Chocolate Italian Love Cake

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Chocolate Italian Love Cake

Hands down, the most popular recipe on this blog! This Chocolate Italian Love Cake is the perfect make-ahead dessert! It tastes better after a day or so chilling out in the fridge.

  • 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Serves 12
  • Medium



Chocolate Italian Love Cake - Chew Nibble Nosh I love this cake. My husband loves this cake.  My children love this cake.

I’m guessing a lot of other people do too, and that’s how it got its name.  It certainly is yummy, and it’s a pretty impressive dessert for being so simple to put together.  It’s a great dessert for a crowd, or pot luck, because you can make it ahead of time and it actually tastes better the longer you let it hang out in the fridge!

I started by mixing together a box of chocolate cake mix and the ingredients it asks for on the package.  You could easily substitute any other cake flavor, whatever suits your fancy, really.  I was in a chocoholic kind of mood, and was serving this to a group of women who tend to enjoy their chocolate as well, so I went with fudgy.

Once the cake batter was mixed, I got another bowl and mixed together some ricotta cheese (There’s the ‘Italian’ part.) , eggs, sugar and vanilla together.

Chocolate Italian Love Cake 1 - Chew Nibble Nosh

I got out a 9×13 inch pan and sprayed it with nonstick spray.  Then, I poured the chocolate cake batter into the dish.  Once it was spread out evenly, I carefully poured the cheese mixture over the top of the cake batter.

Then, I popped it into the oven, and that’s where the magic happens.

As the cake bakes, the layers switch places!  I didn’t know this the first time I made the cake, so needless to say, I was pretty surprised when I took my first Love Cake out of the oven!

Chocolate Italian Love Cake 2 - Chew Nibble Nosh

That big crack in the middle of the cake didn’t worry me in the least, because once the cake was cool, I got to work on my frosting.

The frosting is simply chocolate pudding folded into Cool Whip.  If you’re changing up the cake flavor, you could just change up the pudding flavor to follow suit!

Chocolate Italian Love Cake 3 - Chew Nibble Nosh

I spread the frosting all over the top of the cake, and then it went to hang out in the fridge for the rest of the day.

Chocolate Italian Love Cake 4 - Chew Nibble Nosh

Every time I cut into one of these cakes in front of people, there’s always an “Oooh!  Aaaah!” moment.  Nobody expects it to come out in such perfectly formed layers.  In fact, I’m tickled every time that it does too!

Besides being pretty, it’s simple, and really, really tasty.

Gotta love it!

Chocolate Italian Love Cake - Chew Nibble Nosh


Adapted from Paula Deen




Preheat your oven to 350*F and spray a 9x13 inch pan with nonstick spray.


In a large bowl, mix together your cake mix according to the directions on the box. Set aside.


In another bowl, using a hand mixer, beat together the ricotta cheese, 4 eggs, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.


*The following directions are correct. The layers switch during the baking time!
Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking dish. Spread to fill the pan evenly. Once the cake batter is in place, carefully pour the cheese mixture evenly over the top of the cake batter. Spread to cover the cake batter as best as you can.


Bake the cake at 350* for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.


Once the cake is cool, stir the pudding mix and milk together with a whisk until combined. Carefully, 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 before serving. It tastes even better the next day.

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Otherwise, did it bake up OK? I’ve never had an issue with the layers switching, so I don’t really know what to say in that regard, but if it still tastes OK, I wouldn’t be too worried about it! 😉 Hope you enjoy it.

This is a great cake to make however I’m reading a lot of comments that the layers never switched over. Ladies you must do exactly as the recipe states, do not try and think what is best for the cake. Trust me you will have a wonderful cake! I also put my own spin on this and did a lemon love cake.

I have made this cake MANY times, and it came out PERFECTLY EVERY TIME! My family is actually upset if I don’t make it every Thanksgiving. Like Nancy stated….you MUST follow the recipe exactly! If you do, you will find it switches magically,every time.

My only thought to it not switching is altitude, every time I cooked in LA and TX it would switch, in WY it didn’t swap until I followed the high altitude version of the cake recipe.

My layers didn’t switch either. 🙁 I was making a dessert for a party, but had to go to plan B. Maybe it will still taste good!

My layers didn’t switch either! So, Im the 3rd person to say this…..what’s up? I followed the recipe exactly as printed!! Disappointed!

I’ve made a similar recipe multiple times without issue. Today when I made this cake, the layers didn’t switch. It turns out that I grabbed brownie mix instead of cake!

Delicious and it switched! Did you make pudding using box instructions or did you just add 1 cup of milk?

The size of the pudding box has changed a bit since I first published this recipe. I just recently made the cake again and used about 1 1/2 cups milk i the pudding mix, instead of just 1 cup, so it was a bit more smooth before folding in the Cool Whip. It turned out beautifully. Hope that helps.

I’ve made this cake SO MANY TIMES and I love this recipe!! For the first time EVER since I discovered this, my layers didn’t switch! I don’t know why?? I used Ghiradelli brand cake mix today. Normally, I use Betty Crocker or Pillsbury.

I made the cake for the first time today, my daughter sent me the recipe. I was so excited to make this birthday cake for my sister –yea mine switched. I got to thinking why some cakes don’t switch and I wondered if it was the ricotta some of you used… I used whole milk ricotta not part skim milk – I think the whole milk ricotta is very heavy and that makes it sink to the bottom. I can’t wait to bring this to her birthday party tomorrow – thanks for the recipe

I also used whole milk ricotta, to no avail. I’ve made this cake many times, and this is the first time my layers didn’t switch. I was hopeful it would still taste good, but I ended up just toss g the whole thing out. It was gross.

Idk why it happened but I’m really upset about it and feel incredibly incompetent, despite having years of successful baking (including this very recipe) under my belt.

Love this cake! This was my first time making it and it was a hit! My layers switched – I used BC cake mix and whole milk ricotta. Delicious!!

Can we just put the ricotta cheese layer first and the chocolate cake on top so we don’t have to worry about it switching layers?

Hi, I think the real key is to use the BC cake mix plus use a glass 13 x 9 baking dish. I did not use the glass (instead opted for an aluminum pan). Plus I think the the whole milk ricotta is necessary to sink. It is SUCH AN EASY and delicious
recipe–if you follow the directions to the T!

Mine didn’t turn out right either. I did everything listed. Could it be that electric stove don’t work? I have an electric stove.

Mine turned out perfect! Got rave reviews from 20 ladies at the nursing home we visit plus 2 neighbors and most of all, my husband. I did question the size of the choc pudding–the larger box is bigger than 5.1 oz. I used the whole box. Should I have divided it?

My layers switched and looked perfect but I think it was slightly over cooked because the cake tasted slightly burnt. I used a Wilton cake pan, not glass. Could that affect the baking time?

I baked the cake (pillsbury), whole milk ricotta…layers switched, but the middle of the cake is undercooked 🙃…I put in back for about 10 minutes…still slightly “wet”…any ideas??? Oh, I used a 13×9 glass pan…it baked up over the top…thankfully no spills in the oven😀

I just actually baked this today for my daughter’s birthday! Mine took a few minutes extra to set this time. Not a ton, but maybe ten more. Then, it fully set as it cooled. Hope yours did too! I also use my glass Pyrex dish.

I made this cake today with some changes and it was perfect! Used 1/2 the amount of ricotta, lower fat, and cake was awesome. For the topping I made chocolate pudding, spread in top then made fresh whip cream as we prefer it over cool whip and spread it on top of pudding….to die for results!!! Love this cake.

My layers didn’t swap either! 🙁 I used Betty Crocker super moist devil’s food cake and Frigo part-skim ricotta cheese.

I made it twice, layers swapped perfectly and it was delicious. I a making another one for an Italian theme dinner in our church , Do you know what it’s called in Italian ??

In the process! Looks like my layers switch! But I won’t have a full 6 hours in the fridge after it cools and ices…maybe only 3…any suggestions? I am considering letting it cool and refrigerate for 2 hours and then add the pudding/cool whip..then in the fridge for 2 more.

I am thinking of making this cake today. But after reading the comments I am wondering, for those that didn’t get the two layers switched, did it taste good? I guess that’s what matters to me. Also in another recipe with exactly the same measurements, she used a 3.9 oz pudding mix instead of 5.1 oz. But that doesn’t have anything to do with the cake though because it’s the top layer.

I just made mine it switched looks great still cooling. Making it for our small group get together tomorrow night. Italian them meal.

I just made mine it switched looks great still cooling. Making it for our small group get together tomorrow night. Italian them meal.

I have made this cake twice before. If you use a devils for cake or any cake batter that is more dense the layers will not switch.

Beautiful!!!! It switched just like you said!!!! My coworkers LOVED this cake! I cut it out into a circle and put it in a pie plate for serving, less cake equals more frosting!!!! Soooo yummy!

I love this recipe!! I used a Betty Crocker triple fudge chocolate cake and I literally watched my layers switch after reading all the comments! & they switched beautifully! I bought a Hershey’s chocolate instant pudding mix and mixed it first w one cup of milk and then folded it into a 32 oz bowl of cool whip instead of a 16oz. I took this for a luncheon and people raced over it! I will make it again for my chocolate lover friends 🤗

For the ricotta layer, how much ricotta cheese do you use comma How much sugar, and how much vanilla? In the frosting you recommend the small box of pudding mix for the large?

I bought a Betty Crocker triple chocolate fudge cake mix…. it says super moist on the box as well. My layers did not switch sadly. Will it not taste as good now? This is my first time making this cake and I want to know if I should make another dessert for my event tomorrow or just hope for the best with this one? I used frigo whole milk ricotta. And my pan was a nice large ceramic 13×9.. it’s a little taller than a regular glass 13×9 on the sides and I’m glad cuz the cake rose quite a bit and may have spilled over on the classic glass one.

Would be helpful to put oven temp and cooking time at top of recipe! Even tho I read through it, took a while to go back and forth to find out temp and time! Plus, I guess I missed, on my read through,where the milk went!!

Did you read the steps of the recipe? The very first step is “Preheat the oven to 350* and spray a 9×13 inch pan with nonstick spray.” And the milk comes in for the step where you mix the topping. I’m wondering if you only read the blog post and not the actual recipe directions? I’m sorry if you had trouble with the recipe. I hope the cake turned out, and that you enjoyed it! Please take a look at it again and if the steps aren’t showing up for you, please let me know. They should be immediately following the blog post.

How are you looking at the post? On a phone or on a computer? There’s the narrative, where I wrote about making it and included pictures of the process, and then the actual recipe follows. It should all be right there.

I do not know what everyone is talking about! I made ’tis cake probably 10 times and it always switched for me. I used different cake mixes and it worked with all. My suggestion is, do not play arond with the recipe and you will get the most delicious cake ever!!!!!!!

Hi! My layers didn’t switch up either…:( but I was wondering what for I start with the ricotta cheese at the bottom nd chocolate layer up top? Will that work?

Made 2 of these for a get together we had. Both switched layers perfectly. This serves up fantastic. One of them I made in a glass 13 x 9, the other one (since I ran out of pans with other foods) was made in one of those cheapie throwaway foil pans, and it turned out just fine too. Thanks for sharing! I wonder if you can freeze this? I made way too much, and have an entire cake left!

For future reference…they freeze beautifully! I covered it very well and froze it for about 2 months. Took out this weekend and it was just as good as the day I made it! #1 recipe in our books!

I have been baking for over 50 years. I bought fresh ricotta( 2 lbs) used the Pillsbury cake mix…My cake not only did not switch layers but it has big bubbles all over it looks like it’s ready to overflow..I am so disgusted. I can bake anything with directions except this cake..Are you buying the creamy ricotta in the cooler section or fresh deli ricotta?

I used creamy ricotta from the dairy section. I wouldn’t think the ricotta would cause that much of a difference unless it was a completely different consistency? Maybe it’s the cake type. I’ve had luck with Betty Crocker’s, as I mentioned in the recipe. I’m sorry your cake didn’t turn out.

Made this last night, followed the recipe exactly. Added 1 teaspoon of almond extract to the cake mix (used Betty Crocker moist chocolate) and my layers came out perfect. The ricotta mixture sank into the cake batter within 10-15min of being in the oven. Thx for a great recipe! Super easy!

I have a theory on the layers not switching (mine didn’t either). The BC cake mix box says to only grease the bottom if using a glass pan (which is what I did). Christine’s says to spray the WHOLE PAN. That could be the problem.

Mine is in the oven right now so I don’t know if the layers will switch. I have made the cake with the same recipe, and the layers switched.

Made this for Christmas. Came out great! Whole family loved it! I’m freezing the leftover. Hope it works and we can enjoy it again.

For future reference…they freeze beautifully! I covered it very well and froze it for about 2 months. Took out this weekend and it was just as good as the day I made it! #1 recipe in our books!

Love this cake recipe & it’s always switched layers until now…I believe it’s the Duncan Hines devil’s food mix’s fault! Too heavy, my guess. Use Betty Crocker to be sure- fail proof.

Hi I’m looking to make this on a 8×8 baking dish for 4 people, can you give me an accurate measurement to use on this please!🙏

I would simply try to cut the recipe in half. I’d make the whole box of cake mix, but only pour half into the dish. And then 1/2 the other ingredients. I can’t guarantee that would work, because I’ve never done it, but that’s what I’d start with! Keep an eye on it during baking time.

I’m looking to make this cake today, but unfortunately I only have a 8×11.5 pan. Do you think it will work still? Any suggestions on me modifying the receipe?

Betty Crocker cake batter tends to be thinner as Pillsbury and duncan hines have less liquids. I would suggest adding additional 1/4c water to Pillsbury batter to thin it out. Too thick of cake batter inhibits cheese mixture to settle to bottom of pan.

I made this for the first time tonight. I used Part Skim Ricotta and BC Choc Fudge Mix and they switched!!! I also used an aluminum pan…no problems!!! This was a trial run for next weekend to see how it is. Making it again for a Youth Fundraiser Supper at church!!!

I made this today and followed your directions with good results. Used a glass Pyrex, low fat ricotta, and devils food because Llidls didn’t have plain chocolate cake mix. The mixes flipped as predicted and the result was perfection. This was a dry run for Italian Day at my grandson’s school. I’m sure it will be a favorite. Thank you.

I used Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix as it’s my favorite and whole milk ricotta. Layers switched perfectly and it’s currently cooling. So excited to eat it! Thanks for a great recipe!

Love love love this cake the layers switched perfectly the trick is you have to use the betty Crocker cake mix because it’s more liquidy my only problem is I have an electric stove and it comes out slightly burnt after 40 minutes

Love love love this cake the layers switched perfectly the trick is you have to use the betty Crocker cake mix because it’s more liquidy my only problem is I have an electric stove and it comes out slightly burnt after 40 minutes

I need a deeper pan! Mine switched and it’s cooling. I used Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge and whole milk ricotta 😁

I made this for a church dinner with an Italian theme . It turned out perfect. I had no problems , my cake switched and was delicious. Thank you

I have found that if you use 1/2 cup of mascarpone with the ricotta, eggs, sugar and milk it makes a much better mixture, and for the frosting instead of using whipped topping use 12 ounces of mascarpone with the pudding mix and milk. makes a much nicer topping and it doesn’t have to stay refrigerated.

I’ve made this cake umpteen times….it always switched. My recipe calls for marble
cake mix and I always use Duncan Hines. I use any brand of ricotta, but only whole milk and bake in aluminum pan. Never a problem. Everyone loves it!

My 17 year old grandson made this cake for dessert last night. Turned out beautifully and it was delicious. He added his own personal touch by adding mini chocolate chips to the top.

Loved this cake!! Whole milk ricotta is a must!! First time I tried the recipe I used part skim ricotta by accident and it didn’t turn out.

I made this cake for the first time and it came out perfectly! The layers switched so it looked pretty but more importantly it is absolutely delicious!

I used whole milk ricotta, BC cake mix and a glass pan. When I carefully poured my cheese mixture over the cake it just went to the bottom. There wasn’t any spreading it on top since it just went into the cake. Did anyone else have this problem? It’s cooking now so we shall see what happens when I cut into it tomorrow. The cake is definitely on top. But I wasn’t expecting it to fall upon pouring.

I followed the directions to the letter and my cake didn’t switch. But I used a metal pan and Ghiradelli cake mix. I’m just going to turn it out onto a cake sheet and frost it. Makes me sad but fake it til you make it. I’ll try again in the future.

I made the chocolate layer from scratch, and used whole milk ricotta for the filling. It flipped beautifully. For the frosting, I made chocolate ganache instead of pudding.

I made the chocolate layer from scratch, and used whole milk ricotta for the filling. It flipped beautifully. For the frosting, I made chocolate ganache instead of chocolate pudding . It was delicious!

Followed the directions to a T and it turned out perfect! Having an Italian New Year’s Eve Party with friends and I was in charge of bringing dessert. Awesome!

I am making it right now. I just peaked and the layers are switching as I watched.
How cool. I can’t wait for this to finish.

A 5.9 oz box of instant chocolate pudding calls for 3 cups of milk to make pudding. Do I use 3 cups or 1 cup as listed in your ingredients?

So I’ve made this before once. It came out amazing. The only thing I did differently was use an aluminum pan last time and this time a glass one. Doesn’t look like my layers have switched and it’s due to come out in 5 mins 😢I may not have a dessert for my function tonight. I only made this because it was so great last time

This is the easiest dessert, even for beginners. And it’s such a wow when served. The only thing I did was for the 5.1 oz pudding I used 1 1/2 cups of milk. If I use a 3 oz. Pudding I use 1 c. Milk. No problem with layers switching. I used BC Fudge Cake mix, and followed direction on cake box. I use whole ricotta. I decorate with holiday themed jimmies, pastels at Easter, at Christmas I use red and green. Always a hit, you can’t go wrong with this one.👍❤

I’m at a bit of a higher altitude, so I went back and forth on whether to do the high altitude version. I decided to try and stick with the regular version. I also made the recipe as is with Betty Crocker chocolate fudge cake mix, but divided it up into two 8×8 metal pans, so that I could give one to a friend. I was worried it wouldn’t switch, but it did!!! 🙂 I tried a little bite before frosting and it tastes delicious!

I did not want to create an account just to write a review but I just had to. This cake is fantastic. I’ve made it several times and recently made a Lemon version. I read a review somewhere that said they tried lemon with success so I had to try it. Oh My Goodness that is also WONDERFUL. I think it may even be better than the original Chocolate version. Bet there are many other variations you could make. I did not have any trouble with the cake and cheese layers switching. This is a wonderful recipe. I have tried a couple other recipe for Italian Love Cake and this is my favorite recipe. THANK YOU SO MUCH for posting this recipe.

I made this for the first time and my layers did turn out just fine, but I should of added more milk in the pudding. It doesn’t look as dark and gooey as the picture but It was delicious..

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