295. Watergate Cake!

Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine myself giving anybody cooking tips.  As a cook, I’m pretty much a danger to myself and others.

But sometimes, when I’m at my sister Joan and brother-in-law Tommy’s house, I sneak into her recipe files.  This is so I can lay hands on how to make something she just cooked, or some dish I remembered – like her baked beans, or creamed corn casserole. Yum!  

Joan doesn’t cook as much as she used to, but when in her prime, she really knew how to sling the hash. And most of the recipes I’ve stolen from her stash are fool-proof — the only kind I can operate with.

This is the most important one I ever ripped off from her files – the Watergate Cake.  She told me it originated – not with Richard Nixon – but with a chef who worked in the Watergate Hotel.

If you don’t know it already, I can tell you that it is a most heavenly cake, and the only one I’ve made in the past forty years since I got the recipe.  And the most important thing about it is that even when the cake falls, you can dress it up with the delicious topping and everybody will eat it anyway.

You can do a layered version, but it’s easiest to use a one-layer 13” x 9” pan.



1 package white cake mix
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup Fresca pop
1 (3 ounce) package Jello instant pistachio pudding mix
1 quarter cup chopped pecans

For topping:
1 (3 ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix
1 9 (or 13) oz. Cool Whip, thawed
1 (or a little more) cup cold milk
A few more chopped pecans


1. Combine cake mix, eggs, oil, Fresca, pecans and 1 box pistachio pudding. Beat together for four minutes. Pour batter into a greased and floured 13 x 9 inch pan.

2. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. Cool completely.

3. After cake has cooled, mix until thick, 1 box pistachio pudding, and 1 cup milk. Fold in Cool Whip whipped topping. Chill.  Invert cake from pan and then ice cooled cake with chilled frosting. (Optional) sprinkle additional pecans on top.

So there you go.  Live a little. Thank you, Joan.  Ahhhhh!

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5 Responses to 295. Watergate Cake!

  1. Denise (Fitz) says:

    Yummy! If you like that, then you need to ask for her Watergate Salad recipe. SO refreshing in the summer!

    • Lisa Marie says:

      My favorite dessert EVAH!

      So, Aunt Joan, what does a person have to do around here to get your Watergate Salad recipe?

  2. Susy says:

    The only kind of cake I cannot resist! That frosting is so light and delicious. Heavenly!!

  3. A relative says:

    I have always liked watergate cake,ham salad, and tuna pudding

  4. Gretchen Warden says:

    Hi Grandma! I made my first Watergate cake tonight and it was a success! When Joe came home from work I told him he might want to try the new cake I made. He said he really wasn’t hungry and would try just a bite. Not more than a few minutes later I saw him with a nice big piece, I think that means it’s a hit at our house!!! Thanks again for sharing this with us! I am going to make another one for a get together with Joe’s family next weekend.

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