Watergate Cake

This Watergate Cake recipe is a family favorite and thankfully, it’s so easy to make with a cake mix. Each cake slice is moist, the perfect sweetness, and topped with a light and fluffy whipped frosting.

Slice of Watergate Cake.

Mama and I baked this Watergate Cake recipe at my house the other day so we could photograph it here. She is writing today’s post. Take it away, Mama!  ~Christy

Watergate Cake is one of our favorite cakes. The cake is moist and the icing is so light and fluffy. Not at all overly sweet like some cakes, but just the right balance of sweet and fluff! The entire cake was gone the first day. The grandkids kept coming back for more until there was none left. It warmed my heart to make a dessert that everyone loved. Since this cake is green thanks to the pistachio pudding mix, it is the perfect cake to make for St. Patrick’s Day too.

Favorite Cake for St Patrick’s Day

I am so excited that St. Patrick’s Day is almost here. That means that spring isn’t far behind. I have always made a big deal out of every holiday. Kids, even the older ones, love it. My kids still remember the things we made and did for St. Patrick’s Day.  I always tried to make as much green food as I could. It is almost imperative that the food is very light or white in order for it to turn green with a few drops of food coloring. The mistakes are usually more memorable than the successes though. That’s what the holidays are for, good times with our family and making memories.

Fun Ideas for St. Patrick’s Day

Try to think outside the box for green ideas. If you need help, just look on the internet for thousands of ideas. Christy always puts a few drops of green food coloring in every toilet in her house! The kids get up each morning and run to see if the leprechauns visited because, well, they had to use the bathroom before they left, you know! You still have a few days to plan for St. Patrick’s Day so let’s dig into our wonderfully green Watergate Cake.

Watergate Cake ingredients.

Recipe Ingredients

  • White cake mix
  • Instant pistachio pudding mix
  • Vegetable oil
  • Eggs
  • Ginger ale 

How To Make Watergate Cake

Mix together the cake mix, pudding, oil and eggs with an electric mixer.

Combine the cake mix, 1 box of pistachio pudding, oil, eggs, and ginger ale in a large bowl. Mix well with an electric mixer.

Pour cake batter into pan and bake.

Pour the cake batter into a greased 9×13-inch baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until it tests done with a toothpick.

Frosting ingredients.

The frosting ingredients are milk, pistachio pudding mix, and whipped topping.

Combine milk and pudding mix and then fold in the whipped topping.

Add the cold milk to the instant pudding mix and mix with an electric mixer until well combined and it begins to thicken. Fold in the whipped topping and then it’s time to frost your Watergate Cake. Garnish with chopped pecans if you like.

Slice of Watergate Cake.

This is the beautiful end result. Store it in your refrigerator and enjoy!


Store pistachio cake leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 6 days. You can also freeze the unfrosted cake for up to 3 months. Thaw on the counter at room temperature before adding the frosting as instructed.

Recipe Notes

  • You may have noticed that cake mix now has a smaller amount in each box. Christy and I have tried a number of recipes and found no difference in the end result. Our advice is to not worry about it when using a recipe that calls for a box of cake mix. Just proceed with the recipe the same as always. There is no need to make any adjustments.
  • In a pinch, a yellow cake mix will work. But white cake mix will ensure the green pistachio color is more vibrant.
  • We used ginger ale because that is what we had on hand. You could also use Sprite, 7UP, club soda, or any other clear soft drink in this recipe.
  • For added flavor, add 1/2-cup each of chopped pecans and sweetened shredded coconut flakes to the pistachio Watergate cake batter. You can toast both or none on a sheet pan, the choice is yours.
  • For the whipped topping, you can use Cool Whip, Dream Whip, or even homemade whipped cream.
  • To add a pop of color, garnish your cake with maraschino cherries. This makes it the perfect festive cake for Christmas too!
  • You can opt to sprinkle chopped pecans on top or enhance the pistachio flavor with even more pistachio nuts.

Watergate Cake

Watergate Cake is a family favorite and thankfully, it's so easy to make with a cake mix. Each cake slice is moist, the perfect sweetness, and topped with a light and fluffy frosting.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake
Servings: 4
Calories: 348kcal


  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 2 boxes instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup ginger ale or 7 Up
  • 1 1/4 cups cold milk
  • 8 oz. whipped topping
  • nuts optional


  • Combine the cake mix, 1 box of pistachio pudding, oil, eggs, and ginger ale in a medium bowl.
    1 box white cake mix, 2 boxes instant pistachio pudding mix, 1 cup vegetable oil, 3 eggs, 1 cup ginger ale or 7 Up
  • Mix well and pour into a greased 9x13-inch baking pan.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely.
  • Add the cold milk to the remaining box of pistachio pudding mix in a medium bowl.
    1 1/4 cups cold milk, 2 boxes instant pistachio pudding mix
  • Stir until well combined and the pudding begins to thicken. Then fold in the whipped topping.
    8 oz. whipped topping
  • Frost the cooled cake and garnish it with chopped pecan pieces (optional).
  • Store in the refrigerator.


Calories: 348kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

You may enjoy these other cake mix recipes:

Busy Week Cake Mix Cookies

Cookies and Cream Cake Mix Cookies

Cake Mix Cherry Crumb Cake

Flamingo Cake


 “Where we love is home. Home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.” 

~Oliver Wendell Holmes

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  1. I would like to make this. But…what size box of pudding mix did you use?? I think it comes in family size also. Thanks…you are great at this!

  2. Christy, I found this recipe several yrs ago and had forgotten about this cake until I saw your e-mail. You are right. It is so moist and delicious. Thanks for reminding me about this cake,

  3. OK, we just couldn’t wait for St. Patrick’s Day so we made this cake today! We used club soda instead of ginger ale, etc. because that’s the only clear fizzy liquid we had on hand. Couldn’t hardly wait for it to cool down!

    This cake is So. Darn. Good.

    Thanks ever so much for the great recipe! Erin Go Bragh!

  4. Love that you call them buttercups, I still do as that is what my Mama called them. I look for them every year just like you do. They are a little later this year due to a late winter here in Hot Springs. I saw them peeking out yesterday so I know warmer weather is on the way. God bless and will be making this cake for our St. Patty’s day overeat dinner!

  5. Think I will make this for St. Patrick’s Day, has been a long time since I made this…..very little green here Mama Janice…..mostly brown 🙂 thanks for posting this recipe…….

    Did the doggie come home yet ?

    1. Love Love Love this cake. We usually make it for Easter and use green colored coconut on top of the frosting and to make nests with jelly beans and put the nuts in the cake mix itself.

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