51 Unforgettable Chocolate Valentine’s Day Desserts
From grand chocolate cakes and soufflés to elegant chocolate truffles and easy chocolate brownies, we've got every way to indulge in the cacao bean.
A box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day is a lovely gesture, but it just can’t compare to homemade Valentine's Day treats. Rich chocolate truffles, cakes, pies, and even fancy soufflés are more delicious, more personal (and hey, more show-offy) for your loved ones than the stuff you get in a restaurant or store. Plus, homemade chocolate desserts make for uber-romantic gifts—and super-special ways to cap off dinner.
While there are many Valentine's Day dessert recipe options in the world, February 14 is a good day to focus on chocolate, in my opinion. Chocolate is decadent; chocolate is sexy; chocolate is romantic. So save the vanilla macarons, lemon tarts, and red velvet cake for another occasion. Here are 51 mouthwatering ways to create chocolate desserts from your own kitchen.
Nobody can refuse chocolate cake
Chocolate cake is simply classic, and it pays to have a good recipe in your back pocket. (You just may want to bake one every month of the year!) You can’t lose with a creamy, buttery version like this Simply Perfect Chocolate Cake. Note that in addition to flour, cocoa powder, eggs, and the other usual suspects, this recipe uses Greek yogurt for some seriously moist, dense cake (the best kind).
Which brings me to an important note about cake-baking: You don’t need a mix. As long as you have flour, cocoa powder (for chocolate cakes), salt, baking soda, and baking powder—all handy ingredients to stockpile anyway—you therefore have cake mix. You don’t even have to buy cake flour, although many recipes, including the yummy cake above, call for it. In these cases, you can whip it up yourself by swapping in a tablespoon of cornstarch for a tablespoon of flour per cup of all-purpose flour called for. Easy!
If you want something more unusual than a classic chocolate cake, I recommend going for drama with chocolate lava cake, which is famous for its gooey, molten chocolate center, or for a rich, flourless chocolate cake; this one is naturally gluten-free and has a marbled peanut-butter finish. Don’t forget about the sweet, flaky coconut topper on German chocolate cake, either, a cake some of us will choose over any other dessert, anytime. There’s also an elegant dark chocolate cake made with buttermilk and coffee for complexity. If you want to go for beautiful but easy, try a chocolate Bundt cake. And remember: Vegans can have chocolate cake, too—see below for a magnificent recipe.
Chocolate cupcakes for the win
Cupcakes were invented for those times when you’re craving a tender cake but need something easier to pull off, and chocolate cupcakes are inarguably the best kind. That doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to just one kind of chocolate cupcake, though. For starters, I’m a big fan of these Easy Chocolate Cupcakes, which you can throw together in just 35 minutes.
When chocolate is involved, you don’t need much else in terms of flavors. Unless of course, you appreciate the lively kick of cinnamon and chili powder, as in the adorable Mexican hot chocolate cupcakes below, a cozy way to incorporate the season into your dessert. The gluten-free cupcakes are also delicious; and the vegan treats use soy milk, canola oil, and cherries for a sensational cherry-chocolate cupcake with no animal products. For those of us who know the joys of an extra-creamy, moist cupcake, I dare you to not be tempted by the luscious version that follows. Lastly, it’s fun to mix and match types of chocolate—try a dark chocolate cupcake with a white chocolate buttercream for incredible flavor and presentation.
Chocolate in a cup
Chocolate soufflé is in its own league of desserts. Light, airy, yet still creamy and rich, each bite can be transcendent. There’s something magical about cutting into a soufflé, still puffy, and seeing it start to deflate as you douse it with creme anglaise. Serving one of these babies after Valentine’s Day dinner is a surefire way to say “I love you,” “I like you,” or even “I belong on The Great British Bake Off.” This lovely recipe will expertly guide you along.
If soufflé isn’t your thing, try chocolate pots de crème, a sophisticated French dessert that can really elevate your chocolate pudding game. This smooth, rich treat uses plenty of egg yolks and cream to take the flavor and texture to new depths.
Another smooth dessert that you can spoon from a cup? Light, lovely chocolate mousse! In addition to the traditional version, I’d be remiss if I didn’t pass along another, made without eggs or sugar. It’s keto-diet friendly and safe for those on other low-carb diets. And lastly, let’s not forget the good old standby: chocolate pudding. Try the classic easy recipe made with cocoa, thickened with cornstarch, and topped with whipped cream and shaved chocolate. Or for a healthier indulgence, go for a sugar-free chocolate chia pudding.
Say hi to chocolate pie
Everyone loves pie (especially chocolate), and the ultra-rich mousse-like filling of chocolate silk pie will always be a winner. This recipe opts for an easy Oreo cookie crust, and it includes directions for making perfect chocolate curls to go on top.
Of course, why limit yourself to only one pie? Chocolate and peanut butter are a crowd-pleasing combination, and the one that follows also includes an Oreo crust. You don’t have to be from the South to appreciate the crunchy richness of a pecan chocolate pie, layered with that sticky chocolate filling and containing a hint of sweet bourbon. Finally, there’s the lesser-known but equally great chocolate chess pie, with a buttery, custardy, and totally satisfying filling.
Chocolate cheesecake. (Almost) enough said
I’m just going to leave this easy chocolate cheesecake recipe right here. What more does anyone need from a dessert? The creamy, slightly tangy sweetness of cheesecake, made even more rich and decadent with chocolate, is a Valentine’s Day gift in itself, and this one is a cinch to throw together. You can serve it plain or topped with buttery toasted graham cracker crumbs and chocolate curls.
Of course, you could make things easier on yourself by going with a no-bake Oreo cheesecake. Or if you’d like to completely blow your dinner guests’ socks off, give this chocolate peanut butter cheesecake or the s’mores chocolate cheesecake a whirl. My mouth is watering just thinking about them.
Chocolate truffles from your very own kitchen
I know, Valentines’ Day is typically an excuse to embrace saturated fats with open arms, but I can’t get over how insanely tempting these chocolate avocado truffles are! Avocado holds up nicely in dessert recipes, and lends so much plant-based butteriness to treats. And while these are a low-sugar alternative to most truffles, you can swap a sweeter milk chocolate for the dark that’s called for here if you prefer.
By the way, the idea of making your own truffles come Valentine’s Day is genius. They’re fun and relatively simple to throw together, and are always so special to get and give. There are so many flavor options, like matcha dark chocolate, orange, key lime, and even bourbon or kahlua. Why not try them all?
Chocolate ice cream never goes out of style
Ice cream is fun and casual, a pretty ingenious way to lighten the mood on Valentine’s Day (which can sometimes be a high-pressure occasion). Did I mention that ice cream is also probably the most addictive dessert in the world? It’s incredibly satisfying to concoct a classic chocolate ice cream yourself, like this easy, straightforward version. You don’t even have to churn it!
I also love chocolate ice cream because in addition to being so GOOD, it’s naturally gluten-free and versatile. Say you want an easy recipe but you do have an ice cream maker; in that case, the Chocolate Ice Cream recipe below is for you. If you’re vegan, no problem; try the super-creamy ice cream that uses coconut milk as a base. Even those on the keto diet can indulge, thanks to this fudgy, sugar-free recipe. Also, it’s not unusual to make ice cream without eggs, so if you prefer that route, try the indulgent yet eggless Milkiest Chocolate Cream. Want to make your ice cream dessert a little less casual? Try scooping it onto mint chocolate dessert soup. Finally, you can add some delightful chewiness by creating mochi ice cream!
Irresistible chocolate brownies
Simultaneously super-satisfying and super-easy, chocolate brownies are a Valentine’s Day no-brainer. If you’re a true chocolate lover, you know there’s nothing quite like a dense, chewy brownie when you’re craving something rich. Try these easy chocolate brownies for a reliable indulgence this Valentine's Day. You can also pair them with ice cream for an ultimate sundae, or even give some out as gifts (being sure to save enough for personal consumption, of course!).
Not all brownies are created equal, depending on whom you ask. You can add additional chocolate indulgence with chocolate chips and fudgy frosting, as in the blender recipe. Vegan brownies can often be more moist and dense than the original due to being egg-free. If you want to please a brownie lover by making something very special, try chocolate brownie trifles made with fresh raspberries.
Chocolate muffins and breads for Valentine’s Day
Chocolate desserts deservedly get the attention on Valentine’s Day. But why not set a celebratory mood first thing in the morning with Easy and Delicious Double Chocolate Muffins? The scent that wafts through your kitchen will be divine and you'll be instantly ready with breakfast and/or gift options when you’re done.
The chocolate quick bread concept lends itself to variation. We have a luscious vegan recipe, and another that works if you follow a gluten-free, keto, or Paleo diet. And while no list of muffins would be complete without a healthy version, fear not—these are still chocolaty and treat-worthy! Lastly, if you’re more of a bread person, consider a rich chocolate loaf made with cacao nibs and bananas, avocado, or zucchini!