21 Decadent Chocolate Desserts for Valentine's Day

Nothing Is More Romantic Than a Homemade Sweet Treat

Instant Pot chocolate molten lava cake with raspberry sauce.
Diana Rattray

Forget trite cards, cheap stuffed animals, and overpriced roses—this Valentine's Day, impress your loved one with a decadent homemade chocolate dessert. Nothing says "I love you" like spending some time in the kitchen. And best of all, you can enjoy it together to start a really "sweet" holiday tradition.

  • 01 of 21

    Chocolate Bread Pudding

    Chocolate Bread Pudding

     Anita Schecter

    Bread pudding is beautiful comfort food and this Valentine's-worthy double chocolate version is worthy of a celebration. The recipe is wonderfully versatile and can even be made a day ahead and popped in the oven when you're ready to roll. Using both cocoa powder and chocolate chips levels up the chocolate flavor and an ooey, gooey sauce on top completes the package.

  • 02 of 21

    Fudgy Chocolate Brownies

    Kruidnoten brownies
    Photo © Ruth Hornby Photography/Getty Images

    Brownies may seem more after-school snack than date night dessert, but don't discount these rich squares. They're dense and decadent, more like fudge than the bake sale standard. Feel free to freestyle and add chopped walnuts, chocolate chips, or even a caramel ribbon. Dust them with a little powdered sugar before serving for a pretty presentation.

  • 03 of 21

    Instant Pot Chocolate Lava Cake

    Instant Pot chocolate molten lava cake with raspberry sauce.
    Diana Rattray

    If you've hopped on board the Instant Pot train, you may already know you can use it to make amazing desserts. And if you've never made chocolate lava cake in yours, are you ever missing out. This easy recipe comes together fairly quickly, especially if you break up the raspberry sauce and cakes into separate sessions. Not a raspberry fan? Try sprinkling them with a little powdered sugar before serving instead.

  • 04 of 21

    No-bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

    No bake chocolate peanut butter cookies

    Claire Cohen

    If you need a Valentine's Day dessert to send to school with your kids, bring to the snack table at work, or just grab and go, these no-bake chocolate peanut butter cookies are for you. The recipe lends itself wonderfully to experimentation. Substitute some of the oats for flaked coconut, add chopped nuts or chocolate chips, or roll them in melted chocolate after they're done. Get your little ones involved for a fun and tasty activity!

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  • 05 of 21

    Chocolate Pots de Creme

    Chocolate Pots de Creme

    Leah Maroney

     

    Silkier than pudding and thicker than mousse, chocolate pots de creme are just what the doctor ordered to end your dinner party or serve up some sweetness to that special someone. Espresso powder kicks the chocolate up a notch without adding too much coffee flavor and a few hours chilling in the fridge gives them time to set up wonderfully. Add a little flaky sea salt on top to accentuate the chocolate even further.

  • 06 of 21

    Flourless Chocolate Cake with Crème Anglaise

    gluten-free flourless chocolate cake
    Shilpa Harolikar/Getty Images

    Flourless chocolate cake is a dessert that's dressed to impress. You've probably seen it on the menu at your favorite restaurant and it's surprisingly simple to make at home. If you don't cook it just right, this recipe will end up nice and fudge-like, instead of getting soggy like a regular cake. Creme Anglaise makes a lovely addition for a chocolate-cream contrast that will have you reaching for seconds.

  • 07 of 21

    Swiss Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

    Chocolate Layer Cake
    Chocolate Layer Cake. Lauri Patterson/E+/Getty

    If you've never stepped outside the cake mix box, this delicious, chocolatey Swiss chocolate cake is a great place to start. It's easier than you might think to bake from scratch, but make sure you measure all ingredients carefully for best results. Homemade cream cheese frosting tops it all off, but you can also use a tub of purchased frosting if short on time.

  • 08 of 21

    Hot Chocolate Mug Cake

    hot chocolate mug cake

     Leah Maroney

    At those times when you need a treat but don't want to fire up the oven, these hot chocolate mug cakes save the day. They're chock full of marshmallows, just like your favorite chilly weather drink. Best of all, they "bake" in the microwave in the same mug you eat them from, so there's just one dish to clean up. Make yourself one to celebrate.

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  • 09 of 21

    Spanish Chocolate Almond Cake

    Pastel de Chocolate y Almendras - Chocolate and Almond Cake (c)
    Lisa Sierra (c) 2009 Licensed to About.com Inc.

    Liqueur-soaked ladyfinger cookies and ground almonds give this special Spanish chocolate cake a unique texture that's still lighter than many holiday desserts. Licor 43 is a complex, herbal spirit that adds a lovely dimension, but rum would work just fine, too. Serve it with coffee or espresso for a beautiful end to your meal.

  • 10 of 21

    Chocolate Peanut Butter Bonbons

    Chocolate Peanut Butter Bonbons
    Linda Larsen

    Instead of spending an arm and a leg on a box of chocolates, make your own to give your sweetie! These chocolate peanut butter bonbons taste like a peanut butter cup all grown up with the addition of chopped dates for extra sweetness and bittersweet cocoa for more dimension. They can be stored at room temperature or in the fridge, but will harden up more firmly if refrigerated.

  • 11 of 21

    Dairy-Free Chocolate Bundt Cake

    Dairy-Free Chocolate Bundt Cake

    csundahl-Getty Images

     

    Just because you avoid dairy doesn't mean you have to pass on Valentine's Day dessert. This gorgeous dairy-free chocolate bundt cake will make a pretty centerpiece as well as a delectable dessert. A word to the wise: Oil your cake pan thoroughly before pouring in the batter. Otherwise, the cake will stick and won't come out evenly.

  • 12 of 21

    French Chocolate Soufflé

    chocolate-souffle.jpg
    Getty Images

    There's a lot of mythology surrounding soufflé, but they're not as difficult as you've probably heard. These individual chocolate cakes are light, airy, and chocolatey and as impressive-looking as they are delicious. Serve them immediately after baking before the soufflé falls. A little fresh whipped cream completes the package.

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  • 13 of 21

    Sugar-Free Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

    strawberries dipped in chocolate fondant
    @mvrgasphoto / Twenty20

    You don't have to load up on sugar to enjoy a treat on Valentine's Day. These sugar-free chocolate-dipped strawberries make a beautiful, indulgent dessert or gift for your favorite people. Decorate them with chopped nuts, unsweetened coconut, or miniature chocolate chips for an even prettier platter. Get big, juicy strawberries for the most impressive presentation.

  • 14 of 21

    Better Than Sex Chocolate Cake

    Better Than Sex Cake
    Diana Rattray

    This Robert Redford cake—popularly known as "Better Than Sex" cake—is chock full of chopped chocolate toffee bars, caramel and fudge sauce, and whipped topping for a cake that lives up to its name. Make your favorite chocolate cake or even use a boxed cake mix for an easier than anything dessert.

  • 15 of 21

    German Chocolate Upside-Down Cake

    German chocolate Upside-Down cake
    Photo: Diana Rattray

    Chocolate, coconut, pecans, and cream cheese—what could be better? German chocolate cake has a lighter flavor than the traditional and the add-ins make it extra special. Once you try this amazing combination, you'll have to add this tender, flavorful cake to your regular rotation.

  • 16 of 21

    Easy Slow Cooker Pudding Cake

    Slow Cooker Chocolate Pudding Cake

    William Reavell-Dorling Kindersley-Getty Images

     

    If you want a gooey chocolate dessert that's a real showstopper without spending a lot of time baking, you've got to try this slow cooker chocolate pudding cake. It uses cake and pudding mixes to bring it all together in a snap and cooks for 6 to 8 hours on low. Newer slow cookers may run hotter, so check it at 6 hours just in case. This cake also keeps in the fridge, so you can enjoy leftovers all week long.

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  • 17 of 21

    Chocolate Banana Cake

    Dennis Gottlieb/Photodisc/Getty Images

     

    Mashed bananas give this amazingly moist chocolate cake its lovely texture and a sweet flavor that your Valentine will love. Frost it with your favorite chocolate or a cream cheese frosting and top with chocolate curls for an extra special look.

  • 18 of 21

    Healthier Chocolate Mousse

    Mousse au chocolat
    Getty Images/Teubner

    Those of us with diet restrictions don't have to miss out with this sugar-free, low-carb chocolate mousse. It uses Splenda for sweetener and has less than four net carbs per serving. Top it with a little whipped cream sweetened with a sugar substitute for a decadent dessert that doesn't blow your diet.

  • 19 of 21

    Chocolate and Orange Martini

    Easy Chocolate and Orange Martini Vodka Cocktail Recipe
    Willie Nash/StockFood Creative/Getty Images

    Chocolate and orange are a natural pairing and they taste just as great together in your glass as they do on your plate. This easy chocolate and orange martini uses just three ingredients for a sweet cocktail hour or a drinkable dessert. Decorate it with a melted chocolate rim for an extra special happy hour.

  • 20 of 21

    Easiest Chocolate Fudge

    Easiest-Fudge-in-the-World.jpg
    Linda Larsen

    Don't go out and buy chocolate fudge from a fancy chocolatier. Make your own with this couldn't-be-simpler recipe! It also takes under 10 minutes, so you can whip it up in a flash. Once you master the recipe, try adding chopped nuts or dried cranberries, using different flavors of chips instead of semisweet, or even layering several flavors in a pan to make a beautiful layered fudge. The sky's the limit.

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  • 21 of 21

    Chocolate Silk Pie with Crumb Crust

    Chocolate Silk Pie
    KidItamae/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

    Pie fans, have we got a Valentine's Day dessert for you. This chocolate silk pie uses a pudding mix for easy assembly and a crumb crust that perfectly complements the smooth filling. Use a chocolate crumb crust for double the chocolate flavor, or a plain one for extra contrast. Decorate it with crumbled chocolate bars if you like to get a little fancy.