Classic Pistachio Cake — This pistachio cake is a retro cake recipe that takes just 10 minutes to prep! It’s made with instant pudding mix to make it super flavorful and light!
Classic Pistachio Cake Recipe
When I told my daughter I was making a pistachio cake, and that it would be green, she was extremely confused. Cake that tastes like pistachios? Green cake? Huh?
I just told her it’s a retro kind of cake. People used to make pistachio cakes all the time, at least in my childhood memories there are lots of them, and since I had never made one, it was time to change that.
This pistachio pudding cake is easy and infused with plenty of pistachio flavor. It’s super soft and moist thanks to a box of instant pistachio pudding that’s added to a box of yellow cake mix. I love shortcuts. Club soda is another secret weapon added to the batter that helps the cake stay light and moist.
The creamy, fluffy frosting that I wanted to eat by the spoonful includes another box of pistachio pudding that’s mixed with whipped topping. And the glorious pistachios garnishing the cake. So good.
If you don’t have pudding mix, cake mix, or whipped topping in your area or are opposed to using them, this probably isn’t the recipe for you because I can’t speak to the results if you don’t use them.
Pistachio Cake Ingredients
For this pistachio bundt cake, you’ll need:
- Yellow cake mix
- Instant pistachio pudding mix
- Club soda
- Vegetable oil
- Almond extract
And for the pistachio frosting, you’ll need:
- Instant pistachio pudding mix
- Cold milk
- Whipped topping
- Shelled pistachios
How to Make Pistachio Cake
This pistachio pudding cake couldn’t be easier to make if I tried! Simply mix together the pistachio cake ingredients until smooth and pour into a greased 12-cup bundt pan. Bake the cake until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Once the pistachio bundt cake is out of the oven and has been set on a wire rack to cool, make the pistachio frosting. Beat the cold milk and pudding mix until it begins to thicken, then mix in the whipped topping.
Once the cake is completely cool, you can frost it and sprinkle with pistachios.
Can I Make This as a Layer Cake?
I’ve only ever made this recipe as a pistachio bundt cake, so I can’t say for sure if this can be made as a layer cake.
Can I Use Sparkling Water Instead of Club Soda?
No, club soda is more carbonated than sparkling water so they’re not interchangeable in this recipe. Same goes for tonic water and seltzer. Club soda is widely available at any grocery store, so it should be easy to find!
Tips for the Best Pistachio Cake
For the cake batter, don’t make the instant pudding like it says to on the box. You add it to the batter like you would any dry ingredient.
Don’t try to squeeze the pistachio cake batter into a smaller bundt pan. If you do, your cake might overflow and make a mess all over your oven.
And when making the frosting for this pistachio pudding cake, you must use cow’s milk. If you try to use a milk alternative (like soy or nut milk), the frosting won’t set up properly and will be runny.
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Pistachio Double Pudding Cake
This pistachio cake is a retro cake recipe that takes just 10 minutes to prep! It's made with instant pudding mix to make it super flavorful and fluffy!
- one 15.25 ounce box yellow cake mix
- one 3.4-ounce box instant pistachio pudding mix
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup club soda
- 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- one 3.4-ounce box instant pistachio pudding mix
- 3/4 cup cold milk (must be cow’s milk; not soy, almond, cashew, etc. or pudding won’t set up)
- one 8-ounce container whipped topping, thawed (I used fat free)
- 1/3 cup shelled pistachios (I used salted), for garnishing
Make the Cake
- Preheat oven to 350F and spray a 12-cup Bundt pan very well with floured cooking spray or grease and flour the pan; set aside.
- To a large bowl, add all ingredients and beat with a handheld electric mixer on low speed for about 30 seconds and then beat on high until well blended and combined.
- Turn batter out into prepared pan and bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until done. A toothpick inserted should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs but no batter. Allow cake to cool in pan for about 10 to 15 minutes before inverting onto a cake stand or platter. Allow cake to cool completely before frosting it so the frosting doesn’t melt.
Make the Frosting
- To a large bowl, add the pudding mix, milk, and beat with a handheld electric mixer on medium-high speed until combined and it begins to thicken; about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the whipped topping and beat to incorporate, about 2 minutes. Evenly add frosting to the cake. I just added it to the top but you can spread it down the sides and center if desired.
- Evenly garnish with pistachios and serve immediately. Cake will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Cake base recipe adapted from Tablespoon.
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I remember this cake! We cut the cake in half, hollowed out a channel and filled it with the pudding mix as well as the top. Excellent!
Can this pistachio cake be made into a double layer cake?
Maybe but I haven’t tried it that way so can’t speak to results.
I love that you used the club soda! When I use bubbles in my cakes it always makes them SO good. Plus you can’t go wrong with pistachio pudding mix!
Thanks and I know when I was reading your muffin recipe yesterday and it had bubbles in it, I was like YES!
hey girl- this cake looks so tasty!
Pistachio cake is my favorite kind of cake. I love this recipe!! Viva the Watergate cake!
I love that you love pistachio cake!
Yes, retro! My landlady made me this cake for my birthday in 1975. Since then it’s been the traditional special event cake in our family. Yummy! I hope everybody who likes pistachio ice cream makes this–it will be your new favorite.
1975 was before I was born! So this definitely is a retro cake! I love that it’s become a tradition in your family!
I’ve never had pistachio cake, but I love pistachio pudding! I’ve never heard of club soda in a cake, but if you recommend it, it must be good. :)
The club soda keeps it super light. The bubbles react with the baking powder/soda that’s in the cake mix. Same principle as adding Coke to this cake https://www.averiecooks.com/2017/03/coca-cola-cake.html You will always end up with a super light and tender cake.
And if you love pistachio pudding, you have to make this cake! The frosting alone will be your heaven!
Very cool retro cake!! I bet the almond extract is a nice hint of extra flavor too. I could go all out with this and have a scoop of coconut or pistachio ice cream with it. Have a nice Memorial Day weekend!
Have a great Memorial Day weekend too! And yes to either a scoop of coconut or pistachio ice cream! Sounds perfect!