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8 Aphrodisiac Recipes to Make You Hot Under the Collar this Valentines

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Exeter chapter.

So, ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time again. Lovesick notes are flying from hand to hand, (or at least in my imagination). There seems to be a smooching couple at every turn, The Notebookviewing numbers have skyrocketed, and is it me or do I hear the Bee Gees screeching ‘How deep is your love, how deep is your love…’ while doves with diamond rings circle overhead? (Okay maybe not that last one, but you get the gist). 

It’s Valentines Day. Possibly the equally most loved, and hated day of our calendar year.

And in honour, or indeed if it is your preference – not – in honour of the special day, HCX have compiled 8 amazing aphrodisiac recipes to get you in the mood. Whether it’s a hot and heavy meal with your partner, or a fun Galentines feast, these dishes, desserts and drinks will set pulses racing!

So… What is an aphrodisiac?

To be super romantic and sexy, we’re going to turn to the dictionary to get our first definition of the day- ooh, can’t you feel yourself getting hot under the collar just thinking about it?! The OED defines an aphrodisiac as: “A food, drink or other thing that stimulates sexual desire”. It takes the form we know today around the 18thcentury, and filters down from the Greek: aphrodisiakos, aphrodisios, and then originating in the name of the Greek Goddess of love and sex, Aphrodite. 

And, get this, their example of ‘aphrodisiac’ used in a sentence: “Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac”. I don’t know whether to be happy for the compiler of the OED, or worried about their sex drive… 

Since many millennia ago, ancient cultures believed that special foods, and particularly fruit, vegetables and nuts had properties of witchcraft. They could make one, like an arrow of Cupid, into a blubbering fool in love. Administered by a witch’s hand, they sent their subject head-over-heels in lust and love with the witch, or whomever she choose. Creepy- but also pretty cool. 

With no further delay, let’s get into those spine-tingling recipes: who doesn’t want to pull a little witchy voodoo magic to make someone fall in love with you this Valentines Day?! 


Nutella Stuffed strawberries/ Chocolate-covered Strawberry cobbler

We have two aphrodisiacs coming through STRRRONG in this delectable dessert. Good for feeding to your lover (but not to your dog- sorry those of you having a snuggly pet and owner valentines movie night- they’re poisonous). 

Chocolate contains phenylethylamine- a stimulant that elicits excitement and a feeling of well-being- a perfect aura for sex and fun I reckon! And our good friend the strawberry: the legend says that strawberries originated from the heart-shaped tears of Aphrodite after she learned that her lover, Adonis, had died. For those of you less into the classical myths and wanting scientific proof: strawberries are loaded with vitamin C, which is important for the production of sex hormones and chemical neurotransmitters in the brain to increase libido. Plus, vitamin C can help keep your immune system up. Not bad for a tiny red super-food hey?!

chocolate covered strawberries
Serghei Savchiuc on Unsplash



12 large fresh strawberries

1/4 cup Nutella

1 cup milk chocolate chips, melted

1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts

Confectioners’ sugar


  1. Remove stems from strawberries. Using a paring knife, cut out centers; pipe Nutella into strawberries.
  2. Insert a toothpick into the side of each strawberry. Holding toothpick, quickly dip stem end of strawberry into melted chocolate; allow excess to drip off. Sprinkle with hazelnuts; place strawberries on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet, point side up. Remove toothpicks; refrigerate strawberries until set. Just before serving, dust with confectioners’ sugar.


Pancetta-wrapped Salmon with Saffron and Herb rice

Salmon and Saffron are our alliterative duo in this light, easy dish! Salmon is rich with omega-3 fatty acids, great for heart health, and for upping libido, by supplying the building blocks for production of oestrogen, testosterone, and progesterone.

Saffron has a more mythical aphrodisiac story. The Queen, (no, not good old Liz), but Cleopatra herself, used to bathe in saffron infused milk for its aphrodisiac qualities: I mean, Cleopatra, you certainly looked like a Queen darling, don’t let us stop you. Additionally, saffron has been proven to increase sperm count in infertile men, and decrease the sexually repressive side-effects of some anti-depressants.



350ml fresh chicken stock

½ tsp saffron

25g butter

50g shallots, finely chopped

175g long grain rice

¼ tsp salt

3 tbsp chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, tarragon and chives

Finely grated zest of ½ lemon and

2 tsp lemon juice

2 x 550g thick pieces of skinned salmon fillet, taken from a large fish

16 slices thin smoked pancetta

4 fresh bay leaves

2 tbsp olive oil


  1. Put the stock and saffron into a pan, bring to the boil and keep hot over a low heat.
  2. Melt the butter in a small pan, add the shallots and fry gently until soft. Stir in the rice, stock and salt and bring to the boil. Stir, cover, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside for 5 minutes.
  3. Uncover and fork through the chopped herbs, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6 and put a large non-stick baking sheet into the oven to heat up. Trim the salmon fillets to the same size, then season on both sides with salt and freshly ground pepper. Spoon the rice mixture in an even layer over 1 salmon fillet and press down well. Cover with the other salmon fillet.
  5. Place 2 pancetta slices on a board with the ends slightly overlapping to make 1 long strip. Arrange next to this, another 2 slices, slightly overlapping as before. Repeat with the remaining pancetta. Lay the salmon down the centre of the pancetta sheet and bring up the slices to enclose the salmon, pressing down gently.
  6. Arrange the bay leaves on top. Tie at intervals with kitchen string to secure.
  7. Carefully slide the salmon parcel onto the hot baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes for just cooked salmon, or a little longer if you prefer.
  8. Remove the salmon from the oven, cover and set aside to rest for 5-10 minutes. Slice thickly and serve with homemade hollandaise sauce.


Mozzarella with Basil, Orange and Pomegranate

Ah, the pomegranate. Besides being the most expensive fruit on the market (it’s valentines- c’mon, splash out), pomegranates have long been thought to be the infamous fruit from the Biblical Garden of Eden! This fruit was supposed to have tempted both Adam and Eve into falling from grace, and into the raptures of lust- (helped along by Satan as a snake of course- but y’know, we’ll skip that part real quick.)Poms are hella full of antioxidants, which are important to decrease inflammation and plaque from building in your arteries, and help deliver more blood flow to all areas of your body, including your genitals. It also helps with erectile dysfunction too- not bad, not bad!



300g mozzarella

1–2 oranges, segmented (blood oranges if possible)

1 bunch of basil

Flaky sea salt


500ml pomegranate juice

200ml blood orange juice

1 tbsp brown sugar

Seeds from 2 pomegranates

250ml extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon


  1. First, start the dressing. Pour the pomegranate and blood orange juice into a pan and add the brown sugar. Reduce the mixture to a syrup, taking care not to let it burn. Remove it from the heat and set it aside to cool.
  2. Drain off the mozzarella and tear into even pieces and arrange on a large serving plate.
  3. Scatter with the orange pieces. Tear the basil leaves up and scatter over the orange.
  4. Mix 50ml of the syrup and the fresh pomegranate seeds with the olive oil and half the lemon juice. Add more lemon juice to taste.
  5. Season the mozzarella and blood oranges with salt and drizzle generously with the dressing. Serve immediately.


Apple, Fig and Honey Crumble

We’ve crammed an extra aphrodisiac into this banging (haha- see what we did there?) recipe for all you beautiful people. Apple, Fig and Honey make up a scrumptious dessert for a big party of your girlfriends: press play on that brilliant rom-com, hit the lights, and tuck into this yummy dessert, served with a huuuge helping of ice cream: delightful. 

Honey’s aphrodisiac qualities fly in from Ancient Greece- where Hippocrates prescribed it as a medicine for sexual vigour. This sweet nectar contains boron, which balances hormone levels and nitric oxide. Nitric oxide opens the blood vessels involved in erections and clitoral engorgement- ooh la la! 

Figs, apart from looking innately sexual, are said to be a sexual stimulant, high in amino acids, boosting sexual stamina and increasing libido.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away? Well, not if you’ve been lusting after that fit third year medic who just can’t get the hint! According to a 2014 study, eating an apple a day correlated with a better sexual quality of life in young women: get chomping girlies!


3 sweet apples, peeled and chopped

4 whole figs, chopped

2 Tbsp. organic honey or agave syrup

2 Tbsp. organic brown sugar

2 Tsp. cinnamon

1 Tsp. vanilla

½ cup vanilla granola


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla in a bowl.
  3. Chop the apples and figs so they are the same size and there are equal amounts of each.
  4. Mix the apples and figs into the gooey mixture and coat evenly.
  5. Pour mixture into a greased 9×9-inch baking dish.
  6. Sprinkle granola on top.
  7. Cover with foil and bake for approximately 30-40 minutes. (Check it at 30 minutes — if the apples and figs are soft, it’s done!)

Serve the hot crumble with vanilla ice cream! You can try a no-sugar-added ice cream or a vegan brand.


Asparagus, Chili and Feta Farfalle

Mmm, who doesn’t love a pasta dish on a date? (except Bolognese- it’s always a bad idea. Trust me- I have a story about that one!) And this pasta is bound up with another of our aphrodisiac spells: involving asparagus, and chili! 

Crank some heat into your sex life with a spicy Latin-American chili. These fiery little friends stimulate the nerve-endings on the tongue, which in turn releases epinephrine, a type of adrenaline that increases the heart rate and produces endorphins. Would avoid rubbing them on a partner’s body though- that shit is gonna sting. 

Asparagus mellows things down a bit, but cranks up the heat in a different sector: The high amount of vitamin E in asparagus can increase blood and oxygen flow to the genitals. There are also high levels of potassium — which is linked to sex hormone production- yum yum.


200g farfalle

2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 red chilli, finely chopped

250g asparagus, woody ends trimmed, cut into small pieces

1 lemon, zested and juiced

handful basil leaves

30g pine nuts, toasted

50g feta, crumbled


  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Tip in the pasta and cook for 1 min less than pack instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Stir in the garlic, chilli and a pinch of salt, and fry for 1 min until fragrant. Add the asparagus and lemon zest, and cook for 4-5 mins until the asparagus is just tender.
  3. Drain the pasta and tip into the asparagus pan. Add the lemon juice, stir through the basil, grind over some black pepper, then divide between bowls. Top with the pine nuts, feta and a drizzle of oil to serve.


Coffee and Vanilla infused Banana Bread

Your sex life really doesn’t have to be vanilla when it comes to this brilliant banana bread. And vanilla is definitely not a bad thing, especially in this case: if you’re feeling extra nervy before your date arrives, have a slice of this bad boy. The vanilla will calm your nerves and smells incredibly sexy to boot. 

Since coffee became a worldwide drink, it has been an obsession for many. And it’s not just the caffeine that keeps us on the worldwide coffee high:  coffee’s increases stamina and can elevate mood, and increases dopamine levels in the brain, the stuff that increases desire and pleasure.

And banana- well, what can we say? Aside from being the most phallic of fruits, bananas contain bromelain enzyme, which is believed to increase a man’s sex drive. Alongside high levels of potassium, riboflavin, and vitamin B2, (important to keep your energy levels up while you’re at it), this one’s a winner. Make sure your date has a slice too!



3-4 medium or large bananas

2 Tbsp brown sugar1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup butter softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 Tbsp sour cream or Greek yogurt

Crumb Topping

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup flour

1 cup brown sugar

6 Tbsp butter, cold


  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease two 8×4 pans.
  2. In a small bowl, mash bananas, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and ground cinnamon.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  4. Add in eggs and beat until mixed.
  5. To the wet ingredients, sift in flour, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Stir until just combined. Add in sour cream and stir.
  7. Pour in mashed bananas, and mix until combined.

Crumb Topping

  1. Combine cinnamon, flour, and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter, and mix until the topping looks like coarse crumbs. Sprinkle coating evenly over the batter in both pans.
  2. Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean with just a few moist crumbs stuck to it.
  3. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Move to a wire cooling rack.
  4. Slice and enjoy


Raspberry and Passion Fruit Martini 

And we come to the exciting part: the cocktail! 

Thought to be the ‘little sister’ of the pomegranate from the Garden of Eden, there’s a reason this little bundle of fruity joy is named as it is! Originally named for the passion of Christ, which is a little less sexy, we now associate passion fruit with the one and only pornstar martini. If you fancy getting your freak on, here’s our take on a classic love potion cocktail:


100ml vodka

1 tbsp raspberry liqueur

50ml passion fruit juice (we used Rubicon)

handful of ice

½ passion fruit (optional)


  1. Put 2 martini glasses in the freezer for 5 mins to chill. 
  2. Mix the vodka, raspberry liqueur, passion fruit juice and a handful of ice in a jug or cocktail shaker.
  3. Strain into the glasses and float ½ a passion fruit on the top of each, if you like.


Mediterranean Grilled Avocado Stuffed with Chickpeas and Tahini

Although all of these recipes can be adapted to be vegan or vegetarian, we felt we should put in something special for our vegan lovers out there! 

The avocado is a superfood, rich in good fats, and surprise-surprise, our millennial hero takes it a step farther to become an aphrodisiac. Fun fact:The Aztec word for avocado is “ahuacatl,” which means “testicle.” But besides the sex appeal, avocados also contain high levels of folic acid, vitamin B9 (provides the body with more energy) and vitamin B6 (which helps increase testosterone production).


1 Can Chickpeas drained and rinsed, 13oz

Pompeian Grapeseed Oil Spray

1/2 tsp Smoked paprika

Salt + Pepper

2 Large avocados

1/2 Cup Cucumber diced (about half a large cucumber)

1/2 Cup Cherry tomatoes cut into quarters

1 1/2 Tbsp Fresh lemon juice + additional for servings about 1 large lemon

2 tsps Tahini

Cilantro for garnish


  1. Preheat your grill to medium/high heat. 
  2. Place the rinsed chickpeas onto a paper towel and dry well. Transfer to a small bowl, peeling off any of the papery skins that come lose while you dried the chickpeas. Spray the chickpeas generously with Grapeseed Oil Spray and then toss with the smoked paprika and a few generous twists of salt and pepper.
  3. Place the chickpeas into the bottom of a grill pan in an even, flat layer. Place onto the grill and cook for 10 minutes. Then, spray the chickpeas again with Pompeian Grapeseed Oil Spray and stir around. Cook for another 10-12 minutes until lightly charred and crispy. Remove from heat and let cool.
  4. Cut the avocados in half, removing the pit. Scoop out the center of the avocado so you have a large, deep hole. Spray the avocados with Pompeian Grapeseed Oil Spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place, flesh-side down, onto the grill and cook until nice grill-marks form, about 5 minutes.
  5. While the avocados cook, mix the cucumber, tomatoes and lemon juice in a small bowl. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  6. Divide the cucumber mixture between each avocado half, making sure to really stuff it into the center. Top each half with 1 Tbsp of chickpeas and drizzle with 1/2 tsp Tahini.
  7. Garnish with parsley and DEVOUR.


And as a sexy treat for afterwards: Moon Juice, Sex Dust Sachet Box

If you need to give your sex drive a little kickstart, this ‘dust’ is guarunteed to rev your engine! A cocktail of aphrodisiac extracts can be added to hot drinks, water, or your favourite smoothie. ‘Joie de vivre’ in a sachet! Let’s get ready to rumble chicas.

Buy online at Cult Beauty: Moon Juice, Sex Dust



And apparently, there are such a thing as ‘anti-aphrodisiacs’! If you don’t want to break your perfectly performed spells, move your hunnies away from:

  1. Microwaved popcorn: a strange one, I know, but an Axe study has suggested that chemicals found in the linings of microwavable popcorn bags and non-stick pots and pans can reduce sperm count in men! 
  2. Dairy products: yes, I know we have some in these recipes- and chocolate itself is a bit of a complication, but, they are counteracted by our glorious aphrodisiacs. Apparently, dairy  can have synthetic hormones pumped into them that can negatively affect oestrogen and testosterone levels in humans. The more you know!


We hope you have an amazing valentines this year, be it a swoon-worthy date; a girls night in; or even just a cuddle with a favourite pet. Whatever you do this year, let’s make it bang-tastic!


Loadsa love and kisses from us to you,

The HCX Team  xxx


Third year English student and aspiring journalist! My talents include; successfully quoting almost any Friends episode; getting excited about Christmas in October, (every year without fail), and owning one too many Bobbi Brown lipsticks. I mean, is there such a thing as too many?!