Share the love with Chocolate-Ricotta Love Cake. An easy, make-ahead dessert that starts with a box mix that’s impressive enough to serve company.
Help yourself to love-by-the-slice and an easy, make-ahead
cake that starts with a box mix!
Chocolate-Ricotta Love Cake is perfect anytime,
but especially appropriate for Valentine’s Day.
There are three layers to love in this cake:
♥ a chocolate cake layer
♥ a creamy ricotta layer, reminiscent of cheesecake
♥ and an easy cocoa-mascarpone frosting.
To make this cake, you start with a chocolate box cake mix, (I used a Duncan Hine’s Devil’s Food Cake mix.)
Follow the directions on the box of your cake mix for baking,
using the quantity of eggs, oil and water called for on the box.
In addition to the cake mix you’ll need your ricotta filling ingredients:
♥ 28 ounces ricotta cheese, part skim or full fat (3 1/2 cups, I like the smooth texture of Galbani)
♥ 4 ounces mascarpone (1/2 cup)
♥ 3 large eggs
♥ 3/4 cup sugar
♥ 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
The ricotta-mascarpone filling is poured over your chocolate cake batter layer.
The cake layer rises as it bakes with the heavier ricotta filling sinking to the bottom of the pan.
Don’t fret over any cracks and crevices in your cake, as they will be covered by your frosting.
The Cocoa-Mascarpone Frosting that has a chocolate mousse-like texture and it easy to make.
♥ 10 ounces mascarpone (1 1/4 cups)
♥ 1 cup whole milk
♥ 3.9-ounce box instant chocolate pudding mix
♥ 1 tablespoon sugar
♥ Optional: 2 ounces dark chocolate (in a block or bar) for grating
Beat together pudding mix, sugar and mascarpone until smooth; slowly add milk beating until incorporated.
Let stand until thickened about 5 minutes; spread over cooled cake.
To add more chocolate if desired, top the frosting with some grated chocolate
from a 2 oz. block or bar.
I adapted this recipe from Valerie Bertinelli’s Sicilian Love Cake,
inspired by a recipe for Sicilian Chocolate Love Cake
she found in a small community Italian-American newspaper.
I searched but could never find the history of why it’s called ‘love cake,’
but it’s appropriately named as there’s a lot to love about this cake!
The real star of this cake is the creamy ricotta-mascarpone layer,
resulting in a cake that’s not overly sweet, which we prefer.
Valerie’s recipe didn’t call for refrigerating the cake before serving, but I agree with other reviewers
that the texture and flavor improves by Day 2 or even Day 3,
becoming more moist and flavorful the longer it sits in the fridge.
For that reason, this cake is a great make-ahead dessert, which makes
the chilled cake especially appealing for the warm, summer months.
This cake will take anywhere from 45 – 60 minutes to bake. (My cake baked in 55 minutes.)
Factors that affect baking times are the age of your oven, electric vs. gas, humidity,
elevation and ultimately the pan you use.
In general when it comes to cakes, a lighter pan promotes more even baking.
When baking cake in a dark pan, reduce your oven temperature 25 degrees.
To be on the safe side, start checking the cake about 10 minutes before the recipe says it should be done.
Glass vs. Metal Pans:
The insulating properties of glass make it slow to heat up
and consequently it retains heat longer than metal.
If you have ever baked brownies or a cake in a glass pan, you probably discovered
to your dismay that the edges are hard and dry by the time the center has set.
The rule of thumb for baking in a glass pan is to lower the
oven temperature by 25°F and bake up to 10 minutes longer.
You can read more about choosing the right pan from King Arthur Flour, HERE.
Full disclosure: This cake is a bit of an indulgence with the price of eggs these days
as this cake will require 6 eggs in total; 3 for the cake and 3 for the filling.
Mascarpone is an Italian cream cheese and can be harder to find
than regular cream cheese, as well as pricier.
Next time I make it, I’ll substitute cream cheese for the mascarpone
which offers a similar tang and texture.
Chocolate-Ricotta Love Cake
- 9 x 13-inch pan
- 1 box chocolate cake mix plus the ingredients called for on box (eggs, water, oil)
- 28 ounces ricotta cheese 3 1/2 cups, part skim or full fat
- 4 ounces mascarpone 1/2 cup
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 10 ounces mascarpone 1 1/4 cups
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3.9 ounce box instant chocolate pudding mix
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Optional: 2 ounces dark chocolate in a block or bar for grating
- Preheat to 350 degrees F.
- Spray a 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick spray.
- Prepare the cake batter according to the cake mix directions, pour into prepared pan; set aside
To make the filling:
- Combine the ricotta, mascarpone, eggs, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until incorporated and smooth.
- Gently pour the filling onto the cake pan of chocolate batter so the top is completely covered. Smooth filling with offset spatula to edges of pan.
- Bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean and the chocolate layer has risen to the top, 45 – 55 minutes. If center is still jiggly after 45 minutes, shield top of cake with aluminum foil to prevent cake from overbrowning and bake until set.
- Let the cake cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting:
- Beat together pudding mix, sugar and mascarpone until smooth; slowly add milk beating until incorporated. Let stand until thickened about 5 minutes.
- Using an offset spatula, spread the frosting evenly over the cooled cake.
- Use a peeler to grate chocolate curls to garnish the cake.
- Refrigerate 6 hours up to overnight before serving. Cake gets better and more moist the longer it sits. Store in refrigerator, covered.
- Substitute cream cheese for mascarpone for the same tang and texture and more affordable alternative.
- The insulating properties of glass make it slow to heat up and consequently it retains heat longer than metal. A good rule of thumb for baking in a glass pan is to lower the oven temperature by 25°F and bake up to 10 minutes longer.
- A lighter metal pan promotes more even baking. When baking cake in a dark metal pan, reduce your oven temperature 25 degrees and start checking the cake about 10 minutes before the recipe says it should be done.
Looking for an easy no-bake dessert to love?
Satisfy your inner-chocoholic with this No Bake 5-Ingredient Chocolate Tart,
guaranteed to make your sweetheart, family and friends swoon!
Find 14+ Sweets & Treats to celebrate Valentine’s Day, HERE.
Lola and Sophie wish you lots of love on Valentine’s Day
and plenty of treats!
🐾 ❤️ 🐾 ❤️
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