Pistachio Cake!

What better way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day than with this beautiful "Pistachio Cake"!  Not only is it pretty, it's a moist, delicious tasting cake also.   This version is really dressed up with a butter cream frosting, which is more suitable for decorating.  

If you don't want to go all out or are not that big on cake decorating, I also give an optional version, baked in a regular Bundt pan and topped with a simple glaze.  Either way, it will delight your family and friends! 

Here is what you will need for this:

1 (18.25 oz.) white cake mix 
1 pkg. instant pistachio pudding mix
1 cup Sprite or 7 UP
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 tsp. almond flavoring
1 cup walnuts, chopped or pistachio nuts, chopped and slightly toasted (optional)
few drops of green food coloring (optional)

Butter Cream Frosting
8 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup shortening ( used Crisco)
1/3 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond flavoring (optional)

If you don't want to use the butter cream frosting and would rather do a Bundt type cake with just a simple glaze, skip the butter cream and make this:

2 Tbs. butter, melted
2 cups confectioners sugar
2 - 3 Tbs. half and half or milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond flavoring (optional)

Optional garnishes:  chopped pistachio nuts or holiday sprinkles for the top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, combine the first five ingredients.  Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add almond flavoring and mix. Do not over mix.  It makes your cake dry.  If you are using the walnuts, stir them in.

If you are using the butter cream frosting, bake this in a tube pan or 2  9" cake pans that have been sprayed well with nonstick baking spray or greased and floured. 

In the tube pan, the cakes need to bake about 50-55 minutes.   If you are using  the 9" cake pans, bake for 30-35 minutes.  Test with a toothpick inserted in the center.  When it comes out clean they are done.  

If you are using the simple glaze, bake in a 10 inch Bundt pan for 50 - 55 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting or glazing.

Prepare the butter cream frosting.  Beat powdered sugar, butter and shortening in a large bowl.   Beat milk and vanilla flavoring. Add almond flavoring if you are using it.   If it's too stiff beat in more milk a few drops at a time.

To make the simple glaze, just stir all of the ingredients together and blend until smooth.  Make sure it's thick enough so that it doesn't all run off of the cake.

 Frost the cake with the butter cream.  We piped around the top and bottom edges, but it's not required.  Then garnish the top with sprinkles or you could use the chopped pistachio nuts. 

Pistachio Cake!


  1. Love this cake! I've been baking it for years and have always called it "Watergate" cake. My reciepe does not call for almond extract but that sounds good and I'll try it the next time I make it.

    I found your blog on FB about a week ago and I love it! Most of your recipes are alot like mine, only a little different. To tell you the truth, I like my cooking but after all these years I am willing to try a little something different! I am in Ohio so maybe that is why are recipes are only a little different???
    Great Cooking blog and I will be back often.

  2. OMGoodness, I use to make this cake forever ago! The only difference is I used club soda. I'm making this for St.Patty Day. Thanks for bringing it back, perfect timing..

  3. My mother made this cake when i was a child. It was my favorite. The only difference is the icing. She made her icing out of cool whip and a box of pistachio instant pudding. With the icing being cool whip, once frosted, the cake needed to be refridgerated. However, ohhhh soooo gooooood.

    1. My mother made it this way. Ive got to make this cake.

  4. that's a lot of frosting for one cake, isn't it?

  5. Why not use pistachios instead of walnuts???? It is pistachio cake, right?

    1. You must have missed where she said you could use either one.

  6. instead of 1c butter and 1c oil can you use 2cs butter?

  7. The cake only has 1 cup oil in it. It doesn't have butter. The buttercream frosting has 1 cup butter and 1 cup shortening and it needs to have both. If you use all butter it will be way too soft. This is frosting used for decorating cakes.

  8. LOL, I remember this from my childhood. I have never made one but that is about to change!!

  9. Love your blog!!! Just out of curiosity, what difference does the sprite or 7up make when using box cake mixes? What is your favorite brand?- Amy in Alabama

  10. Love your blog with all the recipes. Just took this cake out of the oven. I greased my bundt pan with butter and only baked it for 45 minutes and it looks wonderful. I made th glaze to go over the top and of course will wait for the cake to cool. My Mom made this cake all the time but never used soda. Cannot wait for the kids to try it later on. Take care and stay blessed :D

  11. My daughter and I love your blog and she made this cake for St. Patrick's day. She tinted the icing light green and then darkened the remainder and made a shamrock on top and added shells and stars around the top and bottom and not only was it great it was so pretty.

  12. Now that cake mixes are smaller (16.25 oz.), to what amounts should I reduce the liquids?



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