Watergate Cake

Watergate Cake: pistachio, coconut, and pudding in a delicious layer cake!
Tomorrow is my birthday. I have loved celebrating my birthday pretty much every year.
 
And then comes this year. The year I turn…wait for it….
.
.
.
.
 
Gulp.
.
.
.
.
 
39.
 
Looking back, my twenties were fun, but very busy. I got married very young, and we started a family a year after our marriage. My twenties were filled with babies and diapers, and babies, and more diapers. 
 
My thirties have been filled with just plain fun. Vacationing, laughter, happiness, a complete sense of self confidence that I didn’t have in my twenties, watching my children grow into who they will become!
 
But, I think it’s official now. I’m old. You laugh?
 
Here’s how I can tell I’m old:
 
1– I like to watch birds out my window. I spend lots of money on bird food, just so I can see them while I sit at my computer. Yeah, can someone say “senior citizen.”
 
2– I pay attention to commercials that talk about eye brighteners, wrinkle reducers and other skin firming creams. I’ve even bought said brighteners and reducers (to no avail, the wrinkles are still there)
 
3– I find myself talking to people who have little kids and saying things like “treasure each moment, it goes so fast.” I hated when people said that to me, I’ll be honest. When my kids were throwing a tantrum in the grocery store, whining, kicking, screaming and someone said that to me…all I could think is time drags in the grocery line. But wow, it’s so flipping true…my kids are big. And the bigger they get, the older it makes me.
 
4– I like watergate cake. As a young person, you see a green cake covered in nuts and coconut and you think, “what the heck did grandma make us. Why can’t she make us chocolate cake?” Now, as an old person, as an almost senior citizen, I LOVE green cake with coconut and nuts. Yep. Old.
Watergate Cake: pistachio, coconut, and pudding in a delicious layer cake!
If you’re reading this blog, and you’re younger than me, show this cake to your mom. Or grandma. Or dad. They might enjoy it! Don’t worry, next week, after my birthday has come and gone, I’ll get back to young people food….chocolate!
 
Do you like this recipe? Check out some of my other senior citizen style food:

Dad’s Bread Pudding
Pineapple Coconut Cupcakes
Shortbread Cookies

Watergate Cake

Yield: 12

Watergate Cake: pistachio, coconut, and pudding in a delicious layer cake!

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 1 box (18.25oz) white cake mix
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 pkg (3oz) instant pistachio pudding
  • 1 cup lemon lime soda
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup sweetened, shredded coconut

For the Frosting

  • 2 (3oz) envelopes Dream Whip
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 pkg (3oz) instant pistachio pudding
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup sweetened, shredded coconut

Directions:

  1. In large mixer bowl at medium speed, add cake mix, oil, pudding, eggs, and soda. Fold in chopped pecans and coconut. Pour into greased & floured 9inch round baking pans and bake in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack.
  2. To frost, whip dream whip & milk until peaks. Gradually add the pudding & beat until light & fluffy, about two minutes. Spread on first layer of cake. Top with second cake layer and cover cake completely in frosting.
  3. Press pecans and coconut into cake and refrigerate two hours or more. Serve cold!

102 comments on “Watergate Cake”

  1. You are too funny! My birthday was on Monday…I celebrated the 2nd anniversary of my 39th birthday!! I decided I’m stopping at 39. :0)

    I’m curious, do you know how this cake got it’s name? I haven’t heard of it before…think I will give it a try!

    • I actually googled it, not sure if it’s true, but Jello was releasing their Pistachio pudding at the same time of the watergate scandal. This cake was made in their ads, with the recipe, and title, “filled with nuts and fluff, just like Washington.”

  2. As someone who was married at 19 and had the first of her three babies by 20 I say, Welcome to old age!

    People always say, “You’re not old at 42!”. But when you factor in the 23 years of marriage (30 years together), three boys, house, pets, work, etc. that makes me…..what? 150?

    Have an utterly FANTASTIC birthday tomorrow!

  3. Have a happy birthday! 39 is far from a senior citizen. 🙂

    • Have a wonderful and happy birthday. At 42 you are in the prime of life. Wait until you are 87years old. You want to do and think you can but you can’t do much any more. Enjoy your children God loans them to us for a while but many times calls them home before he calls you. I love to bake and made wedding cakes for over twenty five years. Loved every minute. Made wonderful friends and now many of those brides have children getting married & having children. The world doesn’t wait for us we have to adjust to it. Enjoy your birthday and some of those wonderful recipes. I can’t wait to get in the kitchen and try them. God’s Blessings.

  4. Anonymous

    Yep…you’re old! LOL! The only problem with that is it makes me even OLDER! Have a wonderful birthday, eat lots of cake, and enjoy 39! Love, Aunt Sandy

  5. Mom of 2 big kids :)

    You are so funny ~ and I would have never guessed that you are 150! This cake sounds amazing ~ ingredients are now on my shopping list! Happy Birthday! I love all of your recipes 🙂

  6. Happy almost Birthday!! You’re only as old as you feel. 😉

  7. Happy Birthday tomorrow! I loved reading your post, Aimee. I agree that in your 30’s you feel such a bigger sense of confidence, compared to your 20’s. Ill be 32 this year, and Im truly so happy! I hope you have a fabulous 39th bday 🙂
    P S.. It was so neat to see those pics of you and Jocelyn together on Instagram! I’m so happy u two finally got to meet up!! 🙂

  8. HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY AIMEE!!!! Thinking of you my dear! 🙂

  9. Happy Birthday! I turned 39 a little over a week ago and I do feel older, but not “old”. Don’t get me wrong, I can relate to everything you said, but you’ll see in a few days you’ll feel like yourself again 🙂

  10. Happy Birthday Aimee! You are too funny! I know what you mean…I feel like I’m turning into an old person too. I’ve never heard of this cake, but it sounds amazing! I hope you have a wonderful birthday! 🙂

  11. Happy Birthday. As mom’s we never feel old until the first grandchild, then it hits you, no matter what age you are. But after hearing the word Grandma come out of that baby’s sweet, precious mouth, you’ll never want anything else. That said, I’m not sure I’ll ever want to hear the words great-grandma, lol! Oh and by the way, I’m only “21”

  12. Jen

    Have a fantastic birthday! I know how you feel – I just turned the big 40 and it was so different from my other birthdays. Enjoy your last year in your 30s – it goes by so fast!

    And I must be old, too, because that cake sounds and looks delicious!

  13. I’ve never heard of the cake but it looks familiar, and no, I didn’t see it at an old person party or anything so no worries 🙂 Happy Birthday–that’s enough to celebrate right there! Another beautiful year of life enjoying what you do and being around who you love! Have a great day!!

  14. The cake looks great! You so described my life!

  15. haha, i could have written that same post only last nov i turned the age that is never to be spoken (add 1 to yours)…*cringe* actually its not all that bad, and i just add “whatev” or “amazeballs” to my vocab and pretend i’m hip again. (love the cake btw!)

  16. You know what…I have met you now and I can totally say…you are not old at all!!!!! In fact for being 150, you have aged very well. Those wrinkle creams are working better than you thought;-) LOL! Ok, so Watergate cake huh? I have heard of it, but have never ever tried it. But it’s covered in coconut so I know I would absolutely love it too!!! Guess that makes me old too!!!

  17. Anonymous

    Loved your post. Same story, same song as you except I made it past the age which is never to be mentioned. Found my silver lining in a reverse way. When I was 39 I was still a 30 something and after 20+ years and 8 kids I looked “mature” for that. Now I think I look pretty darn good for a lady going towards 50. Love the Watergate Cake but haven’t had it in years. May have to make it again soon.

  18. Happy last Birthday before you are 40!! You look dang good! I have made a cake similar to this, but I have never tried that frosting and honestly your frosting along with those pecans and coconut is literally making me drool!

  19. Well, age is just a number. Young is an attitude! I would love to try this cake sometime…Curious on how I’d fare with a new recipe to try, this looks yummy!

    Myfudo here…Normally we’d never put a shameless plug back to us, but we just launched our new site and we would love for you to be a part of it. I’d love to share our newest launch with you, I hope you don’t mind? Now that we are getting a new look…Myfudo is moving to a new domain http://www.yumgoggle.com This has been a project we have been working on for almost a year now. We just launched our new gallery submission site, and we are just thrilled. We’d be proud to have your work as part of our growing collection to continue to have a larger reach and further inspire all fellow food lovers out there! Please sign up and check us out (it’s free) http://www.yumgoggle.com/gallery
    We look forward to seeing your wonderful pictures, as always.
    p.s. We are hosting a Kitchen Aid Mixer Giveaway to celebrate our new Yumgoggle site, we hope you’ll participate =)
    http://www.yumgoggle.com/japanese-cuisine-japanese-spinach-side-dish-horenso-no-ohitashi-kitchenaid-mixer-giveaway/

  20. Anonymous

    Omigosh! I turn 39 in September & and watergate salad was a annual birthday dinner request. My mom made it for every church potluck and and my birthday! I am so making this for my 39th. Thank you so much. Cheers to our 40s 🙂
    Tiffany

  21. First, Happy Birthday =) Second, you’ve made my night, seriously. I am such a fan of watergate salad… and now there’s a cake? I really have to try recipe out! Thank you for sharing.

  22. Happy birthday! I would never eat the boxed cakes grandma made. Now I make my own. I would gladly try a slice of this!

  23. Happy birthday. I love my birthday too and make a big to do about it every single year.

    I laughed at the kids comments because I’m there too. I DO NOT want more, but I get sentimental when I see little kids who cling to their mothers. Sigh. Years gone by….

    I’ve never heard of this cake before, but it seems pretty interesting. Not a fan of pistachios, but if I ever meet anyone that likes them, I’ll have to make it and let them try it.

  24. Donna

    39 is old? hahaha! I’m 66 and just finished putting a new roof on by MYSELF. Before that I installed a new sliding door and some other projects. You haven’t seen old yet my Dear. LOL. I cook everything from scratch(and bake too).Age is what you make it,just a number.Time does go to quickly tho,I agree.

  25. Happy Bday! I make Watergate salad during the holidays, so I will definitely have to try this. It looks yummy! I’m visiting from Something Swanky link party.

  26. Happy Birthday! I hope it’s extra special! This cake sounds really good!

  27. Happy Birthday! And I love cake with coconut & nuts too! Visiting from Kitchen Fun linkup 🙂

  28. You are so, so funny. And silly. This cake looks amazing. And I’m twenty something. Don’t worry about that second number there 😉

    Hope you had a great birthday (at least after the whole car fiasco)!

  29. Happy Belated Birthday! I’m a little behind in blog reading. I LOVE watergate salad and am thrilled to see this cake recipe! YUM! I cannot wait to make this. Thank you!

  30. I made the cake today and just tried it. I’m 33 and I loved it. I hope you had an awesome birthday!

  31. Omgee You have brought tears to my eyes, I was just talking to my Momma this morning about my Grannie(My Mom’s Mother) making this cake every year for my birthday, I always wanted her too make it for me.. It was my favorite cake, I remember when I first had it I was like 8 and from then on It was what I wanted for my bday from her this cake she made it for me .. she died before she could make it for me again..but i have memories…I didn’t think I would ever find the recipe and I click on pininterest and someone has pinned your recipe thank you so much for Making this 41 yr old girl very happy! I hope you had a awesome Birthday!

  32. Sarah

    I’ve loved this cake for years – it was a favorite for birthdays at our house. Hmm, think I may have to go make one!!!!! And, as far as birthdays go, just remember “you’re not getting older, you’re getting better!”

  33. I do believe all of the ideas you have offered in your post.

  34. edna

    You are just a baby. Enjoy your birthday, I will having my 46 th—39 th birthday Thursday.

  35. Traci

    let’s see…bird watching check…spend too much money on bird food check…tried all the “miracle cures for wrinkles” check. lol you just described me. Guess I am a senior citizen as well. Happy birthday and this cake looks yummy.

  36. denise

    Hello,
    I wasn’t to make this cake for my sister’s birfday, but can’t find dream whip in my area. Could I substitute cool whip?

  37. denise

    That was supposed to be ‘birthday’….lol

  38. Lyndi

    I’ve read in the newspaper that 74 was “elderly.” Since I turned 65, I’ve thought elderly was 2 years older than I. Now that I’m 77, I know it is older than that! The cake sounds wonderful.

  39. LLSinSCV

    to the blogger… Happy 39th bday and thanks for the great thoughts on turning ÓLDER
    (older ? i wish it was me)

    I like your list of what’s important now and what’s not.

    Oh, and the recipe? Sounds marvelous, I’ve never heard of it before. As I’ve gotten older, I am liking COCONUT, where before not much.

    ps “OLD
    hahaha, I guess being on the verge of turning the big 40 seems like you’re no longer in the “young adult”category anymore, but just wait till you are no longer in a Marketing Dept dream “demographic”category which ends at 54yrs old.
    LOL – May as well kill yourself since they think that your $$ don’t count anymore~

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY & Thanks for the recipe.

  40. Kandace

    Happy Birthday! And you are only as old as you feel! Today I feel like I am maybe 55, but i am only 51, some days like 80, some days like 21!!It never ends! I am just happy to be alive and have the best kids and grandkids ever!!! the kids make you feel older but the grandkids make you feel so much younger!!!

    I can;t wait to try your cake!!! I too have a favorite birthday cake, but all can say is that is is angel food with a TOP SECRET Recipe topping!!! My mom made it up many many years ago and would not share it with anyone until I asked for it and my sister and we had to give her our word we would never share it!!! SO I have to keep my word to my mom! But it is by far the most delicious cake I have ever had in my life! Glad you have yours too and are able to share it!!!

  41. I make a mixture of coolwhip, pineapple, nuts, & pistashio pudding. It is called Watergate Salad.

  42. Edith

    I remember this cake As far as I can rememberWatergate is ow it got its name I’m almost 75 years young and I don’t feel any older then I did when I was was 39. Just have fun and enjoy life God Bless you keep the good recepts comming

  43. Edith

    You will have to show me the comment because I never sent one for this cake

  44. Pam

    I have made this cake for about 30 years. I will be 59 next week. Evidently the recipe came out about that time according to our ages. Happy Birthday to all of us!

  45. Hey, I am 20 and this recipe looks AMAZING!!! I was wondering what dream whip is?? please help lol!

  46. Veronica

    OMG. Just made this cake and it is fabulous. So moist. I love the name and how it got its name. At 46 this was my first time making it but won’t be my last.

  47. Pam in Cincinnati

    happy (early) birthday! if it’s any consolation, i found 39 much more traumatizing than the big 4-0.

  48. I am 61, so 39 does not sound old. If you like the watergate cake, then you might want to try watergate salad. I think the recipes were crafted in the 70’s when the watergate trials were being heard & we did not have numerous tv channels back then, so every station was inundated with nothing but the trials! I think because of this, every recipe that was developed around this time started with “watergate………”! It sure would historically date the recipes, but would also add nostalgia & maybe even a little story.

  49. Ruth Cobb

    I remember the Watergate cake, but don’t remember the soda. Was there something else used in that cake. My aunt’s cat loved this cake. You could’t leave the cake unattended without that cat taking bites of the cake. Happy Hoidats.

  50. Haha! Happy birthday!! I turn 39 this year too. 🙂 This cake looks awesome, as do the rest of your recipes!

  51. caren

    wait till you turn 58, then you can say SENIOR! My 40’s were the best years of my life, so far! Is there anything else I can use instead of Dream Whip? Heavy whipping cream or ugh, Cool Whip? This cake looks wonderful!

  52. Kiley

    I will be turning 25 next week and don’t understand where the time goes. I have been married 6 year, been together a total of 8, and have three kids (2,1, and 2.5 months). The funny thing about your post is showing this to my mom or grandma; umm no because I’m making this for me on my birthday. DELICIOUS! (even if it isn’t chocolate 😉 )

  53. Nuts and fluff just like Washington? Hilarious! I love cakes made with pudding mix as it’s Americana cooking at it’s best.

    I’m almost 11 years older than you, so you feeling old makes me giggle a little. And it reminds me I need to make an appointment to cover my gray hair. Sigh. Have a wonderful birthday!

  54. Laura

    The cake is delicious but I’m not a fan of the dream whipe. Next time I think I’ll use real whipping cream. But still very good. Great story too!

  55. Pingback: Foodies Network » Watergate Cake

  56. Kathleen

    LOL. Try baby and diapers in your forties……can’t wait to try this recipe when “Baby Girl” comes home from college soon–Baby Girl very much loves cake!

  57. Pingback: Watergate Cake | What2Cook

  58. Linda S.

    We made a cake like this when I lived in St. Louis in the early 80’s. It was made with pistachio pudding and was a bundt cake. It had cream cheese frosting, like every cake made in those days and was delicious. This is very similar, just in layers and of course different frosting. Might have to try this again for my Bunco group.

  59. Ellen

    Don’t worry. I will be 60 (!!) this year. I think 39 was my worst birthday–I just felt like I was a little overweight mom–kids were 8, 6, 3. So, my opinion is…it’s only getting better from here 🙂 Enjoy your birthday, don’t sweat the years. Happy Birthday!

  60. flourchild

    I recently came across something I wrote at 31 bemoaning the fact that I was getting old. I’m 67 now & pretty much fell out laughing! You seem to have a lot of older cooks on here & we all seem fabulous. The only thing I notice (which is truly annoying) is that I’m starting to call people sweetie (cringe). God compensates you by slowing up hair growth so that you almost never have to shave your legs. And that peach fuzz on the sides of your face? Gone! Seriously, that you realize how fast time is going and stop to appreciate your kids is a sign of maturity, which is quite different from age (know any MEN?) Senior citizenship will come someday, but it is a long way off. The trick is to be enjoying life too much to really notice. Will make your cake! Thank you.

  61. Theresa K

    Can you make this in a 9×13 pan?

  62. Katie

    As I was reading what you wrote before the recipe i had to laugh to myself because in a couple days its MY birthday and I’ll be 27. I’ve been complaining that I’m getting old because I yell at the kids in the neighborhood to get off my grass and have noticed myself watching birds and even expressed interest in getting a couple bird feeders.

    So what I don’t agree with is that all kids wanted the chocolate cake. This has been my favorite cake (besides German Chocolate) since I can remember!

    Thank you for the recipe as I lost mine in a move.

  63. Perhaps someone already asked this question, but I couldn’t take the time to read all of the comments, since most of them weren’t related to the cake recipe, anyways. That being said, is there any way to make up the difference of the (now) smaller size of cake mixes, since they’re not 18.25 oz. anymore. I also read (somewhere) that they also changed the ‘formula’ a bit. Many ladies have reported that the ‘new’ cake mixes don’t rise well, and they’re soggy in the middle – even when they follow the baking instructiins on the package. Will the new size of cake mix work in your lovely cake recipe, since I’m very anxious to make this cake for an upcoming special event. (BTW, Happy Birthday!)

  64. Laura

    I’m right behind you in age (37 in Feb). A girl I knew decided that 30 was old and asked me how it felt. I had a newborn at home, worked full time at a hospital, hubby was working two states away and overseeing the building of our house. I actually forgot my birthday that year.

    As for this cake, it and my grandma’s walnut glory cake (which is just too fussy for me to handle with small kids around) have always been my favorites.

  65. Crystal U

    What would the baking time be if I made standard size cupcakes? This looks fabulous!

  66. Keli S

    I’m actually 47 and have never heard of this cake. It looks awesome! And don’t worry….your 40’s will be the best yet. If I had to pick an age to be for the rest of eternity, I would pick my age. Or at least the 43-47 range.

  67. Lauire

    I can’t have dairy (bad allergy) so Dream Whip and Cool Whip are not products I can use. Would regular frosting with the pudding added work? I know it won’t be as light. Or maybe a 7-minute frosting?

  68. Lisa Harder

    I’m very excited to make this cake. The Watergate salad I grew up eating has crushed pineapple in it. Do you think that would work out well with the cake batter? If it’s drained very well? Or maybe it would be too much? Thank you!

  69. Pingback: Pistachio Cupcakes - Around My Family Table

  70. Can you make this in a 9×13 pan?

  71. Pingback: Pistachio Cheeseball - Shugary Sweets

  72. Laura

    I never knew it was an “old people” cake. We just called it St Patrick’s day cake. Cake is cake and this, plus pumpkin spice cake, is one of my favorites.

  73. Sassee Arnold

    I am new to this website. My sister shared your “pumpkin blossom cookie” recipe with me on FB this AM. Talk about “senior citizen”, I am one! LOL. Watergate salad is one of our favorites so I am anxious to try you cake! My bday is July 20th and I am 64 yrs. As my two daughters grew older (one is soon to be 41 and the other 39) I always said, “The older my girls get the younger I feel! I just wish my body felt the same way!”
    Blessings to you and many thanks for sharing and Blessing others with your shugary sweets! Oh, P.S. I love homemade cakes too and I have found that box mixes can also be delicious especially when you switch them up with applesauce instead of oil, add pudding mixes, and use Madagascar vanilla bean extract! It is expensive but well worth it! I have even switched up my frostings with pudding mixes. 🙂 Thank you! Be well!

  74. I want to try the Watergate cake recipe, I want to know if I can use butter instead of oil? This is my first time on your Webb page and you are os funny and your page is so good.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.