Homemade Pistachio Pudding Cake

Close up of Homemade Pistachio Pudding Cake with Pistachio Buttercream Frosting in transparent cake holder and a slice in white plate

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Homemade Pistachio Pudding Cake with Pistachio Buttercream Frosting
Homemade Pistachio Pudding Cake

I knew once I delved into the evil, evil realm of those pistachio pudding cookies that I made last week that I was a changed girl forever. I had finally caved into trying out pudding mixes in cookies. I’m a convert, I gotta admit it. Then again, we all know that there’s no food snobbery happening around this website, so we’re cool.

When I made those cookies, I had people chiming in from all over on Instagram and Facebook about how much they loved pistachio pudding cake. Of course, I had to google this right away.

Wow. Mind blown.

I also knew that I wanted to create a homemade, non-cake mix, pistachio pudding cake. This would take it over the top, I was sure. To omit the cake mix and create a gorgeous from-scratch cake would blow my mind even more.

A slice of Homemade Pistachio Pudding Cake in a white plate

Oh you guys. It did.

This is, bar none, the best cake I have ever baked up. I have found Nirvana. Seventh heaven. Whatever you want to call it, this cake is the bomb. Moist, fluffy, perfect cake. This cake made me swoon. I teased you all with a photo of it last Sunday and there were more than a few of you swooning as well. I just can’t stop looking at it.

Pistachio perfection.

Close up of Homemade Pistachio Pudding Cake with Pistachio Buttercream Frosting in transparent cake holder

The icing on the cake (see what I did there?) is literally my new Pistachio Pudding Buttercream Icing recipe. There are all sorts of pistachio pudding icings out there but not a single buttercream one and you all know my fixation with buttercream icing. I didn’t want a whipped cream based icing, I wanted a delicious, melt in your mouth buttery one.

Close up of Homemade Pistachio Pudding Cake with Pistachio Buttercream Frosting in transparent cake holder and a slice in white plate

I am sure you now can all foresee more cakes in my future and there will be more coming, I have a few more ideas. I’m totally into the pudding cakes from scratch now and have a few ideas on how to make them completely from scratch, pudding included!

If you want to try cookies, my pistachio cookies using pistachio pudding are amazing and one of my favorite cookies!

Happy Baking everyone!

Love you more than pistachio pudding,


I’ve noticed that either people nail this cake, or it falls. If it falls, you didn’t bake it long enough. PLEASE TEST THE CAKE FOR DONENESS! TEST IN THE MIDDLE, TEST BY THE HOLE IN THE BUNDT PAN. Make sure that it’s absolutely cooked! This IS A BUNDT CAKE AND THEY TAKE FOREVER TO BAKE!!


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Homemade Pistachio Pudding Cake

Homemade pistachio pudding cake, no cake mix involved, just a gorgeous, perfect crumb bundt cake with pistachio pudding mixed in.
4.93 from 51 votes
Close up of Homemade Pistachio Pudding Cake with Pistachio Buttercream Frosting in transparent cake holder and a slice in white plate
Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
55 minutes
Total Time
1 hour 15 minutes
Karlynn Johnston


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups of white granulated sugar
  • 1 99g package of jello instant pistachio pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup chopped pistachios 1/4 cup reserved to the side for topping
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour a standard Bundt pan.(the 12 cup capacity)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt then set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.Add in the DRY pistachio pudding mix and combine thoroughly.

  4. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, making sure each is thoroughly incorporated.
  5. Mix in the chopped pistachios.
  6. Combine the milk, oil and vanilla extract in a large measuring cup or bowl.
  7. Starting with the dry ingredients, alternate pouring a third of the wet and dry ingredients into the bowl, incorporating thoroughly after each addition. You will end on the wet ingredients. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes after the last addition.
  8. Pour the cake batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. 
  10. Invert the cake onto a baking rack to cool.
  11. Frost with Pistachio Pudding Buttercream Icing when the cake has completely cooled and sprinkle the remaining pistachios over the icing.

Recipe Notes

If you live at a higher altitude use a larger bundt pan so that it doesn't overflow OR leave out a good 1/2 cup of batter 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 307kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 65mg, Sodium: 247mg, Potassium: 217mg, Sugar: 20g, Vitamin A: 380IU, Vitamin C: 0.3mg, Calcium: 82mg, Iron: 1.1mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

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Reader Interactions

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  1. Malinka Franklin says

    My mother wanted a pistachio cake for her birthday and luckily I found your recipe. I made it exactly as directed and it turned out wonderful. She was very happy with the cake and it’s one that I will definitely make again. It was moist and flavorful. I also made the pistachio icing which complimented the flavor of the cake perfectly. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe!!5 stars

    • Michele says

      Made this for New Year’s Eve, just as written. YUM!5 stars

  2. Angie says

    Loved this cake. It came out amazing! I’m going to make this for Christmas Eve!5 stars

  3. Rebecca says

    Where is your pistachio butter cream frosting recipe

  4. Denise says

    I followed the recipe very carefully paying great attention to baking the cake long enough. Unfortunately before I even removed the cake from the oven it had sunk and not just a little, but a whole lot. Definitely not presentable…

    • Sara K Krych says

      The exact same thing just happened to me! I followed the recipe very carefully and it has completely collapsed while still in the oven. This is supposed to be for my son’s 2nd birthday today. Very disappointed. 🙁4 stars

  5. Kolene says

    Almond extract and sour cream are missing from this recipe!

  6. Iris says

    I have been looking desperately for a Pistachio Pudding Cake recipe that didn’t incorporate a pre-made cake mix, and I’m glad I found this one. I bought a discount bundt pan at a grocery store, and made the recipe exactly according. I live near Denver at 5,450 feet, so I don’t know if that counts as high altitude, but I usually try the recipe without alterations first. I’ve made it twice and had no problems, and rave reviews 🙂 Did a coffee-flavored glaze with it the second time, and people liked that too.5 stars

    • Danisha says

      I don’t bake too much. But my brother in law would like me to make this cake. But I am so confused by the recipe?? Please help!! I am confused do you make the pudding seperately or just use the dry ingredients of the pudding mix? Also the icing do you make it?? Or is it store bought.

      • Yesenia Sanchez says

        Why isn’t the cake batter sweet. Will the flavor change as it bakes. Nor is the batter green?

  7. Bobbe Leviten says

    Okay, I’ve been reading the comments, especially the issue of overflow and it seems the pan does make a difference. My best Bundt pan is actually 14 cups (considered a 12-cup), rather than a 10-12 cup pan as those can run small. As far as I know, there is a rule of thumb regarding filling a pan with cake batter, which is no more than 2/3 full (1/2 with layer cakes, I believe). I did that with what turns out to be an 8-cup Bundt pan, and just make cupcakes out of the remaining batter.

    Now, the cake indeed rises while baking, but mine sinks as it cools, but when I turn it out of the pan after 6-10 minutes, it’s perfect (no one sees the underside anyway). My 2nd cake of the evening is in a different Bundt pan, which is slightly smaller than my regular one (although still a 12-cup, but barely). It has risen to the top edge and up just a bit above the center, but the cake had already mostly set, so it has isn’t running into the middle. I am counting on it sinking a bit so I can get it out of the pan after 10 minutes.

    I’m pretty much as sea level, but I do most of my baking in a convection oven. I haven’t had to make any adjustments, but I do watch any cake the first time or two and make notes on anything like time or temperature adjustments needed.5 stars

  8. Bobbe Leviten says

    OMG! What an amazing cake! The fourth one is currently in the oven. I have two functions tomorrow (Sunday) and I’m bringing one to each. I’ve been in search of the perfect moist cake and this one is definitely it! The first two functions I brought it to, there wasn’t a crumb left. Rather than the pistachio buttercream, I found a great recipe for a cardamom glaze. Cardamom is kind of my go-to spice and it pairs so well with the pistachio cake — baking perfection if you ask me!5 stars

  9. Arezu says

    I love baking & looking at all the different recipes here & when I saw this one I knew I HAD to try it !! I’ve been slightly obsessed with pistachios lately ( I only recently started liking them ) & since we were getting together at my parents house to celebrate Nowruz ( the Persian new year) it was a great excuse to try it out this cake . After reading all the comments of cakes falling & overflowing , giant moats & what not, I WAS a bit worried but I went for it . .
    I did toast the pistachios- it REALLY brings out the nutty flavor , and I also picked up a Milk Chocolate pistachio bar( it’s made by Nestlé available at Vons & Albertsons) chopped it up & into small chunks & added it to the batter at the very end . Yumm!!
    I made it saturday morning, let it cool completely several hours before removing it from the pan then it sat covered till I frosted it the next day . It was moist & delicious, Everyone really enjoyed it & I can’t wait to make it again. Thanks for a wonderful recipe : )5 stars

  10. Nicole says

    Made this tonight…followed recipe exactly and it turned out delicious! I’m not an icing person, so I just dusted with powder sugar. Everyone loved it!5 stars

    • Joan says

      I’ve made the pistachio cake several times, also modified it for a coconut cake, came out flawless with rave reviews. Going to do a confetti version next using vanilla pudding and sprinkles. You have to cook this cake longer than expected for success.5 stars

    • Deb says

      I am confused 2 99gr or one please help getting ready to make

  11. Pat says

    Yes…I had the same problem with the over flow…I ended up throwing it out before it finished baking….

  12. Sarah says

    The flavor of this cake is so delicious. I didn’t have pistachios so left them out and it was still so tasty – even the pickiest kid loved it! Then I got to thinking that this recipe could probably work for any flavor of pudding mix, so I tried lemon (again, left out the pistachios and just dusted the top with some powdered sugar). It was amazing!4 stars

    • Gabriela Vargas says

      I made this cake yesterday and it’s just delicious ?. It’s so soft, moist, and buttery. I only sprinkled powdered sugar on it. I will be trying your lemon cake recipe next. Keep sharing your awesome recipes! ?5 stars

  13. Beth says

    Karlynn, I’m not a snob either, but I’ve had it with flavorless box cakes. My son requested this cake for his birthday and I know he’ll love it even more than the old way. I’ll let you know how delighted he is with it!

  14. Kathy says

    I must have a miniature bundt cake pan!! I know it is normal size!! I have cake running over all over my oven!! What the heck?!

  15. Sandra Roberts says

    You made a few elderly people very very happy. I made your Pistachio cake for a few residents at a local Senior Center (I left out the nuts as a couple have trouble chewing) They ate it so fast I thought I was feeding my grand kids!! I was asked if I’d bring another one soon (which I will) I’ll be checking out your cookbook very soon5 stars

  16. Terence says

    This cake turned out very well for me. I used cream cheese frosting glaz which was great. I also scooped out some batter and made into cupcakes because I wanted to make sure the batter didn’t overflow. This recipe has a lot of leavening so I can see why some people experienced overflowing even with a standard bunds pan.

    Anyway, this cake is great. I love how the pudding mix makes the cake moist. I even added some green food coloring to amp up he green color.5 stars

  17. Dona Decker says

    Have not made this cake yet – because I am certainly making the Banana Pudding Cake next. THEN the pistachio cake! Thanks for the seriously great recipes!

  18. Bonnie says

    Yes, yes, and yes! I was cooking in someone else’s kitchen so I had to substitute a different frosting, but the cake was incredible. It was light, easy, and so flavorful that it will become a staple at home.5 stars

  19. Nirmal says

    Looks great! Can I however, completely eliminate butter? I’m looking for an oil airy cake. Light and not dense.

  20. Antoinette Auger says

    If you follow basic techniques, this recipe should give you a beautiful, light and flavorful cake. When you add the pudding, be sure to add it as powder. DO NOT mix the powder with the liquid indicated on the box as if you were making pudding. Also, be sure to allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 to 20 min. before turning out on a cooling rack.5 stars

  21. Laurae says

    I have a question about the size of pudding mix for the recipe. Small pack of pudding? Box says 1oz/28g. Is that the size to use, or larger box?

  22. Natasha Kachel says

    This cake is amazing. I made it once and did not icing it, it was still delicious. Gonna do the icing this time, can’t wait to taste it! Thanks for posting this awesome recipe!5 stars

  23. A Canadian Foodie says

    This was Lauren’s favourite recipe growing up. You are in the same era as she. Do you remember the Pistachio Pudding Salad? Oh my gosh! It his everywhere and everyone in the late 70’s to end of the 80’s. It had a long and fruitful (very punny) life. It was my “go-to” salad in those days and everyone asked for the recipe and had me on a pedestal cause I could create such deliciousness (the pudding, cook whip, fruit cocktail, crushed pineapple and a banana, I recall). Then a similar version of this cake came out in the 90’s – of course – cake mix, pudding and a can of 7 up or soda or something like that… By then, I was a mom – so made it with real eggs and flour and butter – and the pudding!!! And, it was Lauren’s ultimate favourite. I had absolutely forgotten about it. THANK YOU! Will be digging into my dusty recipe box to find this one.

  24. Kelly SeBour says

    Thank you so much for this awesome way of making a homemade pudding cake. I converted your recipe using plant based products. Silk Milk, Earth Balance butter, Apple Sauce (eggs), and sugar can be that of Coconut sugar which taste exactly like white sugar; I still use white sugar until the alternatives come down in price 😉 I also made this recipe into cup cakes…didn’t have a bundt pan. They did rise and my husband liked them without the icing. Making that this morning to top the cakes.

  25. Emily1234567 says

    I would rate this recipe on a scale of 1-10 (one being the worst, 10 being the best) a 6. It was good overall, but here is my full experience with the recipe:

    I made this for my mother’s birthday, she loves pistachios so I thought it would be perfect. I followed the recipe EXACTLY as I’m a person who never eyeballs anything, always goes by exactly what the recipe says. So I did that, used a standard 12 cup sized bundt pan, and cooked it at 325 F at high altitude (I’m near Denver, Colorado)

    The batter looked divine as I put it in the bundt pan, so I’m thinking “okay this is going to be an amazing cake”, not quite.

    35 minutes after putting it in the oven I smell something burning, I dismiss the smell but can not deny the plume of SMOKE coming up through the burners on my STOVE, not the oven, but the stove. So it was literally coming out the oven through the stove. At this point I’m thinking what the heck is going on, I open the oven and a mushroom cloud of smoke comes rushing out as if theres a fire in there, (which there almost was, yes my oven almost caught on fire due to the immense amount of smoke in there. So after opening the oven and having my whole kitchen, living room, and bedroom adjacent to the kitchen filled with smoke, and having to open all the doors and windows, I learn that the reason for the smoke was due to the fact that the cake had somehow spilled over the middle piece of the bundt pan, out the hole, and down onto the oven coils. Now I did not see anywhere in the recipe where it stated that this cake was going to spill over and drip so you will need to put something under it to avoid an oven fire… Like I said before I used the standard sized bundt pan called for in the recipe as well as followed the recipe exactly. The pan was only about 3/4 full when I put it in the oven. So I guess because I had to open the oven 3/4 way through cooking time the cake sunk. Yes it just completely sunk in the middle. LUCKILY it was not burnt at all, cooked perfectly but sunken in. I was able to salvage it by flipping it out of the pan upside down, that way it looked fine because the sunken in part was on the bottom. The cake was also a bit lopsided. So after cooking it I leave it in the fridge overnight, it sets up nicely and is easier to handle. I make the pistachio pudding buttercream icing mentioned in the recipe, which turned out pretty good, taste was great, but even after leaving it in the fridge for 1 hour+ and furiously whipping it, it was not nearly as fluffy looking as in the picture, I basically had to glope it onto the cake and it just kind of ran down the sides. It wasn’t as watery as I’m making it sound but certainly not as fluffy as the picture, I was expecting a nice almost meringue texture icing.

    So comes my mom’s birthday, and she loved the cake. It looked great on the outside, and tasted pretty good on the inside except for the fact that there was a one inch hole running through the entirety of the bottom of the cake due to it sinking in. Not a big deal but I would have loved for it to look nice like in the picture as was expected. I think the worst part about this cake was that I had to tell people it was a “Smoked Pistachio Pudding Cake” due to the fact that the entire middle inside part of the cake tastes like hickory smoked coals because of the extreme amount of smoke that was in the oven when it was cooking. Luckily people thought I was super clever and fancy by somehow “smoking” the pistachios. They kept asking me “so how did you do it? did you add liquid smoke, did you roast the pistachios? wow thats so cool.” I would try my hardest to smile and say “its a secret”.

    The part of the cake that didn’t taste smokey (which was about 60% of each slice) was great. Icing was great. Nothing super spectacular.

    Bottom line:

    The cake sunk in.

    It dripped out of the hole in the bundt pan onto the oven coils and caused an immense amount of smoke, thous causing some parts of the cake to taste smokey. Plus almost catching my oven on fire.

    It didn’t taste as much like pistachio as I would have liked.

    The icing was not fluffy like the picture.

    The cake had a pretty good taste overall and was extremely moist.

    The frosting TASTED great, just not fluffy.

    I probably won’t make it again.

  26. AngieGomezGuido says

    the icing ingredients called for INSTANT pudding . the cake ingredients not instant. I can only find instant pistachio pudding. Was this a typo mistake or where can I find pistachio pudding?

    • thekitchenmagpie says

      AngieGomezGuido There is only one type of Pistachio pudding, instant.

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