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12 best vegan and dairy-free Valentine’s Day chocolates you’ll want to keep for yourself

Whether it’s nut milk hearts from Hotel Chocolat or gourmet truffles from Booja-Booja, these sweet treats are sure to impress

Jess Denham
Tuesday 12 January 2021 12:45
<p>If your lucky recipient prefers their chocolate sweeter and creamier, look to our favourite “milk” styles that use ingredients like coconut and rice powder</p>

If your lucky recipient prefers their chocolate sweeter and creamier, look to our favourite “milk” styles that use ingredients like coconut and rice powder

Chocolate holds the key to many of our hearts, making it a failsafe choice for a romantic Valentine’s Day treat. If your special someone only eats vegan or dairy-free chocolates, panic not! 

We’ve rounded up the most delicious and beautifully-presented goodies to surprise them with come 14 February.

Thankfully for chocoholics everywhere, most dark chocolate is naturally free from dairy, eggs, honey and other animal-derived products, so you’ll find plenty of that on our list. 

If your lucky recipient prefers their chocolate sweeter and creamier, look to our favourite “milk” styles that use ingredients like coconut and rice powder to create a similar melt-in-the-mouth texture.

Trust us when we say you’ll want your Valentine to share these chocolatey delights with you, so start sucking up now!

Please note that some of the below chocolates have been made in a shared kitchen, so be sure to check the ingredients list carefully if your other half has a serious allergy.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Love Cocoa ultimate vegan chocolate library

None other than the great-great-great grandson of John Cadbury is behind Love Cocoa, which makes a terrific range of handmade dark chocolate bars made from the finest South American cocoa. This “library” features five of the ethical brand’s bestselling flavours, including gin and tonic, salted almond and English mint. The former is our favourite – the juniper and lime oils team fabulously with the strong yet remarkably creamy Colombian dark chocolate. Each bar is wrapped in arty, plastic-free packaging and neatly slotted into a monochrome geometric case. It’ll look cool on any bookshelf, but we bet it won’t stay there for long.

Hotel Chocolat nutmilk precious heart

If you want to get a bit soppy, this nutmilk chocolate heart embossed with two kissing hummingbirds will certainly show your loved one that you care. It’s made with finely milled hazelnuts to give an indulgent creamy finish. It tastes like chocolate first and foremost, thanks to 45 per cent cocoa, with a subtle nutty edge. It’s extremely creamy and moreish and it arrives ribbon-wrapped for instant wow factor. If hearts aren’t their thing, look to the vegan H-box or sleekster instead. 

Bad Brownie vegan brownies box

For a spin on traditional chocolates, you can’t beat these new vegan brownies from the inimitable Bad Brownie. Fudgy, gooey and mouthwateringly delicious, they are decadence in a box. They come in three sizes of 12 to 24 brownies, with flavours including Oreo cookie dough, After Eight (our favourite) and salted caramel. Choose the “lots of love” gift wrap sleeve for a special touch and you’ll earn a ton of literal brownie points. There’s a vegan and gluten-free box available too.

Divine dark chocolate hearts

The ethically-minded will appreciate the thought behind this Fairtrade, palm oil-free and plastic-free bag of dark chocolate hearts. Divine by name and nature, the rich 70 per cent Ghanaian cocoa has been sweetened by Madagascan vanilla for a perfectly balanced chocolatey hit. Each solid heart is hand-wrapped in shiny red foil and we love the stylish black and gold packaging. The pack is smaller than it looks, but it’d make a lovely lowkey choice for a budding romance. 

Playin Choc JustChocBox organic Peruvian cacao dark chocolates

These organic dairy-free chocolates are certified by both the Vegan Society and the Soil Association for added reassurance. The suitably playful, recyclable box contains ten domino-style chocolates, each printed with hearts and the word “play” and wrapped in compostable film. We found the chocolate’s texture satisfyingly smooth and neither too sweet nor too bitter, with a subtle hint of coconut and vanilla. The even creamier “m-lk” variety is just as yummy.

Booja-Booja the gourmet selection

“Everyone needs a little booja-booja”, claims this proudly all-vegan brand and, after sampling this good-looking gourmet box of 20 dark chocolate goodies (gluten-free and organic too), we’re inclined to agree with them. It’s hard to go wrong with truffles, but these have gone very right, with flavours including almond salted caramel, rum-sozzled sultana, espresso and champagne. They’re intense in taste, without being too sweet, but keep them in the fridge to retain a bit of bite and stop them melting. 

Melt dark sea salt discs

These dark chocolate discs are freshly handmade in Melt’s luxurious west London boutiques. Thin and crisp, they are lightly sprinkled with sea salt flakes to complement and intensify the flavour. One look at the box’s metallic molten chocolate design leaves us salivating. If you fancy splashing more cash in the name of true love, consider the vegan chocolate gift hamper, priced at £69.99 and brimming with bars, truffles, orangettes, slabs and buttons.

Pure Heavenly claret luxury gift box

It’s tricky to make a dairy-free milk chocolate substitute without adding lots of sugar, but Pure Heavenly has pulled it off by replacing milk with rice cream. This swap took us a few bites to get used to (that’s our excuse, anyway), but it works. The 15-strong range of “silk” and dark chocolate bars includes such mouthwatering flavours as raspberry, coconut, salted caramel and ginger. The gifting option lets you choose six colourful bars especially for your loved one, which are then neatly packed into an elegant claret box that is guaranteed to impress.

Charbonnel et Walker vegan friendly boite blanche

If your Valentine is, shall we say, discerning, then you’ll need to dig deep for some seriously fancy chocs. This luxury box from one of Britain’s earliest chocolatiers has earned the Queen’s seal of approval. It arrives adorned with a huge cream and gold ribbon that’s sure to elicit squeals of delight. Hiding inside are the finest fruit fondants and brazil nuts, all enrobed in silky dark chocolate, with flavours including mandarin, lemon, raspberry and apricot. It’s a vegan dream fit for someone special. 

Coco Chocolatier Colombian dark chocolate batons

This British chocolatier loves design as much as chocolate, with some of the coolest modern packaging we’ve seen. This sleek box contains 12 artfully arranged batons made from 61 per cent Colombian dark chocolate that slowly and satisfyingly melts in the mouth. The individual bars are worth a browse, too. Each one comes in a punchy, artist-designed wrapper that’ll appeal to art enthusiasts, with intriguing flavours including rose and black pepper, Earl Grey tea and passion fruit. 

Buttermilk choccy truffles

If your partner has been craving a vegan substitute for Lindt’s classic truffle balls, here’s your ticket into their good books. Cornish chocolatier Buttermilk’s newest sweet treat is a joint venture with ActionAid, an organisation which works to empower women and young girls around the world. These choccy truffles come individually wrapped and are as velvety smooth as you’d hope, thanks to rice powder masquerading as milk. The packaging is entirely compostable, too. 

Enjoy! sumptuous salted caramels box

Unbelievably, given how delectably sweet they taste, these Vegan Society-approved salted caramels are totally free from refined sugar. Their caramel flavour comes from molten organic coconut sugar, encased in 70 per cent dark chocolate made from raw Peruvian cacao for balance. You get 16 mini domes in the trendy monochrome box, but it’ll be an effort for your Valentine to pace themselves. There’s also a smaller box of eight available for £4.99, but go on, they’re worth it.

The verdict: Vegan chocolate boxes

We’re glad James Cadbury is following in the footsteps of his famous ancestor, as Love Cocoa’s library of inventive dark chocolate bars has us hooked. It looks suitably special and unique for a Valentine’s Day surprise to remember. Though not strictly chocolates, Bad Brownie’s vegan box of scrumptious brownie bites will also make any chocoholic's heart melt. 

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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