Chocolate Covered Pistachio Cake Balls + Cake Pops

Usually, I’m not one to go peeling and eating pistachios on their own, but when they’re in a dessert, boy are they good! Pistachio gelato? Oh my goodness. Pistachio cake? To-die-for.

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The first time I tried pistachio cake was a few years ago when a fabulous coworker of mine made it for a dessert contest at work. Now whenever I think of dessert on St. Patrick’s Day, that pistachio cake is the first thing that pops into my mind.

That particular recipe called for adding a box of Jell-O Pistachio Pudding to boxed cake mix which, granted, is ridiculously easy. However like most food that is ridiculously easy, the pudding mix is not so healthy. And if there is a way to make a dessert even somewhat healthy, I’m going to do it! Open-mouthed smile

Moms always lecture their kids to get their greens, right? How about in the form of a chocolate covered cake ball? That counts…doesn’t it?!  ;)


Chocolate Covered Pistachio Cake Balls + Pops

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Green Pistachio Cake

  • 1 box vanilla cake mix*
  • 6 ounces baby spinach
  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup almond milk + 3 tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup peeled pistachios
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 packages Baker’s chocolate (one white chocolate and one milk chocolate) or Candy Melts

*The cake mix I bought called for 3 eggs, 2/3 cup milk, and 1/2 cup oil but any cake mix could be used in this recipe by replacing those ingredients for whatever brand you choose requires. cake balls 007   Pistachio Icing

  • 5.3 ounces Plain Greek Yogurt*
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

*I originally made the icing with 2 servings of Greek yogurt but ended-up with a ton of icing left over so the recipe for the icing is actually half of what I made. cake balls 025 Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and pour the boxed cake mix into a large bowl then set aside. Then place the eggs in a separate medium-sized bowl and set aside. In a food processor, purée the spinach with coconut oil and 2 tablespoons almond milk then add to the bowl with the eggs. cake balls 010 cake balls 012 Rinse and dry the processor then add 1/4 cup pistachios and grind to a fine texture, almost like a powder. Add 1/4 cup canola oil, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract and 1 tablespoon almond milk and pulse to combine. You can give it a little taste if you want to…you know you want to! Be right back cake balls 017 Add the pistachio mixture, 2/3 cup almond milk, eggs and spinach to the bowl with the cake mix. cake balls 018 Beat ingredients on high for approximately 2 minutes. cake balls 022 Pour the cake batter into a greased dish and bake for 30-35 minutes. cake balls 035 Prepare the icing by again grinding 1/4 cup pistachios to a powder. Then add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract and pulse to combine. In a bowl, combine the pistachio mixture, Greek yogurt, and powdered sugar by beating on high for 1 minute. cake balls 036 Allow cake to cool after baking, then crumble the entire thing with a fork. cake balls 041 Drizzle the icing on top of the crumbled cake and combine with your hands. You can get a feel for how much icing you want by feeling the texture as you go. I chose not to use too much of the icing because I prefer the cake to not be overly moist or sweet. cake balls 045 Take small scoops of cake mixture and place into hands to roll into balls. There should be a little over 3 dozen cake balls when you are done. cake balls 043 cake balls 051 Refrigerate balls for 15 minutes before icing with chocolate. If you choose to make cake pops, dip the end of the stick in chocolate and place into the cake before freezing them for 15 minutes. cake balls 060 After they are chilled, roll balls into melted chocolate and freeze for another 15 minutes. Styrofoam holders or colanders are helpful for cake pops to rest in while they are setting. Then they are ready to serve! cake balls 111 cake balls 128 Trust me, no one will ever know they are made with spinach! Winking smile cake balls 151

I really loved the flavor of the cake and am working on another recipe that is similar but requires a little less labor. I will be sure to share it soon as another option for a St. Patty’s Day treat! I also thought the chocolate coating was a little thick and think the Candy Melts would be better to obtain a thinner coating, similar to a Starbucks Cake Pop.


What dessert comes to your mind when you think of St. Patrick’s Day?