16 Absolute Best Foods For Your Chocolate Fondue This Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is coming soon — and for many couples, nothing says romance quite like red roses, a candlelight dinner, and chocolate. While you're going to need to visit your local florist for the flowers, we should be able to help with the rest. For a luxurious dinner at home, consider trying your hand at seared duck breasts for two, accompanied by wheat berries and endive. Afterward, for an especially decadent dessert, we suggest making chocolate fondue.

Chocolate fondue is made by melting chocolate into heavy cream. While you can use just about any type of chocolate, high-quality chocolate chips (such as Guittard or Ghirardelli) make for an especially convenient option. You can also elevate your chocolate fondue by adding a splash of liquor. We always love the flavor of Irish Cream, but Amaretto, Cointreau, and Kailua liquors also work really well.

For the best chocolate fondue experience, choose accompanying foods that can be easily stuck with a fork or large enough to dip in the pot while holding onto one end. Your food selections should also be firm enough to stay intact when dipped in warm chocolate. Below, we share our thoughts on the absolute best foods for your chocolate fondue this Valentine's Day. Enjoy –– with love!


Bananas are one of our absolute favorite foods to dip into chocolate fondue. Not only do they taste completely sinful covered in chocolate, but bananas also offer a number of health benefits. According to Healthline, their high potassium content is good for your heart, and your gut health is also likely to benefit from this great source of fiber.

But not all bananas are created equal. There are many types of bananas out there, including Cavendish bananas (the standard variety found in the United States), apple bananas (smaller and sweeter), cooking bananas (a.k.a. plantains), and even Blue Java bananas (yes, they really are blue). For the purposes of chocolate fondue, we like to use your basic Cavendish banana. You'll want to find reasonably firm ones since firm bananas hold up best to heat.

If you have any ripe bananas on hand, go ahead and use them to make banana bread. After all, banana bread doesn't taste too bad dipped in chocolate. Just take care to avoid the biggest mistakes everyone makes with banana bread, including over-mixing the batter, using the wrong bananas (make sure they are turning brown), and not weighing your ingredients.


Let's be honest — there's almost nothing as delicious as marshmallows dipped in chocolate. The warm chocolate lightly melts the marshmallow, creating a sweet and gooey delight that will quickly have you reaching for another one. While you can certainly use store-bought marshmallows for the occasion, why not take things up a notch by making homemade marshmallows out of sugar, light corn syrup, salt, and vanilla bean paste? Either way, be sure to follow our tips to keep marshmallows fresh — should you have any leftovers, that is.

Along with dipping marshmallows directly into chocolate, we can think of several other winning ways to experience chocolate and marshmallows together. These include making old-fashioned s'mores out of marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers, along with eating our favorite gourmet s'mores desserts at restaurants. We also love pulling out hot chocolate bombs (a molded combo of chocolate, hot chocolate mix, and marshmallows) on a cold day for a richly comforting experience.


There are good reasons why chocolate-covered strawberries are so popular on Valentine's Day. First of all, they taste absolutely amazing. But also, with the stem on, strawberries are naturally made for dipping. For an especially gorgeous pre-made result, check out our black and white chocolate-covered strawberries recipe. (Other amazing strawberry desserts include strawberry cobbler and strawberry shortcake — but these both fall short on the chocolate front.)

If you opt to dip your strawberries in chocolate together, all you need to do is hold the stem, dip the berry portion into the fondue pot, and then try your best not to drip chocolate everywhere while navigating this delicacy toward your mouth. (To be honest, that last part isn't so easy.) If you'd rather reduce the risk of getting chocolate everywhere, you can first de-stem your strawberries and use a fondue fork instead.

There are three main types of strawberries out there: June-bearing, everbearing, and day-neutral. While availability for specific types varies based on season and location, rest assured that any type of ripe strawberry you can find will taste terrific with your Valentine's Day chocolate fondue.

Maraschino cherries

Like strawberries, maraschino cherries are made for fondue dipping with built-in handles (that is, stems). Just make sure to purchase the type with the stems intact. Once the jar is empty, you can use leftover maraschino cherry juice in your hot chocolate for another amazing chocolate-cherry combo — trust us!

Maraschino cherries were first created when it was discovered that alcohol-soaked cherries could be more easily transported than delicate fresh ones. These days, instead of being soaked in alcohol, maraschino cherries are processed with calcium salt, sugar syrup, and a vibrant red dye. The pit is expelled during processing.

While they may involve a little more work than popping open a jar, pitted fresh cherries are also delicious dipped in chocolate fondue. Over 30 types of cherries are available, though sweet varieties work best for this purpose. Unfortunately, you may have trouble finding in-season cherries in time for Valentine's Day since cherries usually ripen in the late spring through summer. In California, cherries are only in season from mid-May through early June (per California Cherries). If you can find any, consider making your own bourbon-soaked cherries to store for up to one month before the big night. Win-win.

Pound cake

Whether you make your own pound cake or buy it frozen from Sara Lee, you're definitely going to want to dip some chunks of this yummy cake into your chocolate fondue. If you decide to make your own version, you may consider adding sour cream — an ingredient not typically found in pound cake –– for an extra creamy treat. You can do this well before Valentine's Day since once baked, fresh pound cake can last up to a week when stored in the refrigerator.

But pound cake isn't the only type of cake that works well with chocolate fondue. Although you should probably avoid using crumbly cakes which tend to fall apart in the pot, there are plenty of other cake options out there. We especially love angel food cake, which goes wonderfully with warm chocolate. You can also try dipping cake pops, which offer their own handy dipping sticks. These can be baked in just about any flavor, but we suggest our recipe for pumpkin spice cake pops. Lastly, cheesecake is an excellent choice for chocolate fondue — in fact, it is so wonderful that it deserves an entirely separate category.

Cheesecake chunks

When it comes to cheesecake and chocolate fondue, there is just one major hack: This combination works best when using a firm, no-frills cheesecake style. Unfortunately, fluffier versions of cheesecake tend to fall apart when they hit the chocolate, making a melted mess in the fondue pot. There are two main styles of cheesecake: New York and Chicago. New York cheesecake, the more common of the two, boasts a firm, dense texture. In other words, this is the perfect option for chocolate fondue. Chicago cheesecake, while delicious, is fluffier on the inside — so save this one for another dessert, another day.

Whether you decide to make your own classic New York-style cheesecake, buy one from a nearby bakery, or purchase one online, it is best to avoid using a cheesecake with any significant toppings. This is because most cheesecake toppings, including cherries, other fruits, sauces, and whip cream, tend to complicate the dipping process and fall apart. Instead, we suggest cutting plain cheesecake into reasonably large, forkable chunks. Or, cut the cheesecake into triangular or rectangular shapes that are large enough to hold onto and partially dip by hand.


With all the sweet sensations involved in chocolate fondue, you may feel a little overwhelmed. Enter: salted pretzels. We think hard-style pretzels are best, such as those made by the Rold Gold brand. You can choose your favorite shape, whether this means the traditional knotty twist, a pretzel stick, or something else. In general, larger or longer hard pretzels work best for dipping since you can place these on a fork without them breaking.

There are a number of historical and religious theories as to why the pretzel got its shape. No matter which explanation is ultimately true, baker Julius Sturgis is widely recognized for the pretzel's initial popularity in the United States. Sturgis opened the first commercial pretzel bakery back in 1861 (per Pretzels).

Along with hard pretzels, you can also enjoy chunks of soft pretzels dipped in chocolate fondue. For some of the best soft pretzels in the U.S., you can still visit the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Factory — best known for hard pretzels, but they've pretty much got the soft ones down, too — as well as many other excellent pretzel bakeries across the country.

Graham crackers

If you're a fan of Starbucks chocolate-covered graham crackers (and really, who isn't?), you should really give graham crackers dipped in chocolate fondue a try. Simply break a graham cracker sheet into quarters, then partially dip one of these by hand into your pot of melted chocolate. We confess that this process can be a little drippy, but we also think the resulting combo is well worth it.

The history of the graham cracker is an interesting one. The original graham crackers, first marketed by Sylvester Graham, were created as a health food. Unlike today's not-so-healthy versions, the first ones were made from whole-grain flour and no sweeteners (per Connecticut History). They were also thought to offer their eaters moral benefits; Entrepreneur explains how Graham believed his crackers could reduce certain urges — namely, sexual ones.

According to Nutritionist, some of the most popular store-bought graham crackers include Teddy Grahams Honey, Honey Maid Fresh Stacks, Teddy Grahams Chocolate, Goldfish Grahams Vanilla Cupcake, and Goldfish Grahams S'mores. While many of these include refined flour and high fructose corn syrup, you can also find healthier varieties made with whole-grain ingredients and reduced sugar.

Rice Krispies treats

Although you can buy conveniently packaged Rice Krispies bars, homemade ones are super easy to make. Simply melt three tablespoons of butter on the stove, add a package of marshmallows (we like using mini marshmallows), and remove from heat once melted. Then, stir in 6 cups of Rice Krispies cereal and press everything into a prepared 13x9x2 inch pan. You can experiment with some of our expert tips to keep your hands clean while dealing with this sticky concoction. For instance, use your empty butter wrapper, a spatula with non-stick spray, or hands washed in cold water to pat the mixture down in the pan.

Beyond the basic recipe, there are plenty of ways to jazz up your Rice Krispies treats. For instance, you can add colorful sprinkles, other types of cereal, mini M&Ms, other candies, peanut butter, and condensed milk to the mix. Or, you may wish to decorate your treats on the outside with your favorite frosting and sprinkles or candy bits. You can even use red food dye and a heart-shaped cookie cutter to make sweet bites of love for a Valentine's Day theme. Then, of course, you'll want to dip these adorable creations into your chocolate fondue. Now that's amore!


While it may sound a little weird at first, plenty of people out there have already discovered the winning combination of chocolate and bacon. You can find many fancy ways to make chocolate and bacon magic (check Pinterest for ideas) but let's keep things nice and simple: Make some bacon, dip the bacon into chocolate, eat the bacon — done. To avoid getting bacon remnants in the pot, you may wish to spoon chocolate onto your bacon instead of dipping it. This is especially important if your partner is vegetarian.

Fonduing with bacon works best if the bacon starts out crispy. To make the crispiest bacon, we recommend cooking it in the oven. If your oven is already occupied with your Valentine's dinner, cook your bacon stovetop while avoiding these mistakes everyone makes when cooking bacon: Don't preheat the pan before adding bacon, avoid turning the heat up too high, don't add water to frying bacon, and be sure to flip your bacon periodically to ensure the best outcome. For a fun bacon upgrade, add balsamic brown sugar bacon glaze or experiment with some of our other bacon recipes.

Dried apricots

Although fresh fruit is best and dried fruit should only be consumed in moderation, dried fruit offers a range of important health benefits. Apricots, for instance, are packed with nutrients (including potassium), low in calories, and high in antioxidants, according to Healthline. These sweet morsels are also believed to promote better eye, skin, and gut health. Just be sure to avoid eating the pits; apricot kernels can be poisonous in large doses.

Most of the world's apricots come from Turkey, although the fruit originated in China (per NPR). Apricots are a stone fruit that can be pitted and eaten fresh, dried, canned, or baked into delicious treats like apricot pie. But dried apricots (ranked third in a survey of your favorite dried fruits) are the best match for chocolate fondue. In fact, dried fruits in general (including mangoes and apples) work well with fondue. That being said, larger varieties tend to work best — raisins tend to wind up in the bottom of the fondue pot.


Although you can't really go wrong dipping cookies into your chocolate fondue, the fact remains that some varieties work better than others. For one, we are big fans of traditional Scottish shortbread, which you can buy online, find at stores, or make with only three ingredients: butter, flour, and sugar.

Speculoos cookies are another top hit. These can be found on airplanes, at Trader Joe's, or in other grocery outlets. Other store-bought cookie varieties that work well in chocolate fondue include sandwich cookies (such as Oreo's or Trader Joe's Joe-Joe's) and Nilla wafers — and if you have any Girl Scout cookies, you can even give those a whirl.

Chocolate chip cookies are another no-lose option for chocolate fondue. While some store-bought brands are pretty yummy, the reality is that nothing beats homemade chocolate chip cookies. To make extra soft and chewy cookies, consider adding instant pudding mix. To further elevate your baked creations, you can even play around with different pudding flavors — chocolate, vanilla, cheesecake, butterscotch, and pistachio.

Gummy worms

Whether sweet, sour, or spicy, your kids will love dipping colorful gummy worms into warm chocolate fondue — and you just may be surprised when you enjoy it, too! There is no shortage of different types of gummy candies (including bears, sharks, rings, and fish), but we like gummy worms best because they have the best shape for dipping by hand.

The history of gummy worms dates back to the early 1980s. At that point, gummy bears were brought to the United States from Germany and developed into gummy worms soon after. These squiggly candies were created with the purpose of shocking parents, according to Leaf. (Indeed, it can be shocking to see one's kids eat worms!)

If dipping gummy worms into a 'mud pot' (a.k.a. chocolate fondue) isn't crazy enough for your family, try making our easy dirt pudding recipe. In it, chocolate pudding is layered with "dirt" (crushed Oreos). You can decorate dirt pudding with emerging gummy worms for a hilarious effect. Have fun!

Mandarin oranges

Who doesn't love mandarin oranges? Also known as Cuties or Halos, pieces of this sweet little fruit are particularly well-suited for chocolate fondue. Along with providing an awesome flavor combination (light and juicy + rich and chocolatey = yum), mandarin oranges are easy to peel and often seedless (look for Clementines, per Garden Betty). Other types of oranges (like navel and blood oranges), along with other citrus fruits (such as grapefruit), can also go well with fondue. However, these can be more of a hassle than mandarin oranges, involving tighter peels and annoying seeds. Nutritionally, citrus fruits contain high amounts of vitamin C, making these a healthy and fresh option for your chocolate fondue.


Churros and chocolate have long been recognized as a match made in heaven, particularly in Spain. There, churros con chocolate is a common daily snack involving freshly baked churros dipped in a cup of thick, warm hot chocolate (per Serious Eats). Different Spanish cities tend to offer their own adaptations of this theme — and we are so there for all of them. If jet-setting to Spain isn't in your near future, the good news is that you can still enjoy phenomenal churros right at home.

On our YouTube channel, learn how to prepare churros three ways: classic, spicy chocolate, and matcha. Many of the necessary ingredients are probably already in your pantry, though you will need a pastry bag with a large star tip for shaping. To avoid double dipping churros in your chocolate fondue, we recommend cutting them into pieces or just making short ones. You may also want to consider leaving off the outer layer (often cinnamon sugar), which is likely to leave a residue in your fondue pot. Actually, now that we think about it, is a little extra sugar really going to hurt anything? Probably not.

If making your churros sounds daunting, you can pick some up from a nearby restaurant or bakery earlier in the day. Or, perhaps of greater convenience, look for them anytime in the freezer section of your grocery store.

Apple slices

All you need to do is visit the grocery store to determine that apples are among our favorite fruits. Indeed, apples have a long culinary history in our country, even resulting in the adage, "as American as apple pie." Some of the most popular types of apples include Red Delicious, Honeycrisp, Fuji, Granny Smith, and McIntosh.

If you want to add a little crunch to your Valentine's Day fondue, consider adding apples to the spread. While it is definitely best to core and then slice them, go ahead and leave the peel on or off based on personal preference. If you're looking for a nutritional boost, however, leave the skin on. This way, your apple slices will contain added folate, vitamins E and K, iron, fiber, calcium, and potassium.

Either way, dip those apples into chocolate to your heart's content — and we mean this quite literally. The antioxidants in chocolate may actually boost heart health by lowering blood pressure, increasing blood circulation, and lowering your risk of stroke and heart disease (per Johns Hopkins Medicine). Don't miss this heart-healthy food on everyone's favorite day of love. Happy Valentine's Day!