In the Kitchen: Italian Love Cake

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate than with this Italian Love Cake! My Nonna Carmela always makes this cake for special occasions in our family, and it is one of our favorite desserts. This cake is the perfect way to show your loved ones just how much you care this Valentine's Day and every day. Keep reading to check out the step by step recipe. And don't forget our secret ingredient: Lots of Love! 

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Prep

Pre-heat your oven to 350ºF.

Ingredients

The Cake:

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  • 2 lbs of Ricotta
  • 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla Extract 
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1.5 Cups of Sugar
  • 1 Box of Yellow Cake Mix (Plus ingredients on box)

The Frosting:

  • 1.5 Cups of Whole Milk
  • 1 Large Box of Chocolate Pudding
  • 8 oz. of Cool Whip

Instructions: 

In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs and the sugar. Using a hand mixer, beat together until combined. Next, add in the ricotta. Break it apart slightly with a spatula, then mix together with an electric hand mixer until completely combined.  Lastly, add in the vanilla. Keep mixing until all ingredients are combined and your batter reaches a smooth, non-grainy consistency. It should look like this: 

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Next, in another large mixing bowl, mix together your yellow cake mix with the instructed ingredients on the box (mine included vegetable oil, eggs and water). Mix together with the hand mixer. Once both batters are completed, it's time to layer the batters into a large baking pan. Make sure to spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray. First, spread the ricotta mixture evenly on the bottom of the pan. Then layer the cake mix on top (see image below). Bake for 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes, stick a wooden skewer or toothpick into the cake to ensure that it is cooked all the way through. The top will turn a golden brown color when it is finished (see image below). 

Then, let the cake cool at room temperature. Once it is cooled you can place it in the refrigerator. It is time to make the frosting! 

In another large mixing bowl, combine the milk and the instant pudding with the hand mixer. Once fully combined, start adding the cool whip, little by little. You can either stir it in by hand with a spatula or use the hand mixer. See images below for the desired texture and color. Once ingredients are fully combined, spread the frosting evenly onto the cake using a spatula. We then used a decorating tool to give the frosting a little design. It was the perfect finishing touch!

Next, it's time to decorate your Valentine's table and serve up some cake! We decorated the table using a vintage table cloth and some decorative plates and accent pieces. 

I had a great day baking with my grandma and making one of our family's most favorite and traditional cakes. But it didn't last long - soon enough my cousins came over and we devoured the cake! I know this one will be a hit with your friends, family, and loved ones as well. 

Some photos of grandma and I. Love, love, love her! 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tanti baci,

The Sweet Paisana

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