The 12 Best Desserts To Serve After A Steak Dinner

Whether you're celebrating a romantic holiday, an anniversary, a birthday, or just the fact that you made it through another week of work, a decadent steak dinner truly seems like the height of luxury. Regardless of the particular cut of the steak or whether you like it rare or medium-well, steak is a versatile dinner choice that truly allows you to customize your dining experience. Cooking a perfect steak is a triumph in itself that should be thoroughly enjoyed. 

Once the dinner plates have been cleared away, though, you might be craving something sweet. Maybe you want to put the literal cherry on your meal by ending your evening with the perfect dessert. Fortunately, there are many options for different palates when it comes to choosing your final course. There are a few desserts, from chocolatey to fruity, to creamy, to help you hit that final sweet note after your fabulous steak.

1. Chocolate torte

A classic flourless chocolate torte might be the richest choice you make to follow your meal. Nothing feels more decadent than a slice of dark chocolate that follows a red meat dinner. The almond flour in this torte also brings a nuttiness to the dessert while keeping the entire dish gluten-free, which is an excellent bonus if you're limiting your gluten intake. 

This dessert is also surprisingly simple, and it contains only a few basic ingredients, meaning that you don't have to flex your GBBO muscles too hard to still offer up an impressive, classic finisher to your steak dinner. You can customize chocolate tortes with toppings, either keeping it super simple with just a dusting of powdered sugar or going for the full chocolate experience by robing it in melty, warm chocolate ganache. 

You can also top the torte with fresh sliced strawberries or a dollop of whipped cream. Much like your steak, this dessert option is really open to interpretation while maintaining that sense of high-end luxury.

2. Chocolate mousse

In a dinner party scenario, can you imagine anything more elegant than closing the meal with each guest receiving a champagne or wine glass filled with fluffy chocolate mousse? Mousse is not as heavy as a torte, and it still packs the richness of chocolate that complements steak dinners. It can also be made earlier in the evening: Put the mousse into the glasses and left to set in the fridge until it's time to serve up dessert. Easy and elegant!

Mousse is another one of those fancy desserts that has shockingly few ingredients. Melted chocolate and eggs are really all you need, but you shouldn't feel limited by their simplicity. You can add a splash of espresso to heighten the chocolate flavor, a thimble of Bailey's to make it a little cheeky for the adults, or a nip of mint extract if you wanted to bring that refreshing sensation that is a classic combination. A dollop of whipped cream or a few fresh berries can be added on top, along with a few curls of chocolate to truly make this easy dessert shine.

3. Chocolate covered strawberries

If your steak dinner was part of a romantic evening, you might want to consider ending the meal with some chocolate-covered strawberries. There's something inherently sexy about chocolate-dipped strawberries. The silky chocolate is such a treat, brightened by the juicy berry. 

You can make them ahead of time, dipping the fresh fruit into chocolate, then allowing them to set in the fridge. Or you could serve them fondue style, putting a melting pot of chocolate in the middle of the table, then inviting your guest to dip the fruit to their heart's content.

You don't have to limit yourself to just plain chocolate to coat your berries. You can create a white chocolate drizzle for a contrasting look. You can even roll the dipped berries in chopped nuts or sprinkle them with coarse sea salt to heighten the sweetness of both the chocolate and the fruit. They're also imminently portable, so you don't have to keep the dessert at the table.

4. Death by chocolate cake

If you want to stay on the rich side of the dessert plate but still have a little bit of fun after your steak dinner, why not try a death by chocolate cake? You know what you're getting into with a name like "death by chocolate." 

This dessert typically contains of moist layers of chocolate cake with loads of chocolate buttercream and maybe even a drizzle of ganache to send it right over the top. Many high-end steakhouses offer this fatal finisher on their dessert menus, but you can make your own version at home to dazzle your guests.

Death by chocolate cake is the direction you want to take if the mood of your meal is total extravagance. Decorate to your heart's content by adding shaved chocolate, fresh raspberries, or even edible gold flakes, and make this cake a real show-stopper. As you serve up slices of this chocolatey centerpiece, you might find yourself being asked to meal-plan for other special occasions! 

5. Apple pie

Moving away from the world of chocolate, fruit desserts are also fantastic pairings to a steak dinner. Fruits bring plenty of sweetness but often have a bright tang that bring a certain levity after the richness of steak.

Classic apple pie is a homey, comforting dessert that can be a nice, familiar, casual end to a hearty steak meal. A scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream is the traditional companion to the pie, but if you really wanted to tie a Ron Swanson bow onto your dinner, try whipping up a bourbon caramel sauce to drizzle over your apple pie. Bourbon is a drink that is often paired with steak, and carrying it through to your dessert is a fun way of bringing the whole meal full circle.

If you want to make a more elegant dessert while still keeping the flavor palate of apple, try making an apple tart filled with a creamy custard and topped with beautifully sliced apples fanned artfully. You can brush it with some of that bourbon caramel sauce to really make it sing.

6. Rhubarb custard pie

One of the special offerings of spring is the green and red stalks of rhubarb. Rhubarb is a blink-and-you-miss-it crop that appears fleetingly before it vanishes. So when you see it, take full advantage! Rhubarb, when cooked down with sugar, is very tart and, as such, is a unique dessert to offer after a steak dinner. It won't overwhelm your palate with sweetness, instead allowing you to finish your meal with a tang rather than a cloying flavor.

Because it is so tart, rhubarb is best paired with something a little sweeter in a dessert dish. Strawberry and rhubarb are a common combination, but if you don't want your rhubarb to be upstaged, you might want to try a rhubarb custard pie. The creaminess of the custard does a beautiful job of curbing the sour flavor of the rhubarb without stealing the spotlight. Instead, you have a fresh, bright flavor that makes for a delightful finishing course to your dinner.

7. Strawberry shortcake

The summer classic of strawberry shortcake is on the lighter end of the dessert spectrum. The flaky, crumbly shortbread biscuits are a perfect vehicle for whipped cream and macerated strawberries. The simplicity and lightness of strawberry shortcake is a lovely final course after enjoying grilled steaks. It harkens to summer evenings, eating the final spoonful of berries and cream as the fireflies begin to light up in the yard.

When you're preparing the ingredients for strawberry shortcake, it's important to macerate the strawberries, which means that you soak and soften them in a liquid. This can be as simple as using sugar water or getting fancy and letting your berries steep in brandy for a novel adult twist. You can also add a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar, which carries a hint of sweetness with its savory, acidic tang. Bringing in the booze or balsamic will marry your dessert to your main course, carrying notes all the way through. 

8. Blueberry cobbler

Speaking of summer fruits, the dark, earthy flavor of blueberries delightfully echo the umami flavor of a steak. Blueberry pairs well with sweet, tangy balsamic vinegar. So if you wanted to present a cohesive blueberry-themed meal, a reduction of blueberries in balsamic vinegar prepared to be a savory topping on your steak would flow nicely into a blueberry cobbler for dessert.

A blueberry cobbler is an easy dessert to put together, one that can be baked in either a baking dish or a cast iron skillet. Serve it warm, and enjoy the sweet juices of the blueberries soaking into the cornmeal pastry crust. A scoop of vanilla ice cream or some whipped cream brings a creamy note through the tartness of the juice. Cobblers are an unpretentious dessert that would be well received after a family dinner or at a summer cookout where steaks were the starring attraction.

9. Cheesecake

Indulgence could probably be summed up in a single word: Cheesecake. Sinking the edge of your fork into the plush, creamy slice of heaven is a tactile delight. There are lots of tricks for making a perfect cheesecake, and once you've mastered this classic dessert, you might find it in your permanent after-dinner rotation.

Although cheesecake might seem a touch over the top after a full steak dinner, a small slice will compliment the savory red meat meal that you just enjoyed. A classic New York-style cheesecake has a subtle vanilla flavor with a hint of tanginess from the cream cheese base. 

Cheesecake is also something that can be customized to suit the style and theme of your meal. Seasonal ingredients, from pumpkin to fresh berries, can either be blended into the batter of the cake or made into a compote to go on top. A few curls of dark chocolate can also marry the creaminess of the cake to the richness of the steak.

10. Cannoli

Cannoli are the ultimate after-dinner finger food. The crunchy pastry shell is filled with a sweet whipped ricotta blend. The ends are traditionally dipped in chopped pistachios or mini chocolate chips. The self-contained desserts are a perfect single-serving option to close out your steak dinner. The crisp texture of the shell will be a nice change of pace after your tender steak, and the ricotta filling, with its tangy notes, will perfectly complement the savory meal.

You can also let your imagination run wild when it comes to garnishing and filling your cannoli. Adding a splash of Kahlua to the ricotta will marry the filling to your after-dinner coffee. You can also chop cherries or get colorful with sprinkles to cover the ends. You can also go seasonal, offering pumpkin cannoli in the autumn months or making a reduction from fresh strawberries to mix in with the ricotta in the summer. 

11. Tiramisu

Tiramisu is a dessert that radiates elegance. Ladyfinger biscuits are soaked in coffee, then layered with whipped mascarpone cheese and dusted with cocoa powder. If you want to add a tipple of rum or brandy to the coffee, you can make this treat a little more adult. This dessert can either be made in individual portions in ramakins or glasses, or you can make it in a larger glass bowl to show off your expert layers.

The coffee-forward flavor of this dish will nicely close out your steak meal, married with the bitterness of the cocoa powder. Because this dessert is not overly sweet, it is a perfect choice if you want a beautiful last course that will not leave your guests with a cloying sugar bomb. The mascarpone cheese is a creamier, tangier relative to traditional cream cheese, and its unique flavor will make this dessert a stand out and a classic.

12. Crème brûlée

There's a certain joy in being able to wield a blow torch as a culinary instrument. It's also so much fun to see the delight on your guests' faces when you present them with one of the most iconic of desserts, the crème brûlée

Individual cups of custard are covered with granulated sugar, which is then caramelized with either a torch or by placing them under the broiler of an oven. The layer of baked sugar then makes a pleasing crunch and crackle when you break into it with your spoon.

Not only is a crème brûlée elegant, but its thick, creamy custard base is also a great note on which to end your steak dinner. The caramelized sugar topping of this dessert echoes back to the searing of your steak. The crispy sugar also is a pleasant contrast to the custard. This dessert is a classic finisher for a reason!