Here's the thing, I have fifteen boxes of yellow cake mix in my cupboard. Don't ask why or pass judgement I just do. I needed to do something with them so had been on the hunt for new and fun ways to use cake mix. What a calling right?
I found this recipe printed on a piece of paper...no original origin. The name hooked me so I had to make it...thank you to whomever came up with it.
This cake was simple to prepare and very delicious. The bottom is a generous layer of sweetened ricotta cheese giving it a sponge-like texture. You have to love a good sponge-cake to love this recipe. I admit I do.
The cinnamon-sugar topping and the moist cake in the middle are just more bonus features this cake has to offer.
This makes a large cake, so serve it to a crowd. With some espresso of course.
Let's make it...
Here's what you will need for the cake: Yellow cake mix, eggs, whole milk ricotta cheese, granulated sugar, pure vanilla extract and Limoncello (optional).
You will first need to drain your ricotta cheese by wrapping it in a double layer of cheesecloth. Place it in a colander and weigh it down with 4 or 5 heavy cans from your pantry. Drain over a bowl in the refrigerator for an hour.
Prepare your cake mix according to instructions on the box. This will most likely include three eggs, 1/3 cup vegetable oil and 1-1/4 cups water. You can replace a 1/4 cup of the water with a 1/4 cup Limoncello (as I did), Frangelico or Anisette. This is optional. Just use all water if you don't want to add liqueur. Set aside.
In a large bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat until smooth and fluffy, 8 large eggs, drained ricotta cheese, 3/4 cup granulated sugar and 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract.
Grease and flour a 10 x 15 glass pan (I used Baker's Joy). Pour the prepared cake mix into the pan and spread evenly. Carefully pour the ricotta mixture over the cake mix. DO NOT BLEND THE TWO BATTERS TOGETHER. Very, carefully smooth the ricotta mixture out.
Place in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
While the cake is cooling make the topping: All-purpose flour, dark brown sugar, granulated sugar, unsalted butter, ground cinnamon and table salt.
In a food processor blend 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pour the mixture into a bowl and with a pastry cutter, cut in 6 Tablespoons chilled unsalted butter until the mixture looks like wet sand.
Let the cake cool for 1/2 an hour then sprinkle cinnamon-sugar crumbles over the cake.
Of course I had to use my biscuit cutter to make round pieces.
But you can leave it square.
I think I like the rounds though. Any way you cut it, this will be good.
Italian Love Cake
Other Italian Sponge Cakes You Might Enjoy:
Rustic Italian Sponge Cake with Cheesecake Filling
Little Italian Cakes Filled with Lemon Pastry Cream
Sicilian Ricotta Cake with Pistachio Marzipan
Italian Love Cake