Regardless of whether you're flying solo this Valentine’s Day or celebrating with your partner or best gals, there's no reason not to treat yourself to a delicious dessert. We’re talking lava cake, strawberry ice cream, chewy molasses cookies, macarons, and so much more.
So with the holiday right around the corner, we're sharing alllll of the Valentine's Day treats (36, in fact) we're putting on our can't-wait-to-eat list—from our favorite chocolatey desserts to sweet bites you can whip up at the very last minute.
All About the Chocolate
It turns out you don't actually need fancy-schmancy chocolate to make the soft-in-the-middle, shiny-on-top brownies—just good-quality cocoa powder.
Brownie meets chocolate lava cake in this ooey-gooey number that's basically the definition of love at first sight.
One ingredient (plus water and ice cubes) is all you need to make the silkiest, smoothest chocolate pudding ever. Seriously.
This chocolate loaf cake is richer and squidgier than other cakes of the loaf variety—and that's exactly how Nigella Lawson likes it. (Us, too.)
Meyer lemon whipped cream adds a light brightness to this dense, über-chocolatey cake.
This isn't just one of the best vegan chocolate chip cookie recipes out there—it's one of the best chocolate chip cookie recipes. Period.
Skip the trip to Godiva (though it's a lifesaver in a pinch) and make a batch of Alice Medrich's favorite chocolate truffles at home. (Psst: They love being served with red wine.)
Chocolate sorbet, you say? Leave it to David Lebovitz to concoct the creamiest, silkiest frozen chocolate treat without using any eggs or dairy.
Some people plan their entire trip to London around the River Cafe's legendary Chocolate Nemesis, though luckily you can make it at home no matter where you are.
Light as a cloud, yet intensely chocolatey, this cake from Richard Sax is what dessert dreams are made of.
11. S'mores Cookies
"Melty pockets of marshmallow, dark chocolate chunks, and graham cracker crumbs stud these rich chocolate cookies," writes Recipe Developer Posie Brien. Consider us sold.
These very-riffable brownie bites (add crushed peppermint, nuts, orange zest, you name it) are everything you want in a chocolate dessert in one bite.
Pink & Red Sweets
The beauty of this crostata is in its freeform, rustic nature—you don't have to have a picture-perfect crust or neatly sliced strawberries for it to be delicious.
Fennel pollen makes this otherwise-average strawberry ice cream stand out, but it's actually the agave nectar that gives it a featherlight custard and pitch-perfect sweetness.
These cakey yogurt cookies are reminiscent of the kind you used to get at the grocery store for school birthday parties in the best way possible.
This shortbread-y riff on strawberry shortcake utilizes freeze-dried strawberries (don't use fresh!) to maintain its crumbly texture; you could also swap in freeze-dried raspberries, blueberries, and the like.
Another riff on a classic dessert (in this case, Neapolitan ice cream), this cake is a dreamy swirl of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry flavors. It looks impressive, but is really quite simple to pull off.
Macarons are a Valentine's Day staple, and this raspberry-lime version makes an especially thoughtful homemade treat.
Everything about these "pinkies" screams Valentine's Day, from the white chocolate and raspberry swirls to the flecks of pink peppercorn.
If you're looking for something that you can prep a day or two ahead of time and not worry about until after dinner, these strawberry and coconut ice pops are worth considering.
"This recipe makes such a tender, delicate cake and I love it because the champagne flavor does not get lost," writes one reviewer. Adding it to the list as we speak.
Another make-ahead favorite (and Rive Café win!), this strawberry sorbet is pure fruit flavor—and Food52's very first Genius Recipe ever.
Some consider a Valentine's Day without some kind of red velvet confection hardly a Valentine's Day at all. So go on, make these deep-red crinkle cookies this year.
If your goal is to impress, this double-layer cranberry ginger upside-down cake is just the way to go.
If planning a Valentine's Day treat somehow didn't make it on your to-do list, whip up these five-ingredient cookies, which are ready in under 30 minutes.
These brown-sugared apples are much more than the sum of its parts—you only need five ingredients, but the result is oh-so-spectacular.
You probably won't believe it when we say that this restaurant-worthy lava cake is ready in approximately 15 minutes, which gives you no excuse to not eat chocolate on Valentine's Day.
So long as you keep your fridge stocked with ice cream and your pantry equipped with coffee, you can make affogato at a moment's notice.
If "last minute" means you have about an hour to pull a dessert together, keep this cherry clafoutis in mind.
This dish—fresh berries dressed in a lemon-rosé syrup and topped with fluffy whipped cream—is proof that a recipe can be both uncomplicated and impactful.
Okay, yes, you can make this hot fudge sundae totally from scratch, but if you're short on time, turn to the store-bought stuff.
Mug cakes are the poster child for on-the-fly desserts: quick and satisfying. This one feels especially appropriate for Valentine's Day, with its white chocolate and raspberry filling.
33. Oreo Balls
A microwave is the only appliance you'll need to make a batch of these chocolate-covered Oreo balls.
This plum and sour cream skillet buckle is straightforward enough to bake whenever the mood (or holiday) strikes, yet impressive enough to outshine much more time-consuming desserts.
Mug cakes again, for the win!
36. Magic Shell
Marian Bull describes this special chocolate sauce with perfect concision: "This is barely a recipe, but it really is magic."