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This chocolate Italian Love Cake starts with a boxed cake mix for an easy dessert recipe that only looks fancy! With chocolate, sweet ricotta, and a whipped pudding topping, the layered Italian cake is moist, rich, and perfect for Valentine’s Day, birthdays, or any other special occasion!

Fork in slice of Chocolate Italian Love Cake
Table of Contents
  1. How to Make Italian Love Cake | 1-Minute Video
  2. Why You’ll Love this Recipe
  3. What is Italian Love Cake?
  4. Ingredients
  5. Step-By-Step Instructions
  6. Preparation and Storage Tips
  7. Tips for the Best Italian Love Cake Recipe
  8. Easy Chocolate Italian Love Cake Recipe

If you love chocolate cake recipes, be sure to try this wildly popular one-bowl buttermilk chocolate cake, this chocolate bundt cake with cake mix, and this made-from-scratch Southern chocolate pound cake, too!

How to Make Italian Love Cake | 1-Minute Video

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

My friend Kristin originally shared this recipe with me, since it’s one of her kids’ favorite cakes. She knew that we would probably love it as much as her crew, and she was right! The cake is:

  • Easy. Thanks to help from a handful of shortcuts — like cake mix, whipped topping, and pudding mix — this cake comes together quickly and easily!
  • Moist. The chocolate cake stays incredibly moist with help from a creamy ricotta layer.
  • Impressive. That cheesecake-like swirl throughout the cake makes the finished dessert look tall, impressive, and time-consuming. Your guests never need to know how simple it was to prepare!
Ingredients for chocolate cake batter

What is Italian Love Cake?

Like a cross between chocolate cake and cheesecake, this special dessert includes layers of chocolate cake, sweet ricotta, and a creamy chocolate pudding topping.

How does it get its name?

The complete history of Italian love cake is a bit of a mystery, but this special treat is supposedly called “Love Cake” because it was traditionally served at weddings. I can assure you of one thing: if you serve this cake to that special man in your life, he will certainly say, “I do!”

Ricotta layer poured over chocolate cake batter in baking dish before oven

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a chocolate Italian love cake. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step baking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Chocolate cake mix: plus the ingredients called for on the package — typically oil, water, and eggs.
  • Ricotta cheese: the base of the creamy cheesecake-like layer.
  • Eggs: help the cheese layer set.
  • Granulated sugar: to sweeten the cheese mixture.
  • Pure vanilla extract: adds warm flavor to the ricotta layer.
  • Instant chocolate pudding mix, cold milk, and whipped topping (such as Cool Whip): combine to make the fluffy chocolate frosting.
Chocolate pudding frosting for Italian Love Cake

Step-By-Step Instructions

This cake is about as easy as it gets! You’ll find the detailed directions in the recipe card below, but here’s the quick version:

  • Prepare the cake batter according to package instructions, and pour it into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. I use a hand mixer for this, but a stand mixer will also work. Set that aside.
  • Use an electric mixer to combine the ricotta mixture until smooth.
  • Carefully pour the ricotta mixture over the cake batter. Spread evenly to cover as much as possible.
  • Bake for 1 hour. It’s like magic! The layers will “switch” and the chocolate cake layer will be on top!
  • Spread the pudding mixture on top of the cooled cake.
  • Chill for at least 6 hours, and then slice and serve.
Piece of Easy Chocolate Italian Love Cake on blue and white plate

Preparation and Storage Tips

  • How to Store: This cake tastes best after it has been refrigerated overnight. If you have leftovers, you will need to keep the cake refrigerated (or the topping will “melt”). The cake will last in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  • How to Freeze: Wrapped tightly in an airtight container, the cake will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw frozen cake in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
Slice of Italian Love Cake with bite on a fork

Recipe Variations

  • Vanilla Italian Love Cake: use a white cake mix. Use a box of vanilla pudding for the topping.
  • Lemon Italian Love Cake: use a lemon cake mix. Use a box of vanilla pudding or lemon pudding for the topping and add plenty of fresh lemon zest to give the topping a bright citrus flavor!
  • Strawberry Italian Love Cake: use a box of strawberry cake mix. Use a box of vanilla pudding for the topping. Garnish with fresh sliced strawberries just before serving.

Tips for the Best Italian Love Cake Recipe

  • Thaw the Cool Whip in the refrigerator — not on the counter at room temperature.
  • Prepare this cake at least 1-2 days in advance, so that you have plenty of time to allow the cake to cool and chill before frosting and serving. The cake just gets better as it sits in the fridge!
  • Check your box of cake mix to see which ingredients are required to prepare the batter. Different brands require different ingredients.
  • Let the cake cool completely before frosting.
  • When adding the whipped topping into the pudding, be sure to carefully fold the ingredients together. You want to preserve as much of the air in the whipped topping as possible, so do not vigorously stir.
  • Store the cake in the refrigerator.
Piece of chocolate italian love cake with rainbow sprinkles

More Easy Dessert Recipes with Cake Mix

Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

3 hours hrs 5 minutes mins

Earthquake Cake {with Cake Mix!}

55 minutes mins

Maple Walnut Cake {with Cake Mix!}

3 hours hrs

Square side shot of a slice of chocolate Italian love cake on a plate.

Easy Chocolate Italian Love Cake

4.98 from 35 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Cooling Time 8 hours
Total: 9 hours 20 minutes
Servings 12 large slices
Calories 549.2 kcal
This chocolate Italian love cake starts with a box of cake mix for an easy dessert that only looks fancy!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (15.25 oz) package chocolate cake mix, PLUS additional ingredients called for on the package (my cake mix package required 1 ¼ cups water, ½ cup oil, and 3 eggs)

For the Ricotta Filling

For the Frosting

  • 1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 16 ounces frozen whipped topping (such as Cool Whip), thawed in the refrigerator
  • Optional garnish: sprinkles

Instructions

Prepare the Cake Batter

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9×13 inch pan with nonstick spray. In a large bowl, mix together cake batter according to package instructions. Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking dish. Spread to fill the pan evenly. Set aside (do NOT bake yet).

Prepare the Filling

  • In another bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together ricotta cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  • Carefully pour the cheese mixture evenly over the top of the cake batter. Spread to cover cake as best you can (the layers will switch during baking). Bake the cake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Prepare the Frosting

  • To make frosting, whisk together pudding mix and milk until combined and slightly thickened (about 1-2 minutes). Carefully fold the whipped topping into the pudding until combined.
  • Spread frosting on top of cooled cake. Add sprinkles if desired. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours before slicing and serving.
    Square side shot of a slice of chocolate Italian love cake on a plate.

Video

Notes

Recipe courtesy of “Little Chefs Camp” at the Virginia Discovery Museum.
  • Thaw the Cool Whip in the refrigerator — not on the counter at room temperature.
  • Prepare this cake at least 1-2 days in advance, so that you have plenty of time to allow the cake to cool and chill before frosting and serving. The cake just gets better as it sits in the fridge!
  • Check your box of cake mix to see which ingredients are required to prepare the batter. Different brands require different ingredients.
  • Let the cake cool completely before frosting.
  • When adding the whipped topping into the pudding, be sure to carefully fold the ingredients together. You want to preserve as much of the air in the whipped topping as possible, so do not vigorously stir.
  • Store the cake in the refrigerator.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1large slice (1/12 of the recipe)Calories: 549.2kcalCarbohydrates: 62.1gProtein: 16.9gFat: 26.7gSaturated Fat: 11.6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.6gMonounsaturated Fat: 2.7gCholesterol: 142.2mgSodium: 637.6mgPotassium: 186.1mgFiber: 1.3gSugar: 40.7g
    Keyword: Cake Mix Recipe, chocolate cake, chocolate italian love cake, Italian love cake, Love Cake
    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: Italian
    Author: Blair Lonergan

    This recipe was originally published in October, 2015. It was updated in January, 2019.

    blair

    Hey, I’m Blair!

    Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

    Read More

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    Comments

    1. Wow this cake is just stunning! I’m in love with the thick layer of frosting and ricotta cheese. This really is a breeze to hip up. Love it!

          1. Hi, Kalina! I don’t think so. If it’s Reddi Whip from a can that you’re thinking of, I’m pretty sure that it deflates really quickly and wouldn’t hold up in the cake. You would probably have better luck making real whipped cream by whipping some heavy cream, although I haven’t actually tried that myself. The whipped cream wouldn’t be sweet like Cool Whip, so you might want to add some sweetener to it as well. 🙂

            1. I have been making this cake for 30 years and everyone absolutely loves it.. The only difference is my recipe called for a marble cake mix and I always used Duncan Hines marble cake mix ..absolutely delicious

          2. I’m worried lol. I’ve mixed my cake mix up. Poured into cake pan. It was a bit before I mixed my ricotta layer but when I poured it on, I tried to be care to spread it but I couldn’t cover the whole cake. Did my cheese mic sink through into the choc cake mix? I don’t see how mine is going to come out in layers. I feel like it’s going to all sink into each other. I rarely bake so I don’t know what I’ve done lol. Scraping the bowl clean tasted good anyway lol

            1. Hi, Meloni! It’s almost impossible for me to know what may have gone wrong since I wasn’t in your kitchen with you, but I hope the cake turned out tasty nonetheless! 🙂

        1. I don’t know if you still monitor this page but I make this cake quite often and everyone loves it. However whenever I make it the ricotta layer does not stay on top like in any pictures it always sinks to the bottom. Am I doing anything wrong?

          1. Hi Eileen!
            I’ve never had that problem but know it can happen. As long as it tastes good, you aren’t doing anything wrong! The ricotta layer is heavier and naturally sinks the longer it sits. Hope that helps!

    2. OMG!!!!!! I’m seriously drooling over this. And SO EASY. You amaze me! Pinning this and making it for the next get together I have!

          1. Mine didn’t either… I followed this to a ‘T’ and usually it flips! It’s still gonna be good though… I made sure everything was room temp. too… sprayed pan and everything. Can’t gigure why it didn’t flip.

            1. Did yours taste ok? Mine didn’t flip either? I’m worried because I need to take to a dinner party! I wonder if it’s because I used part skim ricotta?

      1. Hi, Sabrina! Since the recipe uses a 9 x 13-inch pan, you would need a round pan that is equivalent in size. That would have to be a very large round pan (or you could make two separate smaller pans) because most round pans are about 8 or 9-inches in diameter. If you use one smaller round pan, then you will just need to cut the ingredients in half because you will have twice as much batter, filling, etc. as will fit in the pan.

        I hope that helps!

    3. What kind of flavor does the ricotta have in this cake? I am familiar with the savory ricotta in lasagna, but thinking that it takes on more of a cheesecake like flavor with that many eggs and sugar mixed in. What is the texture like with that many eggs? Thanks!

    4. 5 stars
      Am trying this recipe today. I have never had a dessert with Ricotta Cheese in it so im skeptical but willing to try it out since it looks Amazing! 🙂

      1. That’s awesome, Lanette! I hope you love it! Ricotta is often used in desserts like cheesecake or even tiramisu, so you can be sure that it will be amazing. 🙂

    5. This cake was very easy to make. I halved the recipe for two. It was delicious but next time I will put more sugar in the ricotta layer. It wasn’t sweet enough.

      1. I’m glad that it worked for you, Kathleen! You’re right — the ricotta layer isn’t very sweet, so more sugar would be a great addition if you prefer a sweeter filling! 🙂 Thanks for your feedback!

    6. 5 stars
      I made this cake over Valentine’s Day. It turned out great. Just wanted to know if I need to warm up the milk into the pudding before adding the cool whip. Mine had little crystals into the cool whip topping. I also baked it in a non-stick metal pan. Baking time was a little less.

      1. Hmmmm…I don’t think that you want to warm the milk, Connie. The Cool Whip would melt and deflate if it got too warm, so I wouldn’t try that. I’m not sure why you would have had the crystals in there. Maybe it just needed to be whisked with the milk even more so that the pudding was completely dissolved before folding into the Cool Whip? That’s my best guess. 🙂 Glad that you enjoyed it!

      1. Hi, Fatema! I don’t know, because I have never tested the recipe with that substitution. It will definitely lend a different texture, since cream cheese and ricotta are two different textures themselves. I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful. 🙂

    7. 5 stars
      A friend made this cake an it is totally yummy, so I had to make it for my family. After an hour in the oven, the cake has alot of movement in the middle. What are your indications that the cake has baked long enough. Bounch back to touch or clean toothpick in the center? I think that my oven temp is good.

      1. For the cake part, you can do either the clean toothpick test or the bounce back to touch test. If you’re worried about whether the cheese filling in the center has cooked, I would try the toothpick test as well, or just give it a little bit of a shake or touch. If it still seems wiggly and soft, it’s not done yet. You want it to be firm (kind of like a cheesecake). Hope that helps! So glad that you are making it! 🙂

      1. Hi, Jane! I don’t think so…although I haven’t actually tried that substitution. Ricotta has a different texture than cottage cheese (much thicker and firmer), so I would worry that the inside of the cake wouldn’t set if you use cottage cheese instead.

    8. One question, are the 4 eggs listed including the eggs used in cake mix or is it 4 eggs mixed with the ricotta cheese?

      1. Hey, Candace! Good question! The 4 eggs are to be mixed with the ricotta. If your cake mix calls for additional eggs on the box, then use whatever the package instructs (in addition to the 4 that get mixed with the cheese). 🙂

    9. 5 stars
      Someone earlier said that they tried Devil’s Food and it didn’t work. Well, it worked great for me! This cake was easy and perfect and looked EXACTLY like the photo (down to the adorable sprinkles!). It’s a perfect combination o dense and rich and light and fluffy. The best o all worlds! All of my party guests were amazed. They kept asking, “Did you make this!?” as i I were some master chef for ever being able to make such an intricate dessert. I guess this will be my little secret.

      Thanks for sharing this recipe. This is the kind of thing that usually remains a secret.

    10. I like the presentation of the three layers, Blair. I particularly like creamy cakes, which yours are.

    11. Could I half the ricotta cheese portion of the recipe? That’s a lot of cheese and eggs ! I am sure I would have to adjust the baking time, and the layer would be thinner, but I am ok with that? Your thoughts?

        1. 5 stars
          I made this for my bf for Valentine’s Day, and I’m pretty sure he fell in love with me more that day. He had been talking about his uncle making this amazing Italian Love Cake, and I decided to look for a recipe. This was easy to follow, and he couldn’t get enough of it. Making it again for his birthday. He said my cake tastes even better than his uncle’s, lol.

            1. 5 stars
              I made this Saturday for an Italian dinner for 6 on Sunday. I was so happy with how it turned out; I didn’t expect it to be so moist or so heavy. Everyone loved it and had plenty to take home for another day! This is now one of my favorite cakes.

            2. That’s awesome, Pam! Thanks for coming back here to let me know. I’m so glad that the cake was a hit!

    12. We enjoyed this so much! So simple and refreshing. The key is to let it cool completely then frost. I let it sit for a good six hours and it was perfect.

      1. Hi, Angi! I’ve never done that, so I’m not sure how it would turn out. I would be concerned that the texture would be different with the cream cheese (and that it might get runny in the oven), but again — I haven’t tested it that way to know for sure. 🙂

    13. Somehow I picked up brownie mix and not choc cake and didn’t notice until it was mixed. It’s in the oven now, cheese still on top and over an hour. Fingers are crossed. Think it’ll work?

      1. Hi, Laura! I have not personally tried it that way, and I’m not sure if any of the readers have. Sorry I’m not more helpful!

    14. My layers didn’t turn out so “layered” there was chocolate cake on the bottom and on the top with the ricotta in middle ?

    15. Made this beautiful cake for Thanksgiving tomorrow, turned out perfect. Waiting for cake to cool so I can frost it……PATIENCE…LOL
      I’m sure it will taste as yummy as it looks…..thank u for this great recipe

      1. Hi, Pepper! Yes, the icing goes on before chilling. It’s best to have the icing on for the 6 hours (or more) while the cake chills in the refrigerator. You don’t want to add it at the last minute. Hope that helps, and enjoy!

    16. I first had Italian love cake at a little cafe in a small town. And I fell in love! I am not a cake person but this one changed my mind. Today is my first time attempting to make it myself, using this recipe. It is currently in the oven, but the 9×13 pan seemed quite full, I’m worried it may overflow if it rises too much. I put a baking sheet on the rack underneath just in case… Has anyone had a similar experience?

      1. Hi, Marisa! I haven’t had that issue. Did it work out okay, or did you have overflow? Hope you enjoyed the cake! 🙂

      1. Hi, Millie! Yes, I think that would work fine. The Cool Whip is slightly sweet, though, so you may want to add some sweetener to your homemade whipped cream. 🙂

    17. 5 stars
      I made this phenomenal cake for my daughter’s birthday. Only change I made….found out at last moment I did not have any chocolate pudding. And vanilla sounded a bit plain for a birthday, her 38th, so I used 1/4 cup kahlua and 3/4 cup milk with vanilla pudding mix. Then followed your directions to a tee. Oh I did crush some instant coffee to pure powder form and lightly dusted the cake one hour before serving (I put the cake back in the fridge for final hour). I did the coffee dust that way so it would marry with the topping a bit and not be give a bitter in your face aftertaste. This was a HUGE hit! Thank you so much for posting this recipe. It is officially the only cake she wants for her birthday.

      1. Hi, Holly! Your changes sound amazing! The coffee dusting and kahlua probably made it taste like a tiramisu cake! Glad that your daughter loved it, too! 🙂

          1. Hi, Donna! I’ve never tried using the regular pudding mix, but I would be concerned that the texture won’t be the same. Instant pudding mix thickens up quickly while it’s still cold, as opposed to the regular pudding mix that has to be cooked in order to thicken.

    18. I’m curious. I’m a lemon freak. For the lemon version, I’m wondering about lemon extract instead of vanilla in the ricotta layer and/or lemon pudding in the frosting layer. I would think lemon flavor in the cheese layer would be great. Just lemon cake doesn’t sound too lemony. I’m anxious to try it.

      1. Hey, Jeff! You’ve just created a delicious new recipe! 🙂 Your suggestions sound perfect — both the lemon extract in the ricotta and the lemon pudding in the frosting. Start with a very small amount of the lemon extract, though — that stuff can be really strong. Just add more, to taste, as needed…but don’t dump a bunch in right off the bat. 🙂

        Let me know how it turns out! I want to try that, too!

    19. This is the 2nd time I made it but this time my layers didn’t switch during baking.? Not sure what happened this time?

    20. 5 stars
      This is one awesome dessert. I have made this awesome dessert for my church potluck, bible study group, and Prison Ministry group. My 9X13-in baking was cleaned out, There wasn’t any left over. I went to make the cake again for my wife’s family but I didn’t have chocolate mixing. Had lemon cake and lemon pudding wal la add tablespoon fresh lemon juice and zest from one lemon. Add lemon zest to frost also.Some of the cake was left over but I wasn’t able to take them home, I high jacked at the door. The next day the lemon flavor was even better than the first day. Waa hoo!! Thanks this recipe is very versatile to make with flavors.
      Thank you for this big hit..
      Chas

      1. I have a question. How did you transport this cake? I’m baking it now and it’s at the top of my pan. Once I ice it , it will be huge I’m not sure not to take it to a potluck without messing up the frosting. Any tips?

        1. Hey, Kelly! I would just loosely tent it with foil and transport it in the baking dish. It will be fine — even if a little bit of the frosting gets on the foil. Enjoy! 🙂

    21. Has anyone tried this with cream cheese? Want to make it for Easter and would like to use cream cheese instead of ricotta

      1. Hi! No, I haven’t tried it with the cream cheese, and I haven’t heard from anyone else who has. Cream cheese has a different texture than the ricotta, so I’m not sure how that layer of the cake would turn out.

    22. in your recipe you never say to remove the cake when done out of the baking pan do you leave it in the pan and then frost?

    23. 5 stars
      I made this for the first time the other day for our Sunday Dinner. It was Italian themed cuisine, so I wanted to bring n Italian dessert to go with it. After researching recipes, this one looked yummy and easy so I decided to go for it. I had devils food cake on hand and it turned out AMAZING! EVERYONE LOVED IT! It’s not too decadent, which I like. The cool whip topping really helps balance out the cake. I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a small slice this morning with my coffee. Thank you for this recipe, I’m saving it and making it again for sure!

      1. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with having cake for breakfast — especially on a Monday! 🙂 I’m so glad that you enjoyed it, Stephanny!

    24. 5 stars
      I wanted to try this recipe so bad, but I am diabetic. I found a recipe for sugar free chocolate cake that uses stevia and made that. Then substituted the sugar in the ricotta layer with Stevie. Other than swapping out real sugar for stevia, I followed all instructions to the letter, but my chocolate and ricotta layers did not flip. The cake baked up fine and was moist and dense. Not overly sweet. Just enough to scratch that itch without causing me trouble. Would definitely make the sugar free version again..

      1. Cora, I’m so glad that you found a way to make it work for your particular diet. That’s awesome!!!

    25. Does it maybe take longer than an hour to cook?? I’m making it right now it still seems uncooked in the center.. HELP!!!

      1. Hi, Heather! It might take a bit longer, depending on your oven and the type of pan that you use. Glass or ceramic pans will not necessary bake the cake as quickly as a metal nonstick pan, so that could have something to do with it. Hope that cake turned out well! 🙂

    26. 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 got a little faded between the chocolate cake and the chocolate icing. I still liked, my wife didn’t.

    27. 5 stars
      I just made this cake tonight! I didn’t find many of the reviews helpful in answering some of my questions, so I hope this is helpful to someone out there…

      I had never even heard of Italian Love Cake until my Italian girlfriend talked about it and how her mom always made it for her. So, natch, to the internet. And here we are at this recipe.

      I followed it pretty* spot on as far as all measurements go.

      I used two boxes of cake mix only because I couldn’t find marble cake, which I guess is what her mom used. Chocolate vs white vs whatever, doesn’t seem to make much of a difference.

      I made them separately and then put 3/4 of each of the batters in the 13×9 baking dish and the remaining 1/4 in an 8” pan. Swirl for marble effect. But not too much.

      I used a sheet of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan to make removing it easier and greased the sides only with a tiny bit of canola oil on a paper towel.

      1 cake box in a 13×9 pan should only fill ill MAYBE half way. Whoever had it overflowing probably didn’t have a 13×9 pan or they used two boxes of cake mix.

      I made the “filling” according to directions which came out perfectly. It will be runny. Spoon it on top of your cake batter. There should be plenty.

      I am at sea level and baked both my pans at the same time for 1 hour and 4 minutes. At that point I removed the 8” pan, and let the 13×9 continue baking for another 13 minutes. The center seemed a tad jiggly, but solidified once it sat for about 10 minutes. The edges will look overdone. Don’t worry, this is the nature of this kind of cake. If you’re worried about it, spoon extra ricotta filling onto the corners/edges to slow the cooking.

      As for the topping, I ended up using TWO boxes of instant chocolate pudding and folding in a big tub of cool whip. I let it sit in the fridge while the cake was baking so that it had time to set as well. I don’t know if one box would be enough, honestly. But to each their own!

      I allowed the cakes to cool in their pans for 1 hour before frosting. I frosted liberally, and had a bit left over.

      Cake needs to be chilled to maintain frosting.

      It is not overly sweet at all. I’d say a cup of sugar free pudding is sweeter than this cake. It’s chocolate oh, but not over powering (mine is mixed though), and the topping is nice and light. I did not get a cheesecake taste though.

      For something sweet that isn’t sickeningly sweet this is perfect. The ricotta DID, for the most part, sink to the bottom, but I also helped it by tapping my pans mid way through baking.

      Overall, this was a super easy recipe with a great turn out. Highly recommend!

    28. 5 stars
      I love this cake so much and it’s so easy to make! I made it for my daughter’s 15th birthday and everyone loved it! I was wondering though, can the ricotta be substituted with softened cream cheese? I want to try it but I’m not sure if it will have the same effect and “switch” layers during baking. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

      1. That’s wonderful, Indigo! I’m so happy to hear that you love the cake! I have no idea if the cream cheese would switch layers like the ricotta, or not. The cream cheese has a different texture than ricotta, so I’m not sure that it’s an equal swap. Baking is so finicky — the best way to know is to really just give it a try. 🙂

    29. 5 stars
      Hiw to cover cake with foul for transport
      without smearing frosting!
      What I do is position toothpicks all over
      cake few inches apart! Cover with saran wrap or foul !
      No frosting on cover!

      1. Oh, I have no idea! I’ve never tried it, so I’m not sure how long you would need to bake the jumbo cupcakes. I would guess that the total baking time might be slightly less, so start checking the big cupcakes after about 40 minutes. Let me know if you give it a try — that’s a fun idea!

    30. Oh..my..lanta!
      I’m in the moment of smelling the delicious aroma and reading through the comments and it hits me that I forgot the 3/4 cup sugar in the ricotta mix!!! YIKES. Well, there is no turning back and it is my dessert for tomorrow’s Christmas gathering. Here is hoping for the best (I well let you know). I guess I just put all the in-laws on calorie reduction! Lol

    31. Hi, Kathryn! I honestly don’t know — I haven’t had that issue when baking the cake, so I’m not sure what went wrong.

    32. 5 stars
      Hi I made this Beautiful Cake and everything worked out well , it’s in the refrigerator chilling for 1 day now I’am afraid to cut it because it looks like the frosting is going to be runny just afraid to cut it. Help!

      1. Hi, JoAnne! I haven’t ever had a problem with runny frosting, so as long as you used the instant pudding mix and prepared it as instructed, you should be totally fine. Enjoy!! 🙂

        1. Thank You!
          Yes! I just cut into it, Not runny at all
          HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME TODAY!
          It turned out so DELICIOUS!!
          I will be making this recipe again.

      1. Hi, Nancy! I haven’t tested it myself, so I can’t say for sure. I would be hesitant, though. Cream cheese has a different texture than ricotta, so I would worry that the layer might not “flip” the way it’s supposed to. It would be more dense and heavy. But again — I haven’t actually tried it to know for sure. 🙂

    33. Just made this cake and realized my ricotta wasn’t very fluffy. As I pored on top of the chocolate layer it started to sink in a little. I think it’s because I used my kitchen aid mixer rather than a hand mixer. Do you think it will still come out tasting okay if the ricotta layer was not fluffy? It was the same consistency as the cake batter. Thank You!!

      1. Hi, Tarah! I think it will probably be fine, but I haven’t experienced that problem, so I can’t say for sure. Let me know how it ends up!

    34. So, I’m 10 minutes away from the 1 hot baking time and I’m so nervous! I’m making this for a dessert for my dad. We’re having a day late Father’s Day dinner and this is what’s for dessert! I can see the layers flip flopped but my center is still moving (I shook the pan a touch to see how it was fairing. The one hour bake time had me a little worried). This sounds and looks delicious! Will let you know how it turns out…

    35. Hi I have made this cake many times and love it. However I just made it this morning and it had huge cracks on top some pretty deep. Do you know what might have caused this?

      1. Hi, Joan! I’m so glad that you love the cake! I honestly have no idea why it would crack this morning. That’s not a problem that I’ve ever run into. According to some experts, cakes crack when the oven temperature is too high (or, similarly, when the pan is placed on an incorrect rack). A crust forms early on, but as the inside of the cake continues to cook and rise, this crack crusts. Not sure if your oven was accidentally at a higher temp this time, or if you placed it on a different rack than usual? Just trying to help troubleshoot. 🙂

    36. Hi! I was thinking about baking the cake in an aluminum pan. Does that change anything? What pan do you think is best to bake? Thanks

    37. 5 stars
      I tried first and it was a HIT!, then 2nd time again another HIT! hahahaha. We absolutely love this cake. Still bit of sweet for us trying to reduce measure of sugar. Now iw ant to try the lemon version that will be next!! Maybe coconut in the top …Yummm

    38. 5 stars
      I made this cake last night and served it the next day at dinner time, it was delicious and my husband and guest also loved it. I follow the recipe exactly and it turned out beautifully but the only thing is I had to bake my much longer then an hour. I baked it for 1 1/2 hrs.
      Thank you for this recipe I plan on making it again and with different flavors.

      1. Thanks, Lynn! I’m glad that you enjoyed it, and thanks for the tip about baking it longer in your oven. Not sure why there would be such a drastic difference, but that’s really helpful for other readers to know that their cakes might need longer, too. 🙂

          1. Hi, Meghan! I always use a whole milk ricotta. I’m not too particular about the brand. My store carries Galbani, so that’s usually what I buy. 🙂

            1. Hi, Meg! Let the cake cool on the counter after baking until it comes to room temperature. Once the cake is frosted with the Cool Whip mixture, it needs to be stored in the refrigerator.

    39. I just made the cake for the first time, we are having it tomorrow for Easter Sunday and it looks awesome. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

    40. 5 stars
      How long in the refrigerator will it last? Up to 5 days? The best cake I ever had. Just asking because I have a lot of Family coming.
      Thank you

      1. Hi, Meighan! I honestly think it gets better as it sits. I would say it’s fine in the fridge for up to a week. 🙂

    41. I’m planning on making this, but using a mini springform pan and one larger one. Making this for my son’s 1st birthday so I want him to have a mini smash cake and one for guests to enjoy. Any tips or suggestions on modifications? Will bake time need to be modified for the mini and the larger springform? Thank you!

      P.S. Coworker made this and it was delicious!

      1. Hi, Kasia! It’s hard for me to say, since I haven’t tried it myself in those types of pans. I would think that the small cake will cook quite a bit faster, so I’d keep a close eye on that one. The other cake might be slightly faster than the indicated time in the recipe, but probably not a huge difference. Hope your son has a wonderful first birthday!!!

    42. Fantastic cake!! Served it this weekend at the annual Girls Weekend I host. TEN thumbs up!!! Even the one who doesn’t really like cake (??!!?!?) thought it was SUPER good!
      Thanks for a really impressive dessert!
      TIPS-Subbing cooled coffee for the water always improves a chocolate cake. No coffee taste, but it really enhances chocolate flavor.
      I used Godiva brand chocolate pudding mix & that made the top layer even more decadent!

      1. 5 stars
        This cake is scrumptious! However next time I make it I think I will use 8 ounces of whipped topping instead of 16 ounces. It was a bit much. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

    43. Hi, Blair – I’m making this tomorrow for an Italian-themed dinner party I’m hosting on Wednesday. I noticed a couple posters mentioned that their layers didn’t switch during cooking, yet it didn’t seem to have an adverse effect on the final outcome, so I’m curious – what causes the layers to switch, and in the instances where they don’t, do you have any idea why? Thanks for sharing the recipe. I’ll come back with a rating once I get my guests responses.

      1. Hi, Cindy! I don’t know the science behind it! I’ve made the recipe many times and I’ve never had a problem with the layers, so I can’t even give you a good answer as to why they may or may not flip. I hope the cake is a hit at your party, though! 🙂

    44. I have made this cake before but instead of the cool whip for the topping I use 12 ounces of mascarpone cheese with 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese and whip with electric mixer on medium spread until smooth. then I gradually add the milk beating until smooth and then the pudding mix. Let stand about 5 minutes until thicken and spread over cake.

    45. Hi, I really don’t like eggs very much and worry that the filling might taste a little eggy for my family. Do you think I could use 2 eggs and achieve a good result? Thanks

      1. Hi, Michelle! I don’t know how it would work with two eggs, since I haven’t tested it that way. I would worry that it will be too soft and may not stand up as firm (resulting in a layer that doesn’t “set” very well). That’s just my guess, though. If it makes you feel any better, I don’t think that you can taste the eggs in the filling at all. It’s more of a creamy, ricotta flavor. 🙂

    46. Hi Blair I got volunteered to make your Italian Lovers Cake for a Bridal Shower. I am a little nervous because I will be using a 14 inch cake pan and a 10 inch cake pan round. Can you help me with the ingredients. I would appreciate it.

      1. Hi, Jodi! That’s tough. I would double the ingredients, and assume that you’ll have a little bit leftover. The 10 inch round pan will hold about 10-11 cups, while a 13 x 9 pan will hold about 14 cups. That means that you won’t need an entire recipe to fill the 10-inch pan, but it will be fairly close. I would just assemble the two cakes as instructed, and then discard any excess batter or filling (or try to use it for smaller cupcakes if you feel up to it). Hope it’s a hit at the shower!

      1. Hi, Jay! Ricotta is often sold in 15-ounce containers, so I’d just use two of those if you can’t find two 16-ounce containers. Hope you enjoy!

    47. 5 stars
      I am amazed by this cake. I’ve made it twice and didn’t notice it was 2ibs of ricotta. I only used 15 oz. I made a chocolate then a strawberry. Both were great. I have just now made a chocolate & noted my error. But now it appears I have no headroom for the wonderful cool whip/ pudding mixture. I’m going to slather it on..but there’s no way I’ll be able to use the lid to my pan without it oozing out. Such a dilemma! Serving it as a surprise birthday on Thanksgiving.

        1. Hi, Kathleen! It’s hard for me to know, but every oven bakes differently, and the baking time can also vary depending on the type of pan that you use. Sounds like the cake just needed more time in the oven.

    48. Hello, I made this cake tonight but not all the ricotta went to the bottom. My cake looks like cheesecake brownies. I followed the directions exactly so I’m wondering if the cake with still turn out right with the layers not completely shifting places?

      1. Hi, Kristen! I think it should be fine. I haven’t had that issue, but it’s not always a clean “flip.” The cake should still be delicious!

      1. Hi Karla,
        We haven’t tested this recipe with cottage cheese, but it should work! Just keep in mind that cottage cheese has more water than ricotta. So, you may need to strain it first.

    49. Question. When preparing the topping is the pudding prepared with the milk or is it just dry mixed with the topping I’m a little confused I would like to prepare this next week for Easter. Please let me know thank you. Can’t wait to make it.

      1. Hi,
        Just mix the dry mix with the milk! Please let us know if you have any additional questions. We’re always happy to help and hope you enjoy the recipe!

    50. 5 stars
      My cake turned out fantastic. I took it to our church fellowship where we had an Italian theme. It was very well received and looked just like the pic. I can’t say how it taste b/c it disappeared so quickly. Can’t wait to bake it again. Really easy to make.

    51. Question. Do u place the frosting on the cake before refrigerating or do u prepare it before serving. Will it go flat if it is refrigerated for 24 hrs.

      1. Hi JoJo!
        If you’re planning on eating the cake within a day, you can frost it and store it in the fridge overnight. However, if you plan on storing it much longer than that, we recommend leaving the cake unfrosted until just before serving. Hope this helps!

        1. 5 stars
          My favorite cake of all….it’s easy to make (using the cake mix) !! Everyone thinks I’ve spent hours making it. Love it !!!

    52. Best cake ever. People on diets came back to have a second piece i’ve never had so many compliments that people were crazy about that cake. One person told me that she could suck it up with a straw. It was so delicious.
      I guess this will now be my number one to cake. So delicious so easy to eat

    53. 5 stars
      Made this for my husband’s birthday and it turned out very well! I’d recommend using a very tall 9×13 pan as the cake took up most of mine. I made a quick raspberry compote and mixed it in with the pudding/cool whip mixture to make this a chocolate -raspberry cake. Will make it again!

    54. 5 stars
      I got this recipe a long time ago and made it. It’s THE BEST!
      I also got another one where you use lemon cake mix.

    55. 5 stars
      I have made this cake many times and everyone loves it. Have never had a problem as of yet. Making it for this Christmas to take to my nieces for Christmas dinner. Her husband raved about it when I made it for our family Christmas party last week. So he asked for it again. Thank you for this delicious recipe.

      1. Thank you, Rosalie! I feel honored that the cake will be a part of your holiday celebration. Have a great Christmas!

    56. Love this recipe. Question: has anyone ever tried to cut this recipe in half and if so, how did you adjust the cooking time?

      1. Thank you, Cathy! Unfortunately, we’ve never tried to cut this recipe in half and can’t guarantee how it would turn out.

    57. 5 stars
      Being Italian, I had never heard of this cake, so I was intrigued! It is an excellent, not too sweet cake that my family really enjoyed. It is important to follow the directions exactly how Blair has written them, no matter how odd they seem! Easy and fast to make and a perfect cake for Valentine’s Day or any day the family gathers together to celebrate LOVE!