54 Unforgettable Chocolate Valentine’s Day Desserts That Say "I Love You"
From easy brownies and elegant chocolate truffles to showstopping chocolate cakes and soufflés, here are 54 irresistible ways to indulge in the cacao bean this Valentine’s Day.
A box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day is a lovely gesture, but it just can’t compare to Valentine's Day treats made in your own kitchen. Homemade rich chocolate truffles, cakes, pies, and even fancy soufflés are more memorable, 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 lists of Valentine's Day dessert recipes do often include beautiful fruit tarts, red velvet cake, pastel-colored French macarons, raspberry linzer cookies, and fancy caramels, save those non-chocolaty treats for another day; February 14th should be all about chocolate. Chocolate is decadent, chocolate is sexy, chocolate is romantic. Here are 54 mouthwatering ways to create chocolate desserts from your own kitchen.
Chocolate lovers, unite!
Jump ahead to:
Chocolate cake recipes
Chocolate cake is simply classic, and it pays to have a good recipe in your back pocket. (In fact, you might want to bake one every month of the year.) You can’t lose with a fluffy, delicious 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 — then you already have cake mix in your pantry. 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. Another crowd-pleaser is a rich, flourless chocolate cake; the one below 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 cupcake recipes
Cupcakes were invented for those times when you’re craving a tender cake but need something easier to pull off. 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. They are a cozy way to incorporate the season into your dessert. The gluten-free cupcakes are also delicious. 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-dreamy, moist cupcake, I dare you not to be tempted by the luscious version that follows. Lastly, it’s fun to mix and match different types of chocolate — try a dark chocolate cupcake with a white chocolate buttercream, or a Nutella and chocolate cupcake for the warm, nutty chocolate and hazelnut flavor combo.
Chocolate in a cup: Pudding, soufflé, mousse, and more
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 perhaps “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. Chocolate creme brûlée is a beloved eggy custard-type treat in a shallow cup.
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.
Chocolate pie recipes
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.
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 perfect 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 for a total showstopper.
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 dining companion's socks off, give this swoon-worthy chocolate peanut butter cheesecake or the s’mores chocolate cheesecake a whirl. My mouth is watering just thinking about them.
Homemade chocolate truffles
I know, Valentine's 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 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, Nutella, and even bourbon or kahlua. Why not try them all?
Chocolate-flavored ice cream recipes
Ice cream is fun, casual, and 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 tasting fabulous, it’s naturally gluten-free and versatile. Say you want an easy recipe but you do have an ice cream maker to enlist: 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 Ice Cream. Want to make your ice cream dessert a little more formal? Try scooping it onto mint chocolate dessert soup. Looking for multiple textures? Experience some delightful chewiness by creating mochi ice cream.
Finally, it goes without saying, a chocolate ice cream sundae is always appropriate. Top it with hot fudge, or make it extra special with a garnish of crumbled shortbread cookies, a drizzle of marshmallow sauce, crushed pretzels, or chopped toasted pistachios and hazelnuts.
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 brownies for a reliable indulgence this Valentine's Day. You can also pair them with ice cream for an a la mode event, or even give some out as gifts in cute treat bags. Just be 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 below. 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 quick breads
Chocolate desserts deservedly get a lot of attention on the evening of 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.
More Valentine's Day inspiration
Feed your sweet tooth’s many cravings with these additional Valentine's Day articles from Yummly: