This is another recipe which I’m not sure how I missed over the years. Judging by the reviews on Recipe Genius, which used to be Recipezaar, Italian Love Cake has been on the Internet since at least 2002. It seems like an American-Italian recipe that you’d find in church cookbooks from the eastern part of the United States in that it’s “Americanized” with the cake mix, pudding mix and Cool Whip, but has Italian dessert qualities such as being less sweet, both cake-y and creamy and really pretty.
Italian Love Cake is also easy! You start with regular cake mix — any brand will do. Then you mix the batter as directed and pour it in the pan. The second step is to mix together some ricotta, eggs and vanilla which you pour over the top. Here’s a lovely photo of mine before it went in the oven.
And here it is after.
Once cooled you mix together some pudding mix and milk, fold in some Cool Whip, then spread over the top. Also, this is where recipes differ. Some versions call for a 5.1 oz box of pudding mix while some call for 3.9. And on top of that the amount of whipped topping varies too. I went with the 3.8 oz box of pudding mix and used 1 1/2 containers of Cool Whip — so 12 oz total. You could get away with using 1 8 oz carton or maybe 2, but I liked the flavor of 1 1/2 cartons. Also, I used a glass dish because I was in a glass dish mood and it baked up perfectly at 325. I will post an update letting you know how it holds up in the freezer.
- 1 (15.25 oz) package Betty Crocker Super Moist Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 (32 oz) container whole milk ricotta cheese
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (or vanilla bean paste)
- 1 3.8 oz. package instant chocolate pudding mix
- 1 cup cold whole milk
- 2 (8 oz) containers whipped topping**
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F if using a metal pan and 325 degrees F if using a 9x13 inch glass baking dish. I used 325 and a 9x13 inch glass baking dish. Grease bottom of the pan (or dish).
- In a large mixing bowl, prepare the cake mix as directed on package. In this case that would be Betty Crocker Super Moist, so you mix the mix, water, eggs and oil and beat for 2 minutes. Pour into the baking pan.
- In another bowl, beat together the ricotta cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
- Spoon or pour the cheese mixture evenly over the top of the cake batter.
- Bake the cake at 350 for 1 hour or 325 for 1 hour and 5 minutes(if using a glass dish) or until the cake seems firm to touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
- To make the topping, whisk together the pudding mix and milk. Fold the whipped topping into the pudding, then spread all over the cake. Cover and chill overnight (or for at least 4 hours minimum).