Italian Love Cake

Italian Love Cake is a recipe I found on Pinterest and fell in love with.  This cake is simple to make and is a real crowd-pleaser.  That is, if you can make it past your own front door with the cake in hand.

Chocolate italian love cake with a fork on a white plate.

My husband LOVES this cake, and it’s not easy to ask him to share.  

I don’t know why it’s called Italian Love Cake, but we will just go with it…ok?

Italian Love Cake

This cake switches layers while it bakes.  What’s also great is it’s way better after it sets for several hours. Overnight is best.

So make it for a family gathering.

cake batter in the pan topped with the ricotta mixture

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9×13 inch baking pan with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl with a handheld mixer, mix together your cake mix according to the directions on the box. Set aside.

Using the hand mixer, beat the ricotta cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla in another bowl until smooth.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking dish. Spread to fill the pan evenly.

Once the cake batter is in place, carefully pour the cheese mixture evenly over the top of the cake batter. Spread to cover the cake batter as best as you can.

It switches layers as it bakes.

Bake the cake at 350 F for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Whipped cream topping in a bowl folding with the pudding.

Allow the cake to cool completely, this part takes a long while.  

Once the cake is cool, stir the pudding mix and milk together with a whisk until combined. Carefully fold the Cool Whip into the pudding until combined.

baked Italian love cake in the pan with the frosting on top

Spread the pudding mixture over the top of the cooled cake. Cover the cake and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving. I let it refrigerate overnight, it tastes even better the next day.

Everyone will love this moist, light, and delicious cake.  I’m thinking I might try a different flavor cake mix next time.  I’ll let you know how that works out.

Chocolate italian love cake with a fork on a white plate.

Italian Love Cake Recipe

You will love this moist, light, delicious Italian Love Cake recipe. An easy make-ahead dessert perfect for all occasions!
4.52 from 82 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: cake, Dessert
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: cake, chocolate, italian, love, ricotta
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 15
Calories: 359kcal
Author: Leigh Harris

Ingredients
 

  • 1 package chocolate cake mix and the ingredients needed to make the cake according to the package
  • 2 lbs ricotta cheese
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Whipped Topping:

  • 5.1 oz instant chocolate pudding mix (1 – 5.1 oz. package )
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 8 oz. Cool Whip

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350*F and spray a 9×13 baking pan with nonstick spray.
  • In a large bowl, with a hand mixer, mix together your cake mix according to the directions on the box. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, using the hand mixer, beat together the ricotta cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
  • Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking dish. Spread to fill the pan evenly. Once the cake batter is in place, carefully pour the cheese mixture evenly over the top of the cake batter. Spread to cover the cake batter as best as you can.
  • Bake the cake at 350F for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  • Once the cake is cool, stir the pudding mix and milk together with a whisk until combined. Carefully, fold the Cool Whip into the pudding until combined.
  • Spread the pudding mixture over the top of the cooled cake.
  • Cover the cake and refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving. I let it refrigerate overnight, it tastes even better the next day.

Nutrition

Calories: 359kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 466mg | Potassium: 240mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 404IU | Calcium: 213mg | Iron: 2mg

Recipe from chewnibblenosh

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90 Comments

    1. Just found this recipe. My cake didn’t switch but boy was it delicious!! Thank you so much for this amazing recipe!5 stars

      1. Years ago I was a waitress at a restaurant/party house. A customer made this for the guest of honor.
        We were given the recipe the only difference was the recipe had marble cake mix instead of chocolate.
        This cake was such a huge hit! People who don’t like. Sweets or especially people who don’t like ricotta, absolutely loved this cake.
        I’m gonna make it tonight because I came upon this recipe after all these years and just happen to have all of these ingredients.
        I’m so excited to make this.
        The one any only problem is that this is a very rich dessert and is very filling.
        Be sure to have the recipe on hand, everyone will want a copy.

  1. I pinned your amazing Italian Love Cake and can’t wait to try it! Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and Happy New Year!
    Miz Helen5 stars

  2. Chocolate lovers would love this. It’s pretty, but can you believe that I don’t like chocolate cake? White foe me. lol! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

  3. This cake looks so pretty with those gorgeous layers – appears to be a hit to me! Pinned and congrats on the feature at Wake up Wednesday! 🙂

    1. I know I’m 3 years late to reply, but when I poured the ricotta in I thought, “oh no, this doesn’t seem right” and sure enough we got a beautiful surprise when we cut into the cake! Lol! It was perfect!!

  4. Hi. I love the pictures and I just wish I could have a sice of the cake right now. This cake is on my To do list. However, I live in Lagos Nigeria and it is extremely difficult to get ricotta cheese, pudding mix and cool whip. Can I substitute cream cheese or marscarpone for ricotta? Can I use Danica sweet whip( its a sort of non lactose whipping cream made with hydrogenated vegetable fat among other ingredients) in place of cool whip? Can I make the pudding from scratch? I really don’t know where I will get the pudding mix from and I love to make things from scratch. I look forward to response.

    1. I can’t recommend substituting any of the ingredients. Mascarpone is a much creamier and thicker texture than ricotta, I’m not sure that it would cook properly. I have never used a vegetable fat whipping cream so I can’t speak on that part. All I can say is the only way to find out is give it a try. Helen, if you do try all the changes I would love to hear from you on how it turns out. Thank you so much for stopping by and I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help. 🙂

  5. You can definitely make different variations of this cake by mixing different cakes and pudding flavors. You can also add some extracts into the ricotta cheese mixture. I have made:
    Orange Dreamcicle. Orange cake and vanilla pudding.
    Lemon cream. Lemon cake, lemon extract and vanilla pudding
    Chocolate-caramel-banana. Chocolate cake, banana flavored filling and Caramel pudding.
    The classic recipe is still the best though.

  6. Thanks! I made this cake yesterday using the 1.5 oz. box. It was delicious! What a wonderful recipe. (I also used the 8 oz. size of Cool Whip because I bought the wrong size, but it worked perfectly.)5 stars

      1. The first time I made this cake it came out perfectly. The second time the edges burned and the middle didn’t cook at all. I guess I need a new stove.5 stars

  7. What did I do wrong the ricotta layer did not bake to the bottom like the picture showed? The taste of the cake was delicious and I substituted cool whip with real whipping cream and I used only 3 eggs in the cheese mixture. Any suggestions

    1. Elizabeth, I’m not really sure. I’ve made this cake countless times and it always bakes perfectly. Maybe it was using only 3 eggs that caused this to occur. When baking I recommend always following the instructions. Real whipping cream is a perfect idea for the topping and wouldn’t have had any effect on the cake itself.

  8. MADE THIS CAKE TWICE AND EVERYONE LOVE LOVE LOVES IT…..THANKS FOR THE RECIPE. SAW A CAKE ON QVC AND IT WAS THE LOVE CAKE SELLING FOR 69.00.5 stars

    1. Roz, we are so happy to hear from our readers! Thank you so much for coming by to tell us how much you love the cake, it’s one of our favorites too! Merry Christmas!

  9. I made this cake twice, following the directions exactly and don’t know why the cake doesn’t switch with the Ricotta. 🙁 It is still good.4 stars

  10. My mom passed away about 10 years ago and she made this all the time! Thanks for posting it so I could make it for my extended family now!
    This is by far my favorite cake!5 stars

  11. I made it in a pyrex dish, and the cake baked fine in an hour, but it did not flip with the ricotta mixture. The cake mix was a bit beyond its expiration date, but otherwise everything seemed like I followed all the directions. Still tasted good, but the ricotta filling taste got a little faded between the chocolate cake and the chocolate icing. I still liked, my wife didn’t.

  12. Just found this recipe. My cake didn’t switch but boy was it delicious!! Thank you so much for this amazing recipe!

  13. I have been making this cake for years. It is great. I like to substitute flavored seltzer water in the cake mix and today I made a dairy free version using 2 packages of firm tofu instead of the ricotta. I blended in about 2 tbsp of canola oil into the tofu and followed the rest of the recipe. It was a really great alternative.

    1. I also used a brownie mix instead of cake mix. It ends up meting a bit more rich and the layers don’t switch as much. But it’s still great.

  14. I dont know what I did wrong I followed the directions but the ricotta layer sank into the cake layer

  15. I completely forgot to put the eggs in my ricotta mixture and it is baking.. will it still taste good?4 stars

  16. Can I use a glass baking dish or is metal preferred. Looks so delicious…can’t wait to make it. Always order this dessert at our favorite Italian restaraunt.5 stars

  17. I’m an experienced baker and have made many cakes. I followed this recipe exactly baked in a Pyrex and layers didn’t switch?? Can’t figure out why?

  18. This cake makes me want to be Italian. It is luscious and everyone loves it. Especially good for a summer dessert because it is so silky and delicious because it is served cold. I am not a fan of Cool Whip , so I use fresh whipping cream. Refrigerate overnight for best results. I have made it four times with very dependable results each time. Thank you so much for sharing this indulgence. Arrivederci!5 stars

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