From the heart, to the belly.

How about this year for Valentine’s Day you surpass the go-to box of chocolates. Buckle up and face the challenge head on and create a DIY valentine. All it takes is a little planning and creativity. Sometimes making a gift by hand can be intimidating, but when you make that gift edible, you’re in a win-win situation. There’s no one out there who doesn’t appreciate an edible treat made with love. Whether it turns out magazine cover perfect or slightly awkward and lopsided, your valentine will be excited to have something good to eat — handcrafted by their one and only.

Kids love the process of making their own Valentine’s Day mailboxes from red and pink craft paper, then giving and receiving beautiful cards addressed from their favorite pals. So what’s better than getting Valentine’s in a mailbox? Receiving edible cookie Valentine’s. Just find your own favorite sugar cookie and royal icing recipe, then follow the directions for the Valentine letter cookies at The icing process takes time to allow for drying, but it’s not difficult.

How about starting the day off with breakfast in bed or a pretty heart-themed brunch set up? You can make just about any food heart-shaped, but nothing tastes and smells as good as fresh baked cinnamon rolls. To speed things up, try buying frozen pre-made bread dough or preparing the dough the night before. The heart-shape step is just as easy as making a circle. All you do is pinch the bottom. Find the recipe and how-to at

Here’s another one that’s popular with the kids. It’s cheap and easy and the only cooking involved is melting a store-bought milk chocolate bar. Your shopping list includes a whopping four things: strawberry marshmallows (if you can find strawberry), milk-chocolate, lollipop sticks, and sprinkles. You can also purchase small individual cellophane baggies for packaging if you like. Here’s the how-to at Glorious Treats’ blog.

Your Valentine might prefer savory over sweet. Prepare an egg-in-the-hole breakfast but put that egg in a heart. All one needs is a heart-shaped cookie cutter (or some simple beginner’s level carving skills), along with some bread, butter, and an egg. Garnish with some bacon and a glass of orange juice and you’ve got yourself a well-balanced start to Valentine’s Day. Never made egg-in-the-hole? Here’s another pictorial how-to from

If you want to impress your Valentine with your decorating skills, attempt these adorable cupcake cupid hearts. Making the cupcake a heart is simple —just place marbles in your cupcake pan. Icing and sprinkles is easy too. The tricky arrows and wings are actually just melted wafer cookies squeezed through a plastic baggie. Sugar Swings blog explains the process with clear directions and beautiful step-by-step photographs.

Want to try a more traditional cake? This beautiful white cake buries a vibrant red heart inside the simple, pretty white cake. If you can make a four-layer cake, the only additional steps you have is carving the bottom of the heart in the first two, and then carving the top of the heart in the second two. Fill those spaces with crumbled red velvet cake and then carefully stack them together. You can find the directions carefully explained and beautifully photographed at They provide links to the two cake recipes as well.

Maybe your Valentine is more of a pie-guy (or girl). Maybe they prefer dinner over dessert. This not-so-traditional shaped pizza recipe goes back to the heart of Italy by adding the Neapolitan staple — a single egg. This source from Proud Italian Cook skips the dough recipe and recommends purchasing pre-made dough from the grocery store. You can do that or research your own dough recipe and still apply this great look to your crust and toppings. You can find the dough shaping how-to here.

If all this baking and cooking talk causes you to shy away from hand-made gifts, try this do-it-yourself candy box. You will need to purchase several heart-shaped cookie cutters, but rest assured, you won’t have to bake with them. You’ll only need to exercise a little creativity and puzzle fitting skills as you arrange them as candy dividers for jelly beans, mints, chocolates, or whatever you want to display in your beautiful handmade candy box. Here’s the directions at

So there you are — eight edible Valentines. Just remember, it’s not about how perfect your treat turns out, it’s the love you put into making them. The way to anyone’s heart, is almost always through the stomach.

Eat your heART out.

Tasty Valentines for dinner or dessert.

Recipes for a perfect Valentine’s day.

Better than chocolate crafts for V-day

Better than chocolate Valentine’s

Valentine’s to spoon to

Not your box of chocolate Valentines

A DIY Valentine guide sans the chocolate

Sans chocolate: A DIY Valentine guide

A home made Valentine’s day without the chocolates

Whatever it takes to avoid chocolate: DIY Valentines

Hearts, cupids, and valentines, DIY without the chocolate.

Hearts, cupids, and valentines: a DIY guide

You can’t spell heart without art or eat.

Homemade Valentines on a platter.

Valentines on a platter, without the chocolate.

Crafted Valentines from a non-chocolate kitchen

Anti-hero Valentines from scratch

What makes a Valentine? Not always chocolate.

Chocolate doesn’t make a Valentine a Valentine.

Melting hearts, not chocolate.

Hearty foods. A DIY guide to Vday.

Edible DIY Valentines

Why box yourself into packaged chocolates?

DIY: Thinking outside the box of chocolates

Why limit Valentine’s to chocolate?

Get past the box of chocolate and DoIY without.

Not-so-chocolate DIY Valentines

DIY Valentine goodies beyond chocolate.

Crafting Valentine’s, not chocolate.

From the heart to the belly.

Make Valentine’s, not chocolate.

The unchocolate lover’s guide to Valentine crafts

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