The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (2024)

When you need something decadent to finish off the evening—whether it's the ultimate date night or a Valentine's dinner—a romantic dessert recipe is just the thing. Chocolate tends to be the go-to, given its impressive health benefits and aphrodisiac tendencies, but there are plenty of other sweet flavors to consider.

We combed our archives for the most heart-palpitating, spine-tingling, romantic desserts. Most can be made ahead of time or come together easily, giving you more time for other things, like planning a creative date night. Try one for your special night and let us know how it went...or not.

01of 40

Tiramisu for Two

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (1)

Easy yet elegant, you can assemble these parfaits in just 15 minutes and then set them in the fridge for at least 3 hours (and up to 2 days). That extra time allows the espresso-dipped ladyfingers to soak up flavor from raspberries and the boozy, creamy mixture. Top with grated chocolate for over-the-top decadence.

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02of 40

Red Velvet Brownie Torte

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (2)

This—the quintessential Valentine’s Day dessert—is red and white, rich and decadent, chocolatey, and something you'll absolutely love. Essentially a three-layer brownie masquerading as a red velvet cake, the recipe calls on red food coloring in the batter to give the "cake" that deep scarlet hue and sprinkles for a colorful finish.

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03of 40

Mint Chocolate Cookie Bars

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (3)

Can't decide between making cookies, brownies, or bars? Choose all three! This romantic dessert recipe layers a chocolatey, fudgy cookie withpeppermint candy-flecked buttercream, all draped in a luscious dark chocolate ganache. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, but we suspect they'll disappear long before that.

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04of 40

Pink Hot Chocolate

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (4)

Instead of eating dessert at the table, how about sipping dessert while cuddling under a blanket next to a crackling fire? This Valentine's Day-friendly recipe combines melted white chocolate with yourmilk of choice, and—in the spirit of love and romance—tints it pink with wholesome beet juice (instead of an artificial dye). Serve it warm with whipped cream, cinnamon, and goo-goo eyes.

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05of 40

White Chocolate Pomegranate Cheesecake

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (5)

Cheesecake and romance are a natural pairing, so this recipe is right at home on date night. A ring of pistachios, lime zest, and pomegranate arils add a pop of color and texture, but you can switch that out with whatever you like, such as sliced, toasted almonds with raspberries or chopped, toasted pecans with dried cranberries. But don't pass on the silky pomegranate sauce served alongside: It adds an essential sweet-tart tang.

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06of 40

Chocolate Pecan Fudge Balls

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (6)

Who doesn't love a fudge ball? This version, inspired by the Brazilian treat brigadeiros, is made with sweetened condensed milk, warm cinnamon, and semi-sweet chocolate. Each ball is rolled in toasted, crushed pecans, adding plenty of texture to every bite.

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07of 40

French Toast Soufflé

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (7)

There's nothing wrong with a rich chocolate soufflé, but we'd argue that this French toast-inspired version is just as delicious and ideal for those who don't love chocolate. It's made with familiar ingredients—maple syrup and vanilla extract—and is surprisingly easy to whip up. (This makes for a romantic breakfast, too!)

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08of 40

Chocolate Bar Fondue

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (8)

No fondue pot is required for this super-simple, two-ingredient recipe. Use your imagination when choosing dippers. Strawberries and cherries are romantic—but don't overlook pound cake, flavored marshmallows, graham crackers, and pretzels.

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09of 40

Honey Whole Wheat Strawberry Clafoutis

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (9)

This popular French dessert (pronounced clah-foo-TEE) is made with whole-wheat flour, sweetened with honey, and packed with fresh strawberries. While a nice crust forms on the outside, the inside of this picture-perfect confection remains deliciously custardy. Just make sure you serve this treat immediately because, like a soufflé, the center sinks as it cools.

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10of 40

Sheet Pan Pavlova With Berries and Mangoes

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (10)

A pavlova is a meringue-based dessert typically topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream. This version is garnished with a whopping pound of mixed berries atop a rich combination of heavy cream and egg whites.

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11of 40

Flourless Spiced Hot Chocolate Cake

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (11)

If you like Mexican hot chocolate, you'll love this cake. Cinnamon and cayenne complement a dense chocolate batter for a cake that's naturally gluten-free and great for date night. For best results, use a springform pan.

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12of 40

Strawberry Dust Meringues

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (12)

For a light-and-airy treat with a touch of romance, give these colorful meringues a whirl. Each has a crispy outside and a slightly chewy middle, but the real star is the colorful, edible dust created from freeze-dried strawberries.

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13of 40

Vanilla Sweet Potato Cheesecake

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (13)

If you're looking for something decadent that's on the healthier side, this cheesecake—which swaps sweet potatoes for some of the sugar—might be your perfect grand finale. Top with fresh fruit for a little extra goodness.

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14of 40

Espresso Truffles

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (14)

A little espresso gives these decadent chocolate truffles a richer flavor. Make them for a romantic dessert or as a sweet homemade gift for someone special.

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15of 40

Chocolate "Salami" With Hazelnuts and Figs

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (15)

It may look like salami, but there's no cured meat here. This sweet treat is chocolate flecked with toasted hazelnuts, jammy dried figs, and spiced Biscoff cookies with a realistic dusting of powdered sugar. Enjoy this dessert with your partner or wrap it up and gift it to a special someone.

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16of 40

Chocolate Ganache Tart

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (16)

Ganache is French so it must be complicated to make, right? Au contraire, mon chéri! It's just cream and chocolate with, in this case, some butter for extra richness. Poured into a simple cracker-crumb crust, you have an easy homemade tart that looks and sounds fancy, and tastes heavenly.

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17of 40

Raspberry and Honey Marshmallows

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (17)

Though not necessarily a typical dessert, these homemade marshmallows boast a natural red hue that screams romance and is difficult to resist. Each one is fluffy, fruity, and free of unhealthy corn syrup. Plus, the honey gives them a rich, caramelized quality that reminds you of a fire-toasted marshmallow. Serve them as part of a larger romantic dessert spread, or dip them in a mug of hot chocolate.

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18of 40

Easy Chocolate Mousse With Croissant Crumbs

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (18)

You'll be hard-pressed to find a dessert more romantic than homemade chocolate mousse. This version uses a breakfast staple—croissants—for a buttery topping that pairs perfectly with its rich chocolate base. And don't be intimidated about making mousse. Instead of relying on eggs for the structure, whipped cream does all the work, creating creamy clouds of luscious chocolate.

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19of 40

Dark Chocolate Truffles

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (19)

Instead of spending too much on a fancy gift box of truffles, try making them yourself! This dessert recipe mixes high-quality chocolate with butter, heavy cream, and a dash of salt. Once you get the standard recipe down, which takes about 40 minutes of hands-on prep, follow instructions for ways to customize your truffles with Earl Grey tea, peanut butter and jelly, and more.

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20of 40

Croissant and Chocolate Bread Pudding

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (20)

This super-simple recipe turns out a dessert that's rich and decadent. It combines store-bought croissants with chocolate chunks in a custardy mixture that bakes in 30 minutes. The recipe serves eight, so you can look forward to an indulgent breakfast the morning after.

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21of 40

Marshmallow and Chocolate Shortbread Slices

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (21)

This decadent dessert recipe—essentially a homemade candy bar—will touch the heart of anyone with an unstoppable sweet tooth. Each slice boasts a crunchy cookie base upgraded with almond meal and cocoa powder, marshmallow filling, and a chocolate coating. They're topped with slivered almonds for added crunch.

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22of 40

Hazelnut Bushwacker Cake

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (22)

This impressive-looking cake is so easy to pull together: Just stack layers of chocolate wafers with chocolate-hazelnut spread and whipped cream, and then let it sit in the fridge to soften. Use a touch of Kahlua to give it a boozy, grown-up kick.

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23of 40

Pistachio and White Chocolate Cookie Bark

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (23)

When chocolate bark and a sheet cookie fall in love, this is what you get: a pistachio cookie base topped with white chocolate and studded with pistachio and freeze-dried raspberry. We love this combo for V-Day, but the recipe is customizable with a wide range of options—like sprinkles, coconut flakes, or chopped dried fruit—so go nuts!

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24of 40

3-Layer Magic Cake

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (24)

Six ingredients go into the batter and, out of the oven—abracadabra!—three layers magically appear: a thick, fudgy bottom, a custardy center, and a delicate sponge on top. Finish with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and your fruit of choice for a light last course.

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25of 40

Chocolate Bark With Dried Fruit and Spices

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (25)

This rich chocolate bark recipe was inspired by one for chocolate-dipped figs from Leah Koenig's cookbook,Modern Jewish Cooking.Studded with dried figs and apricots, it's dusted with cinnamon and cayenne for a Mexican-chocolate vibe. For a more romantic theme, swap out the apricots for dried cranberries or cherries.

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26of 40

Strawberry Buckle With Pecan Streusel

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (26)

A buckle is an old-timey dessert—specifically a cake baked with fruit in it—causing its smooth upper surface to "buckle" or look indented. This one is topped with a sweet, crunchy streusel, so you can have your cake and a strawberry crisp, too. Serve warm to watch the ice cream slowly melt into its nooks and crannies, or dig right in.

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27of 40

No-Churn Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (27)

No ice cream maker? No problem! All you need to make this silky, creamy ice cream is 1) a saucepan to make a cherry jam, 2) an electric mixer to blend cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, and whipped cream, and 3) a freezer. Eliminate a step by using store-bought cherry jam (or strawberry), but allow at least 4 hours of freezer time.

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28of 40

Churros With Chocolate Sauce

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (28)

If you've never made churros, you'll be surprised how much tastier they are homemade—and you don't need a deep fryer! Perfectly crunchy and delightfully sweet on their own, a dip in rich chocolate ganache elevates this fun dessert to date night-worthy status.

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29of 40

Chocolate-Drizzled Shortbread

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (29)

This easy dessert recipe takes you to chocolate-and-shortbread heaven with just seven simple ingredients. In case you and your date don't devour all 12 slices, store them by layering them in parchment (to avoid sticking) in an airtight container placed where it's cool, dry, and dark (not the fridge) for several days.

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30of 40

Mexican Spiced Hot Chocolate

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (30)

If you put everything you have into preparing a spectacular dinner and have nothing left to give for dessert, you can still do this. For each warm mug of rich hot chocolate, start with a packaged cocoa mix, add chipotle powder for spice and smokiness, and top it off with cinnamon and store-bought (orhomemade) whipped cream. You've got this!

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31of 40

Chocolate Banana Bites

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (31)

Three simple, good-for-you ingredients—dark chocolate, banana, and nut butter—yield 12 of these little guilt-free bites. They require no baking, no added sugar, and no special equipment, and you can feel good about saying "yes" to just one more.

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32of 40

Strawberry Ice Cream Cake

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (32)

Despite the recipe's title, this no-bake, pie-looking "cake" has no cake in it at all. With only three ingredients—vanilla ice cream, strawberries, andheavy cream—this recipe earns you credit for a homemade dessert with barely any homemade time and effort.

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33of 40

Marbled Pound Cake

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (33)

A simple pound cake gets an upgrade with a chocolate treatment in this recipe fromchef Pati Jinich, host of the TV show Pati’s Mexican Table. Rich and comforting, there's still room for a strawberry or caramel topping or a dollop of ice cream.

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34of 40

Boozy Strawberry-Orange Milk Shakes

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (34)

Combine dessert with an after-dinner drink in this easy four-ingredient recipe. The "boozy" part is Cointreau (orange liqueur), but you can double down with strawberry liqueur or try it with a chocolate one.

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35of 40

Cherries Jubilee

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (35)

This romantic dessert, which was crafted for Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee, is a perfect way to celebrate a date night in. Sweet cherries join forces with Kirsch and tart lemon juice for a dish that's best served warm over a scoop of vanilla ice cream. A bonus is that it takes just 20 minutes to make.

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36of 40

Raspberry S'mores

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (36)

Cooking s'mores in the broiler instead of a campfire takes some of the fun out of this kid-friendly summer favorite, but its gooey, decadent flavors are still there. This grown-up version adds fresh raspberries for an unexpected (and romantic) twist.

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37of 40

Strawberry Shortcake

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (37)

This dessert is super simple to make but scrumptious and sweet to eat. The secret shortcut for the shortcake is a roll of refrigerated biscuit dough, and the rest is just sugar, strawberries, and whipped cream. If it's just the two of you, bake a five-count (6-ounce) package of biscuits, and halve the rest of the recipe.

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38of 40

Chocolate Chip Meringue Kisses

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (38)

Whip up these four-ingredient, cloud-like confections for a chocolatey surprise in every bite. Factor in plenty of time for them to bake low and slow (up to 90 minutes at 225°F) and cool completely before serving.

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39of 40

Angeletti Cookies

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (39)

These delightful make-ahead morsels walk the line between sugar cookies and shortbread, but their appeal is indisputable. To dress them up for date night, shape them into little hearts and add some red and pink sprinkles for a festive touch.

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40of 40

Chocolate Cherry Biscotti

The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (40)

If you're looking for a not-too-sweet treat, these biscotti laden with hazelnuts, dried cherries, and chocolate chunks are just the thing. This recipe makes 60 but can easily be halved, leaving you a few to dunk into decaf coffee for a date-night dessert and the rest to gift to someone special.

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The 40 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes for Valentine's Day or Date Night (2024)
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