Classic Watergate Cake

Watergate Cake
Watergate Cake. Diana Rattray
    55 mins

This easy Watergate cake is made with pistachio pudding mix, whipped topping, and a cake mix. Pecans and coconut add flavor and texture to this classic cake. 7-up is added to the cake instead of water, but you may use club soda, Sprite, or a similar carbonated drink. 

It probably got its name, "Watergate cake," from the Watergate break-in scandal of June 17, 1972

 I didn't have a white cake, so I used a yellow cake mix for the recipe. It was moist and delicious! I also toasted the pecans for the frosting and toasted another 1/2 cup of coconut for garnish. It gave the cake additional coconut flavor and crunch, and it looked beautiful. 

Some recipes call for the second 1/2 cup of pecans to be sprinkled over the top of the  frosting. Feel free to do it that way.

What You'll Need

  • 1 white cake mix (2 layer size) 
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 packages (3 ounces each) instant pistachio pudding, divided
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup 7-up
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, divided
  • 1 cup flaked coconut, divided
  • 2 envelopes Dream Whip dry whipped topping mix
  • 1 1/4 cups cold milk

How to Make It

Heat the oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 9-by-13-by-2-inch baking pan.

Empty the white cake mix into a large mixing bowl with the eggs, 1 package of the pudding mix, 1 cup of vegetable oil, and the 7-up. With an electric mixer on low, combine the ingredients. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 1 to 2 minutes. Fold in 1/2 cup of chopped pecans and 1/2 cup of coconut until well blended.

Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread it evenly.


Bake in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool the cake completely in the pan on a rack.

When the cake has cooled completely, prepare the frosting.

Combine the two envelopes of Dream Whip with the milk and pudding; beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the remaining package of dry pistachio pudding mix and continue beating until well blended. Fold in the remaining 1/2 cup of chopped pecans. 

Spread the frosting over the cooled cake.

Put the coconut in a dry skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the coconut is well-browned. Remove the coconut to a plate to cool and then sprinkle it over the frosting.

Store leftover cake in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 days. According to the Kraft foodservice website, it can be stored in the refrigerator without spoilage for "several days".

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