Guinea Pig Monday: Watergate Cake

The frosting is addictive

I love Watergate Salad. Always have, always will. To be honest I’m not sure how the cake ended up having any frosting on it, I probably could have eaten the whole batch right there in my kitchen. We’ve been going through everything in my grandmother’s house to clean it out to sell. (We moved her into an assisted living apartment last month.) She was the one I obviously inherited my baking obsession from since my mom used the smoke detector as an oven timer and I don’t think I’ve ever seen my dad cook anything besides eggs, so there are lots of I’m-not-even-sure-what-that-is-kitchen-gadgets to discover and cook books to explore (not to mention the desserts recipe card box that is stuffed full.) This weekend I was going through a United Methodist Women’s league community cookbook from the late 70s I now own and I ran across Watergate Cake. I knew I had to give that a go, even though Floof made over-dramatic shocked gasps when I picked up the boxed cake mix it called for in the grocery store.

Yes the ’70s when everything came in a box mix. There are too many nuts in the batter if you ask me. I don’t think I even used as much as it called for and now that I’ve tasted it,  it could have used about half that.  You could probably use half in the cake and then the other half in the frosting, since they work better in the frosting.

Watergate Cake

Adapted from the United Methodist Women community cookbook


1 box white cake mix
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup 7 up
2 boxes pistachio instant pudding mix
4 eggs (well beaten)
1 cup chopped pistachios or pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350º and butter a 10″ bundt pan.

Mix all the cake ingredients together, pour into pan and bake 45-50 minutes. Cool in pan 15 minutes, turn out cool and refrigerate several hours before frosting.

1 box pistachio instant pudding
2 envelopes dream whip
1 cup sour cream
1 cup 2% cold milk.
3-4 oz. crushed pineapple
1/4 cup chopped pistachios or pecans (I’m just guessing here, it wasn’t in the original recipe, but I felt like the frosting needed the texture nuts provide so I just sprinkled in until it felt like the right amount)

whip all ingredients in bowl of mixer with whisk attachment until fluffy. frost cake and refrigerate.


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