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!

slice of pistachio pudding poke cake on a white plate.

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
  • Water
  • 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
overhead shot of labeled ingredients laid out to make a pistachio pudding cake.

How to make a Pistachio Pudding Poke Cake

  1. 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.
  2. STEP TWO: Then, bake the cake for 30-40 minutes at 350° or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

collage of 3 photos showing the process of making a pistachio cake in a 9x13 pan.

When to serve it

The green tinge from the pistachio pudding would make it great for St. Patrick’s Day with some Irish Potato Candy or Lucky Charms Treats, 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!

overhead shot of a poke cake topped with chopped pecans in a baking dish.

FAQs

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.

a bite of pistachio cake on a fork.

Need more cake recipes? Try these:

Butterscotch Bundt Cake
Caramel Apple Poke Cake
Caramel Apple Pecan Bundt Cake

Click here to view my entire collection of cake recipes.

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slice of pistachio pudding poke cake on a white plate.
4.50 from 87 votes

Pistachio Pudding Poke Cake

Servings: 15 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
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!

Ingredients
 

For the cake

  • 15.25 ounce white cake mix
  • 4 large egg whites
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup water + 2 Tablespoons
  • 3.4 ounce instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 2.25 ounce pecans chopped or chips

For the frosting

  • 2 Tablespoons butter melted
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cup water

Instructions

For the cake

  • Preheat your oven to 350° F and spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add the cake mix, egg whites, oil, water, and pistachio pudding mix. Use an electric mixer to beat on medium until fully combined.
    15.25 ounce white cake mix, 4 large egg whites, ¾ cup vegetable oil, ¾ cup water, 3.4 ounce instant pistachio pudding mix
  • Pour into the prepared pan and sprinkle the chopped pecans evenly on top.
    2.25 ounce pecans
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • While the cake is baking, make the frosting.

For the frosting

  • In a medium microwave safe bowl, melt the butter and then add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and water. Whisk together until smooth.
    2 Tablespoons butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, ⅓ cup water
  • Once cake is cooled, poke holes into the top and pour frosting over the top letting it run through and sink in.
  • Slice and serve.

Video

Notes

Store leftovers covered at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 241kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 320mg | Potassium: 51mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 49IU | Vitamin C: 0.05mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on Instagram @melissa_pplates so I can see!

Originally published May 23, 2016 and I first shared this pistachio cake recipe on Amanda’s Cookin’.

Pistachio 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 pudding cake is simple yet irresistible! | www.persnicketyplates.com
Pistachio 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 pudding cake is simple yet irresistible! | www.persnicketyplates.com


4.50 from 87 votes (80 ratings without comment)

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27 Comments

  1. Have you ever substituted pistachios for the pecans? Did it turn out? I guess I’m a bit hung up on why pistachios aren’t used when it’s a pistachio cake. I do know almond extract is used a lot to enhance the pistachio flavor. Is this along the same vein?

    1. Lol I haven’t (I actually briefly mention it above). That’s the way the recipe came to me & I just went with it. I think pistachios are softer than pecan chips so that might be a factor but I’m sure it would work with chopped pistachios.

  2. I made this cake yesterday ready for the Sabbath tomorrow. I divided the batter into 2 rounds and baked 25-30 minutes…I used the vanilla and a few drops of almond and half the icing…I added chopped pistachios to the batter and used chopped pistachios in place of pecans. Very yummy

  3. This cake is definitely one of my favorites. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I’ve made it now about 20 times and everyone loves it. I’ve had requests to make it from friends and family and will continue as we never grow tired of it. So moist and delicious.

  4. 5 stars
    This was the BEST cake I have had in a long time. It was moist, just the right amount of flavoring and the pecans and glaze on top instead of frosting was perfect.

  5. 5 stars
    This cake was Amazing!! Me and my husband almost ate half the cake the first day! I finally shared with my sister so we didn’t eat it all! I will definitely make this for the next social function!