Easy Chocolate Italian Love Cake

This Chocolate Italian Love Cake starts with a boxed cake mix for an easy dessert recipe that only looks fancy! This 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!

I promise, though — you don’t really need an excuse to enjoy this delicious Italian Love Cake recipe! In fact, the boys and I whipped up this treat on a recent snow day — because baking seemed like a cozy thing to do while we were all housebound. No holiday, no birthday, just a fun way to spend time together in the kitchen!

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! It’s one of the most moist and flavorful cakes that I’ve ever made!

Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Cake Mix Recipe, chocolate cake, Love Cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Cooling Time 8 hours
Total Time 9 hours 20 minutes
Servings 12 large slices
Calories 549.2 kcal
Author Blair


  • 1 (15.25 oz) package chocolate cake mix, PLUS additional ingredients called for on the package (my cake mix package required 1.25 cups water, 1/2 cup oil, and 3 eggs)
  • For the Filling:
  • 2 lbs ricotta cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
For the Frosting:
  • 1 (3.9 oz) package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 16 oz. frozen whipped topping, thawed (such as Cool Whip)

Prepare the Cake Batter:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9x13 inch pan with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together cake batter according to package instructions.
  3. Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking dish. Spread to fill the pan evenly. Set aside (do NOT bake yet).
Prepare the Filling:
  1. In another bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together ricotta cheese, eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  2. 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).
  3. Bake the cake for 1 hour.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
Prepare the Frosting:
  1. 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.
  2. Spread frosting on top of cooled cake. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving.


  1. 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!
  2. Check your box of cake mix to see which ingredients are required to prepare the batter. Different brands require different ingredients.
  3. 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.
  4. Vanilla Italian Love Cake: use a white cake mix. Use a box of vanilla pudding for the topping.
  5. Lemon Italian Love Cake: use a lemon cake mix. Use a box of vanilla pudding for the topping and add plenty of fresh lemon zest to give the topping a bright citrus flavor!
  6. 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.

Recipe adapted from: https://www.theseasonedmom.com/

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