Chocolate Strawberry Italian Love Cake

I’m the worst food blogger ever. You know why? I totally forget to take pictures of the process sometimes. I get so focused and involved in cooking or baking that I completely forget to pick up my phone and capture the moment. It really shouldn’t matter so much but in order to make Google happy, I need to post lots of pictures and lots of words. I guess I’ll just have to be rebellious this time because this is what I got…

But really…do you need anything else? Look at this beauty! My Chocolate Strawberry Italian Love Cake is just as delicious as it is beautiful. I have been making it without the strawberries for years and now I can’t live without this new version.

What is Italian Love Cake? The origin is a bit of a mystery according to my research so this is what I think: The ricotta makes it “Italian” and when you taste this cake for the first time, it will be love at first bite. Sounds like a good story to me!

When my kids were younger, they loved watching this cake bake in the oven. The ricotta layer swaps with the cake batter and it’s like magic the way they both end up separated. Make sure to turn the oven light on and watch!

I love the addition of the strawberries to the ricotta so much! They add a touch of tart and sweet that really enhances the flavor. Now, if you aren’t a fan of ricotta this might not be for you. I’m just being honest! I love the texture but my ricotta hating daughter wasn’t sold. For the cake layer you know I love a dessert that uses a box cake! You can use any flavor chocolate you like but I prefer the “double fudge” kind. The whipped “mock mousse” layer is divine! Just 2 ingredients are transformed into the most delicious, fluffy, perfectly sweet chocolate mousse. I think it might be my new “go to” frosting for chocolate cakes!

Valentine’s Day is just a few days away and I can’t think of a more perfect dessert! Chocolate and strawberries are a classic combo for the holiday and this dessert is a delicious new spin that is sure to make any occasion special.

Sponsored post for Lee’s Marketplace. Items on sale the week of February 11-17: chocolate cake mix, ricotta cheese, eggs, sugar, vegetable oil

Chocolate Strawberry Italian Love Cake

Ingredients

1 box chocolate cake mix (plus eggs, oil, water to prepare)
32 oz part-skim ricotta cheese
¾ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 eggs
1 pint strawberries, hulled and diced
1 (5.9 oz) box instant chocolate pudding mix (large box)
3 cups heavy whipping cream

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare cake mix as directed on box. Pour batter into a greased 9×13 baking dish. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combing ricotta, sugar, vanilla, and eggs. Blend well. (A stand mixer with paddle works best) Fold in the strawberries. Pour and spread mixture carefully and evenly over the cake batter.

Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes if using a glass dish. Add 15 minutes if using metal. Be careful not to overbake. It’s done when inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Using an electric mixer, blend heavy cream with pudding mix until combined and a thick mousse texture. Add more cream (or milk) if it gets too thick. Spread evenly over cake once it has completely cooled. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.