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Decadent and rich cake with a silky smooth topping, Chocolate Italian Love Cake is the perfect end to any meal. A chocolate lovers dream dessert.

chocolate italian love cake on a white plate

There is something extra special about love cakes. Our Chocolate Italian Love Cake is no exception. Does the chocolate cake layer or the ricotta layer make it stand out? You decide!

I first heard of love cakes while watching the Food Network, they looked so good I had to give it a go.

Ours is super simple, as is the original recipe, using a box of cake mix and a box of instant chocolate pudding mix for the topping. Keeping it simple helps it come together quicker without lacking on flavor.

This cake is the opposite of bland or boring. It’s also super fun to make as well.

You make the cake batter and then top it with a creamy ricotta cheese mixture. The coolest part about this cake is while it is baking, the mixes will swap, and the ricotta cheese layer will sink below the chocolate layer.

I just love when there is a surprise while making a recipe; from the outside, it looks like a simply frosted cake, but inside… pure decadence.

Chocolate Italian Love Cake has to grace your table soon, the most delicious of love cakes!

Some of our other favorite cake recipes we have on our site include: RumChata Poke Cake, Pina Colada Cake, and Ding Dong Cake.

a slice of chocolate italian love cake on a spatula in air

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:

  1. It makes a lot to feed a crowd with easy-to-find ingredients; all family members love this.
  2. Great for a make-ahead dessert option since it needs to set up in the fridge.
  3. Using a box cake mix helps cut down on time.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED (SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST FOR THE FULL RECIPE CARD):

  • Box of chocolate cake mix
  • Water
  • Eggs
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Whole milk ricotta cheese
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cold Milk
  • Chocolate instant pudding mix
  • Whipped topping – like cool whip
overhead image of ingredients needed to make chocolate italian love cake

HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE ITALIAN LOVE CAKE RECIPE:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Mix the cake mix per the directions on the back of the box. Pour the chocolate cake batter into the prepared pan.
  3. In a large separate bowl, mix the ricotta, eggs, sugar, and vanilla with an electric hand mixer until smooth.
  4. Spoon the ricotta mixture on top of the cake batter. Bake for 1 hour, place on a wire rack, and let the cake cool completely.
collage of images showing how to make the cake for chocolate italian love cake
  1. Once cooled, place the milk in a large bowl. Start adding the pudding mix a little at a time until fully mixed in.
  2. Add half of the whipped topping to the pudding mixture and fully mix it in. Add the remaining whipped topping and mix until combined with no streaks.
  3. Smooth the topping on top of the cooled cake. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 6 hours or up to overnight. Slice and serve.
collage of images on how to make the frosting for chocolate italian love cake

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS RECIPE:

WHAT IS ITALIAN LOVE CAKE?

Italian love cake is a dessert made with layers of chocolate cake, sweetened ricotta cheese, and a creamy chocolate pudding topping.

It is a popular dessert in Italian-American culture and is often served on special occasions such as Valentine’s Day and birthdays.

A relatively simple dessert to make, and it can be easily customized to suit your taste. For example, you can add different flavors to the ricotta cheese, such as lemon, orange, or vanilla.

You can also add different toppings to the cake, such as whipped cream, chocolate chips, or nuts.

This is a great option if you are looking for a delicious and easy-to-make dessert. It is sure to impress your guests and bring a smile to their faces.

DO I HAVE TO USE A BOX MIX?

I have never tried this method without a box mix. I would imagine it would come out the same way.

Make sure you use a chocolate cake recipe for a 9×13 baking dish.

a slice of chocolate italian love cake on a white plate

DO I HAVE TO USE WHIPPED TOPPING?

No, you can make your own whipped cream in place of whipped topping.

To do so, add 2 cups of heavy whipping cream to a large bowl or into the bowl of a stand mixer with 1/2 cup powdered sugar.

Whip until stiff peaks form, then continue with the recipe as written.

CAN I MAKE THIS AHEAD OF TIME?

Yes, this cake needs to be chilled for at least 6 hours, making it the perfect make-ahead dessert.

ANY ADDITIONS OR SUBSTITUTIONS?

Absolutely, here are some fun additions:

  • Add extracts to the cake batter or sweet ricotta mixture, I suggest orange, strawberry, or almond.
  • Swirl in chocolate chips into the cake batter
  • Top with chocolate sauce, sprinkles, nuts, or crushed chocolate cookies
  • It’s great for the holiday season, just add holiday-themed sprinkles on top

Substitutions include:

  • Different cake mix flavor, use whatever cake mix you’d like – I love making a red velvet version, I keep everything else the same.
  • Switch up the different puddling flavor for the topping – vanilla, cheesecake, and butterscotch would all be amazing, just make sure it’s instant pudding.
a fork holding up a piece of chocolate italian love cake in air

HOW TO STORE:

Store leftover love cakes in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Best served and eaten cold.

Freeze for up to 3 months.

Place leftovers in the freezer in a freezer-safe container. To thaw, place the dish in the fridge overnight.

DANA’S TIPS AND TRICKS:

  • This makes a large batch, but you can easily double it to feed more or halve the recipe as needed. Bake in an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish to make half a recipe, baking times may vary.
  • Great for a make-ahead dessert.
  • This freezes well, see my tips above on how to store.
  • Use fresh whipped cream in place of the whipped topping.
  • Use any cake mix flavor or pudding mix for the topping to switch things up.
an up close image of a slice of chocolate italian love cake on a white plate with a bite taken out

In need of a unique, special occasion cake? Love cakes are the perfect option, you must try our Chocolate Love Cake Recipe!

If you’ve tried this CHOCOLATE ITALIAN LOVE CAKE RECIPE, let me know how it turned out in the comments! You can follow me over on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM OR FACEBOOK to find some more of our mouthwatering recipes! 

This Silly Girls Kitchen Logo
5 from 7 votes

Chocolate Italian Love Cake

Author Dana at ThisSillyGirlsKitchen.com
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Chill Time 6 hours
Decadent and rich cake with a silky smooth topping, Chocolate Italian Love Cake is the perfect end to any meal. A chocolate lovers dream dessert.
Servings 15 servings

Ingredients
  

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
  • Mix the cake mix per the directions on the back of the box. Pour the chocolate cake batter into the prepared pan.
  • In a large separate bowl, mix the ricotta, eggs, sugar, and vanilla with an electric hand mixer until smooth.
  • Spoon the ricotta mixture on top of the cake batter. Bake for 1 hour, place on a wire rack, and let the cake cool completely.
  • Once cooled, place the milk in a large bowl. Start adding the pudding mix a little at a time until fully mixed in.
  • Add half of the whipped topping to the pudding mixture and fully mix it in. Add the remaining whipped topping and mix until combined with no streaks.
  • Smooth the topping on top of the cooled cake. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 6 hours or up to overnight. Slice and serve.

Notes

Nutrition does not account for ingredients needed on the back of the box to make the cake batter.
  • This makes a large batch, but you can easily double it to feed more or halve the recipe as needed. Bake in an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish to make half a recipe, baking times may vary.
  • Great for a make-ahead dessert.
  • This freezes well, see my tips above on how to store.
  • Use fresh whipped cream in place of the whipped topping.
  • Use any cake mix flavor or pudding mix for the topping to switch things up.

Nutrition

Calories: 409kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.005g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 496mg | Potassium: 269mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 395IU | Calcium: 228mg | Iron: 2mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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5 from 7 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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3 Comments

  1. It doesn’t say to do so in the recipe, but from the pictures I assume you invert the cake before adding the whipped topping, so the ricotta layer is on the bottom?

  2. No, the ricotta mixture sinks to the bottom while baking.

  3. I have made this recipe for years. It is so good. I add mini chocolate chips and maraschino cherries to the ricotta as well.

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