Watergate Cake with Cover-Up Frosting

This is a 1970s cake popular when the Watergate scandal was taking place.



  • 1 (18 1/4 ounce) box plain white cake mix
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) box instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup ginger ale
  • 3 large eggs

Cover-Up Frosting

  • 1 (3.4 ounce) box instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed


  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly mist a 13 x 9-inch pan with vegetable oil, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pan aside.
  2. Cake: Place cake mix, pudding mix, oil, ginger ale and eggs into a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute.
  3. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed. The batter should look well blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the rubber spatula.
  4. Place the pan in the oven.
  5. Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, 35 to 40 minutes.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool completely, 30 minutes more.
  7. Meanwhile, prepare Cover-Up Frosting.
  8. Cover-Up Frosting: Whisk pudding mix and milk together in a large mixing bowl. It should thicken up but not set, from 2 to 3 minutes. Gently fold in whipped topping. Spread the top with frosting. You can sprinkle toasted nuts over the top, if desired.
  9. Store cake, covered, in the refrigerator.

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