Roses are red, violets are blue, your sweetheart loves chocolate, but without the moo. Chocolates (and cheesy rhymes) are Valentine’s Day essentials: everyone wants to receive a special box of luxury chocs on the day all things love, romance and companionship are celebrated.
If your loved one is vegan or avoids dairy, though, you’ll have to do a little better than a last-minute box from the petrol station. That is not to say that vegan chocolates are hard to come by. Quite the opposite.
The vegan confectionery market has grown in recent years, and we think this year’s Valentine’s offerings might be the best yet. There is everything from classic boxes and truffles to brownies and marshmallows, and even tongue in cheek gifts and those with hidden surprises. All are beautifully presented and guaranteed to make the lucky recipient melt.
So, whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day, Palentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day or just fancy celebrating love for yourself on 14 February, be sure to mark it with one (or several) of these gorgeous vegan and dairy-free chocolate gifts.
How we tested
We’ve sought out the best vegan and dairy-free chocolate gifts to help you speak the language of love this Valentine’s Day. Included in our roundup are the finest selection boxes and bars alongside some more unusual pressies. We taste-tested each product and rated on flavour primarily, but we also considered texture, quality, aesthetics, ingredients and how much love the packaging shows for the planet.
The best Valentine’s Day vegan and dairy-free chocolate gifts for 2022 are:
- Best overall – Melt Chocolates Valentine’s heart: from £29.99, Meltchocolates.com
- Best selection box – Copperhouse Chocolate Valentine’s gift box: £29, Copperhousechocolate.co.uk
- Best vegan marshmallows – Ananda Foods Valentine gift box: £10, Anandafoods.co.uk
- Best award-winning chocolate – Chococo ‘you spice up my life’ heart box with chilli caramel gems: £17.50, Chococo.co.uk
- Best allergen-free chocolates – Nono Cocoa love connections vegan chocolate gift box: £25, Nono-cocoa.com
- Best for a cosy evening at home – Josh’s Chocolate the dark bar and button mix: £46, Joshschocolate.co.uk
- Best baked gift – Blushing Cook vegan Valentine’s day brownies: £36, Blushingcook.com
- Best cheeky choccy gift – Dirty Cow hail mary berry bar: £3.49, Greenbaysupermarket.co.uk
- Best classic box of chocolates – Hotel Chocolat unbelievably vegan sleekster: £23.50, Hotelchocolat.com
- Best truffles – Love Cocoa the vegan chocolate truffle selection box: £13.95, Lovecocoa.com
Melt Chocolates valentine’s heart
Are you thinking of popping the question this Valentine’s Day? This gift might just be the ultimate prop. Hidden within the most stunningly glossy red chocolate heart is a note, which can be personalised, for your love. The chocolate is dark and rich, with a minimum of 70 per cent cocoa for a sophisticated flavour. Meanwhile, the packaging is free-from plastic, and Melt even delivers its chocolates with an electric zero-emissions van.
This beautiful, handcrafted gift doesn’t only have to be used for life-changing questions. You can simply go with a standard “happy Valentine’s” message, an “I love you”, or something else unique to your relationship to show your sweetheart how much they mean to you for an unforgettable moment.
Copperhouse Chocolate Valentine’s gift boxes
Best: Selection box
If you’re buying for someone who struggles to make up their mind or loves a bit of everything, this gift from 100 per cent vegan chocolatiers Copperhouse gives them the luxury of choice. Nestled in a cardboard box with vibrant pink paper are boxes of brownies, caramel hearts, drinking chocolate and a slab of fudge.
The bakes, a generous hunk each of a dulche non-leche brownie, a raspberry blondie and a classic chocolate brownie, are dense, fudgy and oh-so indulgent. The caramel hearts have an oozy, sugary centre, which has notes of maple syrup, and the large block of fudge melts in the mouth, tasting and looking just like that made to a traditional recipe. Finally, there are two servings each of cinnamon rose, raspberry dream and Madagascar 61 per cent hot chocolate mixes, which dreamily melt into hot plant-based milk for a sumptuous, warming drink.
Besides everything tasting out of this world, we love that the brand uses predominantly recyclable cardboard and paper and the bags it does use are 100 per cent biodegradable. It also has impressive social responsibility credentials, using cocoa ethically sourced from small producers who pay farmers above fair-trade standards.
Ananda Foods Valentine gift box
Best: Vegan marshmallows
Cute packaging, sweet marshmallows and rich chocolate make this a perfect gift for someone who prefers sweets to chocolate alone. Included is a box of gooey, aromatic, cloud-like rose and raspberry marshmallows and a fun marshmallow lolly covered in thick Belgian chocolate with rainbow sprinkles.
Our favourite part, though, is the rose and raspberry round up – think a chunky, posh, vegan wagon wheel with vanilla marshmallow sandwiched between chocolate biscuits with a raspberry jam centre all covered in divine rose scented chocolate. It’s nostalgic and decadent. The quality of this gift is outstanding, and the marshmallows are made using only natural flavours, vegetable colourants and real fruit powders.
Chococo ‘you spice up my life’ heart box with chilli caramel gems
Best: Award-winning chocolate
Things could heat up this Valentine’s Day with this spicy gift. Lift the lid on the thick, edible, 72 per cent Ecuador single origin dark chocolate heart-shaped gift box to reveal five splendidly designed chilli caramel gems. These award-winning morsels have a meltingly soft caramel centre that is more zingy than stingy – the perfect amount of chilli to sweetness ratio to hot things up. This product is made using a dairy-, gluten- and soya-free recipe, and we love that it comes in a plastic-free, fully recyclable gift box.
Nono Cocoa love connections vegan chocolate gift box
Best: Allergen-free chocolates
Nono Cocoa’s chocolates are the kind that make you gasp at their beauty when you open the box. The attention to detail is exquisite; some of the chocolates are painted, and others carry leaf or pearl-like decorations. As well as looking good, they taste superb with several sublime flavours, including our favourites dark coconut cream, white rose and raspberry.
Better still, they are safe for people with a multitude of allergies because they are free from the top 14 allergens, including dairy, gluten, nuts and yeast. There are also no artificial colourings, preservatives, GMO ingredients or refined sugar, but they do include superfoods such as baobab and camu camu. Could this be considered healthy chocolate? It’ll definitely do some good.
Josh’s Chocolate the dark bar and button mix
Best: For a cosy evening at home
Your love’s favourite restaurant was booked up before you had a chance to make a reservation, the cinema will be hideously busy, and you can’t even stomach the thought of facing a bar, so a cosy night in, cuddled up on the sofa, is just the ticket. Add in a good film and this gift, and it’s a perfect evening.
This bumper bundle of chocolate goodies is everything your sweetheart will need for that one night and several more to come. Included are six 100g dark, gloriously rich chocolate bars (two original, two with peppermint and two fiery ginger), four melting hot chocolate spoons, including two with orange, for luxurious warming drinks and four 135g bags of gigantic chocolate buttons, including two of peppermint. This is the ultimate gift for the vegan chocolate lover.
Blushing Cook vegan Valentine’s day brownies
Best: Baked gift
Some things are almost too beautiful to eat, then there is this handmade gift, cutting into which actually pained us. It is a fine work of artisanship, a masterpiece with its adorable illustration and seasonal organic edible flowers. And that is just the appearance. Beneath the stunning design is a super-rich double chocolate brownie slab ready to be cut into portions. The flavour is deep with 100 per cent sustainable cocoa, and the texture is fudgy with just the right amount of chew. The packaging is 100 per cent recyclable too. This is the most Instagrammable gift we’ve seen yet.
Dirty Cow hail mary berry bar
Best: Cheeky choccy gift
A sense of humour is a must to survive most relationships, and cheekiness is almost always endearing, so put it to the test with this vegan chocolate bar. And like most jokers, it has a serious (seriously tasty) centre too.
The 80g bar is made with 55 per cent cocoa, which means it is far less bitter than a lot of vegan chocolates and is meltingly smooth. The best bit, though, is the decoration: vibrant pink and red dried strawberries and raspberries that offset the creaminess with a tart, fruity hit. As well as being vegan and dairy-free, this bar is gluten-free. Plus, all the packaging is 100 per cent recyclable, and the cocoa is sourced from certified sustainable farms.
Hotel Chocolat unbelievably vegan sleekster
Best: Classic box of chocolates
Those vegans who shy away from bitter dark chocolate and prefer something that tastes as close to the conventional dairy stuff as you can get, will fall in love with this impressive box of chocolates. Hotel Chocolat has really nailed it with its nutmilk range. Inside the elegant white box are 33 heavenly titbits, including truffles, batons, pralines, salted caramels and a crunchy peanut buche (log when translated from French into English) centrepiece.
Our favourites are the zesty orange batons made with Valencian orange oil, the decadently rich gianduja and the pecan praline with its hint of sea salt. The texture of the chocolates, which are made with finely milled hazelnuts in place of dairy milk, is smooth and melting and among the creamiest of all the vegan alternatives out there. They’ll delight vegan and dairy fans alike.
Love Cocoa the vegan chocolate truffle selection box
Nothing says “I love you” like a box of truffles, and this one is especially charming from the brand founded by James Cadbury, the great-great-great-grandson of the man who created the world-famous chocolate company.
Neatly arranged within a pretty pink and gold cardboard box are 18 artistically decorated truffles of six different varieties: coffee, orange, pineapple, raspberry, lime and – our favourite – bakewell. The single-origin chocolate coating each truffle is dark and rich but not too bitter and gives way to a satisfying crack when you bite into them.
We especially like that buying this product for a loved one helps Love Cocoa to plant a tree in Kenya – the company has planted one million so far.
The verdict: Best Valentine’s Day vegan and dairy-free chocolate gifts
Melt Chocolates valentine’s heart stole our hearts with its magnificent appearance, excellent quality chocolate and hidden message. Everyone deserves a nice surprise on Valentine’s Day, and we think it is the perfect way to share your love for another.
If a classic box of chocolates is more your style, Hotel Chocolat’s unbelievably vegan sleekster is a masterpiece in vegan chocolate making. We also think the Blushing Cook vegan valentine’s day brownies deserve a mention for the marvellous look alone but also for the deliciousness of the bakes.
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In need of some food inspo for a romantic dinner for two? Check out our round-up of the best Valentine’s meal deals