Easy Pistachio Poke Cake Recipe – Use basic ingredients like boxed cake mix and pistachio pudding mix to make a sweet, moist, and tender pudding poke cake with a delicious almond glaze. Add a bit of green food coloring for a showstopper dessert that comes together in under an hour!

A slice of pistachio pudding poke cake on a spatula resting in the rectangle pan, showing to camera.

Why We Love This Easy Pistachio Cake Recipe

Poke cakes are a classic American dessert that have long been popular for casual gatherings and special occasions. Our Strawberry-Colada Jello Poke Cake is perfect for summer parties, and this retro Better Than Sex Cake is always a hit for an incredibly decadent celebration. Today we are sharing a recipe for sweet and nutty Pistachio Pudding Cake that is sure to knock your socks off!

This quick and simple sheet cake is easy to make and so delicious. With a handful of pantry staples like boxed cake and pudding mix you can have an alluring dessert that’s great for Saint Paddy’s Day, or any other holiday, in less than an hour. It’s also a great potluck treat or after-school snack!

The cake is ultra-moist and flavorful due to the addition of pistachio pudding mix and extra eggs. Poke holes across the surface of the baked cake, the pour a simple almond glaze over the pistachio-covered top so that it seeps down into the cake. Every bite has just the right balance of cake and glaze, and leaves you wanting to go in for another forkful.

Pro Tips: You can use either a white or yellow cake mix even though the weight on the boxes vary a little. Food coloring is not necessary because the pistachio pudding already has a light green color. However, if you want to intensify the color, feel free to add a little extra green food coloring. Also, we add almond extract to the glaze because it’s much easier to find than pistachio extract and mimics the flavor. However, if you have pistachio extract, use it!

Square piece of pistachio pudding cake on a white plate, with fork next to the slice.

Ingredients You Need

For the Cake –

  • White cake mix – or yellow cake mix
  • Pistachio instant pudding mix – your preferred brand
  • Eggs – room temperature is best
  • Vegetable oil – or canola oil
  • Water – room temperature is also best
  • Pistachios – shelled and chopped
  • Greed food coloring – optional, but super fun

For the Glaze –

  • Powdered sugar – AKA confectioners’ sugar
  • Water – warm, to keep the glaze smooth and pourable
  • Butter – unsalted, melted
  • Almond extract – or pistachio extract
Recipe ingredients: 4 whole eggs, measuring scoop with chopped pistachios, box of pistachio pudding mix, box of white cake mix, and bottle of vanilla.

How to Make Pistachio Pudding Poke Cake

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Set out a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and spray it with baking spray on all sides. 

Set out a large mixing bowl. Combine the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, oil, and water. Mix well until the cake batter is very smooth. Add food coloring if desired and stir well.

White mixing bowl with powdered pudding mix, eggs, flour, and all cake ingredients

Then pour the batter into the baking dish and spread it into an even layer.

Get the Complete (Printable) Pistachio Pudding Poke Cake Recipe + VIDEO Below!

Sprinkle the chopped pistachios over the top of the cake.

Measuring scoop sprinkling chopped pistachios over the green cake batgle pan.ter in a rectan

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top center is puffed, and a toothpick inserted deep into the middle comes out clean. Let the cake cool for just a few minutes as you make the glaze. 

To make the glaze: Set out a medium mixing bowl. Combine the powdered sugar, warm water, melted butter, and almond extract. Whisk until very smooth. Using a toothpick or wooden skewer, poke dozens of holes over the entire surface of the cake.

Baked pudding cake with pistachios. A hand with a wooden skewer is poking holes in the top of the cake.

Pour the glaze over the top of the cake and use a spatula to move the glaze back up to the top so it can run into the holes several times.

Glass mixing bowl pouring white glaze over the top of the baked cake.

Allow the remaining glaze to cool and set on top of the cake.

Top view baked pudding cake with pistachios.

Once the glaze is fully set, you can cut and serve.

Store at room temperature, well covered, for up to 5 days.

Baked pudding cake with pistachios.

Recipe Variations

  • Cake – We love the convenience of using a boxed cake mix. However, this pudding poke cake recipe is also easy to make with homemade vanilla cake mix!
  • Gluten-free – Easily make this a GF-friendly poke cake by using your favorite gluten-free white cake mix.
  • Pudding – Use whatever flavor or type of pudding mix you like… Swap pistachio for vanilla and/or use sugar-free mix.
  • Nuts – If you like, feel free to leave off the chopped pistachios. The cake won’t have the same great crunch, but the pistachio flavor and moist texture of the sponge will still be delicious!
  • Glaze – I love the balance of flavors using pistachio pudding mix and almond extract in the glaze. But you can definitely use pistachio extract or other flavor of extract if you prefer.
Hand with a slice of pistachio pudding poke cake on a spatula, showing to camera.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my poke cake soggy?

Be sure to space out lots of holes across the cake… The holes need to be poked deep into the entire cake. They should be slightly spaced out so there is a bit of room between each hole. Also, the glaze needs to be added evenly across the cake, and smoothed out with a spatula. Take the time to add the glaze bit by bit as you smooth. You might not need to use all of the glaze if it starts to pool too much on top of the cake.

What does adding pudding to a cake do?

Adding a box of pudding mix to this pistachio cake recipe makes the crumb incredibly moist. The center of cakes made with this not-so-secret ingredient is much softer.

Does pudding cake need to be refrigerated?

No, you do not need to refrigerate this cake. Let it cool completely before wrapping the pan in a layer of plastic cling wrap.

How long do leftovers last?

Pudding poke cake will keep well at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Square piece of pistachio pudding cake on a white plate, with fork next to the slice. A bite has been taken from the cake.

Looking for More Easy Dessert Recipes? Be Sure to Also Try:

A slice of pistachio pudding poke cake on a spatula resting in the rectangle pan, showing to camera.
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Pistachio Pudding Poke Cake Recipe + VIDEO

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Use basic ingredients like box cake mix and pistachio pudding mix to make a sweet, moist, and tender pistachio pudding poke cake with a delicious almond glaze.
Servings: 12 – 16 pieces

Ingredients

For the Pudding Poke Cake –

For the Glaze –

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Set out a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and spray it with baking spray on all sides.
  • Set out a large mixing bowl. Combine the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, oil, and water. Mix well until the cake batter is very smooth. Add food coloring if desired. Then pour the batter into the baking dish and spread into an even layer.
  • Sprinkle the chopped pistachios over the top of the cake. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top center is puffed, and a toothpick inserted deep into the middle comes out clean. Let the cake cool for just a few minutes as you make the glaze.
  • Set out a medium mixing bowl. Combine the powdered sugar, warm water, melted butter, and almond extract. Whisk until very smooth. Using a toothpick or wooden skewer, poke dozens of holes over the entire surface of the cake.
  • Pour the glaze over the top of the cake and use a spatula to move the glaze back up to the top so it can run into the holes several times. Allow the remaining glaze to cool and set on top of the cake. Once the glaze is fully set, you can cut and serve.

Video

Notes

Store at room temperature, well covered, for up to 5 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pc, Calories: 300kcal, Carbohydrates: 54g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 62mg, Sodium: 377mg, Potassium: 95mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 41g, Vitamin A: 188IU, Vitamin C: 0.3mg, Calcium: 85mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier
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