This farm was a very special place. It was often the location of summer family reunions and get togethers; the yard and nearby orchard overflowing with Aunts and Uncles and Cousins. During one such visit, the little girl’s Aunt Mary handed her a small, white plate with a big square of moist, green cake on it. It was covered with a fluffy cream that looked so light and airy it seemed to have been pulled right from the clouds above! The girl slowly picked up a fork and took a bite. As the rich, sweet confection hit her tongue, the little girl’s eyes grew round with wonder and delight!
“Aunt Mary! Pray tell, what is this amazing treat you have passed to me that is the color of spring leaves and 70’s avocado kitchen cabinets?! What angel led you to this enchanted cake made from magical ingredients?”
Aunt Mary smiled angelically and leaned down close to the little girl. “My sweet, sweet child,” she said. “This is, Watergate Cake.”
All of a sudden, the clouds parted and sunshine streamed down on us. The chorus of ‘Hallelujah’ began to play and soon rose to a thundering crescendo of praise! Watergate Cake! The little girl’s life was forever changed for the better and from that day on, she would remember that day as ‘The Day of the Watergate Cake.’
So maybe it didn’t happen exactly like that. But its pretty close to my first taste of this fantastic dessert. It doesn’t get much more retro and nostalgic than green cake made with instant pudding, so if you ever wondered about that dessert you ate years ago at the potluck in the church basement, this is probably it. It is another one of the ‘cheater’ recipes, as I call them, because it is made with boxed ingredients. However, in this case, there just is not a substitute. The very essence of this cake is rooted in childhoods of my generation and one bite will give you flashbacks of denim bell bottoms and polyester collared shirts. The fact that it tastes incredible is not lost on me and I STILL bring it to potluck dinners and serve it to crowds.
1 box white cake mix
1 (3 oz) box instant pistachio pudding
1 c oil
1 c gingerale, Sprite, or 7-Up
Preheat oven to 350 and lightly spray a 9X13 inch baking pan. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat all of the above ingredients for a solid minute until smooth. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. COOL COMPLETELY. While the cake cools, make the frosting.
1 (3 oz) box of instant vanilla pudding
1 1/2 c of milk
1 (8 oz) container of whipped topping, such as CoolWhip
chopped pistachios for garnish (optional)
Whisk the pudding and milk together until smooth and thick. Fold in the whipped topping. Pour it over the cake, spreading it smooth, and chill the whole she-bang until ready to serve. Top with chopped pistachios if desired. Enjoy!