Finding something unique and special to do on Valentine’s Day for your significant other can be a challenge, but you don’t have to stick to the same flowers and chocolates as last year.

The holiday means showing how much you care, and one of the best ways to do that is to share something sweet. We’ve rounded up desserts and other treats that have Valentine’s Day written all over them, although you can of course enjoy them at any time throughout the year.

For more recipes and dessert ideas, visit or or check out the Local Flavor: Recipes We Love archives at


Red Velvet Heart Pancakes

With just a couple bowls, a cookie cutter and a skillet, your Valentine’s Day could start off a lot sweeter.

Red Velvet Heart Pancakes are a delicious way to spend your morning with your loved one. Kids also love the fun shape and color of this breakfast, which offers a neat way for them to help in the kitchen and make a meal for the whole family.

Servings: 8 to 10


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus additional for garnish
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 30 to 40 drops red food coloring
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Syrup, for garnish
  • Powdered sugar, for garnish
  • Raspberries, for garnish


  1. In large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. In medium bowl, whisk egg. Add buttermilk, 2 tablespoons butter, vanilla extract and food coloring; whisk until combined.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  4. Spray heart-shaped cookie cutter with nonstick cooking spray and place in skillet. Add enough batter to fill heart. Cook 2 minutes. Remove heart cutter. Flip pancake and cook 1 minute.
  5. Serve with butter, syrup, powdered sugar and raspberries.

Note: If mixture is too thick, add water until desired consistency is reached.

— via Family Features

Cherry Coffee Cake


Cherry Coffee Cake

Savor this fruity coffee cake as a morning snack or use it to add some sweetness to your breakfast routine. The easy-to-make recipe uses premade cinnamon roll dough as a base.


  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 can (12.4 ounces) refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing
  • 1 1/2 cups (21-ounce can) cherry pie filling
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds or pecans (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 375 F.
  2. Spray 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Separate cinnamon roll dough into eight rolls; cut each roll into quarters.
  4. Place dough rounded-side down in pan.
  5. Spoon pie filling over rolls. Sprinkle almond slivers or pecans over cherry filling, if desired.
  6. Bake 25 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown.
  7. Invert onto plate or cutting board. Invert again onto serving plate.
  8. Remove lid from icing. Microwave 3 to 10 seconds. Stir icing and drizzle over warm coffee cake. Serve warm.

— via Family Features

Red Velvet Mug Cake


Red Velvet Mug Cake

It’s hard to resist a perfectly blended, rose-red, luscious Red Velvet Mug Cake. It’s the perfect size, with just a handful of instructions, and you can easily make it in the microwave. Whether you have a small party, it’s just you and your loved one, or you simply want something easy and small, this quick treat is a simple way to make something delicious and keep the portions small.

Servings: 1


  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 30 drops red food coloring
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened


  1. In a 12-ounce mug, whisk flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Add milk, butter, vanilla and food coloring; mix until blended.
  2. In a small bowl, mix powdered sugar and cream cheese until smooth.
  3. Drop cream cheese mixture into cake batter. Press into batter until covered.
  4. Microwave up to 3 minutes until cake is done.

— via Family Features

Mini Chocolate-Beet Cheesecakes with Maple-Orange Glaze


Mini Chocolate-Beet Cheesecakes with Maple-Orange Glaze

Lean on recipes that add flavor and bring warming scents to your kitchen on these chilly February nights. Mini Chocolate-Beet Cheesecakes with Maple-Orange Glaze combine Aunt Nellie’s Sliced Beets with familiar cheesecake flavor for a tempting treat.

Servings: 12


For the crust:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter, softened

For the cheesecake:

  • 1 jar (15 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Sliced Beets
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

For the topping:

  • 2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Whipped cream (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 12 medium muffin cups with foil liners.
  2. To make crust: In medium bowl, combine flour and walnuts.
  3. Using fork or pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Place about 1 tablespoon mixture into each lined muffin cup. Lightly press crumbs into bottom. Bake 5 to 6 minutes, or until crust begins to brown.
  4. To make cheesecake: Drain beets, reserving 2 tablespoons liquid. In blender, puree 1/2 cup beets and reserved liquid until smooth; set aside. Dice remaining beets; set aside.
  5. In large bowl, combine cream cheese and syrup. Beat until smooth. Add egg; mix until blended. Stir in reserved pureed beets. Add melted chocolate; mix well. Spoon about 3 tablespoons cream cheese mixture into muffin cups over warm crusts. Bake 15 minutes, or until filling is set. Let cool to room temperature. Place cheesecakes in refrigerator at least 30 minutes.
  6. To make topping: In small saucepan, combine reserved diced beets, orange juice concentrate, syrup and cinnamon. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to boil, stirring frequently. Continue cooking and stirring until mixture thickens and appears glossy, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool to room temperature.
  7. Remove cheesecakes from muffin liners. Top evenly with glazed beets. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

— via Family Features

Cranberry Raspberry Vanilla Punch


Cranberry Raspberry Vanilla Punch

Holidays can be the best time to try new, stress-free recipes. Drink and punch recipes are especially easy to throw together right before festivities begin.

No matter if it’s a big crowd or a night alone with a special someone, this tangy, tart and yet sweet Cranberry Raspberry Vanilla Punch offers a powerful berry flavor and pairs well with sweets.

Servings: 6 to 12


  • 8 cups cranberry-raspberry juice
  • 8 1/2 cups cranberry ginger ale
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pint raspberry sorbet
  • Frozen cranberries, for garnish


  1. In large punch bowl, add juice, ginger ale and vanilla extract. Stir until combined.
  2. Add frozen cranberries and scoops of frozen sorbet.
  3. Stir slightly then serve immediately.

— via Family Features