Pistachio Cake

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Pistachio Cake is a classic recipe printed and re-printed for decades in old-school church and neighborhood cookbooks. There are probably hundreds of variations, but the general components are white or yellow cake mix, a box of instant pistachio pudding mix, lemon-lime soda, and coarsely chopped nuts for garnish.

 

 

Also referred to as Leprechaun Cake or Watergate Cake, my late Aunt Barbara prepared Pistachio Cake almost every time my family was invited for a holiday dinner. For those of you new to Not Entirely Average, I am NOT a baker, or at least not a very good baker. For those of you who know me, again…here we go with my ever growing list of semi-homemade shortcut cake recipes. Hey, sometimes you want to eat cake, but you don’t want to have to work for it. Hence Aunt Barbara’s solution for a quick cake fix, and a frosting you’ll not soon be able to forget.

 

My late Aunt Barbara was one in a million and her cooking, and especially this Pistachio Cake, has brought smiles to my family’s faces for decades.

 

 

Aunt Barbara was a fabulous cook. My Mom says so, my Dad says so, and I cannot remember celebrations and gatherings where she didn’t embellish a table. I attended a church luncheon a few weeks back and several of the parishioners were cajoled into baking a handful of types of desserts, Pistachio Cake being among them. I cannot look at Pistachio Cake without going back to the early 1970’s and Aunt Barbara’s peddle pushers and black rimmed cat eye glasses. She was one in a million and her cooking, and especially this Pistachio Cake, has brought smiles to my family’s faces for decades.

 

Because of its bright green color and what with Saint Patrick’s Day just around the corner, I decided to bake and re-shoot this iconic dessert, the Pistachio Cake.

 

 

It begins with a boxed store-bought cake mix, so half the battle is won before you even think about cracking the first egg. Additionally, a package of instant pistachio pudding is added to the dry cake mix to perform threefold in the end product; it will lend a delicate pistachio taste, produce a delightful pale green hue to the crumb, and keep the cake ultimately moist and tender after the bake. Pudding after all, makes everything moist. Because of its bright green color and Saint Patrick’s Day around the corner, I decided to bake and re-shoot this iconic dessert, the Pistachio Cake.

*Note that this cake must be refrigerated, so plan for the additional space in your chiller drawer if preparing.

 

 

Ingredients for Pistachio Cake
For the Cake

1 box deluxe white or yellow cake mix

1 (3.4 oz) box instant pistachio pudding

lemon-lime soda, about 1 cup

4 eggs

1/2 cup oil

 

For the Frosting

1 (3.4 oz) box instant pistachio pudding

1/2 cup milk

1 cup heavy whipping cream

 

The Method
Preparing the Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray and flour a tube pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine dry cake mix with dry instant pistachio pudding, and mix those together with a fork or a whisk until combined. Add in the eggs, the oil and the lemon-lime soda. Stir just until combined. Pour into prepared baking pan.

Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

*Allow cake to cool completely before frosting.

 

Preparing the Frosting

Pour the instant pistachio pudding mix into a mixing bowl. Add in cup cold milk and the heavy whipping cream.

Beat on medium high using a handheld beater until peaks form. Frosting should be very thick and somewhat stiff. Chill the frosting well for at least one hour before frosting the cooled cake.

Cake is pretty decorated with chopped pistachios or walnuts. Refrigerate any leftovers.

 

ESSENTIAL TOOLS FOR THE CHEF IN ALL OF US (CLICK OR TAP IMAGES FOR PRICING)Irish cut crystal cake pedestal Kitchenaid Hand Mixer fluted baking pan three off set spatulas

2 Comments

  • by Sabrina Newell
    Posted 4 weeks ago 4:20 am 0Likes

    Yum!! My grandmother always made a pistachio cake. Brings back memories.

    • by Jenny Deremer
      Posted 4 weeks ago 5:51 pm 0Likes

      Sabrina, isn’t this cake just so 1970s? I was thinking of Aunt Barbara and decided to make the cake, but figured there had to be others out there who remember it – I am so glad you do! Thank you for visiting NEA!

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