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Layered Pumpkin Love Cake

Layered Pumpkin Love Cake

This Pumpkin Love Cake is sure to be a fall favorite! This three-layer cake recipe has everything you need in one - a pumpkin cake and creamy ricotta layer topped with a layer of pumpkin spice flavored whipped topping. It's perfect for Thanksgiving or Fall season holidays such as Halloween.

pumpkin ricotta cake on a small white plate with baking dish and orange cloth napkin in background

LAYERED PUMPKIN LOVE CAKE RECIPE

This fall-inspired version of Italian Love Cake features three layers of deliciousness. It's similar to a few different popular kinds of cakes. It has layers that look similar to a lush cake or lasagna cake but it bakes more similarly to a "magic cake". The bottom layer also slightly resembles cheesecake or custard because it's largely just made with ricotta cheese and eggs.

sliced layered pumpkin cake in a casserole dish revealing three layers of the cake. Next to a matching orange cloth napkin

Now, don't be turned off if you are not a cheesecake fan because this recipe could be the one that changes your mind. My husband didn't even realize there was a ricotta layer at all and he normally isn't a fan of cheesecake. The ricotta doesn't have a distinct tang like cream cheese. Matter of fact, he keeps asking me to make this.

PUMPKIN LOVE CAKE INGREDIENTS

PUMPKIN CAKE MIX - To keep this layered cake really easy to make, we're relying on ready to use boxed cake mix to add the perfect pumpkin flavor. Cake mix allows us to make deliciously moist pumpkin cake with minimal effort.

over the top photo of white baking dish with pillsbury perfectly pumpkin cake box and jello pumpkin spice instantly pudding mix box inside.

RICOTTA CHEESE - Ricotta cheese is a tasty key ingredient in many Italian dishes. Ricotta is rich and creamy, with a delicate mild flavor. This cheese can be used to make many delightful dishes including this amazingly moist dessert.

EGGS - Eggs, those amazingly versatile little objects that are a kitchen staple. From breakfast and beyond, there's something about an egg that just makes it universally loved.

SUGAR - Sugar is a kitchen staple and can make your favorite recipes that much better. Not only does sugar add sweetness to this amazing cake, it also balances out other flavors to give you the perfect sweet bite! 

really close up photo of 3 layer pumpkin cake topped with dollop of whipped cream and dash of cinnamon

VANILLA EXTRACT - Vanilla extract is a mainstay in many delicious recipes like brownies and even my sugar cookie bars. With notes of sweetness and vanilla, it's hard not to fall in love with this versatile ingredient. Be sure not to skip it in this yummy recipe.

INSTANT PUMPKIN SPICE PUDDING MIX - Get instant fall vibes with Instant Pumpkin Spice Pudding Mix. This ingredient will add so much flavor to our cake with none of the fuss.

MILK - This is the staple of almost any recipe. Milk is a must for many easy dessert recipes like this one.

slice of pumpkin layer cake on a small white plate with a lip, gold fork and cloth napkin roll with gold napkin ring. Baking dish in the background.

WHIPPED TOPPING - is a quick and easy way to enjoy creamy desserts without the hassle of making them from scratch. Store-brand or Cool Whip brand are the perfect shortcut to use in this recipe. You can also absolutely swap with real homemade whipped cream if that floats your boat, too.

HOW TO MAKE PUMPKIN LOVE CAKE

  • Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Then spray your baking pan (9 x 13") with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a medium bowl, prepare the cake mix according to the package directions. This means you will need to source a few extra ingredients. Typically vegetable oil, water and eggs. When it's mixed and smooth, pour evenly into your baking pan.
up close mixing bowl with pumpkin cake mix being stirred with whisk
  • Mix ricotta cheese, all eggs, sugar and vanilla extract in a medium sized bowl until it's completely smooth with no lumps.
up close of mixing bowl with ricotta cake layer being mixed with whisk
  • Next, pour the ricotta mixture over the cake mixture very carefully in the baking pan. Cover as much space as you can evenly. You can use a spoon or spatula to very carefully cover any areas and sides that are difficult to cover.
over the top photo of boxed prepared pumpkin cake mix inside
Ricotta cake batter poured inside of white baking dish
  • Bake the cake for about 53-57 minutes. The cake is done when you an press a toothpick into the center and the toothpick comes out clean, meaning the cake batter is no longer wet. Keep an eye on it when you are closer to finish time. I find it's easy to over bake, especially round the edges. Once it's baked to perfection, be sure to cool the cake completely. This could take up to 2 hours.
  • Prepare the topping in a medium bowl by mixing milk with dry pudding mix for two minutes and then stick in refrigerator for about 10 minutes. When pudding is thickened and ready-to-eat, fold in the Cool Whip until completely blended.
overhead photo of pumpkin cake being frosted with pumpkin spice pudding mixed with cool whip
  • Once cake is cooled completely, spread the Cool Whip mixture evenly on top. Store in refrigerator.
  • Optional garnishes: sprinkle of cinnamon or pumpkin spice. Drizzle of caramel sauce. Sprinkled crushed candied pecans or walnuts. Dollop of whipped cream or Cool Whip.
sliced layered pumpkin cake in a casserole dish revealing three layers of the cake. Next to a matching orange cloth napkin

PUMPKIN LOVE CAKE FAQ

DOES THIS CAKE HAVE REAL PUMPKIN IN IT?

Before you print the recipe below, you have to know that this recipe actually does not used canned or fresh pumpkin at all. The cake layer is made with pumpkin cake mix and the top layer is made using pumpkin spice pudding combined with whipped topping.

This is because a traditional Italian Love Cake from what I can gather is basically a cake layer, ricotta layer topped with a pudding and whipped topping layer and it works perfectly.

up close of pumpkin love layer cake topped with whipped cream and cinnamon

You see, while it's not a more traditional magic cake, there is actually magic that takes place. You will soon see that the cake layer swaps with the ricotta layer during the baking process and adding real pumpkin to the mix would make it a whole different kind of cake.

DOES ITALIAN LOVE CAKE HAVE A CHEESECAKE LAYER?

This cake is made with Ricotta cheese, but it does not have the traditional flavor or consistency of a cheesecake. The ricotta is more mild than cream cheese which is typically used in cheesecake. The ricotta layer has more of a sponge-like texture it. It's not creamy like cheesecake.

piece of pumpkin cake with a fork full taken out of the corner.

CAN I SWAP COOL WHIP FOR REAL WHIPPED CREAM?

Yes you can. Just be sure to swap it 1:1. 

CAN I SWAP THE BOXED CAKE MIX FLAVOR?

Yes, just make sure that the cake mix you choose is also about a 15.25 oz box.

More options that would be perfect for this fall version of Italian Love Cake would be Golden Yellow Cake, Carrot Cake and Spice Cake.

CAN I SWAP THE INSTANT PUDDING MIX FLAVOR?

Yes. just make sure that the instant pudding mix you choose is INSTANT and is a similar sized box.

Learn to make this Pumpkin Italian cake dessert with pumpkin and ricotta.

This delicious layered cake is the perfect way to show your love this fall season! If there's one thing I miss about living in a cooler climate, it's a distinct fall season. We only get bouts of fall here in central Florida and it's more during Winter time if at all. Although we still get a surprise hot Christmas on occasion. You just never really know what to expect. But, when I pop this in the oven... I get instant fall vibes. Hope you do, too.

Ready to make your very own Pumpkin Italian Love Cake?

BEST DESSERTS FOR FALL

Looking for more delicious ways to celebrate the season? These mouth-watering fall-inspired desserts will take your taste-buds into autumn with just a bite.

Recipe adapted from the more traditional chocolate version of this cake at CakesCottage which I made for my mother's birthday a couple of weeks ago. It was AMAZING. I knew that I had to try giving the recipe the pumpkin treatment for fall.

Print the recipe below.

really close up photo of 3 layer pumpkin cake topped with dollop of whipped cream and dash of cinnamon

Layered Pumpkin Love Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 53 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 8 minutes

Layered Pumpkin Cake Recipe with Cake Mix, Ricotta, Cool Whip and Pudding. Italian love cake with three layers - pumpkin spice, pumpkin cake and ricotta layers.

Ingredients

  • 1 Box Pumpkin Cake Mix (+ ingredients needed to make it according to box directions), 15.25 oz
  • 32 oz Ricotta Cheese
  • 4 Eggs, Large
  • ¾ Cup Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Box Instant Pumpkin Spice Pudding Mix, 3.4 oz
  • 1 Cup Whole Milk
  • 1 Tub Cool Whip or Whipped Topping, thawed, 8 oz

Instructions

    1. Heat oven to 350 degrees & spray your baking pan (9 x 13") with non-stick cooking spray.
    2. In a medium bowl, prepare cake mix according to the package directions. Pour evenly into your baking pan.
    3. In a medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese, all (4) eggs, sugar and vanilla extract until completely smooth.
    4. Carefully pour the ricotta mixture over the cake mixture in the baking pan, being sure to cover as much space as you can evenly. You can use a spoon or spatula to very carefully cover any areas and sides that are difficult to cover.
    5. Bake for 53-57 minutes, cake is done when a toothpick can be pressed into the center and come out clean. Cool cake completely, about 2 hours +is best.
    6. Prepare topping. In a medium bowl, mix milk with dry pudding mix for two minutes and refrigerate for 10 minutes. When pudding is thick and set, fold in the Cool Whip until completely blended.
    7. When cake is cooled, spread the Cool Whip mixture evenly on top. Store in refrigerator. Best served very cold or next day.
    8. Optional garnishes: sprinkle of cinnamon or pumpkin spice. Drizzle of caramel sauce. Sprinkled crushed candied pecans or walnuts. Dollop of whipped cream or Cool Whip.

Notes

Cake layers will swap out during the baking process.

Whether you’re looking for a showstopper dessert or just want to make something fun and different, this layered Pumpkin Love Cake is perfect. The recipe couldn’t be simpler with a handful of easy ingredients, but it looks impressive! It also tastes delicious with layers of pumpkin spice topping, pumpkin cake and a moist ricotta layer that will leave your friends begging for the recipe.

Try making it and let us know what you think in the comments below!

If you adore this recipe idea, pretty please share with a friend!

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Casandra LaMonaca

Wednesday 8th of September 2021

Looks yummy! Bring on fall and pumpkin flavored treats. 🎃

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