Say What Needs To Be Said And Pistachio Pudding Cake

pistachio_cake_5_mfbMy friend, Rosie, reminded me the other day that Mother’s Day is quickly approaching.  For me, Mother’s Day holds my heart differently than it used to.  I lost my Mom last spring, and her passing has had a very profound effect on me, and the way I view my family, my job, my world.

My Mom was a strong, independent thinking woman.  She spoke her mind and it didn’t matter whether you were her children, her in-laws, grandchildren, a niece or nephew, a friend, or a complete stranger.  When she wanted to say something, she said it.  And when she said something, she meant it.

If she thought you were being an ass, she told you.  If she thought you were getting fat and needed to lay off the brownies for a while, she told you.  If she thought you needed to hear how much she loved you, she told you.

mom_collageIf there is anything that she taught us in this life, it’s to be open-minded, independent, true to ourselves, and most of all loving.  She always said what needed to be said, and felt what needed to be felt, but with an open mind and an open heart, and I know that she would expect nothing less from all of us.

So, I have learned to do what needs to be done, and feel what needs to be felt.  I say what needs to be said, even though I’m not always subtle about it.  I make no apologies for being myself, for I am also a strong, independent thinking woman.  Just like my Mom.

pistachio_cake_6_mfbMom used to make this pistachio pudding cake for us when we were kids.  I haven’t had it in years and years, so in honor of my Mom, I thought I’d make it for my kids this Mother’s Day so that in a special way, she can share this Mother’s Day with us.

And I won’t forget to say what needs to be said.  “I love you Mom and I miss you. Happy Mother’s Day.”

Pistachio Pudding Cake

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 9"x13" pan

This is a great dessert for summer barbecues. If there are nut-allergy concerns, change the pistachio pudding to something like butterscotch or chocolate for another great variation, and just omit the nuts from the base layer.


    For The Base Layer
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup raw, unsalted pistachios, finely chopped
  • For The Pudding Layer
  • 2 boxes (104 g) instant pistachio pudding
  • 4 cups milk
  • For The Top Layer
  • 2 cups whipping (heavy) cream, at least 35%
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup raw, unsalted pistachios, finely chopped


For The Base Layer

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, combine the flour and sugar. Cut butter into small cubes and add to the flour. Using a pastry cutter or your hands, mix until crumbly. Add chopped pistachios and toss until evenly distributed. Press into a 9″x13″ baking pan lined with parchment paper. (If you don’t use parchment paper, the cake may be difficult to remove from the pan.) Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the base cool completely.

For The Pudding Layer

In a large bowl, combine instant pistachio pudding and milk. Mix according to package directions. Pour over cooled base and refrigerate until the pudding is completely set.

For The Top Layer

Chill the bowl and whisk attachment from your stand mixer in the fridge for 20 minutes or in the freezer for 5 minutes.

Begin by whisking the cream and icing sugar on medium-high speed for 2 or 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to high speed and whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks and will hold it’s shape. Transfer the whipped cream to another bowl.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine cream cheese and granulated sugar. Mix on high speed until light and fluffy, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Once it is fluffy, transfer the whipped cream back into the mixing bowl with the cream cheese. Mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds until well combined.

Spread whipped cream mixture over the pistachio pudding layer and sprinkle with additional chopped pistachios. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Original Recipe by My Friend's Bakery 2013

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  1. Denise Rybuck says:

    I love what you said about your Mom. There is no doubt she said what needed to be said. She did it because she cared. I think that is one of things I miss most about your Mom. She told people what she thought and let the chips fall where they may. She knew when to say things that others found challenging to say or when people needed to hear words out of compassion and love. During one of the last occasions I saw your Mom, she told me that I have a soft-heart just like my Dad. It was one of the nicest things anyone could say to me. Both my Dad and I have big hearts and we are compassionate. I cherish this along with the other funny and important tidbits she shared with me during our chats. I am glad you are able to share these recipes and above all else, I am glad you share stories about her. In these stories, her memory lives on. She would be proud of you for doing what you need to do and being the person you are supposed to be. I just know it.

    Denise Rybuck

  2. Jules says:

    I can’t even read all this because my eyes are filled with tears. There isn’t a day I don’t think of her, really do….

    Laura…she is very proud of you. Keep going 🙂

  3. Nicky says:

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful story! It was touching!! I would love to make this dessert tomorrow and went out to get the pistachio pudding. The pudding is 96 grams per box (close enough to 104 grams) but I wanted to know if the 104 grams you wrote in the ingredients list is per box or for both pudding boxes??
    Thank you very much!!

    • My Friend's Bakery says:

      hi Nicky,
      Each box that I had was 104 g. Maybe different brands are different sizes, but I’m sure any brand you buy will be delicious!

      • Nicky says:

        Thanks for the speedy response! Im glad I bought 2 boxes just in case! I hope to get around to making it this weekend! So excited! Can’t wait!! =)

    • My Friend's Bakery says:

      Yes, icing sugar is known by many names including confectioner’s sugar, confectionery sugar, and powdered sugar.

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