Valentine's Day

We Are Totally & Completely in Love With These Valentine's Day Cakes

22 sweet-as-can-be desserts for your sweetheart.

January 28, 2022
Photo by Julia Gartland

We have heart eyes for these nearly two dozen Valentine’s Day cakes. In this collection that we’re informally calling “desserts to fall in love with,” you’ll find chocolate cake smothered generously with chocolate buttercream and filled with fresh berries. You’ll find individual Bundt cakes baked in a heart-shaped cake pan. And you’ll find three different chocolate lava cakes because surely one isn’t enough.

1. Mini Brownie Layer Cakes

Is there anything more romantic than fudgy chocolate brownies layered with whipped cream and raspberry jam? I don’t want to know the answer…I just want to eat this cake.

2. Extra-Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Cake

Skip the bouquet of red roses and just give me a serving of Emma Laperruque’s flourless chocolate cake topped with a generous dollop of fresh whipped cream. Jury’s out on whether or not I’ll share this with my fiancé.

3. Pink Champagne Cake

Drink your champagne and eat it too in the form of this pretty-in-pink layer cake that’s perfect for slicing on Valentine’s Day.

4. Grandma’s Italian Cream-Filled Sponge Cake

Even if you’re someone who hates the commercialism of Valentine's Day, are you really going to say no a slice or two of this cream-filled, berry-topped sponge cake? I didn’t think so.

5. Clementine Chocolate Lava Cakes

Is it really Valentine’s Day if you don’t eat chocolate lake cake with your date? This one has the zest of a clementine for a hint of fruitiness that says “there’s more to me than meets the eye.”

6. Lemon Raspberry Layer Cake

This seven-layer cake filled with raspberry jam and decorated with lemon buttercream is perfect for a Galentine’s Day celebration, Leslie Knope style.

7. Easiest Chocolate Mousse Cake

This is not just chocolate cake, nor is it a bowl of chocolate mousse (I will take one of each if you’re offering though). The base of this Valentine’s Day cake is a chewy brownie: Recipe developer Jessie Sheehan added hazelnuts but you don’t have to. Then, there’s a thick layer of chocolate mousse studded with fresh raspberries. Finally, an equally thick layer of whipped cream dusted with cocoa powder brings it all together.

8. Coconut Layer Cake

If you’re like me and my fiancé, you spend every Valentine’s Day in front of the TV, simultaneously nodding off while watching When Harry Met Sally. Spoiler alert: Harry and Sally fall in love, get married, and have a delicious coconut cake with chocolate sauce on the side. This dessert is a nod to the most romantic scene in movie history, by no one’s standards but my own.

9. Double Chocolate Chiffon Cake

This ultra-rich chocolate cake gets its moistness from a combination of vegetable oil, a lot of whipped egg whites, and cake flour. You’ll spend Valentine’s Day floating on cloud nine as you take bite after bite.

10. Black & White Pound Cake

Love is all about compromise, right? That’s where this cocoa-y pound cake comes in: there are layers for chocolate lovers and pound cake traditionalists alike.

11. Flourless Almond & Coconut Cake

This recipe plays off the idea of a classic flourless almond cake, but a touch of coconut flour gives it a depth of flavor, says recipe developer Posie (Harwood) Brian. Bonus: it’s totally gluten-free.

12. Mini Chocolate Layer Cakes with Whipped Ganache & White Chocolate Glaze

No matter how much you love your partner, it’s entirely reasonable that you might not want to share your cake with them on Valentine’s Day (trust me, I know). That’s where these mini chocolate cakes doused in white chocolate glaze make perfect sense.

14. Victoria Sponge Cake

A proper Victorian sponge cake filled with whipped cream and raspberry jam is a sweet dessert to snack on throughout Valentine’s Day (because all-day cake is always acceptable).

15. Martha Stewart's Whole-Lemon Pound Cake With Pomegranate Glaze

Don’t let the pastel pink and pomegranate-kissed exterior make you think that this Valentine’s Day dessert is sticky-sweet; beneath it is a mouth-puckering lemon pound cake that uses an entire lemon.

16. Magical Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

“What comes out of the oven looks like a perfectly baked chocolate cake, but there’s a shocking surprise underneath. A hot, bubbly, molten layer of chocolate fudge,” says recipe developer Grant Melton. I can’t imagine a better cake to serve on Valentine’s Day than that.

17. Raspberry Cake With Swirled Meringue

Cupid baked this frilly pink cake for Valentine’s Day and sent it straight into my belly.

18. Neapolitan Pound Cake

A trio of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry mix and mingle for a sweet pound cake that you’ll fall head over heels for.

19. Milk Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes

These baby Bundt cakes are filled with a nutty cocoa swirl and baked in a heart-shaped pan for the ultimate sign of love.

20. Naturally-Dyed Red Velvet Cake with Beets and Cream Cheese Frosting

“Red velvet is a classic cake, flavored with just a hint of cocoa powder, that has a deep red crumb contrasted with fluffy white icing…Now, while I love the idea of red velvet, ingesting that much Red 40 isn’t quite as appealing, so for this Valentine’s (or Galentine’s) Day, I set out to make an all-natural red cake, using red beets,” says recipe developer Yossy Arefi.

21. Melissa Clark's Instant Pot Chocolate-Bourbon Lava Cakes

If you’re cooking at home for Valentine’s Day, you want dinner to be both special and low-maintenance, which is no easy feat. Now, you can have a romantic dessert for two without having to spend the entire night in the kitchen, thanks to this Instant Pot-friendly recipe.

22. Chocolate Nemesis

It only takes four ingredients—eggs, sugar, bittersweet chocolate, and unsalted butter—to make this Valentine’s Day cake recipe that will guarantee you a second date (or a proposal, depending on where you’re at).

How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day this year? Spread the love in the comments below!

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Former Food52 Staff Editor