★★★★★

Pistachio Cake Recipe

Watergate Bundt Cake is nutty and moist thanks to pistachio pudding and pecans. Topped with a sweet, light whipped cream topping and coconut, this pistachio bundt cake has it ALL!

Slice of pistachio cake with pistachio frosting on a white plate with whole cake in background.

If you’ve never had a Watergate Cake you are truly missing out! It’s a vintage classic and one of the most popular recipes on my site, for a good reason.

This beautiful cake covered in nuts and coconut with a creamy whipped frosting is a classic. Today, I’m showing you how to make it in bundt cake form!

I remember the first time I tasted this kind of pistachio cake many years ago. It looked weird, all green and covered in nuts, I seriously thought “this is an old person type of cake.”

One bite in and I realized I was wrong. Well, maybe I was right and it IS an old person type of cake. But it’s a DELICIOUS old person cake!

All the flavors

The moist cake made with pistachio pudding is incredible. The light “frosting” made with Cool Whip or homemade whipped cream is the perfect finish to the nutty dessert.

Of course, I love adding the chopped pecans and coconut flakes to the top of the cake for that extra delicious crunch!

By using a boxed cake mix and instant pudding mix, you cut down on time and effort without sacrificing flavor.

I’ve used this recipe to make a layer cake, cupcakes, Watergate Sheet cake and now a Watergate Bundt Cake!

Slice of pistachio cake with pistachio frosting on a white plate and fork that says "eat dessert first."

Pistachio Bundt Cake

This may be my favorite way to make this cake now! Although, that may be my midwestern girl bias.

I love the shape and the way the frosting wraps around each slice of a bundt cake. And I LOVE that they’re easy to make look pretty.

A bundt already looks appealing unfrosted. Then, you can either drizzle an easy glaze over it or, in this case, spread a layer of frosting on it to make a nice looking dessert.

No frosting bags to deal with or delicate piping.

Some of my favorite bundt cakes include this Cherry 7-UP Pound Cake, with it’s sweet glaze on top! I also love this Lemon Zucchini Bundt Cake. I’m happy to add Watergate Bundt Cake to the list of new favorites!

Watergate bundt cake on a doily topped cake platter.

Ingredients Needed

To make this bundt version of Watergate cake, you need:

  • White cake mix
  • Instant pistachio pudding mix
  • Canola oil
  • Eggs
  • Spite – Or another lemon-lime flavored soda like Sierra Mist or 7 -UP.
  • Chopped pecans

For the topping:

  • Cool whip – Thawed; you can also substitute a homemade stabilized whipped cream if preferred
  • Skim milk
  • Instant pistachio pudding mix
  • Chopped pecans
  • Coconut flakes – Sweetened shredded flakes

Need a good bundt pan? I love this pan, never fails on me when I flip my cake out!

How to Make Pistachio Cake

STEP 1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 12 cup bundt pan with baking spray, set aside.

STEP 2. In a large mixing bowl, beat cake mix, oil, pudding, eggs and lemon lime soda on medium spead until well blended (about 3 minutes). Fold in pecans.

STEP 3. Pour batter into bundt cake pan. Bake for 45 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool in pan about 5 minutes. Flip onto a wire rack and cool completely.

To make the pistachio frosting: Whisk the milk and pudding mix together. Refrigerate for about 5 minutes. When ready to frost cake, fold the Cool Whip into the pudding mixture.

Spread generously over the cake. Using your hand, press the pecans and coconut to the sides of the cake. ENJOY!

Tips and Tricks

  • How to store: Because of the frosting, you need to keep this cake in the fridge. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. A slice of this bundt cake tastes wonderful served cold!
  • Removing cake from pan: If your bundt cakes tend to break, crumble or get stuck when you try to remove them from the pan, you may be leaving it in the pan too long. After taking the cake out of the oven, let it rest in the pan for only 5 minutes! Tap the bottom of the pan gently with a knife to help loosen the cake.
  • Can you freeze this cake? Yes, you can freeze this cake before you frost it! After baking the bundt, remove it from the pan and wrap in foil twice to freeze. When ready to eat, let the cake thaw at room temperature then frost with the cool whip topping, pecans and coconuts.

Even my friends who aren’t nuts about pistachio–if you can forgive the pun–enjoy this Watergate Bundt Cake. Give this pistachio bundt cake recipe a try for a green twist on dessert!

This Watergate Bundt Cake is nutty and moist thanks to pistachio pudding and pecans. Topped with a sweet, light whipped cream topping and coconut, this cake has it ALL!

More Cake recipes

Yield: serves 12-16

Watergate Bundt Cake

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

This Watergate Bundt Cake is nutty and moist thanks to pistachio pudding and pecans. Topped with a sweet, light whipped cream topping and coconut, this cake has it ALL!

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 package (3 oz) instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 1 cup lemon-lime soda (sprite, sierra mist, etc)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

For the topping:

  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 package (3 oz) instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 1 tub (8 oz) Cool Whip, thawed
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 12cup bundt pan with baking spray, set aside. I love this pan, never fails on me when I flip my cake out!
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat cake mix, oil, pudding, eggs and lemon lime soda on medium spead until well blended (about 3 minutes). Fold in pecans.
  3. Pour batter into bundt cake pan. Bake for 45 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool in pan about 5 minutes. Flip onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  4. For the frosting, whisk the milk and pudding mix together. Refrigerate for about 5 minutes. When ready to frost cake, fold the Cool Whip into the pudding mixture. Spread generously over the cake. Using your hand, press the pecans and coconut to the sides of the cake. ENJOY. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 251Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 71mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 3g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Aimee

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

Get My Free Email Course
Become a Better Baker—no more box mixes! Discovery your new “signature” desserts!

Categories:


Posted on June 12, 2020

Comments & Reviews

  1. My bro-in-law makes this all the time. Only he uses orange juice instaed of soda and then he pulls about a1/3 of the mix out and adds 1/2 to 3/4 cup chocolate syrup. Pour in the greena nd then lay in the chocolate in a bundt pan. No topping just powedered sugar.

  2. I really didn’t think I liked pistachio until I made this cake for my husband (because he does). I was sold after my first bite. This might become my signature potluck dessert. Time to win over more people!

  3. I have made this cake for years. EXCEPT we take half the batter and add 1/2 cup of chocolate syrup and pour on top of the green batter, do not stir it. The green batter bakes up over the chocolate batter and its delightful. I usually do not frost it, but this marshmallow looks pretty yummy so I am definitely going to try that.

  4. I was thinking of adding crushed pineapple that has been drained both the mix and topping. That would replace the coconut and make it taste like the salad mom always made.

  5. I love pistachio! This looks right up my alley! I’ve never made a bundt cake (who am I?) but there’s always a first!

  6. Aimee, this looks yummy! I haven’t made a bunt cake in a really long time! This one reminds me of Pistachio Salad my SIL used to make for every family get together, lol. I love pistachios so this is right up my alley! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    1. Yes, it’s very much like a pistachio salad….but oh my gosh, this cake is wonderful 🙂 Let me know if you try it!

      1. Have you made this with pistachios instead of pecans? If I add crushed pineapple to the batter will I have to alter any other ingredients?

  7. Hey there college dorm room neighbor! Do you think you could substitute the oil in the cake or maybe cut it down?  I’ve made a similar cake but I felt like I could really taste oil. But, I love the pistachio!

    1. Hi Dawn 🙂 I haven’t tried it in this recipe, but in other cake recipes I’ve swapped some of the oil for applesauce with no problems! You can’t taste the apple (and the pistachio in this cake is so tasty!) Let me know if that works 🙂

  8. Haha, old person cake! I remember seeing this cake when I was little at potlucks and thinking the very same thing so I never took a slice. Now, I would love to eat this cake!!! YUM!!!

  9. I have never even heard of a watergate cake and while I can see how people might think it’s an “old person’s” cake, I think it sounds amazing!! I love all things pistachio and think it’s such an underrated flavor!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *