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Pineapple Pistachio Cake in an easy 5 ingredient cake recipe that starts with a cake mix, pistachio pudding, and crushed pineapple. This easy dessert recipe is topped with a fluffy pistachio pudding frosting. 

If you love pistachio desserts then be sure to try this easy no bake pistachio cheesecake pie

Cake inside a white pan topped with frosting and pistachios.

EASY PISTACHIO CAKE RECIPE

I just love an easy dessert recipe that starts with a cake mix. This pistachio cake is so simple to make and no one would ever guess that it starts with a cake mix and a box of instant pudding. 

I have never been a huge fan of a cake mix, made as directed on the box, but when you add some extra ingredients like crushed pineapple and instant pudding mix, the cake mix is transformed into this decadent, super moist, and delicious cake. 

This easy pineapple pistachio cake combines the flavors of a buttery yellow cake mix + pistachio pudding + crushed pineapple. 

White cake pan with a spatula inside the pan.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

You only need 5 easy ingredients for this pineapple pistachio cake and 3 ingredients for the fluffy whipped pudding frosting. 

  • Yellow Cake Mix – I find that the taste of the buttery yellow cake tastes best in this recipe. But you can also swap it out for a white cake mix, vanilla cake mix, or a French vanilla cake mix. I also suggest not getting a cake mix that says ‘pudding in the mix’. Just stick with a regular box of cake mix. I like to use the Duncan Hines brand. 
  • Instant Pistachio Pudding – Do not prepare this according to package directions. We are just going to be using the dry powder inside the box. 
  • Crushed Pineapple – A large can (20 ounces) of crushed pineapple is what you will need. Do not drain the pineapple juice. Just dump the contents of the can right into the mixing bowl.
  • Large Eggs – Three large eggs is what the recipe calls for.
  • Canola or Vegetable Oil – Either one will work just fine. 

Slice of pistachio cake with frosting and pistachios on top of the cake slice.

HOW TO MAKE PINEAPPLE PISTACHIO CAKE

You won’t believe how easy it is to make this pineapple pistachio cake recipe. Just one large mixing bowl, a 9×13 baking pan, and another small bowl + handheld mixer is what you’ll need for this cake recipe.

  • Mix Up the Pineapple Pistachio Cake : Combine the cake mix, instant pudding mix, crushed pineapple, eggs, and oil into a large mixing bowl. You can also use a stand mixer as well when making this. Beat together for about 2 minutes until it’s combined well and creamy. It will take the full 2 minutes to get the mixture smooth and combined. At first it will look really lumpy like it’s not coming together well but just keep on mixing it. 
  • Bake the Cake : Pour the batter into a sprayed 9×13 baking pan. Cook according to recipe directions below. The most important thing is to make sure a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out with no wet batter on it. The toothpick should either have nothing on it or have some moist crumbs on it. 
  • Make the Whipped Pudding Frosting : Mix together the milks and instant pistachio pudding powder. Whisk until combined well. Let sit for about 3-5 minutes so it can thicken up. Add the Cool Whip and stir together to combine. Frost the cake. 
  • Refrigerate : The cake tastes best if it has refrigerated for about 4-6 hours before serving. You can even refrigerate it overnight so it’s a great make ahead dessert as well. 

How to make pistachio cake with a 4 picture collage with step-by-step pictures.

How to make pistachio pudding frosting with step by step pictures.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

Here are a few tips and helpful hints so you can make this cake with great results!

  • Do Not Prepare the Pudding Mixes According to Package Directions : Just follow the recipe as listed below. Do not prepare the cake mix according to the box instructions and do not prepare the pudding mixes according to package instructions. if you do, the recipe will not turn out. We are just using the dry cake mix + the dry pudding mixes. 
  • Beat the Cake Batter Well : At first the cake batter will seem very lumpy like it’s not coming together well. Make sure you are mixing it for at least 1-2 minutes so it has time to combine everything together and get creamy and mixed well. 
  • Make Sure the Cake is Cooked : No matter the time on the recipe, do not take the cake out of the oven if the middle still has wet batter in it. It won’t continue cooking more as it cools. Use a toothpick, insert it in the middle of the cake and make sure there is no wet batter on the toothpick. It should come out with nothing on it or some moist crumbs. 
  • Let the Cake Refrigerate Before Serving : The cake does taste better cold. Yes, you can serve it right away but I promise it’s much better after it has sat in the fridge for 4-6 hours, or even overnight if you prefer. 
  • Use the Milks Listed in Recipe : I know it seems annoying to have to use two different milks in the frosting recipe but it’s so important. You need the fat and thickness from the heavy cream so the frosting turns out fluffy and light, but still thick enough to cut the cake into nice pieces.
  • Cake Mix : It’s best to use a cake mix that does not have ‘extra pudding added into the mix’. I prefer to use the Duncan Hines brand. 

Slice of pistachio with a bite taken out of it.

VARIATION IDEAS

There are not many variations to this recipe but there are a couple that could be done. 

  • Cake Mix : I prefer the yellow cake mix but you could also use a white cake mix, French vanilla cake mix, or vanilla cake mix. 
  • Crushed Pineapple : Some may not like the pieces of crushed pineapple in the cake. If that’s you, go ahead and blend up the crushed pineapple before adding it into the mixing bowl. 
  • Garnishes : Chop some pistachios and sprinkle them on the frosting for a pretty presentation and an extra salty crunch. The cake is good with out without the pistachio garnish. 

HOW TO STORE LEFTOVERS OF PISTACHIO CAKE

Store leftovers, covered, in the fridge for 3-4 days. 

I keep the cake in the 9×13 baking pan and cover it with tin foil. You could also store the cake slices inside Tupperware type containers. 

Overhead shot of pistachio cake with frosting.

Slice of pistachio cake on a white plate.

TRY THESE OTHER DESSERT RECIPES THAT START WITH A CAKE MIX

  • Easy Strawberry Cake – Easy strawberry cake with fresh purred strawberries, strawberry jello mix, and a cake mix.
  • Cake Batter Funfetti Cookie Bars – Sugar cookie mix + a cake mix make this a unique and delicious cookie bar recipe topped with frosting and sprinkles.
  • Orange Pineapple Cake – Mandarin oranges and crushed pineapple make this cake so moist and delicious. Also called pig pickin’ cake. 
  • Easy Lemon Layered Cake – Lemon cake mix and lemon pudding mix make this layered cake so easy to make. Topped with a light and creamy lemon pudding whipped frosting. 
Pistachio cake inside a white cake pan.
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Pineapple Pistachio Cake


Author Jessica - Together as Family
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 16 slices
Pineapple Pistachio Cake is an easy 5 ingredient cake recipe that starts with a cake mix, pistachio pudding, and crushed pineapple. This easy dessert recipe is topped with a fluffy pistachio pudding frosting. 

Ingredients
  

Pineapple Pistachio Cake

  • 1 box (15.25) yellow cake mix
  • 1 box (3.4 oz) instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple do not drain

Pistachio Pudding Frosting

  • 3/4 cup half and half milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 box (3.4 oz) instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 8 oz Cool Whip thawed
  • chopped pistachios optional for topping

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 350°. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cake mix, instant pudding mix, oil, eggs, and crushed pineapple (do not drain!).
    Beat with a handheld mixer on medium-high speed for 2 minutes, or until combined well.
  • Pour batter into prepared baking dish and spread out evenly.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  • Let cool completely on a cooling rack.

Pistachio Frosting

  • Do not frost the cake until the cake is completely cooled.
  • Add both milks and instant pistachio pudding into a mixing bowl. Whisk together for 1-2 minutes until it's mixed well. Let sit for 5 minutes to thicken up.
  • Stir in the Cool Whip until everything is mixed well. Frost the cake.
  • Cover the pan with tin foil or a lid and let refrigerate for 4-6 hours, or overnight, before serving.
    * It's not completely necessary to refrigerate the cake before serving but I find that it tastes best that way. The frosting gets really thick and the cake soaks in all the flavors.

Notes

Milks : I suggest using the two milks listed in the frosting recipe as the heavy cream adds the richness and fat that is needed in the frosting to help it hold up to the cake when slicing. You could use all heavy cream in the frosting recipe if you don't want to buy two different kinds. You can also use all half & half with good results too. But the heavy cream does add the fat and thickness so I highly recommend using both milks.
Cake Mix : Yellow cake mix is preferred but you can also use white cake mix or a vanilla cake mix with great results.

Nutrition

Calories: 173kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 119mg | Potassium: 82mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 238IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg

Did You Make This Recipe?

I'd love to see it! You can share it with me on @togetherasfamilyblog and follow on Pinterest @together-as-family-blog-recipes or Facebook @togetherasfamilyblog for more!

Pistachio cake inside a white pan topped with pistachio pudding frosting.

 

 

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Recipe Rating




12 Comments

  1. Sandy Gotter says:

    That cake looks so delicious I can’t wait to try it. Thanks Sandy

    1. Together as Family says:

      Thank you, Sandy! Let me know how you like it!

  2. Sandy Gotter says:

    I have a question, my mom always put a kitchen towel over the cake after taking it out of the oven. While it cooled . What do you think of that ? Thanks Sandy

  3. hi
    can I freeze the left overs

    1. Together as Family says:

      I see no reason why the cake itself wouldn’t freeze well but I’m not sure if the frosting would also freeze well. If you do end up trying to freeze the cake I would suggest just freezing the cake and adding the frosting later.

  4. Do you think this would be good with pineapple cake mix??

    1. Together as Family says:

      Yum! I think that would be a delicious substitution!

  5. 5 stars
    This is so amazing! it’s a must try for sure.

    1. Together As Family says:

      Thank you! Thanks for your comment.

  6. Could this be made without cool whip? Using dairy products only? (I have a family member who has an allergy to cool whip)

    1. Together As Family says:

      Yes it can. The frosting might not be as thick as what is pictured but it will work just fine still.