Pistachio Cake – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Pistachio Cake. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post. The original recipe was provided by reader Alison G.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was submitted by reader Alison, who said:

This is a recipe I got from my friend’s mother over 10 years ago. I am pretty sure it is one of those recipes that is as old as the dawn of time and can easily be found if you do a search on the internet. I don’t believe it was her mom’s original creation, maybe something she found out of a magazine. It has become a family favorite and a cake that must be made every year on St. Patrick’s Day (I guess because it is green?). Anyone who has tried it loves it and asks me for the recipe and it is really so stupid simple to make (Amanda might not even call it a recipe!).

With St. Patrick’s Day coming up next week, we figured now was the perfect time to give this cake a try – Alison actually submitted this recipe LAST JULY. Who says we’re quick and organized?!

(The Amanda-baiting part of the recipe is just a bonus.)

Your ingredients for the cake part:

Pistachio Cake (1)

White cake mix, pistachio pudding mix, eggs (5 of them!), water (not pictured), vegetable oil, and milk.

Throw all your ingredients into a bowl and mix it with a hand mixer or a stand mixer ’til well combined. I mixed mine for about three minutes, scraped down the side of the bowl, and mixed for another minute.

Pistachio Cake (2)

Then dump your batter into a greased Bundt pan. (You could also use two 8-inch cake pans, or cupcakes, according to Alison.)

Pistachio Cake (3)

I was kind of taken by surprise that the pistachio pudding actually had little bits of pistachio in it. Did not expect that AT ALL, for some reason.

While your cake is baking, go off and hang out with some kittens. I did my level best to get the current litter of kittens to pose whilst wearing the tiny chef hat, but they weren’t having it. So enjoy this picture of me making a kitten with bunny ears.

“Eff you, lady.”

When the cake is done baking (mine took 40 minutes), let it cool in the pan for a few minutes, then turn out onto a rack and let it cool completely.

I have no pictures of this particular part of the recipe, because I am a flake and didn’t even think about it. Imagine a Bundt cake. On a rack. I know you can do it!

When the cake is cool, make your frosting.

Pistachio Cake (4)

Cool Whip, Pistachio pudding mix, milk. Throw it all in a big bowl, and mix with a spoon or fork or whisk or your hands or whatever floats your boat.

Pistachio Cake (5) Pistachio Cake (6)

Could it be simpler? I think not!

Frost your cake. Try not to be jealous of my brilliant cake-frosting skills. I am a professional. Obviously, yours won’t look this good.

Pistachio Cake (7)

If you’re serving the cake right away, you won’t need to refrigerate it. If, on the other hand, you’re in a household of two, store in the fridge or you’re going to end up with melted frosting.

Pistachio Cake (8)

The verdict? I really liked it. I mean, REALLY liked it. Fred, on the other hand, said that it was okay and he’d eat it if I made it, but he’d never request it. I am a huge fan of pistachios and pistachio-flavored things, and I think he’s less so.

I think part of the issue for Fred is that he’s not that much of a Cool Whip fan, whereas I kinda am. DON’T JUDGE ME.

This is a great idea for St. Patrick’s Day. I think that next time I make it (and I WILL be making it!), I’ll sprinkle the top with roasted pistachios. You can never have too many pistachios.

Thanks for the submission, Alison!

Nance’s Take:

A little over a week ago my uncle and aunt (husband and wife) ended up in the hospital at the same time. We cooked up some food (haluski, pierogies and this bundt cake) to take over for my cousins since they were obviously going to be busy. A few days later my mother and other members of the clan were going over to visit so I thought I would make this cake to send along.

Pistachio Cake

Instead of making another bundt cake I decided to use my new cake pan.

Pistachio Cake

I was a little concerned about the five eggs and using my different cake pan, but the dumbass part of my head said to shut the fuck up and I listened.

Pistachio Cake

It wasn’t hard to mix up because it was only a damn cake mix, Amanda.

Pistachio Cake

I used Baker’s Joy for the pan, threw it all in the oven and walked the hell away.

Pistachio Cake

I had set the timer for 23 minutes and it wasn’t quite done when I checked it. Rather than just stand in the kitchen and wait I decided to guesstimate it. Those edges are HARD.

Pistachio Cake

I whipped up the frosting and since the recipe mentioned refrigerating overnight I walked away from the entire mess.

Pistachio Cake

The next morning I had the brilliant idea to trim off all the hard edges and put the cake in one of those plastic containers you get when you buy things at the grocery store (my mother saves everything).

Pistachio Cake

It was just a little too big for the container that I had. This would be when the heavy cussing started.

Pistachio Cake

So then I decided to make it a square-ish layer cake. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but hindsight tells me that this is where the shit-storm really took off.

Pistachio Cake

Of course The Beagle was all up in it because…food.

Pistachio Cake

I didn’t even have frosting on it and it was already taller than the lid. GODDAMMIT.

Pistachio Cake

OHHELLNO. There was no saving this catastrophe so I didn’t send it out with Shirley. I do have some pride. The cake itself was very good. I’m keeping the recipe with a note to only use a bundt pan.  Lesson learned.

Pistachio Cake - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: IRISH. Yes it is. It's green!
Serves: 12
  • Cake:
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 3.4 oz box pistachio instant pudding mix
  • 5 eggs
  • ½ c. water
  • ½ c. vegetable oil
  • ½ c. milk
  • -----------------------
  • Icing:
  • 8 oz. container of Cool Whip
  • 3.4 oz box of pistachio instant pudding mix
  • ½ c. milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a Bundt cake pan with baking spray.
  2. In a mixing bowl, put cake mix, 1 box of pistachio pudding mix, eggs, water, milk and vegetable oil. Mix on medium-high for 3 minutes; scrape down the bowl and mix an additional 1 minute.
  3. Pour batter into the pregreased Bundt pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 - 40 minutes (my cake took 40 minutes.)
  4. Let cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Turn out onto wire rack and let cool completely.
  5. In a large bowl, mix together the container of Cool Whip, box of instant pudding mix, and milk. Make sure it's well combined before icing the cooled cake.
  6. If you are not serving the cake immediately, store in the refrigerator. (Also, keep leftovers in the refrigerator.)