20 Best Romantic Dessert Recipes

Raspberry and Honey Marshmallows
Photo: CAITLIN BENSEL

Whether you're planning for the ultimate date night or a special Valentine's Day dinner—and need a decadent dessert to finish off the evening—these romantic dessert recipes may be just exactly what you need.

Chocolate desserts tend to be the go-to option for a romantic dinner (after all, chocolate has some impressive health benefits and is considered an aphrodisiac), but you don't have to stick with chocolate. There are plenty of sweet fruit dessert recipes for you to consider as well.

Many of these romantic desserts can be made ahead of time or are easily put together—so you have more time to focus on planning a creative date night instead of baking for hours on end.

01 of 20

Orange Soufflé

Orange Souffle
Beth Galton

This light, airy dessert incorporates grated orange zest and orange liqueur for a double dose of citrus.

02 of 20

French Toast Soufflé

French Toast Soufflé
Grace Elkus

While there's certainly nothing wrong with a rich chocolate soufflé, 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 such as maple syrup and vanilla extract, and is surprisingly easy to whip up. And don't worry about your dessert falling. It's really hard for the soufflé to fall prematurely in the oven, and once you take it out, it's supposed to fall.

03 of 20

Chocolate Bar Fondue

Chocolate Bar Fondue
Anna Williams

Use your imagination when choosing ingredients for dipping in the chocolate fondue—try pound cake, flavored marshmallows, graham crackers, or even pretzels. (Strawberries, banana slices, and oranges are all great if you're looking for a healthier treat.)

04 of 20

Honey Whole Wheat-Strawberry Clafoutis

Honey Whole Wheat Strawberry Clafoutis
Kelsey Hansen

This typical French dessert 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, as the center will sink as it cools.

05 of 20

Chocolate Pecan Fudge Balls

Chocolate Pecan Fudge Balls
Caitlin Bensel

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

06 of 20

Sheet Pan Pavlova With Berries and Mangoes

Sheet Pan Pavlova
Greg DuPree

A Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert that's typically topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream. This version is garnished with a whopping pound of mixed berries as well as a rich combination of heavy cream and egg whites.

07 of 20

Raspberry S'mores

Raspberry S'mores
James Baigrie

A childhood favorite gets an unexpectedly adult twist with the addition of fresh raspberries.

08 of 20

Flourless Spiced Hot Chocolate Cake

Flourless Spiced Hot Chocolate Cake
Caitlin Bensel

If you like Mexican hot chocolate, you're bound to enjoy this cake, which is basically a fudgy torte version of the popular drink. Here, cinnamon and cayenne complement a dense chocolate batter and help to create a cake that's naturally gluten-free and great for date night. Pro tip: Use a springform pan when baking this beauty for the best results.

09 of 20

Vanilla Sweet Potato Cheesecake

Vanilla Sweet Potato Cheesecake Recipe
Victor Protasio

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

10 of 20

Espresso Truffles

Espresso Truffles
Hector Sanchez

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.

11 of 20

Chocolate "Salami" With Hazelnuts and Figs

Chocolate “Salami” With Hazelnuts, Figs, And Cookies
Caitlin Bensel

This dessert may look like salami, but there's no cured meat here. Instead, this sweet treat is made with chocolate that's flecked with toasted hazelnuts, jammy dried figs, and spiced Biscoff cookies, and the whole thing gets a realistic dusting of confectioners' sugar. Translation: Each bite is packed with plenty of flavor. Enjoy this dessert with your partner, or wrap it up and gift it to a special someone.

12 of 20

Strawberry Dust Meringues

Strawberry Dusted Meringues
Caitlin Bensel

For a light and airy treat that still has a touch of romance, give these colorful meringues a whirl. Each one has a crispy outside and slightly chewy middle, but the real star here is freeze-dried strawberries, which are used to create a bold, edible "dust" that decorates each dessert.

13 of 20

Chocolate Ganache Tart

Chocolate Ganache Tart
Victor Protasio

This easy homemade ganache tart is the comfort-food classic that leaves packaged cake mixes in the dust.

14 of 20

Raspberry and Honey Marshmallows

Raspberry and Honey Marshmallows
Caitlin Bensel

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 these treats a rich, caramelized quality that will remind you of a fire-toasted marshmallow. Serve them as part of a larger romantic dessert spread, or dip them in a cup of hot chocolate.

15 of 20

Easy Chocolate Mousse with Croissant Crumbs

Easy Chocolate Mousse with Croissant Crumbs
Caitlin Bensel

You'll be hard pressed to find a dessert more romantic than homemade chocolate mousse. This version utilizes a breakfast staple—croissants—and uses them to create a buttery topping that pairs perfectly with the rich chocolate base. And if you're worried about making your own mousse, don't let this recipe intimidate you. Instead of relying on eggs for the structure, whipped cream does all the work, creating creamy clouds of luscious chocolate.

16 of 20

Dark Chocolate Truffles

chocolate-truffles-recipe
Samantha Seneviratne

Instead of wasting your money on a fancy box of truffles, try making them yourself. This recipe calls for high-quality chocolate (a must!) which is mixed with butter, heavy cream, and a dash of salt. Once you get the standard recipe down, which requires just 40 minutes of hands-on work, feel free to fill your truffles with Earl Grey tea, peanut butter and jelly, and more.

17 of 20

Cherries Jubilee

Cherries Jubilee
Joseph De Leo

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

18 of 20

Croissant and Chocolate Bread Pudding

Croissant and Chocolate Bread Pudding
Con Poulos

This rich, decadent dessert couldn't be easier—just combine all the ingredients and bake for 30 minutes.

19 of 20

Marshmallow and Chocolate Shortbread Slices

Marshmallow and Chocolate Shortbread Slices
Caitlin Bensel

These marshmallow and chocolate shortbread slices are basically like a homemade candy bar, which is a great treat to make for a loved one who has an unstoppable sweet tooth. Each slice boasts a crunchy cookie base that gets an upgrade thanks to almond meal and cocoa powder, marshmallow filling, and a chocolate coating. For an added crunch, top the slices with slivered almonds.

20 of 20

Hazelnut Bushwacker Cake

Hazelnut Bushwacker Cake Recipe
Greg DuPree

This impressive-looking cake is so easy to pull together—stack layers of chocolate wafers with chocolate-hazelnut spread and whipped cream, then let it sit in the fridge to soften. Use a touch of Kahlua to give it a boozy kick for grownups or decaf coffee if you're serving it to kids.

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