Pistachio Pudding Cake

A moist, green cake made from a box mix with Jello pudding and a fluffy green frosting creates a delicious Pistachio Pudding Cake. 

This cake recipe is always a winner and has been described at family potlucks as refreshing and enjoyable! Most people who have eaten our cake have never eaten pistachios and LOVE this pudding cake with an easy Cool Whip frosting.

Close up square piece of pistachio cake made moist with pistachio jello pudding and a layer of light and fluffy pistachio cool whip frosting on top.

Pistachio Pudding Cake Recipe

Our Easy Pistachio Pudding Cake with Cool Whip Frosting is a traditional cake from a box mix with two pudding mixes added for extra flavor.

A light green cake with a green whipped topping icing has a cool, nutty and refreshing flavor. This moist cake is quick to make because a box mix is the first ingredient and only calls for a total of 6 ingredients.

We had our first big family reunion in my husband’s family and I brought this Jello Pistachio Pudding Cake.  After milling around the dessert table for a while, pieces of the cake coated with Cool Whip Frosting started disappearing.  After trying it everyone loved it!

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One aunt shared that she is part of a card club and they like to make unique recipes like Yogurt Pie and Wine Cake to enjoy while playing cards.  She said she will be making this recipe for pistachio pudding cake for her next card club.

Refreshing layer of Cool Whip and pistachio pudding frosting on top of a light and moist piece of green pistachio pudding cake from a box mix on a stack of white plates with the full cake in the background.

I observed the dessert table and the chocolate desserts went first.  The basics like Chocolate Chip Cookies and Chocolate Delight.  It took a second trip to the dessert table for people to get more adventurous and try this recipe, but when they did they LOVED it!

Ingredients Needed

  • Yellow cake mix
  • Instant pistachio pudding mix
  • Eggs
  • Cool Whip
  • Vegetable oil
  • Milk
Ingredients to make pistachio pudding cake are eggs, a box of yellow cake mix, Cool Whip, pistachio pudding, milk and vegetable oil on a wooden counter top.

More Green Desserts

The popularity of this easy Pistachio Pudding Cake spikes around St. Patricks day since it’s green. But it is surprisingly popular all year around too.

Visually the light green color of the cake is unique. Taste wise it’s the frosting that really sets this cake apart.

Green Watergate Salad or Lime Jello Salad is typically on the table at my family gatherings and it just occurred to me that there was not a single Jello salad or fluff dessert at this party.  Funny how family traditions vary. 

A moist piece of green cake with pistachio frosting with pudding sitting on a white plate with the full pan of pistachio pudding cake in the background.

What is Pistachio Pudding Made Of?

The ingredients on the back of the box for store brand instant Pistachio pudding and pie filling are: sugar (which makes this cake extra delicious), dextrose, modified tapioca and corn starch, and almonds.  Then there is a list of ingredients that comprise less than 2% of the pistachio pudding mixture and pistachios are in that list.

Since there are is a higher percentage of almonds than pistachios in the pudding the almonds are providing the majority of the nutty flavor.  There are enough pistachios to provide a nice pistachio nut flavor too!

How to Make Pistachio Pudding Cake

  1. Grease 13 x 9 inch baking pan and preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Mix all cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl on high speed for about two minutes
  3. Bake 40 minutes or until cake is set
  4. Let cake cool completely
  5. To make frosting mix pudding and milk until thick. Fold in whipped topping

Step By Step Instructions

Pour a yellow cake mix and two small boxes of instant pistachio pudding mix into a mixing bowl.

Instant green pistachio pudding poured into a silver mixing bowl with a box of classic yellow cake mix.

Add 5 eggs. These will help make the cake so much more moist.

Eggs added on top Pistachio pudding and yellow cake mix in an electric mixing bowl to make a pistachio pudding cake recipe.

Next add vegetable oil and milk.

Five eggs, vegetable oil and milk added to instant Jello pudding and cake mix in a silver mixing bowl.

Mix all of the ingredients together until the batter is smooth and green.

Two boxes of pistachio pudding stirred into a cake batter to make it green and slightly nutty.

Pour into a greased 9 x 13” glass dish and bake in a 350°F preheated oven.

Bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Over head view of a baked pistachio cake in a 9 x 13 glass dish on a white counter top.

Allow the cake to cool completely before spreading the frosting on top.

Pistachio Frosting With Pudding

Pour another box of instant pistachio pudding mix into a small mixing bowl.

Add the milk and whisk together.

Milk poured over a box of instant pistachio pudding in a white mixing bowl.

Then add the defrosted Cool Whip or whipped topping and use a spatula to gently fold it in.

Continue stirring and folding until the frosting is a consistent, uniform color without any streaks.

Cool Whip being stirred together with pistachio pudding and milk to make an easy frosting.

Then spread over the cake and store in the refrigerator.

Moist piece of pistachio cake on white plate in front of white 9x13 baking dish

The cake will be best if used within 2 – 3 days.

Tips For Making A Pistachio Cake

  • Remove cake from the oven and cover with a piece of plastic wrap to help hold in moisture while the cake cools
  • Let the cake cool before applying frosting or the whipped topping with melt
  • Store this cake in the refrigerator to preserve the whipped topping
  • The cake tastes great without any fresh pistachios, I just sprinkled some on top for looks
  • Almonds would make a great accent for the cake it desired

A Variation With Chocolate Chips

A reader shares that she loves adding 12 ounces of chocolate chips. Furthermore she recommends replacing the milk with sour cream, using a full cup of oil and using 3 eggs instead of 5 with the white cake mix and pistachio pudding mix.

More Easy Dessert Recipes:

Butterscotch Delight has layers of butterscotch pudding, cream cheese and Cool Whip on a flour crust make a light and heavenly dessert.

Orange Delight is a light and sweet treat made of mandarin oranges, crushed pineapple, orange gelatin, cottage cheese and Cool Whip.

Black Forest Cherry Bundt Cake mixes a can of cherry pie filling into a box of chocolate cake to make a wonderful treat.

Piece of pistachio pudding cake with cool whip frosting.

Pistachio Pudding Cake

Servings 16 pieces
Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life
A moist, green cake made from a box mix with Jello pudding and a fluffy green frosting creates a delicious Pistachio Pudding Cake. 
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Cool time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 7 ounces Instant Pistachio Pudding 2 small boxes, 3.5 oz size
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 eggs

Frosting

  • 3.5 ounces Instant Pistachio Pudding 1 small box, 3.5 oz size
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 8 ounces whipped topping defrosted

Instructions
 

Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and grease 13 x 9 inch baking pan.
  • Mix all cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl on high speed for about two minutes.
  • Bake 40 minutes or until cake is set.
  • Let cake cool completely.

Frosting

  • Mix pudding and milk until thick. Fold in whipped topping and spread over cake.

Notes

  • Remove cake from the oven and cover with a piece of plastic wrap to help hold in moisture while the cake cools
  • Let the cake cool before applying frosting or the whipped topping with melt
  • Store this cake in the refrigerator to preserve the whipped topping
  • The cake tastes great without any fresh pistachios, I just sprinkled some on top for looks

Nutrition

Calories: 241kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 4gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 276mgPotassium: 74mgFiber: 1gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 116IUCalcium: 107mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Plowing Through Life” is not a dietitian or nutrition professional. Any nutritional information shared is an estimate and can vary greatly depending on specific products are used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator of your choice.

Tried this recipe?Mention @PlowingThroughLife or tag #PlowingThroughLife!

Originally shared on June 22, 2019 with pictures updated on June 21, 2023.

14 Comments

  1. Pistachios are one of our favorites!! We would love this cake! Definitely going to make!

    1. Thank you! We hope you love the cake!

  2. Barbara Moon says:

    I haven’t tried your recipe yet, but my adaughter made one like this for a family sas function, and I thought it was on my top list of the best things I’ve ever eaten!!..ever since then, she’s asked what I want for birthday, Christmas, Mother’s Day whatever … I always say nothing except a pistachio cake. I’ve never gotten her recipe, because my oven has been out on my stove for a while and haven’t replaced it but going to this week. As I said I haven’t gotten her recipe, but this sounds just like what she makes, and you putting the extra pudding in the cake I’m sure is what makes it so moist. So now I am going to get her recipe and compare it with this one, the only thing that she always does is just completely cover it with chopped pistachios! I literally could sit down and eat half of it in a sitting, and I’m a small person … it’s just that good! Not too sweet and read someone else say refreshing … that it is!! Not to mention being beautiful. Well except for the time he brought one to me, it was in the back of her vehicle and the top layer slid completely off almost … She was apologizing, but absolutely no need … would’ve eaten & enjoyed it just as much in any state. Thank you for your recipe anxious to try it!

    1. Hello! Thanks for sharing! We really enjoy these flavors and hope you do too!

  3. Kathryn McCormick says:

    5 stars
    I was happy to find your recipe for Easy Pistachio Pudding Cake and the taste was just what I had remembered. With my many moves I couldn’t find the recipe which promoted the new pistachio pudding.

    Thank you!

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      So glad to hear that you love the recipe! Thanks for sharing your kind words!

  4. Barbara Brophy says:

    Love this but want to try it with mini loaves. How do I adjust the recipe?

  5. Can you do this in a Bundt pan?

  6. I made this for my husband’s birthday and it was wonderful!! Has anyone tried substituting the pudding flavor? Vanilla, coconut cream or white chocolate?

  7. Hello, I would love to make this recipe! Would I be able to make this in a bundt pan?

    1. Jennifer @ Plowing Through Life says:

      Hey There! I haven’t tested it, but I think the cake portion would fit in a bundt pan…the challenge would be adding the Cool Whip Frosting which really completes this recipe. I hope you enjoy!

  8. Michaeline A. says:

    5 stars
    This is the best cake. Everyone loves it.

  9. I made this cake twice in a row and both times the cake came out of the oven beautiful and fluffy, then immediately fell flat! The consistency was not fluffy and light, it was very dense and thick. Can anyone tell me what happened? I followed the recipe to the “T” both times. Help, I want to like this recipe!!

  10. Kathleen Marez says:

    Couldn’t find my original recipes.OI used this when and it looks awesome.Thanks for it

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