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Watergate Cake

Updated on March 16, 2014

Easy retro cake recipe from the '70s looks fun, tastes great

In honor of my mom's birthday, I just made a Watergate Cake -- as she often did in the 1970s. Oh how my brothers and I loved this super-moist, super-sweet, oh so GREEN cake with the fluffy green frosting. It makes a perfect St Patrick's Day cake but is no mere novelty. Even my grownup palate says it's tasty enough for any day of the year.

This is an old-school cake recipe, full of the processed junk that moms like me now try to avoid. But falling off the real-food wagon every once in a while in the name of nostalgia won't kill us, will it?

The flavor, ostensibly, is pistachio, but you don't have to be a pistachio fan to love Watergate Cake.

Why the name? "It's full of nuts" was always my mom's response. But some say Richard Nixon's penchant for pistachios was the inspiration. Whatever the genesis, Watergate Cake was a bit of a sensation back in the day, causing a run on pistachio pudding mix at supermarkets across the USA. Try it & you may see why.

(photo: Lindsey Turner via photopin cc ~ cropped for shape)

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Watergate Cake


1 box yellow cake mix

1 box instant pistachio pudding mix

4 eggs

1/2 cup oil

1 can 7-Up

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients a few minutes until well blended. Pour into greased & floured tube/bundt pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes (test by inserting a fork; cake is done if it comes out clean). This cake is moist enough to eat as is, or you can frost it when cool....


1 container Cool Whip (yep, they still make it!)

1 box instant pistachio pudding mix

1 cup cold milk or (for richer frosting) half-and-half

Beat all ingredients until thick & creamy, with pudding mix thoroughly dissolved.

adapted from

Did you try this recipe? How'd your Watergate Cake come out?

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It's green!

Make this cake as a St. Patrick's Day dessert,

or even for Christmas with red sprinkles.

More cake mix magic

Sometimes you just need fast, easy, yummy & fun. Kids will love helping out with these cake mix recipes, too.

The story behind Watergate Cake

Some recipes like to call the frosting "Cover Up Icing" ;)


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    • ramonabeckbritman profile image

      Ramona 4 years ago from Arkansas

      Oooh! That watergate cake sounds delicious.I have to book mark this page since I am going to try it one day. I'm not much of a baker but I can do this.