Pistachio Pudding Cake (Moist Pudding Cake Recipe made with Boxed Cake Mix)

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Pistachio Pudding Cake - made from boxed cake mix, a can of soda, and a box of instant pudding mix!

If you don’t have a lot of time to make a cake from scratch, but want to have a soft and super-moist cake with a homemade flavor and texture – try my recipe for Pudding Cake!  It starts with a base of boxed cake mix with two secret ingredients: 1) a can of soda, and 2) a box of instant pudding mix.  You can vary the flavors – use any combination of boxed cake mix + instant pudding mix that you like.  The can of soda should be a non-competing flavor (clear seltzer water or 7-up is probably best).  The soda helps give the cake a light and fluffy texture, while the pudding gives added flavor and a very moist softness to the cake.  You will not be disappointed – the moistness of this cake plus the soft, light, and fluffy texture make it a hit every time!

Feel free to substitute different flavors of boxed cake mix and pudding mix in this recipe – you can make pretty much any flavor combination that sounds good to you.  In the past, I’ve made:

  • chocolate pudding cake (use devil’s cake mix + box of chocolate pudding mix)
  • lemon pudding cake (use yellow or lemon cake mix + box lemon pudding mix)
  • pistachio pudding cake (made with yellow or white cake mix + box pistachio pudding
Pistachio, though, is my favorite version!  This time, instead of using the old standby of lemon-lime soda, I decided to use plain seltzer water – I figured the cake is sweet enough (so it doesn’t need any extra sugar) – which worked out great.  But I’ve never had a problem with 7-up or sprite in the past, and honestly there wasn’t a big difference with the seltzer water.  Just use whichever you have on hand.  (Coke seems to go really well with the chocolate version of this cake, by the way!)
**UPDATE 28 July 2014:  If you are using the smaller 15.25 oz boxes of cake mix, then decrease the oil to just a little over 3/4 cup, instead of 1 full cup.  Your cake will be done closer to the 45-50 minute mark.**

Pistachio Pudding Cake:

The secret ingredient to this cake is a can of clear soda!

  • 1 box (18.5 oz) yellow or white cake mix
  • 1 package (3.4 oz.) instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c. canola oil
  • 1 can (12 oz.) 7-up, sprite, or seltzer water

Cream Cheese Glaze:

  • 3 T. cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 T. milk
  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 T. chopped pistachios (optional for topping)

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and spray a bundt pan with non-stick baking spray (or grease + flour the bundt pan).

2.  Dump the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, and canola oil into a large bowl.

3.  Add the soda, and mix until thoroughly combined.  (You can do this by hand, or with an electric mixer – just make sure you break up any lumps.)  Your batter will be somewhat thinner and more watery compared to regular cake batter.  Also, because the CO2 in the soda will go flat – mix up the batter right before baking (don’t let the batter sit  around any longer than 5 minutes before baking.)

4.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

5.  Bake in the preheated oven for 50 -55 minutes.

6.  Remove from the pan, and allow to cool for about 5-10 minutes.  If you notice that the cake shrinks back somewhat while cooling – don’t panic – this is normal!

7.  Once the pan is cool enough to handle, flip the cake onto a plate, and allow to completely cool.

8.  Meanwhile, combine the cream cheese, milk, and powdered sugar to make the glaze – mix until completely smooth.  Cover with plastic wrap until the cake is cool.

9.  Once the cake is cool, transfer the glaze into a ziplock bag.  Cut off a small section of the corner, and drizzle the glaze all over the cake (using back and forth motions).

10.  Top the glazed cake with chopped pistachio nuts for decoration (optional).

11.  Serve and enjoy!


  1. Falya says:

    Mika, really want to make this recipe for weekend, got all the stuff but my cake mix is just about 400 grams, which is different from your 18.25 oz cake mix:( my pudding powder too is about 145 grams, more than yours:(

    So, can you help me with this? Kinda like modificating the recipe for me? I just want to make this sooo bad!!!
    Btw, your cake looks so appetizing :3

    Thank you so much

    • Mika Mika says:

      Hi there! In your case, I think the best thing to do would be to buy two packets of cake mix. Put one 400 gram cake mix packet in the bowl, then open the second packet and weigh out an extra 125 grams of cake mix to add to the first 400 grams, for a total of 525 grams (which should approximately equal 18.5 oz). As far as the pudding mix goes, again, I would weigh it out to about 96.5 grams (which should equal the 3.4 oz.). You can save the leftover extra pudding mix and cake mix for next time (just seal in a plastic zip-lock bag and store in the freezer). Hope it works out! :)

      • Falya says:

        The problem is, that is the last cake mix that i can buy near my house, since my house located at very very far from city central:( i would try to add 125 gr of regular flour and 1/2 tsp of baking powder to replace another box of cake mix, hope it works !

        Thank you soooo much for helping me out, big hug from indonesia^^

        • Mika Mika says:

          I’m thinking it probably will work… let me know how it turns out! :)

          • Falya says:

            hi mika!^^
            Tried it last weekend and it turned out delicious! The cake dissapear within 2 days! Thank you sooo much!

            • Mika Mika says:

              You’re welcome! Glad you liked it. It’s one of my favorites. :)

  2. Mindy says:

    Hi Mika,
    I would like to make a coconut cake but I couldn’t find any coconut pudding mix. Any recommendation
    on what to use to make the cake moist like this pistachio cake?

    • Mika Mika says:

      You could make a coconut version of this cake using white cake mix, vanilla pudding mix, and maybe add 1 T. coconut extract. You could also try using coconut soda instead of 7-up. (Goya coconut soda, or Coco Rico soda). Once the cake is done, you could drizzle the glaze (make with coconut milk instead of regular milk) and top with shredded coconut flakes.

  3. Mindy says:

    Thanks so much Mika! I will try to make it this weekend. Im so happy my brother sent me your website.

    • Mika Mika says:

      Hope it turns out ok! :)

  4. L.Steele says:

    Can you use Key Lime cake mix and add pistachio pudding mix to make a pound cake

    • Mika Mika says:

      You can use any combination of cake flavor + pudding mix to make this recipe. The only question is, will you like the flavor that results from different combinations? Key lime + pistachio… that’s not a combination I’ve tried before – but it could be good? If you want a lime flavor, I would do key lime cake mix + lime or lemon pudding mix. If you want pistachio, maybe do a bland cake mix (white, vanilla, or yellow) + the pistachio pudding. Hope it turns out for you!

  5. Tina says:

    Will this work without eggs? I am trying to make a vegan cake

    • Mika Mika says:

      Are you using some kind of egg substitute? I’m not sure if it will work or not… but you can try it? I think the eggs are in the recipe to provide structure, so you will have to substitute it with something. Some people have had good success using a heaping T. of soy flour + 1 T. water per egg in other cake recipes. You can try that? Let me know if it works!

  6. Shante Brown says:

    Hello, can I use butter as a substitute for the canola oil?

    • Mika Mika says:

      You can try it? I’ve never done that so I don’t know how it will turn out…

  7. JANET says:

    What does the soda water do for the cake? Does it also help make a more moist cake?

    • Mika Mika says:

      It helps make it light and fluffy.

  8. Lily says:


    Do you know the volume of the bundt pan to compare to other pans? Wondering if I can pour this into a bunny cake pan.


    • Mika Mika says:

      I use the standard bundt pan, which I think holds 10-12 cups of batter. Depending on the size of your bunny cake pan this could work. But you may need to adjust the baking time.