Easy Pistachio Cake Recipe (A tribute to Aunt Lou)

This homemade pistachio cake is moist, easy, and so delicious! It's the perfect spring and summer dessert and is a tribute to my Aunt Lou! Get the recipe at www.TeepeeGirl.com.

This homemade pistachio cake is so good and so delicious! It’s the perfect spring dessert. It’s colorful, moist, and easy! The base is a cake mix, making this recipe come together in a snap.

This homemade pistachio cake is moist, easy, and so delicious! It's the perfect spring and summer dessert and is a tribute to my Aunt Lou! Get the recipe at www.TeepeeGirl.com.

This recipe was inspired by my Aunt Lou. She is such an example of compassionate service. I think of her often, and she is the inspiration behind this pistachio cake recipe.

We lived without electricity or running water for several years when I was a kid. And I didn’t realize then how hard meal preparation was for my mom. She had to haul in firewood and light the wood stove. Then she had to go to the creek and haul in water. After the water boiled, she would start cooking. Since we didn’t have a refrigerator, all the food had to be shelf stable. After the meal was served to lots of hungry kids, she had to haul in more water. That water then had to heat up so that she could start the clean-up process. (Let me just insert here how much I love my microwave, fridge, oven, and dishwasher!)

Since preparing meals was so labor intensive, we would often go to a restaurant after church on Sundays. Kids are tired, hungry, and cranky after church, and we had a long drive before we made it back to our little home, so to help my mom out we would stop at McDonald’s or another restaurant on our way out of town.

But this was hard on my mom too. She believed that is was important to keep the Sabbath day holy, and that for us that means not eating at restaurants or shopping on Sunday. My mom wanted to be a good example to my father, who was a recent convert to our faith, and to us kids.

(Just for fun, here’s a picture of my mom milking one of our goats. She got up at 5 am every morning to milk those goats. She was-and still is-amazing.)

One Sunday, we stopped to eat at a buffet after church. It ended up costing more than my parents anticipated and the check they used to pay for the meal bounced. And that’s when I mom said “no more.” Not only was eating out on Sunday breaking the Sabbath but it was also causing our family financial hardship.

That week my mom mentally prepared for coming home after church and getting a meal ready. She prayed for the strength and determination to keep Sunday a holy day and be a good example.

And a miracle happened. My dad’s Aunt Lou lived in town, and she invited our family over for a meal right after church that Sunday. And every Sunday after that for years.

My Aunt Lou was not of our faith. She never had kids of her own. But she wanted to help and what a blessing she was! She opened her home every Sunday to our family. Sunday became a truly special day and a day of rest, especially for my mom. And it was truly an act of love for my Aunt Lou to feed five little kids and their parents week after week, year after year. She served us until the week we moved to another state (and into a very modern home with electricity and running water☺).

I still have vivid memories of her little home. We would watch the Lone Ranger and eat goulash, date cookies, and pistachio cake. Now that I have three kids of my own, I appreciate and love my Aunt Lou and her sacrifice even more.

This homemade pistachio cake is moist, easy, and so delicious! It's the perfect spring and summer dessert and is a tribute to my Aunt Lou! Get the recipe at www.TeepeeGirl.com.

Aunt Lou passed away several years ago, but her example of love, compassion, and service live on. I think of her often.

She is the inspiration behind this pistachio cake. She often served a version of this cake, or Watergate cake, as it was called in the 70’s. But to be honest, my adult taste buds demanded a little revamp of this classic.

This homemade pistachio cake is moist, easy, and so delicious! It's the perfect spring and summer dessert and is a tribute to my Aunt Lou! Get the recipe at www.TeepeeGirl.com.

You will love this cake. And you will love how much people rave about it. I made a few versions while experimenting with the recipe, and my neighbors were happy to help with the consumption. After this photo shoot, I took a huge piece of cake to a neighbor. She later told me that she loved it, and that’s saying something because she’s “only lukewarm” about pistachios! Ha!

This homemade pistachio cake is moist, easy, and so delicious! It's the perfect spring and summer dessert and is a tribute to my Aunt Lou! Get the recipe at www.TeepeeGirl.com.

I hope you get a chance to try this cake! It’s become a family favorite and I bet your family will love it too.

For more inspiring examples of compassion, check out the amazing stories at Mormon.org for the #PRINCEofPEACE Easter campaign. They are so inspiring!

Homemade Pistachio Cake Recipe (& a tribute to Aunt Lou)

Homemade Pistachio Cake Recipe (& a tribute to Aunt Lou)


  • 1 Betty Crocker Super Moist white cake mix
  • 1 small (3.4 ounce) package of pistachio instant pudding
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • **For frosting**
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small (3.4 ounce) package of pistachio instant pudding
  • Optional: chopped pistachios for embellishment on the sides of the cake


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix and pistachio instant pudding.
  3. Add the water, sour cream, and eggs. Using a hand mixer, stir all ingredients for one minute on high speed.
  4. Butter and lightly flour two round cake pans. Evenly pour the cake into the two pans.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  6. When the cake is completely cooled, make the frosting.
  7. In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, combine the whipping cream, powdered sugar, salt, and pistachio instant pudding mix.
  8. Whip everything until you get stiff peaks with the whipping cream (about 3-5 minutes on high). You want the frosting to be thick and spreadable.
  9. Put the bottom layer of cake on a cake stand. Add about 1 cup of the frosting mixture on top of the cake and spread until even.
  10. Put the top layer of cake on, and apply the frosting to the top and sides of the cake.
  11. Optional: embellish the cake with chopped pistachios, sweetened coconut, sprinkles, etc.
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Author: Chrissy

I love photoshop, naps, and chocolate. I have an etsy shop where you can see some of the things I have created when I have been eating chocolate while playing on photoshop. As for the naps, I am always hoping one is around the corner. ♥

6 thoughts on “Easy Pistachio Cake Recipe (A tribute to Aunt Lou)”

  1. I have very good memories of going to my Aunt Anne’s house after church on Sunday morning. Funny how times have changed and folks no longer think about cooking a meal for Sunday afternoon. My mother, grandmother or Aunt Anne always started something in the morning before we headed off to church so all they had to do was finish up when we got back. You brought back good memories, thank you.

    1. Thanks for your kind comment, Victoria! What would we do without our sweet Aunts? You’re right, times have changed. I always feel a little bit giddy when I get dinner in the crock pot before church. 🙂

  2. Omg! Your post gave me goosebumps because I too, have an Aunt Lou who shared the pistachio cake recipe with me many years ago! I am getting ready to make a cake tonight for someone who requested it and I was just on pinterest looking at recipes and yours caught my eye immediately because of the heading! I was thinking, did one of my cousin’s post this??? My Aunt Lou observes the Sabbath but as a Seventh Day Adventist and her meals were always prepared by sunset on Fridays for Sabbath dinner on Saturdays and Pistachio cake was often served as the dessert. My aunt now lives in another state but my tribute to her is to make sure there is a pistachio cake at our family’s Christmas gathering every year! Thanks for such a wonderful post which was a delight and reminds us of the reasons to pay homage to treasured memories and family traditions!
    Peace and blessings!

    1. Hi Ansonia,

      What a beautiful comment! Thank you so much! Aunt Lous are just the best. 🙂 I am so glad that you have one too! I hope you enjoy this cake as much as we do.

      Big hugs,
      Chrissy ♥

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