Watergate Cake | Easy Cake Mix Recipe 👨‍🍳🍰🌰🥥


Watergate Cake is a vintage cake from the 1970’s. This recipe starts with a box of cake mix, the addition of pistachio pudding and lemon lime soda making the cake easy and delicious. The “cover up” frosting is based on Cool Whip and more pudding mix, and the addition of nuts and coconut on top adds crunch. This cake has an interesting green color, so it would be perfect for Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, or even Easter. If you want to learn more about the recipe and history of Watergate Cake, this video is for you!

Like I said, this recipe for Watergate Cake starts with a box of white cake mix. A small box of instant pistachio pudding mix gives the cake most of its flavor and color. I also added a teaspoon of almond extract to enhance the nut flavor, but I am sure you could use vanilla extract if you want, too. Although some recipes call for seltzer water, I used lemon lime soda as the liquid to make the batter. 7up seems to be the most commonly used brand, but any brand would work. Even though some people might be hesitant to combine citrus with nuts, the result was delicious, the brightness of the lemon lime soda giving the pistachio and almond flavor a nice background. Some chopped pecans not only add even more nut flavor but also add a bit of crunch, creating a nice texture contrast within the cake itself.

Traditionally, Watergate Cake has a “cover up” frosting made from Cool Whip, a second box of instant pistachio pudding mix, and a cup of whole milk. When making the frosting, it is important to remember to use 1 cup of milk, not 2 cups like the box directions say: you want the pudding to be very thick so that you can create a mostly firm frosting that will hold its shape when put on a cake. Honestly, this was my first time making a Cool Whip based frosting, and I was surprised by just how easy, quick, and even delicious it was. I will definitely have to experiment with other types of instant puddings and Jell-O mixes in whipped topping in the future.

However, one thing that I did not like about the frosting was the color: I was expecting it to be a brighter, deeper green than it was. Although I added 4 drops of green food coloring, that did not change the color very much, so I decided to just accept the pale green color since I did not want to add a lot of food coloring and potentially change the flavor of the frosting.

After chilling the cake in the refrigerator for a few hours, I added chopped pecans and shredded coconut on top of the cake. I decided to wait because I did not want the moisture from the cover up frosting to make the nuts soft; that may not have been problem, but I decided to err on the side of caution.

When I finally tried my Watergate Cake, I was really impressed. I had never tried this cake before, let alone make it, so I was not really sure what to expect. However, I found the combination of nuts and citrus to be surprisingly delicious. The frosting was cool and refreshing, as well as smooth, and it had a nice, light pistachio flavor, too. The nuts and coconut on top of the cake added not only extra color and flavor but also texture: the texture contrast between fluffy cake, smooth icing, and crunchy topping was very delicious.

Although the origin of Watergate Cake is a bit ambiguous, some historians say that it was inspired by the Watergate Salad, a salad served at the Watergate Hotel that had similar ingredients along with pineapple. Other say that this pistachio cake may have been invented in the 1970’s and given a creative name due to the fallout from the Nixon Watergate Scandal: the cake is full of nuts, and the “cover up” frosting does a poor job of hiding the nuts because there happen to be nuts on top of the cake, too.

Watergate Cake’s history is very interesting, but its flavor is even better. This cake was absolutely delicious, and even though a bit brighter green color would have been nice, it was beautiful as well. Because of its green color, this easy cake mix cake would be perfect for Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, or even Easter. If you make this cake for the holidays, be sure to let me know!👨‍🍳🍰🌰🥥

Jill from Yesterkitchen’s channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL4lpAhR7PohmTk0Z-isNXg

Written Recipe on my Website: http://parnellthechef.com/watergate-cake/

For more information about Southern food and Argentine cuisine, please visit my website: http://www.parnellthechef.com

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