Monday, April 11, 2011

Office Food and Pistachio Cake

Every now and then we arrive at work to find some kind of baked goodie waiting for us.  It can be pastries from a local bakery or pan of brownies or even something I've brought in, like banana bread or a coffee cake.  When I had to work this past Saturday I brought cinnamon rolls and blueberry muffins to share.  My donations to "office food" offerings are unpredictable and random and usually depend on what I'm baking for other reasons (and if there's any left over).  Once in a while I bake intentionally for my co-workers.  It's usually as a surprise and is greeted by such exclamations as "Oh, wow!" and equally, "Oh no!" when it's just too much of a temptation for those of us (including myself) who are being careful with our diets. 

This morning I walked in to the office and in our little kitchen area there was a foil covered pan with a thank-you note.  It was from Lynn, and the note said the cake was in celebration of her 6-month anniversary in the office, and in Lynn's words, " celebrate ME!"  (She's very funny!)  Seriously, though, her presence is a joyful one and I am very, very happy to be working with Lynn, as are the rest of the staff.  She's a breath of fresh air on days when the responsibility of our work is overwhelming.  I had only been working in the office for a month when Lynn joined us, so we are both learning as we go.

Lynn and her Pistachio Cake!

Underneath the foil in that pan was a pistachio cake.  Lynn said it's her standard cake to take to any event.  She's made it so many times, for her family and for parties, that she reeled the recipe right off from memory.  It starts with a white cake mix, a box of instant pistachio pudding and chopped nuts.  After it comes out of the oven, a glaze is poured over the surface, creating a wonderfully moist cake.   It was incredible! 


Oven:  350 degrees F
Spray a 13x9 pan with vegetable or baking spray.  Line pan with parchment or waxed paper (if you have it).

1 white cake mix
1 box instant pistachio pudding mix (4 serving size)
1 cup water
3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
4 eggs
finely chopped walnuts (1 cup)

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup confectioners sugar
3/4 cup water

Bake cake:
Mix together cake mix, pudding mix, water, oil, and eggs.  Beat 2 minutes.  Scrape bowl and make sure it's well mixed.

Pour batter into prepared pan.  Sprinkle finely chopped nuts over the batter.  Bake 40 minutes or until cake tests done with a toothpick or springs back when lightly pressed in the center. 

While cake is baking, prepare glaze:
In small saucepan, melt butter and stir in water and confectioners sugar.  Whisk until well combined.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and boil gently for three minutes.  Remove from heat.

When cake comes out of the oven, let it rest for a few minutes and then poke holes in it with a skewer or toothpick (about 1/2 inch apart all over the cake).  Distribute glaze evenly over top of cake.  It will sink into the poked holes.

Thank you, Lynn!!!

And...just for fun, with absolutely nothing to do with pistachio cake, here's a photo of my grandson Pete, taken yesterday. He's wearning Henry's pirate hat! Check out those cheeks!

Pete, 5 1/2 months old!


  1. This sounds like a good cake. I make Pistachio dream pie for Thanksgiving. It's light after a big meal, and has become a family tradition. The white chocolate pudding dream pie is also good with white chocolate grated over it for a frosty looking pie for Christmas. : ) Love ur site Rebecca. Rebeccaandkim

    1. Thanks Rebecca! I used to make "the green stuff" with pistachio pudding, cool whip, crushed pineapple, and mini-marshmallows. It was a great summer dessert (can't really call it a salad and get away with it!). So glad you like the site. Come back often!