Pistachio Pudding Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 20 min. Bake: 40 min. + cooling
Easy, delicious and requiring zero expensive pistachios, our pistachio pudding cake is the ultimate crowd pleaser.

Updated: Feb. 12, 2024

Need a quick and easy dessert that’s sure to be a knockout? This pistachio pudding cake is just that. Perfect for parties, barbecues and especially St. Patrick’s Day, this pistachio-flavored cake is fluffy and spongy with a smooth, rich pistachio frosting.

Despite its name, there isn’t an actual pudding layer in the cake. Basically, it’s a pistachio cake with pudding mix in the batter and the frosting, foregoing expensive pistachios and pistachio butter.

What is pistachio pudding cake?

Pistachio pudding cake is a popular cake made with yellow cake mix and pistachio pudding mix. The cake is topped with a green frosting that also uses pistachio pudding mix, so you’re really getting a great pistachio flavor through and through. The best part? There’s no need to purchase expensive pistachios to enjoy this pistachio pudding cake!

Ingredients for Pistachio Pudding Cake

  • Yellow cake mix: Take a peek at the best yellow cake mixes our Test Kitchen pros researched and taste-tested.
  • Pistachio pudding mix: Two packages of pistachio pudding mix impart a perfect pistachio flavor in the cake and frosting.
  • Heavy whipping cream: For the ideal creamy frosting, make sure that the heavy whipping cream is cold and there’s no cream left clinging to the carton. You need that fat to whip up the cream properly, so give the carton a good shake before using!
  • Club soda: A bit of club soda activates the leavening agents in the yellow cake mix, making the cake extra fluffy and moist. Our two-ingredient soda cake shows just how effective club soda can be!
  • Walnuts: We add a bit of nuttiness and a pleasant crunch inside and on top of this pistachio pudding cake with chopped walnuts.

Directions

Step 1: Create the batter

Preheat your oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer or stand mixer to beat the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, soda and oil on low speed for 30 seconds. Turn the mixer up to medium speed, and beat for two minutes. Fold in the walnuts.

Editor’s Tip: Toast the nuts (and let them cool!) beforehand to bring out the nutty richness and take away the raw edge.

Step 2: Bake

Pour the batter into a well-greased and floured 10-inch fluted tube pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Allow the cake to cool in the pan at room temperature for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely to room temperature.

Editor’s Tip: Make sure you really know how to grease a Bundt pan the right way, or your cake will break coming out of the pan. Trust us, we’re speaking from personal experience!

Step 3: Whip up the frosting

In a large bowl, use a hand mixer or stand mixer to beat the cream, milk, pudding mix and confectioners’ sugar on high until stiff peaks form.

Step 4: Decorate

Using a mini offset spatula, butter knife or the back of a spoon, decorate the cake with the frosting. Sprinkle the rest of the walnuts on top. Refrigerate the cake until you’re ready to serve.

Pistachio Pudding Cake On A White Plate with A Bowl of Pistachio and Coffee Cups Next to itTMB Studio

Recipe Variations

  • Decorate with a different topping: We love the pistachio frosting on this cake, but if that’s too much pistachio for you, consider swapping it out for a vanilla glaze or cream cheese frosting. Dye it with a bit of green food coloring if you want to keep the green theme.
  • Splash in extract: Bump up the flavor even more in this pistachio pudding cake with a little splash of extract. Delicate vanilla, citrusy orange or bold rum would work well here. A little pistachio extract would really seal the deal!
  • Swap out the nuts: Omit the walnuts completely, or else swap them out for a different nut. Might we suggest pistachio?

How to Store Pistachio Pudding Cake

To store, place the cake in an airtight container or wrap it in storage wrap. Keep it in the fridge for up to three days. We don’t recommend storing the cake at room temperature as the frosting has cream and milk in it.

Can you freeze pistachio pudding cake?

Yes, you can freeze pistachio pudding cake, but only if you haven’t frosted it yet. Allow the cake to cool completely to room temperature, then wrap it tightly in a few layers of storage wrap. Store it in the freezer for up to three months.

To thaw, place the cake in the fridge overnight or on the counter for an hour. Decorate with the frosting, and serve!

Pistachio Pudding Cake Tips

Piece of Pistachio Pudding Cake On A White Plate with A Bowl of Pistachio and Coffee Cups Next to itTMB Studio

Can I bake this cake in a different pan?

Yes, you can bake this cake in a different pan if you don’t have a fluted pan. According to our baking pan conversions guide, a 13×9-inch baking pan or two 9-inch cake pans would hold this cake perfectly. You might not need to bake them as long as a fluted cake, so start checking around the 30-minute mark.

What should I serve with pistachio pudding cake?

Pistachio pudding cake’s green hue is on theme for a St. Patrick’s Day dessert, so it only seems right to serve this cake among other green food to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, or alongside more traditional Irish recipes like Irish soda bread, colcannon potatoes and shepherd’s pie.

Watch how to Make Pistachio Pudding Cake

Best Pistachio Pudding Cake

Prep Time 20 min
Cook Time 40 min
Yield 16 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 package yellow cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup club soda
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • ICING:
  • 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup cold 2% milk
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, soda and oil; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Stir in walnuts.
  2. Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the cream, milk, pudding mix and confectioners' sugar on high until stiff peaks form. Frost cake. Sprinkle with walnuts. Refrigerate until serving.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 354 calories, 20g fat (6g saturated fat), 64mg cholesterol, 437mg sodium, 41g carbohydrate (24g sugars, 0 fiber), 4g protein.

Everyone who's ever tried this moist, one-of-a-kind pistachio pudding cake can't believe it uses a mix. The dessert is perfect for St. Patrick's Day—and you won't need the luck of the Irish to whip it up! —Suzanne Winkhart, Bolivar, Ohio
Recipe Creator