If you like Watergate salad, you’ll love these Watergate cookies! This family favorite cookie recipe is loaded with pecan, coconut and pistachio and needs just one bowl!

Watergate Cookies on a cutting board

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Have you have heard of Watergate salad…  (which really isn’t salad, it’s more like dessert fluff similar to my Cranberry Millionaire salad or Ambrosia salad).  It’s delicious… and regardless whether it’s salad or not, Watergate ‘Salad’ is super yummy! It consists of pistachio pudding with nuts & coconut… how could it not be delish!!
Watergate Cookies in a stack

Recently I acquired some amazing boxes of vintage recipes and while searching for treasures, I came across a recipe for Watergate Cookies!  Not only is this cookie recipe ridiculously simple but I loved that it mimicked the flavors of the Watergate Salad and I knew immediately I had to try it. This recipe is a keeper for sure!

Not only is this yummy, it’s pretty much fool proof and needs only ONE BOWL!  That’s right, no mixers and no million things to wash.. ONE. BOWL.  ‘Nuff said.

Items You’ll Need For This Recipe

* Pistachio Pudding * Yellow Cake Mix * Coconut * Pecans *

Watergate Cookies in a stack
4.98 from 34 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Watergate Cookies

If you like Watergate salad, you’ll love these Watergate cookies! This family favorite cookie recipe is loaded with pecan, coconut, and pistachio and needs just one bowl!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Total Time 14 minutes
Servings 28 cookies
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  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 box instant pistachio pudding mix 4 serving size
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • ½ cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons lemon-lime soda
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil


  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl until combined.
  • Drop onto a parchment lined pan.
  • Bake 9-11 minutes or just until edges are browned.
4.98 from 34 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 128 | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 143mg | Potassium: 26mg | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 0.5mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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    1. Hi Rachel, we cooked them until the edges started to brown. They were soft, but they firm enough they held their shape. Hope that helps!

  2. I’m not a cookie baker but this looks amazing. Stupid question……how large of a dollop do I use when putting this on a baking dish? Tbl spoon?5 stars

  3. I have made your Watergate Cookies a few times and LOVE them. Since it is made with many of my favorite ingredients: pistachios, pecans, coconut and are user friendly to make, they are an easy choice. QUESTION: what can you substitute for the 3 Tblsp of Lemon-Lime Soda??

    Another awesome recipe of yours are the Pecan Pie Cookies……OFF THE CHARTS. I make Pecan Tartes through the fall holidays and they are to die for, but these cookies enable me to include them in my holiday cookie array and no cutting or serving needed…..super yummy5 stars

  4. I was looking for a Christmas cookie recipes for my jobs Christmas party bake off and came across this recipe! These cookies look simple to make and very delicious! Thanks for posting this recipe! Looking forward to making these for the party!5 stars

  5. these are delicious, I just made them! Not only are they yum but they were super easy to make. I needed cookies for a holiday party so I am calling them Grinch cookies :) thanks for the easy and delicious recipe!5 stars

  6. These look delicious, I can’t wait to try this quick and easy recipe. My only question is are they soft? I like my cookies soft and chewy!

  7. Oh My! I found your recipe on Pinterest and had to make them for St. Patrick’s Day. They are WONDERFUL,! The crunch of the pecans and the chewiness of the coconut really make ones mouth happy. The color is nice. Thank you for sharing.

  8. OK. So I seriously want to run home and make cookies (I am at work…the establishment would probably frown upon that) But, really these look amazing. I would devour the red velvet cookies and my husband would die for the Watergate cookies. Thanks for the Valentine’s Day inspiration!

    1. Aww thank you Becky! :) Both are great and easy… and we’re the same.. I’m all about the red velvet and my husband LOVES the Watergate Cookies! :)

  9. There’s something about pistachio pudding that is like no other and I bet it is amazing in these cookies!

    And no mixer, one bowl cookies…now that’s an automatic win!

      1. Thank you so much for the wonderful recipes, their great!! I love new recipes to try for different occasions!! I love the pistachio cookies!! I make the Watergate salad for all our family functions. They love it so much that when I come home I come home with an empty bowl!! Thnx!!