Watergate Cake brings together pistachio, coconut, and pudding in a delicious layer cake! A light whipped frosting and pecans on top make it hard to stop at just one slice.
What is Watergate Cake
If you have any of those old-school church or neighborhood cookbooks, I can bet you there will find at least one recipe for Watergate Cake.
Watergate Cake is about as classic as it gets. There are probably a million variations within each family, but the general elements are white cake mix, pistachio pudding mix, 7Up, coconut and pecans.
You may be familiar with this Watergate Salad recipe…seriously amazing!
Why this Recipe is the Best
Every family has their version of a Watergate Cake recipe, and this is ours.
- The great thing about Watergate Cake, though, is that it starts with a white cake mix, so it’s pretty quick and easy to make.
- Adding pistachio pudding mix and lemon-lime soda makes it extra light and moist, and the chopped pecans and coconut add texture and flavor.
- The original frosting recipe uses Dream Whip (a shelf-stable version of Cool Whip) as the base and is flavored with more pistachio pudding mix to get that classic Watergate Cake green color and flavor. It’s light and fluffy and super easy to make.
- Cake Mix. a package of dry white cake mix. In a pinch, a yellow cake mix will work, but the green pistachio color may not be as vibrant.
- Cool Whip. The original watergate cake recipe that’s been passed down to me called for DREAM WHIP. You can totally swap out the cool whip and use that instead. OR, make homemade whipped cream and add the pudding mix to that.
- Pistachio Pudding. You will need the Instant Pudding Mix for this recipe. It’s added to both the cake and the frosting for amazing pistachio flavor.
- Coconut. Sweetened shredded coconut is best. If you prefer, you can add toasted coconut to the outside of the cake, instead of untoasted.
- Pecans. I like to toast the pecans that we use for this cake, but it’s not necessary.
Tips and Tricks
- Refrigerate. Keep Watergate Cake chilled for best results. You can also freeze this cake by wrapping individual slices in a plastic wrap, then sliding them into a freezer bag.
- Toasted coconut variation. Adding coconut to the cake adds so much moisture. But, some people don’t like it ON TOP of the cake. If that’s you, try toasting the coconut for a sweet candy crunch instead.
- Best whipped topping. Before adding the Cool whip, beat the pudding mix with milk until thickened. This gives the frosting the best light and creamy consistency.
I’ve got you covered with this Watergate Sheet Cake Recipe! It has all the delicious taste of this one but baked in a single layer.
Yes, I recommend baking and freezing the cake layers unfrosted. Double wrap in foil or freezer bags and store for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before frosting.
You can substitute the Cool whip and for Dream Whip. Just add the pudding mix, milk and beat. Homemade Whipped Cream can be used in this recipe too!
More Easy Cake Recipes
- Oreo Brownie Cake
- Grasshopper Cake
- Chocolate Chip Cake
- Coconut Cake
- Peanut Butter Cake
- Carrot Cake Recipe
It may be vintage but this Watergate Cake recipe never goes out of style!