Our 34 Best Chocolate Dessert Recipes
Chocolate Chip Espresso Meringues
These large, crisp and chewy meringues are made with just enough espresso and bittersweet chocolate to keep them from being overly sweet.
Chocolate-Buttermilk Snack Cakes
In her update of the classic chocolate Hostess cupcake, Chicago pastry chef Mindy Segal uses mascarpone in the rich and creamy filling.
Chocolate-Cookie Crunch Trifle
Any kind of cookie works as a layer in this decadent and super-chocolaty trifle from Washington, DC, pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac.
Mom’s Chocolate Cake
This is a real old-fashioned American chocolate layer cake. It’s very moist, very chocolatey, a snap to make and best baked the day before serving. Marcia Kiesel acquired the recipe from her friend Joyce Cole, who got it from her mother.
Fudgy Chocolate Brownies
Adding applesauce to these brownies helps cuts fat but still ensures that they’re moist and fudgy.
This outrageously elegant tart is from Alain Ducasse’s Manhattan restaurant Benoit.
Chocolate Panna Cotta with Spiced Pepita Brittle
This light, silky panna cotta tastes a lot like hot cocoa in custard form. The brittle is easy to make; heat sugar and water on the stove, swirl in butter and spiced pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds), then let cool.
Chocolate Cream Pie
This dreamy, creamy dessert started as a simple chocolate pudding made with workaday cocoa. Melissa Rubel Jacobson turned it into a homey, silky pie by adding a quick chocolate crust and vanilla-flavored whipped cream. “But you could still serve just the filling as a pudding,” she says.
Mexican Chocolate Pots de Crème
Mexican chocolate, which is flavored with ingredients like cinnamon, almonds and vanilla, lends a distinct flavor to Stephanie Prida’s rich custard.
Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles Rolled in Spices
Joan Coukos is a self-taught chocolatier. Her bittersweet truffles are coated with a variety of flavorings, including blends of Chinese and Mexican spices.
Vanilla Bean Golden Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting
These lovely, gluten-free cupcakes are flavored with both vanilla beans and vanilla seeds.
Spiced Chocolate Fondue
Caroline Yeh sells extraordinary candies from small European and American producers. She’s also an excellent home cook and baker with a passion for chocolate. Fragrant with cinnamon, clove, cardamom and ginger, her fondue holds up remarkably well at room temperature, which makes it good for parties—especially when it’s served with gingerbread, apples or shortbread for dunking.
White Chocolate Cake with Orange Marmalade Filling
The filling for this cake calls for orange marmalade, but you can also use seedless raspberry or apricot jam.
Chocolate Cream Squares
This super-rich dessert contains chocolate whipped cream between layers of bittersweet chocolate cake topped with a fudgy chocolate glaze. It’s best made one day ahead and refrigerated overnight.
Quadruple Chocolate Brownies
By swirling chunks of white, milk and bittersweet chocolate into a batter made with unsweetened chocolate, then melting and drizzling more all over the top, Michael Recchiuti says this sweet has “all the chocolates I like in one brownie.”
Marcia Kiesel uses chestnuts to add a sophisticated flavor to a luxe chocolate mousse.
Minny’s Chocolate Pie
The Help’s ending hinges on a secret involving Minny’s famous chocolate pie. Newspaper columnist Lee Ann Flemming, one of the best bakers in Greenwood, made 53 chocolate pies during filming, including 12 vegan and gluten-free versions she prepared in just one day for actress Bryce Dallas Howard. Her fudgy version here is neither vegan nor gluten-free: It’s as classic as it gets. You can make your own crust, but Flemming uses packaged.
Rich Baked Chocolate Puddings
Although this deep, dark chocolate pudding is easily made in ramekins, it’s fun to bake and serve in small glass jars. Pim Techamuanvivit likes using old, mismatched jam jars.
Crunchy Milk Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layer Cake
The genius of this layer cake is its extraordinarily crunchy filling, made with almonds, salted peanuts, creamy peanut butter, chocolate and Rice Krispies. The silky milk-chocolate ganache frosting almost pushes the recipe over the top.
Dark-Chocolate Bark with Walnuts and Dried Cherries
Not only is dark chocolate full of antioxidants, it is mood enhancing in its own right. This recipe gets an extra boost from walnuts (an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids) and dried cherries (high in fiber and minerals).
Warm Chocolate Cakes with Mascarpone Cream
In his riff on Black Forest cake, a favorite dessert of his father’s, Hosea Rosenberg tops individual cakes with mascarpone cream instead of whipped cream and luscious brandied cherries instead of jarred.
As if the chocolate-hazelnut spread gianduja isn’t delicious enough straight off the spoon, Grace Parisi has folded in whipped cream and crème fraîche to create a truly decadent (and ridiculously easy) mousse. For a supereasy ice cream sandwich, spoon the mousse between chocolate wafers and freeze overnight.
Milk-Chocolate Cremoso with Espresso Parfait
Although Miamians are assumed to be too bathingsuit conscious to indulge in dessert, this decadent milk chocolate cremoso (a silky pudding-like dish) drizzled with olive oil is a best-seller. “Some people are like, ‘Whoa—olive oil and chocolate?’” says Michael Schwartz. “But the olive oil reinforces the richness of the cremoso. As if you need any more richness.”
Milk-Chocolate Tart with Pretzel Crust
This dessert from pastry chef Colleen Grapes, a tribute to the chocolate-covered pretzel, hits just the right salty-sweet note. Grapes mixes crushed pretzels with flour, butter, sugar and egg to make a crunchy crust, pours in a luxurious milk-chocolate filling, then sprinkles on more crushed pretzels as a garnish.
Chocolate Pecan Pie
Dark chocolate gives this classic dish a deep flavor and fudgy texture.
Chocolate Wafers with Ginger, Fennel and Sea Salt
Dark chocolate with a high cacao content is lower in sugar and higher in antioxidants than milk chocolate. For this ingenious snack, Grace Parisi coats wafer—thin crispbreads in dark chocolate so that they seem like candy bars studded with flaky Maldon sea salt, chewy crystallized ginger and candied fennel seeds.
Chocolate Truffle Layer Cake
This outrageous chocolate cake was born from a lucky mistake. Pastry chef Kimberly Sklar was baking a crème fraîche-spiked chocolate cake and, by accident, took the pan out of the oven early. Discovering that the cake was superfudgy, she layered it with dark chocolate and white chocolate ganache, then covered it in dark chocolate frosting.
Chocolate Coupe with Cocoa Nib Mousse
Yigit Pura became intrigued with the idea of coupes—the ice cream-based desserts usually served in a glass of the same name—about five years ago. “They’re so simple and you can layer them with almost anything to create different flavors, textures and even temperatures,” he says. His ultra-chocolaty version combines cocoa nib mousse with chocolate cream and chocolate wafer cookies. The salty hazelnut crumble topping is versatile—Pura recommends using it to replace streusel in just about any dessert.
Chef Way Ana Sortun's pastry chef, Maura Kilpatrick, adds cinnamon and cocoa nibs to the syrup that soaks her chocolate baklava.
Easy Way The baklava is fabulous even with a basic honey syrup; no need for cocoa nibs and cinnamon.
Milk Chocolate–Peanut Custards
San Francisco chef Matthew Accarrino of SPQR is a firm believer in making desserts healthy. So instead of loading his custard with cream, he uses just a bit, along with low-fat chocolate milk and silken tofu, for texture. He also opts to include roasted peanuts, which add terrific flavor and a little crunch.
This spectacular holiday dessert comes from chef Rebecca Wilcomb's New Orleans restaurant Gianna. To decorate it, use an offset spatula, a bench scraper, and a cake turntable for the smoothest cake with straight sides. Prevent air bubbles from forming in the dark chocolate ganache glaze by using a spatula to stir the melting chocolate.
Chocolate Chunk Mandel Bread
Softer and less crunchy than a classic biscotti-style cookie, mandel bread gets its texture from pockets of melted coarsely chopped chocolate studded throughout the slices. To slice, use a long serrated knife; wipe off the knife between slices to prevent chocolate from smearing.
Lee Lee’s Double Chocolate Chunk Brownies
Pastry chef Lee Lee Reid is a self-proclaimed brownie aficionado. “I’m always looking for that perfect chew,” she says. Needless to say, the chocolate chunk brownie recipe she developed, which customers can find at her husband’s bakeshop, Nathaniel Reid Bakery in St. Louis, is the ideal balance of cakey and fudgy—falling in line with Nathaniel’s own baking philosophy.
Floating Islands with Dark Chocolate Crème Anglaise and Toasted Pistachios
The rich, deep chocolate flavor contrasts with the incredibly light and airy texture of this classic French dessert. Use your favorite high-quality dark chocolate for the best results.