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Slice of Watergate Cake with coconut and pecans on a blue and white plate
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5 from 2 votes

Watergate Cake

This vintage Watergate Cake is a pistachio, pecan, and coconut dessert that's topped with a creamy whipped frosting.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword pistachio cake, pistachio pudding cake, watergate cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Cooling Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings 16 slices
Calories 340.2kcal
Author Blair Lonergan

Ingredients

FOR THE CAKE:

  • 1 (15.25 ounce) box white cake mix
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 small box instant pistachio pudding mix (either the 1-ounce box of sugar-free instant pudding or the 3.4-ounce box of regular instant pudding will work)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup club soda, 7UP or ginger ale
  • ½ cup finely chopped pecans
  • ½ cup sweetened coconut flakes

FOR THE FROSTING:

  • 2 envelopes (2.6 oz total) Dream Whip
  • 1 ¼ cups cold milk
  • 1 small box instant pistachio pudding mix (either the 1-ounce box of sugar-free instant pudding or the 3.4-ounce box of regular instant pudding will work)
  • ½ cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • ½ cup finely chopped pecans

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine cake mix, oil, pudding mix, eggs and soda. Using an electric mixer, beat on low speed for about 30 seconds, and then on medium speed for about 3-4 minutes (scraping the sides of the bowl regularly). Fold in the pecans and coconut. Transfer batter to prepared baking dish.
  • Bake the cake at 350 degrees F for about 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Once the cake is cool, prepare the frosting.
  • In a large bowl, combine Dream Whip and cold milk. Beat on high speed until soft peaks form (about 4-5 minutes). Add pudding mix and beat until fluffy. Spread on cake and sprinkle coconut and pecans over top.

Notes

  • Instead of the Dream Whip, you can make the frosting using Cool Whip. To do so, beat 1 ½ cups of cold milk with the pudding mix on low speed for 2 minutes. Fold in an 8-ounce carton of thawed Cool Whip, spread on the cake, and garnish with pecans and coconut.
  • A box of yellow cake mix will also work -- the color and flavor of the cake will just be slightly different.
  • While it's not as traditional, you can also make a Watergate Cake with pineapple. Here's a quick recipe if you want to try that version.
  • I used 7UP in this recipe, but club soda or ginger ale are also good options. The carbonation helps the cake rise and gives it a light, fluffy texture!
  • For a pop of color, garnish the cake with maraschino cherries. This is especially great at Christmas when you want a festive red-and-green dessert!

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 340.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 34.5g | Protein: 4.3g | Fat: 22.5g | Saturated Fat: 9.8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 35.8mg | Sodium: 220.4mg | Potassium: 41.5mg | Fiber: 1.3g | Sugar: 15.3g