7 Sweet Valentine’s Day Treats That Aren’t Chocolates

Surprise your loved ones with one of these delicious local treats

Surprise your loved ones with one of these delicious local treats

So you think a box of drugstore chocolates will get to his or her heart on Valentine’s Day? Think again. Step the creativity up a notch this year because sweets don’t always have to come in the form of chocolates.

Here are seven locally made sweet treats for V-Day (or any day, really) that aren’t chocolates…


1. Crème Brûlée from Crackle Crème

Daniel Wong’s 450-square-foot café in Chinatown is the go-to destination for crème brûlée (starting at $5 each). Whatever his or her favourite flavours are, Crackle Crème will likely to have it: Black Sesame, Dulce de Leche, Ferrero Rocher, Earl Grey, Honey Lavender, Tahitian Vanilla Bean and more. After a romantic dinner of wining and dining, keep the buzz strong with alcohol-flavoured brûlées such as Bailey’s, bourbon or Guinness. For a unique flavour, try the Cereal Milk flavour that just returned by popular demand. 245 Union Street

2. Cookies from Bump n Grind Cafe

Is a cookie just a cookie? Prepared fresh in-house from scratch, the cookies at Bump n Grind Café are so much more. If your special someone loves Earl Grey, surprise them with an Earl Grey shortbread cookie. Though Earl Grey flavoured foods are commonly found, BNG Café is the only place you’ll find it in shortbread form. Try also the mookie (a muffin and cookie hybrid) and the highly addictive popcorn cookie. 3010 Granville Street and 916 Commercial Drive

3. Pie from The Pie Shoppe

Pies might not seem like the most romantic kind of dessert, but if he’s/she’s the locavore type, The Pie Shoppe will definitely win his or her heart. Owners and sisters Stephanie and Andrea French use locally sourced and in-season fruits (read: you’re getting fruits at their tastiest). Fascinating flavours include Okanagan Apple Pie, Pears and Ginger, Fraser Valley Blueberry, Black Bottom Coconut, Matcha Custard, and the latest addition, Honey Orange and Cardamom Custard Cream. Bonus tips that’ll impress him/her: The French sisters’ pies use unbleached flour and free-range eggs, and the pie comes in biodegradable packaging. Pies range from $25 to $32 each. 1875 Powell Street

4. Ice cream from Mister Artisan Ice Cream

If Adele approves of Mister’s liquid nitrogen ice cream (take note, she had the Double Oreo), it’s good enough for the rest of us. Ice cream flash-frozen with liquid nitrogen tastes a lot smoother than your traditional ice cream because the freezing process is 15 seconds compared to an average 20 minutes, so as to not allow ice crystals to grow. Mister’s seasonally rotating menu has included Avocado, Earl Grey Brûlée, Thai Iced Tea, Genmaicha, and S’mores. Takeout pints are available for purchase between $10 to $12 each. 1141 Mainland Street

5. Cake from Cadeaux Bakery

Why give her a cupcake when you can go all out with a full-sized gourmet cake? Cadeaux Bakery makes some of the best layered cakes in town. One of our faves is the London Fog. Let us break it down for you: it’s a white vanilla bean cake layered with white chocolate mousse, milk chocolate Earl Grey ganache and Earl Grey tea soaking syrup. If a cake sounds like it’s too much for two people, know that Cadeaux Bakery’s cakes store very well in the fridge. Celebrate an extended Valentine’s Day for the next few days with a daily slice of London Fog, Lavender Mocha, Dark Chocolate Praline or Chocolate Raspberry Latte. Six-inch cakes start at $39 each. 172 Powell Street


6. Macarons from La Petite Cuillère

La Petite Cuillère makes macarons in-house, and since it’s a teahouse, you can expect some delicious tea-flavoured treats, such as Earl Grey, Peppermint and Matcha Green Tea. Some of our other picks include Pistachio, Rose, Black Sesame, and Salted Caramel. 55 Kingsway Street


7. Mousse from AER Café

One of the newest cafés in East Van, Aer Café is already stepping up its game with seasonal specials. For Valentine’s, check out the berry mousse cake ($4.50 each) with a raspberry gel in the centre sitting on top of a smooth sponge cake. It’s topped with a white chocolate glaze, dehydrated raspberries and white chocolate pearls. If this red and white beauty of a sweet treat doesn’t say love, we don’t know what does. 2263 East Hastings Street