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Watergate Cake

Watergate Cake is a recipe that has been popular for years and has stood the test of time. A box of cake mix, instant pistachio pudding, and Crisco® Pure Vegetable Oil combine to make a super moist and tender Bundt cake that’s then covered in a pistachio-flavored frosting.

Slice of Watergate Cake on a plate.

A Great Holiday Recipe

The holidays are all about reaching for those nostalgic recipes that bring back memories and remind you of holidays past. As children, we always received a bag of pistachios in our Christmas stockings and it was about the only time of year we ever had pistachios in the house so I always associate them with Christmas.

Watergate Cake on a cake stand.

Unlike most southern families, there’s not a long line of people who love to cook in my family. Neither one of my grandmother’s enjoyed spending time in the kitchen. But my Grandfather did. And this is his recipe for Watergate Cake which was printed in a cookbook that his church (St Paul’s Episcopal Church in Monroe, NC) published. I think he may have been the only male to submit recipes for the cookbook.

Watergate Cake

My grandfather passed away nearly 20 years ago, so it’s nice to be able to bring back memories of him through his recipes.

Watergate Cake

My grandfather in the center and me in the red shirt and knee high socks.

Watergate Cake- a vintage recipe made with cake mix and instant pistachio pudding.

I love this recipe for Watergate Cake because it is simple and quick to make and it brings back wonderful memories. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that it has a seasonally appropriate color.

I’ve followed my grandfather’s recipe for this cake, but sometimes when I make it for the holidays, I also like to add some shredded coconut to the frosting or sprinkle it on top like snow. It goes wonderfully with the pistachio flavor of the cake.

Watergate Cake slice on a plate.

Crisco® Pure Vegetable Oil really makes the cake moist and tender and it has a perfectly neutral flavor that is great for baking.

Give this Watergate Cake a try this holiday season and I think you’ll find that your family requests it year after year. 🙂

Watergate Cake- a vintage recipe made with cake mix and instant pistachio pudding.

More Watergate Recipes

Watergate Cake

Watergate Cake is a retro dessert with lots of pistachio flavor in the cake and the frosting.
PREP: 15 minutes
COOK: 50 minutes
TOTAL: 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 1 (16.25-ounce) box white cake mix
  • 1 (3.4-ounce) box instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup Crisco Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup club soda
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat cake mix, 1 box of pistachio pudding, eggs, vegetable oil, and club soda for 2 minutes. Stir in walnuts.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes.
  • Let cool 5 minutes and then remove from pan to cool completely.
  • To make frosting. beat 1 box pistachio pudding, cool whip mix, and milk until thick. Spread frosting on cooled cake. Top with walnuts.


Use the pistachio pudding straight from the box. Do not make pudding with it.


Calories: 259kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: Easter, pistachio

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Originally posted December 14, 2015.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions and text are all mine.

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26 thoughts on “Watergate Cake”

  1. I’ve made this several times and we love it. Sooo easy. I added blueberries this time and will let you know how it turns out

  2. This has been in my own recipes for years ! I also make it ever year for Saint Pistachio day and I also make beer simmered cabbage rolls! Enjoy

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