Heart-Shaped Chocolate Cake for Valentine's Day


Happy Valentine's Day! I shared this chocolate cake recipe on Valentine's Day last year but it's so good that it deserves more time in the spotlight. I haven't made it in a while, but it's my go-to recipe whenever I get a craving for chocolate cake. It's light and fluffy and has the perfect amount of sweetness without feeling too indulgent. It's also super simple to make, and between your fridge and your pantry, you'll likely already have all the ingredients you need on hand to bake it in a pinch.

I have Diala Canelo (of Diala's Kitchen) to thank for introducing me to this recipe. She found it on the Apt. 2B Baking Co. blog by Yossy Arefi, and Yossy found it on Smitten Kitchen before that. The recipe has been tweaked along the way, and even I made a few ingredient substitutions myself - in the cake, I used coconut cream instead of sour cream, and for the frosting, I used coconut milk instead of cow's milk. I swapped chocolate chips for white chocolate chips so that I could dye the frosting pink. Of course, you can use any shape of pan you want, but if you happen to have a heart-shaped one, go for it!

This is Diala's version of the recipe, and the photo of her results that inspired me to make it!

This is Diala's version of the recipe, and the photo of her results that inspired me to make it!

Here's the recipe so you can make this delicious dessert yourself: 


  • 6 tbsp (1/3 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature 
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark or light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp (25 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp strong coffee (or 2 tablespoons water mixed with 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup coconut cream (tip: store a can of coconut milk in the fridge so the water and milk separate; open can and skim the thick cream off the top) 
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • 55 grams (about 1/4 of a 225g package) white chocolate chips, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp coconut milk, plus more as necessary (if mixture isn't moist enough, slowly add more coconut 1/2 tsp at a time)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line an 8-inch square pan (or in this case, a heart-shaped pan!) with parchment paper. Butter and flour the paper and exposed parts of the pan.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars together until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and coffee, then add in the coconut cream.

Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined, then pour the batter evenly into the pan. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.

Set cake on rack to cool.  Make the frosting while cake cools.

Add all frosting ingredients to a large bowl and beat until smooth and fluffy. Add more coconut milk as necessary. 

Spread the frosting evenly over the cooled cake and decorate with nonpareils (a.k.a. sprinkles!). Invite a friend over and enjoy!