueberry cupcakes from The Baking Explorer?

We also love these vanilla cupcakes that each have a secret heart baked inside. Check out the video below to see how it’s done.

9. Baked jammy doughnuts

Doughnuts are so cheap and easy to get hold of in the supermarket that very few of us think of making them at home. However, there’s something so much more satisfying about enjoying a mouthwateringly soft doughnut that you’ve baked yourself, or that someone has baked for you.

If you’re making doughnuts yourself, you’ll also have the option to bake them, which is a healthier alternative to the deep-fried version that we typically come across in shops.

This baked jammy doughnut recipe from So Vegan puts a healthy spin on the traditional doughnut by using a classic yeast dough instead of a cake mixture (for a lower sugar and fat content), and cooking them in the oven – rather than in a deep fat fryer or a large pan of oil. While this recipe uses a strawberry jam filling, you can substitute this for a filling of your choice, such as raspberry or blackberry jam, custard, or chocolate.

If you’d prefer to create doughnuts without a filling, you could also consider making baked ring doughnuts with a glaze or icing instead. Have a watch of the video below to see how it’s done.

10. Chocolate truffles

Truffles are some of the most romantic sweet treats around, and making someone their own homemade truffles (rather than buying some) can make the gesture feel much more personal. Or, if you plan to treat yourself and enjoy them on your own — then knowing that you took the time to make them at home can make every bite feel so much more rewarding. 

Although truffles are rich, velvety, and incredibly decadent, the fact that they’re bitesize in nature means that they can be enjoyed in smaller doses – which is great if you fancy a mini sweet treat, rather than a larger dessert.

In their traditional form, truffles are essentially balls of chocolate ganache (chopped chocolate, added to warm cream) coated in powdered chocolate, nuts, desiccated coconut, crushed raspberries – or whatever takes your fancy! They typically don’t require the use of an oven, as once the ganache balls have been rolled, they’re placed in the fridge to set, and will be ready to serve a couple of hours later.

If you’re feeling tempted by the idea of homemade truffles, it’s worth checking out this dark chocolate truffle recipe  from Jamie Oliver, which uses brandy, mixed nuts and clementine zest. Or, why not try this white chocolate truffle recipe from BBC Good Food?

The video below will also show you how to make eight different types of truffle; including tiramisu, brigadeiro (traditional Brazilian fudge balls), oreo, and peanut butter flavours. All truffles shown in the video are no-bake apart from the red velvet truffles, which do require some oven time.

Final thoughts…

The wonderful thing about time spent in the kitchen is that there’s always something new to try; whether that be a new technique, new flavours, or a brand new recipe entirely. And if you’re in need of some fresh inspiration, then a Valentine’s Day theme can hopefully offer you a few ideas.

These Valentine’s Day recipes can be taken up by absolutely anyone; and can be enjoyed with a partner, family, friends, or as a tasty treat for yourself. So whether you consider Valentine’s Day to be romantic or not, it’s still a great excuse to explore your creativity in the kitchen.

For some additional ideas, head over to the baking recipes section of our website. Here you’ll find everything from tips on how to develop technical baking skills to baking recipes with a healthy twist.