Sweet Recipes for Your Valentines by Carol Ross & Amy Vastine

It’s Valentine’s Day and we’re going to help you make it a sweet one! 

That old cliché about the way to a man’s heart being through his stomach is kind of spot on. At least, Amy and I think so. But we believe this holds true for just about anyone. (At least it does for us.) So, get your apron on and bake a treat for that special Valentine in your life - husband or boyfriend, wife or best girl, kids, or friend – we’ve got you covered!

For Your Sweetie Pie

My husband LOVES chocolate. If a dessert isn’t chocolate, he doesn’t see the point. There are a few exceptions, one of them being ice cream where vanilla is preferred. This decadent classic combines two of his favorites.

Hot Fudge Cake

1 cup flour
¾ cup sugar
6 Tbs cocoa powder, divided
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
½ cup milk
2 Tbs canola (or other light) oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup brown sugar – packed
1 ¾ cup hot water

Combine flour, sugar, 2 Tbs cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Stir in milk, oil, and vanilla until smooth. Spread into ungreased 9-inch square baking pan. Combine brown sugar and remaining cocoa. Sprinkle over batter. Slowly pour hot water over the mixture. Do not stir! Bake at 350° for 35 – 40 minutes. Cool slightly and serve over ice cream.

For Your Miniature Valentines (aka Kiddos)

It’s a tradition in my family to bake and decorate sugar cookies for just about any holiday. Valentine’s Day is especially fun because you can cut them into heart shapes and turn them into edible Valentines!

Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter - softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 ¾ cups flour
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp soda
½ tsp baking powder

Cream butter & sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Gradually add dry ingredients. Cover & chill at least 3 hours. Roll out and cut into desired shapes. Bake at 375 for 7 - 10 mins on ungreased cookie sheet until edges are very slightly brown. Do not overbake! Cool and frost.

Galentines Need Love (and Dessert) Too!

Amy and I share a mutual love for many of the same things and one of them happens to be sugary treats! We have an ongoing quest to find the most delicious dessert at RWA Nationals every year. (I’ve already googled the best ice cream in Denver.) So, I thought it only fitting to share the recipe I’d make for my cupcake-loving pal. Amy, I wish I could deliver these to you in person!

Chocolate Vanilla Cream Cupcakes

2 cups sugar
1 cup 2% or whole milk
1 cup canola oil
1 cup water
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

In a large bowl, beat the sugar, milk, oil, water, eggs and vanilla until well blended. 
Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into egg mixture until

Fill paper-lined muffin cups half full.  Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until a
toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove from pans to wire racks to
cool completely.

¼ cup butter, softened
¼ cup shortening
2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbs 2% or whole milk
1 ½ tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

In a small bowl, beat the butter, shortening, powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt until fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Insert a small tip into a pastry or plastic bag with filling.  Push the tip through the top of the cupcake to fill each cupcake.  Frost with buttercream frosting.

1 cup butter, softened
3 to 4 cups powdered sugar
½ cup cocoa powder
1 to 2 Tbs milk or half and half
1 tsp vanilla
Beat until light and fluffy.
(This recipe originally appeared inTaste of Home magazine.)

What are you baking up this Valentine’s Day? Or are you more of a box of chocolates kind of person?

For more information about Amy Vastine and Carol Ross, including complete lists of their books, please visit their websites!


  1. Salivating...itch to bake despite looming deadline...diet plans flying out the window..well done, ladies!

    1. Lol! Sorry... Baking (and eating) is a great form of procrastination, I've found.

  2. The photos! The recipes! I know what I’m going to be fantasizing about at my exercise class this morning and it won’t be a more svelte me! Thank you Carol and Amy and please let us in on your research results for Denver’s finest. Happy Valentines Day! ❤️❤️❤️🌹🌹

    1. Thank you, Janice! And double thanks because you just gave me a great idea for a blog post. Happy Valentine's Day to you!

  3. Um, yum! Delicious and all of that. You ladies are terrific. Happy Valentine's everyone.

  4. These look soooooo good, my mounth is watering. Happy Valentine's day!

    1. Highly recommend them all, Beth. These are some of my tried and true favorites!

  5. Oh, yum! Happy Valentine's Day to you both, but the 35 pounds I still have to lose won't be forgiving you any time soon! :-)

    1. Sorry, Liz. Lol. But Valentine's Day is a special occasion so it's okay to indulge. Trust me, diets can wait (I know this from personal experience.)

  6. Well, yum!! Happy Valentine's Day, girls! <3 FYI, there's a bakery called The Wooden Spoon in Denver. Google it. They featured it on Food Network. Just sayin'. :)

    1. Anna, oh my gosh, we're going! Those pastries and scones... And ice cream at a place called Little Man!

    2. Good call - a round of cupcakes for everyone on me in July!!

    3. Love this plan! And I'll buy the ice cream.

  7. I felt obligated to try one of these sweet treats for my hubby for Valentine's Day. The hot fudge cake with vanilla ice cream is truly heaven!

    1. So glad you enjoyed it! It's one of our favorites. ;)


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