Easy Pistachio Cake

Easy Pistachio Cake

I know tomorrow is Pi Day, thus pies are being posted right and left. But kids, I couldn’t wait to share this one. I’ll share a pie next week sometime. We cool?

Do you remember the red pistachios? Do they still exist?

I loved those things. They got red dye all over my hands, but I always thought they tasted better than the regular kind. My grandparents always kept them around for me. And then one day, they disappeared. I haven’t seen a red pistachio since.

Easy Pistachio Cake

Things have a habit of disappearing, unfortunately. There’s a great poem by Elizabeth Bishop called “One Art” where she talks about what she calls “the art of losing.” It’s a great poem, and my English teacher self highly recommends it to you. But I sometimes get creeped out by how much I’ve lost without even realizing it until after the fact.

Easy Pistachio Cake

It’s normal, of course. My childhood houses are gone, the cities I grew up in, all in the past. And while I’d like to think that they’re still out there somewhere, it’s hard to factor in the existence of a house I no longer live in, or a city I haven’t seen in years. But that’s life.

Easy Pistachio Cake

Luckily, pistachios still exist, even if they’re not red. And they come in great flavors. If you’ve never tried a salt and pepper pistachio, you are missing out. And if you’ve never had pistachio cake, that needs to end right now.

This cake recipe was handed to me years ago by a friend, and I just never tried it. To be honest, it didn’t look right at first. Pistachio pudding mix existed? And I could put it in cake?!

Easy Pistachio Cake

Oh, I was such an innocent. Cake mix rocks, pudding mix rocks, and when you put them together, they create even more delightful results. In this case, you get a perfectly dense, does-not-taste-like-a-mix, beautifully green cake.

Easy Pistachio Cake

Just in time for St. Patrick’s, might I add! That’s right. I’m getting into the holiday spirit here. And the glaze pushes this cake right over the top. I put some almond extract into the glaze (which I would inhale straight if I didn’t suspect it tastes icky by itself) and that really made that pistachio flavor pop.

The thing is, we never notice some of our favorite things until they’re gone. Or people, really. I miss a lot of people. I miss places I grew up. I miss red pistachios. And while I hope never to miss pudding mix, you never know. The time is now. Cherish what you have!


Easy Pistachio Cake


1 box yellow cake mix
2 boxes (3.4 oz. each) pistachio pudding mix
4 eggs
1 cup water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk (I used 2 percent)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Coat a bundt or tube pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, mix all of the cake ingredients together until everything is smooth and incorporated. Your batter should be nice and evenly green.
  3. Pour the batter into the pan. Depending on the size of the pan (a smaller and/or deeper pan has more baking time), bake for anywhere from 45-60 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Cool until the cake is no longer hot. Invert the pan onto a plate and continue to cool.
  5. While the cake cools, make the glaze. Combine the butter, almond extract, and powdered sugar. Gradually add the milk until the desired consistency forms. You want a thick glaze, but it needs to be liquidy enough to pour.
  6. Carefully remove the cake from the pan. Pour the glaze on the cake and let it set.
  7. Cut into slices and serve.



I fulfill many roles in life: wife, mother, teacher, everlasting learner. This site is dedicated to one role that expresses my creativity in ways that I find consistently challenging and rewarding: baker. Inventing new ways to enhance food, especially if that food involves chocolate or peanut butter (or both!), is a passion of mine. I look forward to sharing my ideas with you.

This Post Has 26 Comments

  1. Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg

    Mir – I knew that you were a teacher, but I didn’t know that you were also an English teacher. I am, too. I’ve never heard of “One Art”, but I’m going to look it up. Loss is a tough thing to accept especially when people are involved. I’ve never had Pistachio Cake, but this looks yummy. It is the perfect consistency.
    Erin @ Miss Scrambled Egg recently posted…Lemon Sugar Cookies with Marionberry FrostingMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Yep, I love teaching writing and that poem is one of my favorites. Let me know what you think! Thanks, Erin!

  2. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice

    This pistachio bread looks gorgeous, Mir! I’m in love with that pretty green color and glaze. So perfect for a Friday!
    Gayle @ Pumpkin ‘N Spice recently posted…Baked Banana Bread OatmealMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Thanks, Gayle! I’m all about glaze.

  3. annie@ciaochowbambina.com

    Yep, I miss red pistachios too. Great post, Mir. And great looking cake. I love pistachios but have never had them with salt & pepper – need to try! I’ll be looking forward to your pie next week, but for now, ‘we cool’.
    annie@ciaochowbambina.com recently posted…Focaccia with Lemony Greens & ParmesanMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Thanks, Annie. You have GOT to try the salt and pepper. Life changing! I better go make that pie now…

  4. mira

    Yeah, Pi day, almost forgot! Love pistachios and this cake looks amazing Mir! Love the light green color, too! Pinned for later!
    mira recently posted…20+ Light And Easy Quinoa RecipesMy Profile

    1. Mir

      I can’t forget because I work in a school. There is pie EVERYWHERE today. Awesomeness, Mira. Thanks for pinning!

  5. Jen @ Baked by an Introvert

    I love the pretty green color inside the cake, Mir! Pistachio’s are a favorite of mine. I sort of do remember those red pistachios. Like, from a looong time ago. They would sell the little snack bags in convenient stores. It is strange how they just disappeared.
    Jen @ Baked by an Introvert recently posted…Salted Caramel Fudgy Brownie CookiesMy Profile

    1. Mir

      You’re right, they did sell them at convenience stores! I totally forgot that. I wonder if they had some kind of toxic dye in them. Porbably, right? I’m so glad you like pistachios too, Jen!

  6. Shannon @ Bake. Frost. Repeat.

    This cake looks amazing! Just over the past year or so I’ve really gotten to where I like pistachios. Totally pinning!! 🙂
    Shannon @ Bake. Frost. Repeat. recently posted…Creamy Milk Chocolate Pudding PieMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Thanks, Shannon! I’ve always been a fan, but it’s even more fun to play with them in sweet desserts. Enjoy!

  7. Manali @ CookWithManali

    I love pistachios but I have never had red ones! Wonder how they tasted. The cake looks great Mir, love the glaze!
    Manali @ CookWithManali recently posted…Spinach PestoMy Profile

    1. Mir

      For some reason, the red ones always tasted better. Probably my imagination, Manali!

  8. Kelsey @ Snacking Squirrel

    I’m so impressed by the swirl on this that it looks so completely professional. You’re unbelievable! Great job
    Kelsey @ Snacking Squirrel recently posted…Fruit and Yogurt Parfait FuelMy Profile

    1. Mir

      It’s my favorite cake mold, Kelsey! Thanks so much!

  9. Cathleen @ A Taste Of Madness

    I actually have only seen red pistachios recently! I never knew they existed! But they sell them near where I live. Unfortunately, it’s in a place called “Bulk Barn”, which seems to be a Canadian thing.
    I am fine with no pie if it means I can have this cake! Yum!
    Cathleen @ A Taste Of Madness recently posted…Fruity Green SmoothieMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Wow, they still have red ones in Canada? So jealous! I love the name Bulk Barn, by the way.

  10. Medha @ Whisk & Shout

    This looks so yum! I’ve never had a red pistachio… googling now to see what that’s all about haha. Pie can wait, because this cake is lovely… the pan is so cool!
    Medha @ Whisk & Shout recently posted…5 Healthful Ways to Use Your Smartphone!My Profile

    1. Mir

      The pan is one of my faves, Medha. Definitely Google the red pistachio. It is awesome!

  11. Trish - Mom On Timeout

    I’ve got a box of pistachio pudding mix in my pantry with this cake written all over it! What a lovely cake Mir!
    Trish – Mom On Timeout recently posted…Best Key Lime PieMy Profile

    1. Mir

      Thanks, Trish! I loved the cookies you made with pistachio pudding mix recently, so I had to try using it with cake!

  12. Jocelyn @BruCrew Life

    I’m totally cool with pie later since you shared such a fabulous cake! I have to agree with you..cake mix and pudding mix together creates an unbeatable cake!!!
    Jocelyn @BruCrew Life recently posted…Frosted Rainbow Chip BrowniesMy Profile

    1. Mir

      I know. Often, so much better than a scratch cake, too! Not to mention painless. I’m a huge believer!

  13. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust

    It looks amazing. I’ve never had pistachio. I’m totally sheltered. I need to try them stat, and then make this cake!
    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust recently posted…Orange Vanilla Pancakes with Vanilla Maple SyrupMy Profile

    1. Mir

      You’ve never had a pistachio?! Dorothy, for serious? Okay, you gotta. They are the best. I love them almost as much as almonds. And even more in cake!

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