This Pistachio Pudding Poke Cake starts with a cake mix so it’s super easy and always a crowd pleaser. I’ve never made this cake without being asked for the recipe! Topped with pecans and filled with delicious pistachio pudding, this pistachio cake is simple yet irresistible!
Pistachio Pudding Cake
I’ve been blogging for about seven years now and I don’t know what has taken me so long to share this pistachio cake recipe.
My mom is not much of a baker. She is amazing at many, many things, but baking is not one of them. However, she’s been making this cake for as long as I can remember and it turns out great every single time.
Every time she makes it, she is asked for the recipe. And now I’m always asked for the recipe.
I sent one with my husband to a gathering he attended and he came home with marriage proposals for me.
It’s that good.
I’m fairly new to poke cakes but they’re so easy! I want to poke holes in more things.
Why you’ll love this Pistachio Poke Cake
Easy recipe – I’ve made this cake so many times, often at the last minute, because it’s so easy to whip up.
Crowd pleaser – Honestly, it is my most requested cake. Everyone loves it.
Super moist – I get it, we hate that word, but it is a moist cake! There are a couple different ways to make Jello poke cakes but in this particular one, adding instant pistachio pudding right to the white cake mix batter makes for a super tender crumb (is that better than moist?).
Great for all occasions – I’ve made it for happy events (birthdays, celebrations, etc.) and sad events (funerals, recovering, etc.). It is appropriate for whatever is going on.
Equipment you’ll need
- 9 x 13 baking dish – LOVE that it has a lid for storing leftovers.
- Hand mixer – I use my hand mixer way more often than my stand mixer.
- Mixing Bowls – Microwave safe mixing bowls are handy to have.
Ingredients you’ll need
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.
- White Cake Mix – A 15.25 ounce box of white cake mix. Use your favorite brand, I’m partial to Duncan Hines.
- Egg Whites – You’ll only use the egg whites to not change the color of the cake.
- Vegetable Oil
- Pistachio Pudding Mix – A 3.4 ounce box of instant pistachio pudding. Jello brand or store brand work fine.
- Pecans – Why pecans and not pistachios? I don’t know. Just go with it. I like to use pecan chips.
- Powdered Sugar – Sometimes called confectioners’ sugar or icing sugar. Same thing.
- Vanilla Extract – Try to use a good quality vanilla extract (not imitation). It makes a difference, especially in something simple like this cake.
- Melted Butter
How to make a Pistachio Pudding Poke Cake
- STEP ONE: First, add the cake mix, egg whites, oil, water, and pudding mix to a large bowl and mix until fully combined. It will be fluffy. Pour the cake batter into a greased 9×13 baking dish and sprinkle the pecans evenly over the top.
- STEP TWO: Then, bake the cake for 30-40 minutes at 350° or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- STEP THREE: While the cake is baking, make the frosting by melting the butter in a microwave-safe bowl and then adding the powdered sugar, vanilla, and water. Whisk it together until smooth.
- STEP FOUR: Once the cake is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool slightly. Once it has cooled down, use a wooden skewer or the end of a skinny spoon to poke holes all over the cake (I personally use the end of a drink stirrer). Pour the frosting evenly over the cake and let it sink in.
Slice & enjoy!
When to serve it
The green tinge from the pistachio pudding would make it great for St. Patrick’s Day but really, we make it all year round.
Because it makes a 9 x 13 cake, it’s great to slice up for parties.
How to store leftovers
Leftovers should be covered at room temperature. If you prefer, you can cover it and store it in the fridge. It will keep 3-4 days but it has never lasted that long for me!
What is a poke cake?
A poke cake is a cake that is prepared and then you literally poke holes into it and pour something over it to soak into the holes – often sweetened condensed milk, chocolate, or in this case, a simple vanilla frosting.
You can also try it in cupcake form like my strawberry poke cupcakes!
In this pistachio cake recipe, letting the frosting drizzle down into the cake, on top of having pistachio pudding in the batter, leaves you with a super moist cake.
Can I make it ahead of time?
Sure can. Making it the day before you need it allows the flavors to really come together.
What can I use to poke holes in cake?
It depends on the size of the hole you’re after. Some people use a wooden skewer or the end of a wooden spoon. My spoon handles are pretty beefy so I prefer to use the end of a drink stirrer for smaller holes. You can even use a fork if that’s all you have.
Can I use less frosting?
Yes, the frosting makes quite a bit. Let your sweet tooth guide you – I know my mom often halves it.
Need more cake recipes? Try these:
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Originally published May 23, 2016 and I first shared this pistachio cake recipe on Amanda’s Cookin’.