What CakestersWhere Sweet OlenkaThese wonderfully over-the-top cupcakes/sculptures put a cheeky twist on the trend with unapologetically ridiculous but, most importantly,.
Where Sweet Olenka
These wonderfully over-the-top cupcakes/sculptures put a cheeky twist on the trend with unapologetically ridiculous but, most importantly, delicious toppings. Think little blueberry waffles with chocolate bears on top, a hazelnut latte with an edible spoon, and a peach pina colada finished with a chocolate fish. Theyre almost- like two desserts in one, so theres lots of bang for your buck. Enough for one gluttonous sweetheart or two peckish lovebirds.
$3.95, 1050 Queen West, 647-350-7444 2790 Lake Shore West, 416-521-7444 sweetolenkas.ca @SweetOlenkas
What Red Heart Cake
Where Nadege Patisserie
Sleek, simple and not unlike a piece of edible modern art, Nadege concoctions are always an impressive centrepiece (or host gift) at a dinner party. If youre heading off on a double date, pick up this minimalist but striking ruby-red cake featuring sweet mascarpone mousse, tart cherry coulis and soft chocolate biscuit. It serves six so you could have have leftovers next day?
$30, 780 Queen West, 1099 Yonge, 120 Adelaide West (Richmond-Adelaide Centre, PATH level), 50 Bloor West (Holt Renfrew), 3401 Dufferin (Holt Renfrew Yorkdale), 416-368-2009 nadege-patisserie.com @NadegeToronto
Where Bobbette & Belle
Allyson Bobbitt and Sarah Bell, owners of this Leslieville patisserie, are best known for their pastel-coloured macarons with sweet springtime flavours like salted caramel, pistachio, raspberry, Earl Grey, mint chocolate and, our Valentines Day choice, passion fruit. No, its pale yellow colour doesnt scream February 14, but the tropical, slightly tart flavour of the creamy ganache sandwiched between delicate almond cookies will put a sunny smile on anyones face. Of course, you could buy a dozen to experience every flavour.
Where The Tempered Room
If macarons arent your thing, opt for this equally French (but just a smidge more phallic and cream-filled) dessert. Owner and chef Bertrand Alepee makes funky-flavoured eclairs like salted caramel and hazelnut cream, green pistachio with raspberry, and milk chocolate and orange. Lighter than a pillow and delicate-tasting, they pair nicely with a sparkling white. Bonus points if the two of you eat one Lady And The Tramp-style from both ends.
$3.75 each, three for $10, 1374 Queen West, 416-546-4374 thetemperedroom.com, @TheTemperedRoom
What Conversation heart cookies
Where OMG Baked Goodness
Indulge in adorable shortbread cookies with classic messages like Hot stuff and, for children of the 80s, I choo-choo choose you without having to eat the nasty chalk candies no one liked even as kids. Head baker Lesley Mattina rolls out treats for any and all relationship statuses being celebrated this weekend, from scorned lovers and platonic friends to the Swipe right (for all you Tinder users out there).
$3.25 each, 1561 Dundas West, 647-348-5664 omgbakedgoodness.com,
What Harissa-spiced corn nuts
For someone with a sweet tooth who loves cinnamon hearts, get these scrumptious corn nuts tossed in milk chocolate and harissa powder. (Harissa is a north African chili mix). In every bite you get a chocolatey, crunchy pop with sweet, salty and spicy notes absolutely lip-smacking, especially because the chili burn builds slowly and stays in your mouth long after. Coincidentally, on February 14, the TIFF Bell Lightbox is screening Heathers, and fans of the movie know they just have to sneak these corn nuts to the show. Luckily, Soma has an outpost a few blocks from the theatre.
What St. Honore Cake
Where Zane Patisserie & Boulangerie
People in the Beach love this underrated patisserie, which makes some of the best croissants in town. (Heads up if youre planning on breakfast as well. Ahem.) But lets focus on after-dinner treats: the roster of St. Honore Cakes includes about a dozen different flavours, like Le Molly with pistachio brownie, passion fruit, or milk chocolate mousse. Our pick? Le Cappuccino, with cappuccino mousse, dark chocolate creme brulee and vanilla biscuit. A perfect slightly bitter, not too rich or sugary dessert that goes well with port or, of course, coffee.
$4.70 each, $21 for four, $33 for eight, $43 for 12, 1852 Queen East, 416-690-2813
What Belgian chocolates
Where Chocolate by Wickerhead
Owner Sharon Shoot can be found in the back room of this quaint chocolate shop in the Beach every morning making fresh batches of truffles. Youll find basic flavours like milk chocolate with a hint of fleur de sel, nut clusters and Balzacs espresso as well as more unorthodox creations like pumpkin pie, lavender, pomegranate-fig-date and Australian candied ginger with almonds. (The last two are vegan.) Shoot unabashedly celebrates the cheesy, lovey-dovey character of the holiday, so youll find a giant heart-shaped chocolate pillow and even a solid chocolate Venus de Milo.
What All My Heart Cake
Where Butter Avenue
This French patisserie puts an Asian spin on desserts, whether its an oolong macaron or a pink cake filled with Darjeeling mousse. For Valentines Day, heart-shaped macarons come in a Box Of Hearts ($24.99 for six), but our pick is this wonderfully over-the-top All My Heart Cake with a bit of everything: heart-shaped macaroon, lychees filled with raspberry cream, raspberries. Its for two, but its packed to the brim so plenty for two couples.
WhereThrough Being Cool
Not everything has to be pink and heart-shaped especially if youre not quite ready to go all out in the romance department. The yeast doughnuts at this vegan bakeshop are giant, have lots of chewy bounce and actually taste like the real thing. The flavours rotate, with options like cinnamon sugar, Boston cream, rainbow sprinkles, salted caramel, apple fritter, espresso and boozy options like a Dark And Stormy. Pick up a few to enjoy after a night of pizza and beer on the couch.