This Italian Love Cake is like no other cake. It is so unique with incredible layers of flavor. This cake is guaranteed to be a hit!
A DELICIOUS, EASY CAKE
There’s nothing quite as delicious or comforting as a freshly baked Italian Love Cake – and particularly one that you make with love! Whether you’ve been baking for years, or are just getting started in the kitchen, this Italian inspired dessert is sure to bring smiles of appreciation from everyone around the table. So gather up your ingredients and let’s get started on creating a dessert that’ll have your friends and family saying “Molto bene!”
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Italian Love Cake is an Italian-American dessert. It typically consists of layers of chocolate cake, sweetened ricotta cheese, and a pudding-like layer made with instant pudding mix, milk and whipped topping.
I tried to find an answer to that question but like many interestingly-named recipes, the origins are unclear. Some say that the name was given to the cake by Italian-American immigrants who wanted to honor their Italian heritage by combining a traditional Italian ingredient (ricotta cheese) with American flavors and ingredients.
I know ricotta is not everyone’s cup of tea but It is traditional for this recipe. I know it can seem a bit unconventional to use in a sweet dessert. It makes for a very creamy and moist layer and I personally don’t taste it as a separate ingredient but I get that it can be a texture issue for some people. If you absolutely cannot bring yourself to use it then you can try mascarpone cheese (next best thing) or softened cream cheese (same amounts).
Certainly! Any pudding, cake mix combo should work for this easy recipe. The options are endless and will turn out incredible no matter what you choose.
You can make your own favorite homemade chocolate cake recipe and your favorite chocolate pudding recipe if you like. I have not tested any of that so couldn’t tell you exactly how to proceed but it seems like it would be pretty straightforward. You can make this recipe as difficult and as complicated as you enjoy!
Just make your own whipped cream. In place of the whipped topping, whip 2 cups of heavy whipping cream with ½ cup powdered sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract until stiff peaks start to form, then fold it into the pudding mixture. Fold in half at a time until there are no more streaks in the mixture. Keep in mind, fresh whipped cream isn’t as stabilized as Cool Whip so this may not last as long in the fridge before it starts to break down.
Because it is a heavier layer than the chocolate cake so it naturally sinks down. However, don’t go trying to layer the ricotta layer first then the chocolate cake. It’s important it is layered on top of the chocolate cake layer to give the cake a chance to cook evenly without over cooking the ricotta layer.
I like this cake chilled but some may like it room temperature. Just don’t leave it out too long or the layers can break down a bit and change texture.
Italian Love Cake should be refrigerated when you aren’t serving it. If covered and stored properly in the fridge, it should keep for up to 5 days. If you want to keep it longer, it can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)
- chocolate cake mix
- ingredients to make the cake: eggs, oil and water
- ricotta cheese
- large eggs
- granulated sugar
- vanilla extract
- cold milk
- instant chocolate pudding mix
- whipped topping (Cool Whip)
HOW TO MAKE AN ITALIAN LOVE CAKE
Preheat your oven to 350°F and spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray (I like the kind that has flour in it, like Baker’s Joy). Prepare the cake mix as per the instructions on the back of the box (along with the amounts for eggs, oil and water it calls for) and pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.
Using an electric hand mixer, mix the ricotta, eggs, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl until the mixture becomes smooth.
Spoon the ricotta mixture on top of the cake batter in the baking dish.
Bake the cake for about 1 hour and then place it on a wire rack to cool completely.
In a large bowl, pour the milk and gradually add the pudding mix while mixing it thoroughly.
Add half of the whipped topping and mix it in well. Then add the remaining whipped topping and mix it until it is well combined with no streaks.
Smooth the topping on top of the cake evenly.
Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Slice the cake and serve.
CRAVING MORE RECIPES?
Italian Love Cake (+Video)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray (I like the kind that has flour in it, like Baker’s Joy).
- Prepare the cake mix as per the instructions on the back of the box (along with the amounts for eggs, oil and water it calls for) and pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.
- Using an electric hand mixer, mix the ricotta, eggs, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl until the mixture becomes smooth.
- Spoon the ricotta mixture on top of the cake batter in the baking dish.
- Bake the cake for about 1 hour and then place it on a wire rack to cool completely.
- In a large bowl, pour the milk and gradually add the pudding mix while mixing it thoroughly.
- Add half of the whipped topping and mix it in well. Then add the remaining whipped topping and mix it until it is well combined with no streaks.
- Smooth the topping on top of the cake evenly.
- Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Slice the cake and serve.
- The flavors taste even better if left to chill overnight.
- Please refer to my FAQ’s and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
- Want to use something else other than ricotta? Try marscapone, softened cream cheese, or a cheesecloth strained Greek yogurt.
- Feel free to serve this either chilled or room temperature. If room temp, the layers may start to melt a bit.
- Keep this in the fridge when not serving. You can keep it for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Add some toppings, like chocolate sauce, hot fudge, sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, or crushed cannoli shells.
“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.