Pistachio Pudding Cake Recipe

pistachio pudding cake with glaze

The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 44 mins
Total: 54 mins
Servings: 12 to 16 servings
Yield: 1 cake
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
340 Calories
14g Fat
50g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 to 16
Amount per serving
Calories 340
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 51mg 17%
Sodium 298mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 50g 18%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 35g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 99mg 8%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 117mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Colorful, moist, and flavorful, this pistachio pudding cake is an impressive dessert to take along to a party or potluck. It's an easy cake, too. The cake is a breeze to make with a cake mix and a box of instant pistachio pudding, and it can be baked in a Bundt cake pan or rectangular cake pan.

The ingredients are straightforward, with lemon-lime soda and oil, with extra moistness from the sour cream. You can use a white or yellow cake mix, and if you want more green color in the cake, feel free to add a few drops of green food coloring. Chopped pistachios in the cake and topping give the cake its crunchy texture. Use finely chopped walnuts or pecans if you like, or make a more dramatic topping with toasted coconut or shaved chocolate.

“This pudding cake is surprisingly tasty and very easy to follow. The soda addition maybe my new favorite hack to amp up cake mix, it make It extra springy and light. This cake would be a total show stopper and brunch, and it was easy to make.“ —Tracy Wilk 

pistachio cake/tester image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • Cooking spray

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, more as needed

  • 1 package (15.25 ounces) yellow cake mix

  • 1/2 cup (3.4 ounces) pistachio pudding mix

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 cup lemon-lime soda

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios

For the Glaze

  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, more as needed

  • 3 tablespoons milk, more as needed

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pistachios

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Grease and flour a Bundt pan. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 F.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer, beat together the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, soda, sour cream, oil, and vanilla on low speed.

    Increase the speed to medium and beat until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.

  4. Fold in the pistachios.

  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.

  6. Bake the cake until the cake springs back when lightly touched, 42 to 46 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert it onto a rack to cool completely.

  7. Once the cake is cooled completely, prepare the glaze. Put the confectioners' sugar in a medium bowl with the milk and vanilla. Whisk to combine. If too thick, add 1 additional teaspoon of milk at a time until desired consistency is reached. If too thin, add additional 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar at a time, as needed. The glaze should be thick, but pourable.

  8. Gently drizzle the glaze over the cake, letting it drip down the sides.

  9. Sprinkle the pistachios over the still wet glaze. Let the glaze set and harden, about 2 minutes, Slice and serve.

Recipe Variations

  • Add chocolate curls or toasted coconut to the chopped pistachio topping.
  • Swap out the chopped pistachios with walnuts or pecans.
  • Instead of vanilla extract, use 3/4 teaspoon of almond extract in the cake and 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract in the glaze.
  • Replace the lemon-lime soda with club soda or ginger ale.
  • Add a few drops of green food coloring to the cake batter for a bright green color.
  • Omit the glaze and dust the cake with confectioners' sugar.
  • You can bake the cake in two 8-by-4-inch loaf pans—test for doneness after about 38 minutes. Glaze one for now and freeze the unglazed loaf for another day!
  • Bake the cake in a 9x13-inch pan for about 30 to 35 minutes.

How to Store Pistachio Pudding Cake

  • Once the glaze has hardened, cover the cake and store it at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.
  • To freeze the cake, arrange individual slices on a sheet pan and freeze. Transfer the cake slices to a freezer container or resealable freezer bag when frozen solid. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months—thaw in the refrigerator for several hours.