14 Super Easy Valentine's Day Dessert Ideas

Tanghulu (Candied Fruit Skewers)
Photo: Photo by Jacob Fox / Food Styling by Greg Luna / Prop Styling by Stephanie Hunter

If you ask us, a homemade Valentine's Day dinner is just as romantic, if not more so, than spending the night out. And an impressive dinner calls for an equally impressive dessert. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced baker, these easy Valentine's Day dessert recipes are sure to impress. Even better, they take just minutes to put together. Chocolate is a classic option, of course — you could try preparing a simple, creamy mousse, or whip up some Air Fryer Brownies. Or, you could make some easy Butter Cookies or Tropical Mendiants to switch it up a bit. Whatever you choose, it'll add an extra-special touch to your night in just a few minutes.

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Tropical Mendiants

Tropical Mendiants
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Torie Cox / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell

Chef Paola Velez's stunning mendiants are surprisingly easy to make with her simple method for tempering chocolate in the microwave. Piped into rounds, the chocolates are topped with a colorful mix of tropical fruit, toasted nuts, and seeds. Like mini, open-faced chocolate candy bars, the mendiants can be made ahead and served right from the fridge. 

02 of 14

Spiced Chocolate Fondue

Spiced chocolate fondue with dippers like apples, bananas, and marshmallows
Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

The chocolate holds its silky texture at room temperature, which makes it great for making ahead of your Valentine's day dinner. Serve this fondue with pieces of pound cake, gingerbread, apples, pears, strawberries, bananas, and/or marshmallows, for dunking. If you like, offer a few pretzels or salt-topped cookies for a sweet-salty dessert experience.  

03 of 14

Air Fryer Brownies

Air Fryer Brownies with ice cream
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Ali Ramee / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis

With the help of an air fryer, these gooey, fudgy brownies, baked in ramekins and reminiscent of a molten chocolate cake, are less than an hour away. Adding espresso powder to the batter helps bring out the chocolate flavor, as does the crunchy sea salt garnish at the end. Serve them on their own, or with your favorite ice cream. 

04 of 14

Dark Chocolate Bark with Roasted Almonds and Seeds

Dark Chocolate Bark with Roasted Almonds and Seeds

Julia Hartbeck

This super-chunky dark chocolate bark from chocolatier Jacques Torres is not only delicious, but only requires a few ingredients. Dark chocolate, roasted whole almonds, salted roasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds come together for the perfect sweet treat.

05 of 14

Thai Tea Crinkle Cookies

Thai Tea Crinkle Cookies

Matt Taylor-Gross / Food Styling Ali Domrongchai

Thai tea is a sweet, aromatic tea that is relatively new in Thailand, but quickly became a Thai American staple. These cookies have perfect chew and get their delicately spiced, sweet flavor from instant Thai tea powder.

06 of 14

Molten Chocolate Cakes

The Best Valentine's Day Dessert Is Still Molten Chocolate Cake

Molten chocolate cakes became famous for a reason: They're cakey on the outside with an irresistible center of warm dark chocolate flowing through the middle. The first time you try one, it may seem like magic, but this recipe is actually quite easy to make and ready in under an hour. 

07 of 14

Basic Butter Cookies

Basic Butter Cookies
© Kristen Stevens

Make these soft butter cookies up to a month in advance and store them in your freezer. They can be pulled out and baked a few at a time whenever the cookie mood strikes.

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Toasted Chocolate-Hazelnut Sandwiches

Toasted Chocolate-Hazelnut Sandwiches

Christopher Testani / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

The bread is crisped, lightly salty, and golden brown from the butter, while the inside of the sandwich is both gooey and delightfully crunchy. The floral bitterness of the orange marmalade and the rich sweetness of the fig jam balance the dark chocolate while highlighting its fruity notes. 

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Black and Tan Chocolate Popcorn

Black-and-Tan Chocolate Popcorn

Christopher Testani / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Christine Keely

A recipe by the late chef Michel Richard inspired this fun way to serve popcorn coated in two kinds of chocolate. Half of the popcorn is tossed in caramelized white chocolate, and the rest in dark chocolate, creating a spectrum of bittersweet to milky sweet flavors and also a beautifully contrasting deep brown and golden tan color on the popped kernels.

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Air Fryer Basque Cheesecake

Air Fryer Basque Cheesecake
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Prop Styling by Julia Bayless / Food Styling by Ruth Blackburn

Air fryers can be used to make everything from crispy coconut shrimp to fudgy brownies; here, we're using one to whip up a quick version of a Basque cheesecake that comes together in minutes (but will require a few hours to chill after it bakes). Evenly browned with a creamy, silky, smooth center, this cheesecake boasts just the right amount of sweetness to contrast the bitter burnt top.

11 of 14

Tanghulu (Candied Fruit Skewers)

Tanghulu (Candied Fruit Skewers)
Photo by Jacob Fox / Food Styling by Greg Luna / Prop Styling by Stephanie Hunter

The perfect tanghulu is a skewer of ripe fruit covered evenly in a thin, clear sugar shell. This simple recipe relies on a precise ratio of sugar, water, and corn syrup that produces a crisp, even candy shell. 

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Giant Chocolate Cookie with Cacao Nibs and Flaky Salt

Giant Salty Chocolate Cookie with Cacao Nibs Recipe
Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Rishon Hanners / Prop Styling by Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland

The only thing better than a dark cocoa cookie with a hint of chewiness and a generous sprinkle of flaky salt is an impressively oversized one. Cut into wedges, the cookies resemble chocolate shortbread, but this treats is far more indulgent. 

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Chocolate-Raspberry Icebox Cake

Chocolate Raspberry Icebox Cake
Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

This Chocolate-Raspberry Icebox Cake is creamy, dream, and so simple to make. Crushed cookies, fresh raspberries, and layers of tart raspberry sorbet and vanilla ice cream transform into a gorgeous marbled layer cake in about 15 minutes — no frosting required. 

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No-Bake Chocolate Custard

No-Bake Chocolate Custard
© Amy Sims

This supersilky chocolate custard appears regularly on the dessert menu at Rubicon in San Francisco. Nicole Krasinski suggests serving it slightly chilled.

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