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8 Easy Valentine’s Dessert Recipes with Zero Refined Sugar

By Aly Walansky and Jess Novak
February 1, 2024

We love that sweetness is associated with Valentine’s Day. But that doesn’t mean we want to eat a ton of desserts that are going to throw off our blood sugar. So we found a collection of desserts that are thoroughly romantic and sweet, but contain no added sugar whatsoever. These Valentine’s dessert recipes aren’t exactly sugar-free — it’s just that sugar in them comes from natural sources like vegetables, fruits, and honey.

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1. Gluten-Free Healthy Sweet Potato Brownies

Sweet potato brownies

Courtesy of Tidbits By Taylor

It’s not always so easy to find a brownie that’s moist and rich if you’re looking to stick to gluten-free options and also avoid refined sugar. But these brownies make use of sweet potatoes’ natural sugar content and creamy texture for a brownie that is absolutely delicious.

Try the recipe from Tidbits by Taylor.

2. Paleo Honey Almond Cake

Paleo Honey Almond Cake

This honey almond cake recipe is phenomenally simple, so it’s a great fit even if you’re not destined to make star baker. It’s also delicious on its own and needs no frosting — a handful of blackberries and raspberries on top would be just as good. And as the recipe author notes, if you want to toss some lemon and orange zest into the cake batter, that will really elevate the recipe, too.

Try the recipe from Healthy Recipes.

3. Red Wine Poached Pears

Red Wine Poached Pears

Courtesy of Vibrant Plate

Poached pears are seriously elegant-looking but aren’t a lot of trouble, so they’re a perfect fit for Valentine’s Day. This recipe calls for 1/3 cup of sugar, but if you’re ok with a dessert that isn’t super sweet, you can honestly leave it out entirely, substitute two tablespoons of honey or coconut sugar, or use a sweeter wine, like a riesling. Serve these on their own, with a little coconut whipped cream, or with a splash of coconut milk.

Try the recipe from Vibrant Plate.

4. Vegan Dark Chocolate Quinoa Chocolate Cake

Vegan chocolate quinoa cake

Courtesy of Diana Stobo

There’s nothing like a decadent slice of chocolate layer cake at the end of a celebration or romantic dinner. However, the cake is often loaded with refined sugar, which may not be in your diet plan. This vegan dark chocolate quinoa cake calls for coconut sugar rather than refined sugar, which has a lower glycemic index.  Thanks to the quinoa, this cake has a surprising, delightful texture, while still remaining moist and rich.

Try the recipe from Diana Stobo.

5. Avocado Lime Tart

Avocado lime tart

Courtesy of The Candida Diet

Valentine’s Day isn’t just about chocolate and berries — there are other flavors and textures that can leave us with sweetness and romance. This avocado lime tart is a delicious example. It’s a plant-based dessert that’s loaded with rich-tasting but nutrient-packed ingredients, such as avocados and coconut milk. If you’re craving something a bit more citrusy for dessert on Valentine’s Day, this is a winner.

Try the recipe from The Candida Diet.

6. Paleo Vegan Almond Joy Ice Cream

Paleo Vegan Almond Joy Ice Cream

Courtesy of Beaming Baker

If you’re Paleo, this ice cream is the ticket for you — assuming you’re also into that iconic combination of coconut, almonds, and chocolate that makes up an Almond Joy. We love this recipe because it’s based on banana “nice cream” (a treat that’s way more than the sum of its parts — it’s basically ice cream magic) and uses coconut cream for added richness. Of course, feel free to personalize: pretzel bites, peanuts, pineapple bites, frozen strawberries… these are all totally legit mix-ins here, too.

Try the recipe from Beaming Baker.

7. Paleo Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Paleo Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate mousse is a classic Valentine’s Day treat, but this version isn’t just rich and creamy, it’s also really good for you. And the best part — it takes just 15 minutes of prep. The author suggests adding chia seeds, and while they do add extra fiber and nutrients, we’d honestly recommend leaving them out just because they’ll detract from the texture (who wants a chunky mousse?). Otherwise, this is an excellent recipe for a velvety Paleo treat.

Try the recipe from Traditional Cooking School.

8. Almond Milk Custard

Almond Milk Custard

This dessert is so unbelievably simple: It requires just four ingredients (although you’re welcome to toss in a handful of raisins or other dried fruit), and it’s unbelievably smooth and rich. Custard is one of those dishes that can feel intimidating to make, but the truth is, it just takes a long time to cook in the oven and then cool (45 minutes and three hours, respectively). But if you like to prep dessert in advance — even a day ahead — it’s a great option.

Try the recipe from Go Dairy Free.

Read next: 5 Creamy & Luscious Avocado Desserts

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