Kathleen Cake | Dessert Recipe on The Style Scribe

This recipe comes from a family friend and neighbor (shoutout to Kathleen Parker!) from my childhood home in Austin! I’m not sure what the cake was called originally, but we always called it Kathleen Cake in her honor. This has been a family favorite ever since I can remember! This cake is such a unique combination of ingredients that one might dismiss at first glance, but it is truly one of my very favorite dessert recipes of all time! The cake itself is so soft and moist thanks to the Jell-O pudding mix, sour cream and buttermilk, and the tangy lemon frosting offsets the sweet pistachio and chocolate chip combo in the cake. It’s also not the most beautiful cake you’ve ever seen, but don’t judge a book by its cover – this cake is INSANELY DELICIOUS. It’s also the easiest to make! One thing I must note –and I cannot stress this enough– make sure your bundt pan is well-greased or sprayed down with non-stick baking spray. I thought I had greased it well enough, but the cake got stuck and the top ripped off when I tried to remove it from the pan! Will be using non-stick spray in the future. Just wanted to give y’all a heads up if you’d prefer your cake to be pretty as well as tasty!


  • 1 box Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 box Jell-O Pistachio Instant Pudding
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons amaretto liqueur (optional – I didn’t have any on hand this time and it tasted just as great!)
  • 1 package of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional – I prefer without!)


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease a bundt cake pan.
  2. Mix first eight ingredients in an electric mixer (mine is KitchenAid!) for 10 minutes.
  3. Add package of chocolate chips and nuts; mix until coated.
  4. Bake for 1 hour. Test it using a needle or toothpick to make sure it’s done!
  5. Carefully remove from pan onto cake stand (see below for my faves!) and let cool completely.
  6. Frost the bundt cake using a mixture of lemon juice and powdered sugar – I don’t have measurements, just use juice from a couple of lemons and then mix in powdered sugar until the frosting is thick and not super runny.
  7. Slice and serve!

PS: This cake freezes and reheats well, so don’t be afraid to make it if you’re solo like me! I saved a portion to eat the week I made it, and cut it into a couple of bigger sections to freeze for indulging on a later date.

PPS: Over the weekend I remade it without the chocolate chips and icing just to see what it would be like. It was also super tasty as a simple pistachio bundt cake! More breakfast-y and not as much sugar!

stylish cake stands


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