A light and fluffy, yet moist and flavourful, Pistachio Pudding Cake topped with cream cheese frosting is perfectly green and festive. This is the ultimate green dessert for St. Patrick’s Day!
PISTACHIO PUDDING CAKE
A few weeks ago on Pinterest, I came across the most beautiful Pistachio Pudding Cake I’ve ever seen. I clicked through and it brought me to The Busy Baker. I’ve been following Chrissie’s blog for a few years now and this is not the first time I’ve shared her recipes here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen.
Her blog was the inspiration for my Dutch Oven Cinnamon Raisin Bread and my Christmas Mini Egg Cookies. Her Pistachio Pudding Cake was so delicious and so perfect that I didn’t change one single thing about it. Sometimes, it’s not necessary to change or improve on something. Sometimes, something is already as perfect as it’s going to get!
That’s why I’m so happy to share this recipe with you. Because of the fact that this is Chrissie’s recipe, you can read it directly from her site here. The only difference is that I used a little bit more green food colouring. I really wanted the green to pop for St. Patrick’s Day!
Basically, there’s two types of boxed pistachio pudding – regular and instant. In most cases, you’ll be hard-pressed to find regular pudding mix anymore, because they world has gone and got itself in a hurry. Don’t worry; the instant works perfectly and that’s what I used in this recipe.
At the suggestion of Chrissie, I did not use a low fat or low sugar pistachio pudding. I told you I followed her recipe! She didn’t give a reason for it. I read through the comments on her post just to see if anyone experimented with the low fat or sugar free pudding, but nobody had done so.
If you decide the try the low fat or sugar free pistachio pudding, please let me know if your cake was a success. I’ll update the recipe card accordingly if it’s a success.
BAKING A PERFECT CAKE
Whenever I bake a cake, I have to fight the desire to open the oven door and take a peak. It’s because I’m a control freak and I tend to worry and obsess about just about everything. If you open that oven door, you will put all of your cake-making effort at risk.
When I was a kid, I remember my mother giving us all a very stern warning whenever she baked. “Don’t walk too hard on the floor!” she would shout. The vibrations in the floor from a heavy walker would flatten her cake or her bread. I’m not sure it ever happened, or if it would! We were too afraid to test it.
That same warning should be applied to the oven door. Opening the door can release heat, depending on how long you leave the door open. And, maybe my mother was on to something about vibrations. Maybe the oven door causes a little shift or jolt, resulting in a deflated cake. Don’t risk it folks!
BAKING THE CAKE IN DIFFERENT PANS
As you can see from the photos and the recipe card below, I used a 9×13 inch baking pan. You can use a bundt pan if you prefer. Just like all bundt pan baking, never fill your bundt pan more than 3/4 full. There are lots of different bundt pan designs and sizes. So, apply that general rule and you’ll never go wrong.
You can also use regular baking pans. If you use a 9 inch round, you’ll get two cakes. It will make for a beautiful layer cake; especially with that cream cheese frosting layered between the two!
I noticed that one of Chrissie’s readers asked if they could use the cake batter for cupcakes. If you use any baking vessel other than the tested 9×13 inch baking pan, you will need to adjust the baking time.
A bundt pan will take the full time and maybe a bit more. The batter is piled higher in a bundt pan, so you might need more baking time. If you make something smaller, like a cupcake, you’ll need much less time.
Because I have not tested this recipe using other options, it’s best to stick to the baking pan. With that said, most cupcakes take about 20 minutes. There’s a lot of cake batter in this recipe, so you could always test just one to see how long it takes.
Pistachio Pudding Cake
For the Cake:
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 box pistachio pudding 99 grams, use regular not low fat or low sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- green gel food colouring, optional
For the Frosting:
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 4 cups confectioner's sugar
- 3 tablespoons whole milk
- 1/4 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
For the Cake:
- Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan with butter and dust with flour. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer or a handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Add the pistachio pudding powder and mix into the butter and sugar mixture.
- Add each egg one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add green food colouring, if using. A little goes a long way! Beat until incorporated.
- In another bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Add this mixture to the butter and egg mixture in thirds, beating after each addition.
- Next, add in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Beat until mix through.
- Pour the batter into prepared baking pan.
- Bake for 1 hour. Test doneness by inserting a wooden toothpick into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done. If not, bake for 5 more minutes and test again.
- Once done, remove from oven and set onto a wire cooling rack. Do not invert the cake. This cake will stay in the baking pan. Allow cake to fully cool.
For the Frosting:
- Beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and uniform.
- Add the confectioner's sugar one cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Next, add the milk one tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. You may need more or less milk, so it's important to add a little at a time.
- Spread the frosting evenly over the cooled cake. Top with a sprinkling of chopped pistachios.
- Serve and enjoy!