Best Valentine’s Day Goodies to Buy on Your Next Trip to Trader Joe’s

Fall in love with gummy x’s and o’s, chocolate lava cakes, and heart-shaped cookies.

valentine's day trader joe's items food products drink
Image by Maggie Rossetti for Thrillist
Image by Maggie Rossetti for Thrillist

Trader Joe’s loves a thematic holiday. During Christmas, everything is shaped like a gift or ornament or Christmas tree and dressed in reds and greens. For Halloween, expect ghouls and bats and strands of fake cobwebs to adorn the store.

It’s no surprise then, that for Valentine’s Day, Trader Joe’s leans into pink and red and heart-shaped everything. It’s convenient because it makes shopping for a Valentine’s Day menu or gift as accessible as picking up your next big pantry haul. Here is everything Valentine’s Day-themed that you should buy from Trader Joe’s this year, for your sweetheart or for yourself. There’s lots of chocolate involved.

Dark Chocolate Mini Heart Cookies

If you’ve ever had the Trader Joe’s dark chocolate mint stars that spring up in the winter, these cookies are similar—sans mint flavor and shaped like hearts rather than stars. They’re shortbread cookies enrobed in dark chocolate and dressed with pink and white nonpareils for added texture. It is easy to wolf down an entire box of these, so make sure to add this to your grocery cart.

For the Love of Chocolate Mousse Cake

Trader Joe’s has really been leaning into mousse cakes. There were pumpkin-shaped mousse cakes in the fall, mousse cakes shaped like presents during the holidays, and now a heart-shaped mousse cake perfect for Valentine’s Day. This version is one large chocolate cake with a whipped mousse filling perfect for sharing with your sweetheart. If you prefer six small cakes, Trader Joe’s also currently has pink raspberry mousse cakes that would also be ideal for a Valentine’s Day dessert.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes

For anyone avoiding gluten on Valentine’s Day, pick up a box of gluten-free chocolate cupcakes. They’re just as chocolaty and fluffy as the gluten variety, and topped with adorable pink buttercream rosettes. Each pack comes with four so you can share (or not).

Chocolate Lava Cakes

If you’ve ever attempted to make chocolate lava cakes at home, you know the struggle of trying to strike the balance between delectably oozing chocolate and inedible raw batter. These frozen lava cakes from Trader Joe’s are a foolproof way to get perfectly molten chocolate every time. You can bake them in the oven or microwave them for 50 seconds. Valentine’s Day dessert has never been easier.

Raspberry Hearts

These shortbread cookies are adorable and reminiscent of a classic thumbprint cookie, which rarely disappoints. The heart-shaped shortbread is not as crispy as others I’ve had—it’s definitely softer and more crumbly. The raspberry filling is also more sweet than tart, but is satisfyingly sticky. Sanding sugar provides some texture on the top cookie, but overall these sandwiches venture on the sweet side. Regardless, they would look really cute on a Valentine’s day dessert board.

Gummy X’s and O’s

If you’ve enjoyed the Scandinavian swimmers (or Scandinavian tidings during the holidays), then you’ll certainly love the Valentine’s Day version that comes in shapes of x’s and o’s. These gummies have a soft and chewy texture rather than bouncy, so they’re pretty gentle on the jaw. But we warned: these mostly taste like cherry, so if that’s not your flavor of preference, then perhaps steer away.

Trader Joe’s Pinks and Whites

These yogurt- and sprinkle-covered shortbread cookies are whimsical, charming, and a reminder of the looming promise of spring. They are also nostalgia-fueled—they taste just like the pink and white circus animal cookies but flower-shaped instead. Rather than a bouquet of flowers, pick up a box of these sweet cookies instead.

Rhubarb & Strawberry Soda

For a non-alcoholic drink to sip on that still fits the pink and red theme we associate with Valentine’s Day, pick up a four-pack of these rhubarb and strawberry sodas. The flavor is definitely more strawberry—sweet rather than tart—but not cloying or neon red like other strawberry sodas. The rhubarb flavor is subtle but there, and each can clocks in at a mere 60 calories. Drink it straight or mix it with gin and muddled strawberries.

Mint Flavor Dog Treats With Beet Powder

My dog Astro is a pretty picky snacker and even he was eagerly jumping for these heart-shaped treats. They’re colored with beet juice but smell like mint, which is a refreshing change from his meatier smelling snacks. If your Valentine this year is a dog—which is a perfectly acceptable Valentine to have—pick these up to show your affection.

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Kat Thompson is a senior staff writer of food & drink at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @katthompsonn.