pistachio watergate cupcakes

I got a hankering for something pistachio-y recently, so I went down a google rabbit hole and stumbled onto Watergate cake, which was supposedly inspired by this crazy Watergate salad. Apparently one of the name-origin stories is that a newspaper editor (in Chicago!) changed the name to “Watergate salad” from “Pineapple Pistachio delight” in hopes that the recipe section would gain more attention – how bananas is that? I should try that for my next recipe…but so many scandals to choose from!

Anyhoo, it turns out my mom used to make this cake, so I decided to give it a go in cupcake form. These were crazy easy and fast to make (holler boxed cake mix!) – and totally took me down nostalgia road. They’re also perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or Easter given their pretty green color.

Do any of y’all remember this cake too?

Cook time: 12-14 minutes
Servings: 14 cupcakes

3.4 oz pistachio pudding
16.25 oz box of white cake mix (I used my girl Betty Crocker)
3 eggs
1/3 cup veg oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup club soda
1/2 cup chopped walnuts + more for topping

1 tub of cool whip, 8 oz.
3.4 oz pistachio pudding
1 1/2 cup cold milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the cool whip, pudding and milk together. Pop in the fridge so that it solidifies a bit, which will make it easier to use to frost later.

Then add all of the cake ingredients, except the walnuts, into a stand-mixer (or bowl) and mix until well combined. Then fold in the walnuts.

Place the muffin cups into the muffin pan, and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Add about 3-4 tablespoons of the cake mixture to each muffin cup and pop in the oven. Cook for 12-14 minutes until a toothpick goes into the center of the cupcake and comes out clean.

Remove from the tin and set on a wire rack to cool.

To frost, dunk the top of the cupcake into the cool whip mixture and swirl around until it’s well frosted. Add some walnuts to the top, and voila – Watergate cupcakes!

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