Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Italian Love Cake

It's already February 8 and this is the first new recipe of 2023. Better late than never, I guess. And what could be better then a perfect recipe for Valentine's Day!?! I actually made this cake for a birthday, but since it's called LOVE cake and all, I thought it might inspire some of you to make a special dessert next week. 

Truth is, this is a special dessert no matter when you make it. It's super rich and chocolatey, and sort of cheesecakey (but note that my kids who don't "like" cheesecake ate this up without complaint, and with great praise!). The ricotta layer is really less like cheesecake and more like a creamy, solid base for the chocolate to rest on. (!) 

This cake is one of those fun ones that reverses layers in the oven. You make the chocolate layer first and pour it in the pan (don't bake yet!) then add the ricotta layer on top. The ricotta is heavier, so it sinks to the bottom while it bakes.

The cake is topped with a light and creamy pudding/cool whip frosting which is a great complement to the rich cake. This makes enough cake for a crowd, but the leftovers also keep really well in the fridge -- in fact, you'll want to plan ahead a bit as the cake is best after it has set in the fridge at least overnight before you serve it.

So get ready to show your love through this delicious cake - next week or some other random day. There's never a bad day to show love, or to eat cake.

Italian Love Cake
1 package chocolate or devil's food cake mix, plus ingredients to make cake 
2 pounds ricotta cheese
4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 (3.9 oz) package instant chocolate pudding
1 cup milk
16 oz. whipped topping, like Cool Whip, thawed

In a mixing bowl, combine the cake mix and the ingredients to make the cake as directed on the box (usually 3 eggs, oil and water). Stir well until the mix and ingredients are fully incorporated. Spread the batter into a greased 9x13 cake pan.

In another large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the ricotta, eggs, and sugar together until creamy. Add the vanilla and mix well. Carefully pour the ricotta mixture over the chocolate cake mixture in the pan.

Bake at 350 for one hour.

Remove from the oven and place the cake pan on a wire rack to cool completely. Once it's cooled, you can frost, or you can refrigerate. The cake is best if it sits for at least a day before serving.

For the frosting, combine the pudding and milk in a medium bowl and whisk until thick and smooth. Carefully fold in the
 whipped topping. Spread on top of the cake, and refrigerate until serving. 

Recipe Source: The Seasoned Mom

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