This chocolate pistachio cake is a family favorite recipe. Full of rich chocolate flavor and made with a little help from pistachio instant pudding, this bundt cake is moist, tender, and a huge crowd pleaser!
There is something so perfectly balanced about this cake. It’s not too chocolatey or rich and not aggressively artificially flavored. It’s just sweet enough. With a simple chocolate glaze and a garnish of crushed pistachios it’s a gorgeous dessert worthy of gracing your table!
And it graced a lot of our family tables growing up. This is one of my dad's favorite cakes that my grandma used to make for him all the time. My version is similar to hers - with the addition of instant pistachio pudding to the cake batter. It varies in using real melted chocolate instead of fake chocolate syrup (sorry, Grandma!). But! The recipe does work with that fake stuff too, in case it's all you have on hand.
Ingredients for this recipe:
- Instant Pistachio Pudding
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate
- Baking powder and soda
- Canola Oil
How to Make Chocolate Pistachio Cake
- Whisk the dry ingredients.
- Cream the eggs, oil, and sugar.
- Add the wet to the dry. Alternating with the milk. Standard cake batter procedure, folks.
- Stir in the instant pudding. Doing it at this step ensures that the entire cake will have that great pistachio flavor and add moisture!
- Melt some chocolate. Mix in into 1/3 of the batter.
- Marble the two flavors of the cake. (Learn how to below!)
- Bake. Cool. Glaze.
Do you see those beautiful gorgeous marbled swirls? Want to know how to achieve them? Well you’ve come to the right place! Here are some tips for making a perfect marbled cake:
How to Marble a Cake
- Pay attention to the thickness of the batters. The chocolate portion of this cake batter is thicker than the regular pistachio portion. This makes sense because we took the original cake batter and added more weight/fat/moisture to it with melted chocolate. Because of this, the chocolate cake batter is going to sink a bit when mixed with the pistachio cake batter. This is combatted by not only having thicker layers of pistachio cake batter, but by starting with the pistachio so the chocolate batter doesn’t just sit on the bottom. Amen.
- Layering is key. To avoid having a heavier cake batter sink to the bottom or totally overtake the lighter one, most of the marbling should be achieved by batter placement rather than mixing. By layering the two batters one on top of the other three times over, most of the marbling gets done before mixing!
- Mind the mixing. To mix the layers just right by not too much use a chopstick or a thin butter knife and make gentle circular motions throughout the batter. Don’t go too crazy! Too much mixing will destroy marbling and you’ll wind up with a cake that’s just one color and flavor.
- Don’t stress. Baking is supposed to be fun! If your cake is less marbled than you’d like, it’s ok! It will still be delicious and you should still be proud!
Bundt Cake Tips and Tricks:
- Sugar the pan. I know most cake recipes call for buttering and flouring a pan, but I am here to offer a helpful hint. In the form of sugar! When dealing with a Bundt pan, or any other pan that has a lot of grooves, lines, or edges (like a lamb cake mold!), I spray the cake with baking spray. This ensures that every nook and cranny of the cake mold will get coated. Second, instead of using flour, coat the pans in sugar! This not only ensures the Bundt cake will come out of the pan cleanly, but the cake will also have this beautifully browned, sugary coating on the outside.
- Cool off. It can be a harrowing experience to try and get a Bundt cake out of the pan. Will it stick? Come out cleanly? Be a total disaster? There is a simple trick to ensure the cake will come out of the Bundt pan every single time. Let the cake cool! That’s it. Let it hang out on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes after removing it from the oven and then turn it over. But! Don’t lift the pan. Don’t move it. Just let the Bundt cake do its thing and slide out in its own time. Kind of like an angel food cake in that way.
- Dealing with a broken Bundt cake. I have messed up my fair share of tube cakes in the past. And I’ve still eaten them. Because they still taste delicious. But, if the cake really is broken beyond repair (though if it’s been sugared well and left to cool, it should pop out with ease!) turn it into a delicious trifle! Or cake pops! It can still be enjoyed, even when broken.
Chocolate Pistachio Bundt Cake
- 8 cup Bundt pan
For the marbled cake:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup canola oil or other neutral flavored oil
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole milk at room temperature
- 1 box Pistachio Instant Pudding 3.4-ounce box
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate melted and slightly cooled.
For the chocolate glaze:
- 3 cups powdered sugar sifted
- 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate melted and slightly cooled
- 2 TBSP milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. salt
- Crushed pistachios to garnish
For the marbled cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-cup Bundt pan generously with baking spray and dust with granulated sugar, just as you would normally flour a cake pan. Turn out excess sugar from pan and discard. Set aside.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the eggs, oil, and sugar until light and thick, about 5 minutes. Scrape down bowl before stirring in vanilla extract.
- Working in three batches, add the dry ingredients, alternating with two additions of the milk. Scrape down the bowl as necessary to ensure the batter is uniform.
- Before the final batch of dry ingredients are fully incorporated, stir in the instant pudding by hand. This ensures the batter will be completely uniform but not overmixed.
- Divide 1/3 of the batter into a glass bowl and stir in the melted chocolate. Voila! Chocolate cake batter! (Note: this batter will be thicker than the plain pistachio.)
- To marble the cake: Pour about 1 1/2 cups of pistachio cake batter into the bottom of the prepared Bundt pan. Follow with about 1 cup of the chocolate cake batter dolloped throughout. Repeat the process of layering the pistachio batter and chocolate batter (always using more pistachio batter than chocolate) until all the batter is used. Gently swirl the batter in the pan with a chopstick or butterknife.
- Bake cake in preheated oven for 45 – 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove cake to a wire rack to cool upside down for 10 minutes before turning over and allowing to cool completely. (Cake should slide out of pan as it cools.)
- When cake is completely cooled, drizzle with chocolate glaze and top with chopped pistachios.
For the chocolate glaze:
- Whisk together all the ingredients in a large bowl until smooth.
- Cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days or in the fridge for up to a week.