8 Valentine’s Day Sweets for Your Sweet

It’s time to think outside the chocolate box.

Pick up sweets such as these miniature heart-shaped bundt cakes from Ridgewells to share with your honey or friends. Photograph courtesy of Ridgewells.

Chocolates fall into the “even when they’re bad, they’re good” category, but grabbing a box at CVS doesn’t convey much thought. Local bakeries and restaurants are whipping up sweets that show some creativity and aren’t relegated to coupledom (hint, hint, boss: a box of Valentine’s doughnuts would be a nice office treat).

Champagne doughnuts from Astro Doughnuts

1308 G St., NW; 202-809-5565

Bubbly isn’t just for sipping on V-Day. Astro offers a Champagne-glazed doughnut for the holiday, as well as other romantic flavors such as rose-vanilla and the jam-filled “chocolate-covered strawberry.” Order a dozen and get all three, plus three crème brûlée rounds.

Details: A box of a dozen doughnuts is $27 and can be ordered online.

Conversation cupcakes (and more) at Buzz Bakery

Alexandria, Ballston, and Navy Yard locations

Want to say “hug me” in pastry form? Tiffany MacIsaac brings back her “conversation cupcakes,” modeled after those sugary little candies and available in flavors like vanilla and red velvet. The full Valentine’s sweets menu also includes cookie kits, passionfruit-peppercorn macarons, and more.

Details: Online orders for cupcakes ($18 for a six-pack) and other sweets can be picked up at any Buzz shop.

Specialty gelato from Dolcezza

All locations, including Georgetown, Bethesda, and Fairfax

Crying into a tub of Ben & Jerry’s may be sad, but shedding a tear over milk chocolate-passionfruit gelato? There’s no shame in that. Whether you’re commiserating or celebrating, this specialty flavor made with Guittard chocolate and puréed passionfruit sounds delicious.

Details: $10.50 per pint, available through Sunday, February 16.

Heart-shaped doughnuts from GBD

1323 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-524-5210

Eat your heart out with this spot’s specially shaped doughnuts, sold in packs of four that include two chocolate pudding-filled hearts with milk chocolate ganache, one with passionfruit glaze, and another with pomegranate glaze.

Details: Four packs ($10) are available for preorder through Wednesday; a limited number of boxes will be available in the store on February 14.

Mixed baskets from Menu MBK

405 Eighth St., NW; 202-347-7491

The newly opened Penn Quarter market assembles Valentine’s Day baskets for your gifting purposes. You can custom-design the goods with artisanal chocolates, cookies, macarons, and more, or mix and match sweet and savory with the addition of infused oils, dressings, and other offerings.

Details: Baskets are $95, and can be ordered over the phone or in the store.

Love notes from Ridgewells

5525 Dorsey La., Bethesda; 301652-1515

Send an edible note to your sweetie or friends in the form of a sugar cookie or a miniature heart-shaped bundt cake in flavors such as red velvet and mocha. Note that both require a minimum order of eight.

Details: Call for orders of the love notes ($1.65) and cakes ($4 each).

Kisses cupcakes at Sprinkles

3015 M St., NW; 202-450-1610

Send a not-so-subtle “XOXO” message with decorative cupcake boxes from Sprinkles. Flavors like red velvet and chocolate marshmallow are decorated with X’s, O’s, and hearts.

Details: Boxes of a dozen cupcakes can be ordered online for pickup or delivery.

Vegan sweets at Sticky Fingers

1370 Park Rd., NW; 202-299-9700

Say “I love you, and I also love animals” with vegan treats—think chocolate-raspberry cupcakes, heart cake-tarts for two, and Charm School chocolates. Find a full menu online.

Details: Items are priced individually for in-store shopping or call-in orders.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.