Italian Love Cake: Happy Valentine’s Day

Not sure on the history of why this is called love cake, but I will tell you its two major components are items I love dearly: chocolate & cheese!! (It’s ricotta, chill) Anyway, it’s not super laborious, but it’s also not your traditional cake. Set aside a good amount of time to make this and it’s actually best if you make the night before serving. Also! there’s an element of magic involved. That’s right kids, magic.

  • 1 boxed chocolate cake mix AND the ingredients listed on the box (I know I’m a disappointment to Martha but whatever, I love me a solid shortcut)
  • 2 lbs. (32 ounces) ricotta cheese (seemed like an insane amount when I was buying it but is actually the right quantity)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar (my coworkers seemed to think 1 cup would’ve been better as that layer wasn’t quite as sweet, so use your judgment)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (5.1 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 cup cold milk (yes that seems like too little, but just trust the recipe please, also I may swap this for Kahlua next time and see if that improves/ruins this “frosting”)
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9×13 inch pan and set aside. In a large bowl, prepare your cake mix batter according to the directions on the box. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a super strong whisking arm like mine), beat together the ricotta cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan and use an off-set spatula to spread evenly in the pan. Next, carefully pour the ricotta mixture evenly over the top of the cake batter. Gently spread the ricotta mixture so it evenly covers the cake batter. (The layers will switch while baking so the ricotta moves to the bottom and cake to the top – like magic or the scientific reason that ricotta weighs more than cake batter, whatever I am sticking with MAGIC.)

Bake for 60 minutes or until cake is set. Let cake cool completely before “frosting.”

Once the cake is cool, whisk together the pudding mix and milk until combined. Gently 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, or overnight, before serving. You know what -this cake SHOULD be called Love Cake because if I have to wait overnight to dive into this puppy I must really love you/it.

Not a very “pretty” picture but this is all I could sneak in as my coworkers devoured the cake.

IMG_6405

We are sending you all loads of Italian love this valentine’s day: tanti baci!

Happy Eating, XO.

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