Watergate Cake with Cover-Up Frosting

Watergate Cake with Cover-Up Frosting

Watergate Cake with Cover-Up Frosting

Schatzi: Though this cake was a prominent fixture on the community cookbook circuit when it debuted (my mother’s version is noted as being from the Nursing Office Cookbook), I have no conscious memory of it. I came across the recipe in my mother’s recipe box, which contains not only many magnificent Christmas cookie recipes, but also numerous treasures of late Sixties and early Seventies cooking. I remember quite a few of them, but there are a number that my mother seems to have dropped from her rotation as I was growing up. Malia remembers this one (and the Banana Split Cake) quite well; Mom made them all the time when Malia was a little girl, right about the time of Watergate.

I happened upon it in the Desserts section of Mom’s recipe box, and had to make it for several reasons:

  1. I have been craving a pistachio cake lately,
  2. our love for desserts with fun ingredients like soda,
  3. my love for vintage recipes, and
  4. my sincere affection for Richard Nixon (he’s one of my two favorite US presidents). I am totally serious.

It’s a very simple, throw everything together kind of recipe, and since it’s not from scratch, I just dumped everything into my big measuring cup/mixing bowl and stirred it up real good. I especially enjoyed watching the pistachio green color bloom into the rest of the cake at I mixed. Be careful not to overbake; the cake will look slightly sunken in the middle even when done.

As for taste, HOLY SHIT. We had pieces last night, and it was nice. But then I had a piece this morning after it had been refrigerated all night (breakfast of champions!), and it delivered. Cool, creamy, and that perfect ice cream parlor pistachio green that is so evocative of childhood. It’s like ambrosia in cake form! It might not tickle the sophisticated palate, but it is a comforting, nostalgic treat. I can’t wait to enjoy some on a hot summer day.

Moms recipe card

Mom's recipe card

Watergate Cake

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 3oz-pkg instant pistachio pudding
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup 7-up
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350. Mix in order given. Bake in 9×13-inch pan at for 30-40 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

Cover-Up Frosting

  • 2 envelopes Dream Whip
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 1 3oz-pkg instant pistachio pudding
  • chopped pecans & flaked coconut, for decoration

Whip Dream Whip, pudding mix, and milk together til stiff. Top with chopped pecans and/or flaked coconut as preferred. Keep frosted cake refrigerated!

adding the soda is fun!

adding the soda is fun!

ready to bake

ready to bake

Cover-Up Frosting is ready to go

Cover-Up Frosting is ready to go

its a piece of cake!

it's a piece of cake!

14 responses to “Watergate Cake with Cover-Up Frosting

  1. Loved your post. I’ve never personally made this but have it from back home. I ate it growing up. It was always at a family gathering. Funny since going to college and moving away from home…20 years now I’ve NEVER had this anywhere. I thought it was just something they made!

  2. I think it was definitely the sort of thing that graced family reunions and company potlucks, so unless it was a particular family favorite, it has probably fallen off most culinary radars. Which is unfortunate, as it is rather tasty.

  3. sunken ,like tricky dick’s reputation!

  4. This cake is also great when made as cupcakes!

  5. Stacey, I just bet they’re divine as cupcakes! I will have to try that sometime …

  6. Lillian Rutherford Sweeney

    Watergate cake is delicious . we have it every Christmas. but there is no reason why you can not use any flavour of pudding you like. I have done other flavours too. which are also very delicious.

  7. Lillian Rutherford Sweeney

    Watergate cake is delicious . we have it every Christmas. but there is no reason why you can not use any flavour of pudding you like. I have done other flavours too. which are also very delicious.

  8. I’ve always had Watergate salad, This cake verson is completly new to me. i can’t wait to make it.

  9. Susan Shakoor

    I have been making this cake for years and everyone begs me to make it when I ask ” what can I bring?”

  10. My aunt made this all the time when we were little. So excited to have the recipe again!! Thank you

  11. Pingback: PinLaVie... Make your pins come true – Watergate Cake with Cover-Up Frosting

  12. Sounds like something so sweet that it will make my legs and feet hurt from all the sugar.

  13. OMG!!! Just ran across your recipe on Pintrest, and can’t wait to try it!!! Have never heard of the cake version, but I make the “Watergate Salad” every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas as requested by my parents. Now I’ll have a new version to tickle their tastebuds with! Thanks so much for the recipe, sounds DELISH!!

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