Pistachio Cake

Green pistachio cake recipe

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  • Total: 55 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yield: 1 cake (16 servings)

This pistachio cake is easy, delicious, and unique! It gets its strong pistachio flavor from both chopped nuts and pistachio pudding, so it's sure to satisfy even the biggest pistachio lover. The cake is finished with a whipped cream frosting that's so light and dreamy, you'll want to eat it with a spoon! This cake is delicious year-round, but its beautiful color and light texture make it especially perfect for spring parties and showers.

​The pistachio frosting on this cake is sensitive to warm temperatures, so you will want to keep the assembled cake in the refrigerator. If you need it to be stable at room temperature, consider frosting it with a traditional buttercream frosting instead.

Ingredients

  • For the Cake:
  • 1 (18 1/4-ounce) yellow cake mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup club soda (can substitute lemon-lime soda)
  • 1 (3.4-ounce) boxes instant pistachio pudding (not sugar-free variety)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (or 1/4 butter, melted and cooled)
  • 1 pound pistachios (coarsely chopped, lightly toasted)
  • For the Frosting:
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 (1 1/2-ounce) envelope of instant whipped topping
  • 1 (3.4-ounce) boxes instant pistachio pudding (not sugar-free variety)

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this pistachio cake dessert is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.

Make the Cake

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for cake
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper, and spray them with nonstick cooking spray.

    Nonstick pans
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. In a large bowl combine the cake mix, eggs, club soda, 1 box of the pudding, and the oil. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are combined, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 full minutes. 

    Mix cake batter
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Stir in 1/2 cup of the nuts by hand until they are well-distributed. 

    Stir in pistachio
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Divide the batter between the two pans.

    Divide batter
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. ​Bake the cake layers for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly pressed with your fingertips and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached.

    Bake the cake
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  7. Cool the pans on a baking rack for 10 minutes, then remove the cakes from the pans and cool them completely on baking rack. The cakes can be made in advance and kept, well-wrapped, in the freezer for several weeks or at room temperature for several days.

    Let cool
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Make the Frosting

  1. Gather the ingredients, including the remaining pistachios.

    Pistachio frosting
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. In a large bowl, mix the instant whipped topping with the dry pistachio pudding mix.

    Mix
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Stir in the milk. Mix on low to combine and then turn it on to high for at least 4 minutes.

    Stir in milk
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Once the frosting is fluffy and whipped, fold in the remaining nuts.

    Mix in nuts
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. ​Place one cake round on a serving plate, and spread about half of the frosting on the cake.

    Place cake on stand
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Top with the second cake round and spread the frosting all along the top and sides of the cake.

    Top with frosting
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  7. Once frosted, keep the cake in the refrigerator because the frosting will melt if not refrigerated. 

    Green pistachio cake
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck