This swoon-worthy chocolate dessert starts with a box of cake mix — the rest is culinary magic

I don’t know what the official name is for the kind of dessert I call “wet cake”. What I do know is that I’ve never come across a piece of rum cake, tiramisu or tres leches that I didn’t like.

When I first saw the tantalizingly named “Sicilian Love Cake” recipe in “Enough Already: Learning to Love as I Am Today” by Valérie Bertinelli, I had no idea how it was created. fluffy and magical chocolate that I had encountered. I just knew it started with a box mix, which is always a good place to start.

Like hot fudge cake or St. Louis gooey cake, Sicilian love cake is a bit of culinary magic. A cheesecake-like filling is layered on plain old chocolate cake batter. The filling flows as the cake bakes, turning the whole dessert into something new and amazing. Plus, it’s topped with a chocolate pudding frosting. The end result is a sheet cake guaranteed to make any crowd swoon.

Bertinelli makes his Sicilian love cake with mascarpone. Although mascarpone is one of the most delicious foods on Earth, I chose to omit it from my “Quick & Dirty” version. It would have added another ingredient to my shopping list – and $12 to the price of my cake. If you’re feeling flush, feel free to follow Bertinelli’s original equation.

RELATED: ‘I Bought the Whole Food Industry’: Valerie Bertinelli on Loving Herself, Food and Betty White

I used the same bowl for all three separate elements of my cake, but you have permission to mess up as many bowls as you want. If you are serving a small group, simply leave half the cake unfrosted and freeze it for later. You won’t regret having an extra Sicilian love cake in your freezer on a rainy day.


Recipe: Sicilian Love Cake
Inspired by Valerie Bertinelli “Enough already: learning to love the way I am today”



  • 1 box chocolate cake mix, plus ingredients listed in directions
  • Extra oil, to grease the pan


  • 1 tub of ricotta cheese, 32 ounces
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 box instant chocolate pudding mix


  1. Preheat the oven according to the instructions on the box of cake mix. Coat a 9 x 13 inch skillet with oil. In a large bowl, prepare the cake batter (as directed), pour it into the pan and set the pan aside.
  2. Combine ricotta, eggs, sugar and salt in the same bowl and mix until smooth.
  3. Pour the filling into the cake tin over the chocolate batter.
  4. Bake until the cake is firm and the chocolate layer has reached the top, about 40 minutes. Let the cake cool completely.
  5. In a bowl, mix the pudding mix and milk until smooth, then frost the cake. Serve it straight from the pan.

Cook’s Notes

The box of chocolate cake mix I used calls for 3 eggs and 1/3 cup oil.

Sicilian love cake is so good you can skip the frosting altogether and serve it with just a dusting of icing sugar.

If you’re feeling festive, you can also cut out individual portions with cookie cutters and frost them individually.

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