I first made this creamy pistachio and coconut pudding cake last month for a friend’s baby shower. She is expecting twins and is going to keep the genders a surprise until the birth. Kudos to her and her patience because I would never be able to wait! Anyway, I needed a dessert with a fairly neutral color and I was flipping through my Taste of Home magazine and then BOOM, there it was smack in my face, the most beautiful, stunning, green cake! When I read the words “pistachio” and “coconut,” I was sold instantly. Besides chocolate and peanut butter and chocolate and coconut, I think pistachio and coconut is one of my favorite flavor combinations.
The Prep Work
The first step to making this beautiful pistachio and coconut cake is going to be the most time consuming. You will need to shell a small package of pistachios, about 8 oz in total. If you can find them pre-shelled, holy moly I’m so jealous! My store did not have this luxury so I had to put on my apron, turn on Pandora, and use what tiny, flimsy fingernails I have to pry these things open. It was a labor of love, folks.
Aren’t these pistachios the prettiest? They may be a lot of work to shell but their delicate flavor is worth the effort!
The shelling burden was slightly lifted with Nevaeh’s help. I think she ate the ones she peeled and was more excited that I let her sit on the counter than anything, but we had some good mommy-daughter time nonetheless.
Now, onto making one of the most refreshing, yet addicting cakes I have ever had! The star ingredient is a box of instant pistachio pudding. Pour it into a medium sized bowl and mix it with 1 package of regular white cake mix. I found a store brand package that only cost $1!
Add in 1 cup of water, 3/4 cup of oil, and 3 eggs. Use a hand-mixer to combine all the ingredients. I beat it for about 2 minutes or until it was creamy and smooth.
Add in a little more than half of your pistachios. Don’t throw them all in because you will want to save some for the topping. Toss in 1/2 cup of sweetened and shredded coconut as well. You can typically find a package in the baking aisle of any large grocery store.
Separate the batter into 2 round cake pans and cook in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Let the cakes cool on a wire rack and then use a long bread knife to cut off a thin layer of the top. This step is essential because it will keep the pudding from sliding off when you assemble the layers. Plus, you get something to snack on while you make the pudding! (I ate all of mine before the kids could see the crumbs!) And just a side note, I think this batter would be fun as a sheet cake or even cupcakes if you were willing to work with it.
While the cake is cooling, make the pudding by mixing together 1 1/4 cups of milk, another package of instant pistachio pudding, and a carton of thawed, frozen whipped topping. I used the light version of whipped topping the last time I made the cake and I did not taste any difference between that and the original. So save yourself some calories!
Beat the mixture with the hand-mixer for 2 minutes and set it in the fridge for a few minutes so that it can thicken.
The assembly of this pistachio and coconut cake is pretty self-explanatory. Grab a cake stand and alternate your layers of cake and pudding. Don’t worry if your cake crumbles during transport because the pudding can help bind it back together. And if your pudding drips, just go with it because it’s supposed to have that deconstructed look.
Now top the cake with the remaining pistachios and coconut and VIOLA! You are a cake genius and just made the most delicious and stunning dessert!
Look at that pretty emerald color and the chunky texture of the batter! If I didn’t like the taste of it so much, I would just stare at it all day! I mean, seriously, don’t you want to just reach out and scoop up a little of that pudding filling? I think it is a perfect dessert for St. Patrick’s Day next week, but also a fun springtime refreshment for Easter, a bridal shower, or a backyard get-together. No matter when or where you taste this pistachio and coconut cake, I promise it will rise to the top of your dessert list. Happy Cooking, ya’ll!
- ½ cup shelled and chopped pistachios
- 1 package white cake mix
- 1 3.4 oz instant pistachio pudding mix
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup water
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup shredded and sweetened coconut
- 1.25 cups milk
- 1 3.4 oz instant pistachio pudding mix
- 8 oz carton frozen whipped topping, thawed
- ¼ cup chopped pistachios
- ¼ cup shredded and sweetened coconut
- Heat oven to 350 degrees
- Shell and chop pistachios
- Mix cake ingredients together and beat with hand mixer until smooth
- Pour into greased cake pans
- Bake for 40 minutes or until inserted knife is dry
- Let cake cool completely before assembling
- Mix together frosting ingredients and beat for 2 minutes or until smooth
- Let cool in refrigerator until sturdy
- Once everything has cooled, assemble cake with alternating layers
- Top with remaining pistachios and coconut before serving