Rescue Valentine’s Day With These Easy, Zero-Waste Dessert Recipes

From vegan no-bake cheesecake to chocolate mousse, these Valentine's Day desserts are equal parts delicious and zero-waste.
vegan valentine's day desserts recipes
These Valentine's Day dessert recipes are pure indulgence. | Thomas Adams for LIVEKINDLY
Jump To Recipe

Is Valentine’s Day dead? According to the National Retail Federation, only 53 percent of people celebrate the holiday. In fact, approximately one in five men (22 percent) and women (18 percent) forget about Valentine’s Day entirely. But, the lovebirds who do celebrate are also spending more than ever: $23.9 billion is expected to be spent this year on flowers, jewelry, chocolates, champagne, and other luxury items, with an average spend of $175 per consumer.

Those grand gestures are the reason why this holiday results in excessive waste, with hundreds of millions of roses grown for Valentine’s Day and thrown in the trash by the end of the week. Waste Expo estimates that each year, consumers purchase 36 million heart-shaped boxes, 180 million greeting cards, 198 million roses, 881,000 bottles of sparkling wine, and 58 million pounds of chocolate for one single day—generating more carbon emissions than driving around the world 3,993 times. Sadly, much of it will go to the landfill.

But wait! That doesn’t mean we—or your main squeeze—are letting you off the hook! You can honor Saint Valentine in a more ethical way—by sourcing local flowers and fair-trade chocolates, DIYing gifts and cards, and whipping up sweet treats. The ancient holiday was called the Feast of Saint Valentine, after all. 

So get in that kitchen and make something—and when selecting chocolate to bake with or gift, look for vegan, fair-trade chocolate that knows its source. The best part about these desserts is that they’re so delicious, they’re guaranteed to be zero-waste—you’ll devour them in one sitting.

Easy, last-minute Valentine’s Day desserts

vegan valentine's day desserts
This galette is loaded with seasonal fruit and features a flaky crust. | Thomas Adams for LIVEKINDLY

Strawberry Galette

By LIVEKINDLY

40 mins to prep
35 mins to cook
Vegan

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 1 ¼ cup plain flour
  • ¼ cup + 3 tbsp  vegan block butter, chilled (can be substituted with solid coconut oil)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • (optional “egg wash” – 2 tablespoons soy milk + 1 tablespoon maple syrup)
  • (optional 2 tablespoons demerara sugar)

Filling:

  • 1 ½ cup seasonal fruit (I chose strawberries)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon (juice and zest)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

    Crust:

    • 1
      Add flour and butter to a mixing bowl and mash together with a cold metal whisk until it is the consistency of breadcrumbs (you can use your hands but your body heat might start to melt the butter).
    • 2
      Add the sugar, salt and 2 tablespoons of ice cold water and keep mixing/kneading until it is in a smooth ball of dough (do not over work). Cover this dough and rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

    Filling:

    • 1
      Meanwhile, slice your strawberries (or other seasonal fruit), and mix with the other filling ingredients.
    • 2
      Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
    • 3
      Cover a clean surface with a dusting of flour and unwrap the pastry. Use a rolling pin to roll the pastry out into a circular disc, about 4mm thick. Place the pastry onto a baking tray lined with parchment.
    • 4
      Place the chopped strawberries in the centre of the pastry leaving a 1-inch gap all the way around the fruit.
    • 5
      Once placed, fold the edges of the pastry inwards, slightly overlapping the sliced fruit. Mix together the soy milk and maple syrup and brush the edges of the galette with the mixture. Sprinkle some Demerara sugar onto these edges for an added rustic effect.
    • 6
      Bake in the over for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
    • 7
      Decorate with fresh greens and serve warm or cold!

Equipment Needed

Whisk

Top this no-bake vegan cheesecake with cranberry jam or cookie butter. | Thomas Adams for LIVEKINDLY

Easy Vegan Cheesecake

By LIVEKINDLY

30 mins to prep
Vegan

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 2 cups (200g) vegan graham cracker crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons (80g) vegan butter (or coconut oil), melted

Filling:

  • 2 ½ cups (360g) raw cashews
  • ⅓ cup refined coconut oil, melted
  • ¾ cup coconut cream (from 1 or 2 chilled cans of coconut milk)
  • 5 tablespoons lemon juice (1 lemon) and zest
  • 8 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Topping ideas:

  • ½ cup cranberry jam, passionfruit curd, or cookie butter (a.k.a. Biscoff spread)

Preparation

    Crust

    • 1
      Place the biscuits in a food processor and pulse until they are crumbs. Add the melted butter and process further until well combined.
    • 2
      Press the crust in the base of a springform cake pan until completely flat. To make it easier to remove later, feel free to line the cake pan with parchment before this step. Place the cake tin into the freezer to set the crust while working on the filling.

    Filling

    • 1
      Place two cups of water in a saucepan on the hob and bring to a rolling boil. Add the cashews to the water and boil them for 20 minutes until completely soft.
    • 2
      Remove the cashews from the water and dry them off using a paper towel.
    • 3
      Add the cashews to a food processor with all the other filling ingredients and pulse until completely smooth.
    • 4
      Take the chilled crust out of the freezer and pour the cheesecake filling on top of it. Spread the filling carefully so as not to disrupt the base.
    • 5
      Chill for at least three hours, or ideally overnight, and then serve with your favorite toppings.

Equipment Needed

Food processor and 8” springform cake pan

peanut butter choc chip cookies
Dunk these tasty cookies in your favorite plant milk. | Thomas Adams for LIVEKINDLY

Peanut Butter Choco Chip Cookies

By LIVEKINDLY

1 hour to prep
20 mins to cook
Yields 12

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons soy milk
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (or use chopped chocolate)

Preparation

  1. 1
    Preheat your oven to 360 degrees Fahrenheit and line two baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper.
  2. 2
    In a large bowl, cream together the peanut butter, vegan butter and white sugar with a fork or whisk.
  3. 3
    Stir through the vanilla extract and soy milk before sifting in the plain flour and baking powder.
  4. 4
    Evenly distribute the salt and the vegan chocolate chips across the dough before mixing together.
  5. 5
    Place the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  6. 6
    Using a spring-loaded ice cream scoop, measure out each cookie and roll into a ball before placing them at least three inches apart on each tray.
  7. 7
    With a clean drinking glass, gently press down on each ball of dough to flatten and then bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden around the edges.
  8. 8
    Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes on the baking sheet before carefully transferring to cooling racks to cool completely and then serve.

Recipe Notes

Optional equipment: a spring-loaded ice cream scoop to make perfect cookies.

vegan chocolate mousse
You only need four ingredients to make this chocolate mousse. | Brittney Chung for LIVEKINDLY

Chocolate Mousse

By Brittney Chung

Vegan

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe avocados, pits removed
  • 4 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Preparation

  1. 1
    Combine all ingredients into a blender or a food processor and blend until smooth. Add more almond milk if needed to help blend.
  2. 2
    Taste test it to see if you prefer more chocolate flavor or if you need more sweetness. Blend until smooth.
  3. 3
    Transfer to an airtight container for storing. Can refrigerate for up to 4 days. Serve chilled with coconut whipped cream or your toppings of desire!
lemon cake
This moist cake features a zesty lemon glaze icing. | Thomas Adams for LIVEKINDLY

Lemon Cake

By Thomas Adams

10 mins to prep
40 mins to cook
Vegan

Ingredients

For the lemon cake:

  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 lemons (zest and 2 tablespoons of juice)
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened soy yogurt (or coconut)
  • 2 teaspoon Sicilian lemon extract
  • ⅓ cup neutral oil (extra for greasing)
  • Pinch of salt

For the lemon glaze:

  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • ¾ cup icing sugar

Preparation

    For the lemon cake:

    • 1
      Line a 2-pound loaf tin with parchment paper and use the extra oil to grease it.
    • 2
      Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (355F).
    • 3
      Sift the flour, almond meal, baking soda, and salt together.
    • 4
      Mix the soy yogurt, lemon juice, extract, and oil in a separate bowl with the sugar.
    • 5
      Add the lemon zest to the dry ingredients and then slowly fold in the wet ingredients into the dry, careful not to over mix.
    • 6
      Pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 40 minutes. Use a toothpick at the 40-minute mark to see if it is cooked. If it still needs longer, rotate the cake and cook for another 10 minutes. You can cover it in foil if it is browning too quickly.
    • 7
      Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool for at least an hour.

    For the lemon glaze:

    • 1
      Mix together the glaze ingredients, adding more or less lemon juice for a preferred consistency and spoon over the final cake.
x

Pin It on Pinterest