Pistachio Pudding Parfaits

Sometimes joy is found in simple things like these pistachio pudding parfaits.

a pistachio pudding parfait with a dollop of whipped cream

Last fall I couldn’t wait for the year to end. I wanted to crumple 2016 up like a piece of paper and slam-dunk it in the garbage can. And the phrase “everything happens for a reason” was enough to send me over the edge because that meant accepting everything that happened in 2016. For me, acceptance and seeing any good in 2016 was a very tall order.

But these days, after months of self-reflection and bravely facing the pain, I’m able to see things differently. I don’t want to throw away one whole year of my life because things were hard, so I’m working on acceptance starting with a small step: I’m excavating all the simple, everyday things buried deep under all the not-so-great stuff of 2016. I’m hoping this project leads to acceptance of all the other stuff, too, because I’m learning that authentic acceptance goes hand in hand with peace.

So, I’m starting with the small stuff and, after some digging, I found something: homemade pudding. It tops the list of joyful things from 2016.

shelled pistachios on a marble board

Pistachio Pudding

I find pudding such a treat because it reminds me of the happiness I experienced as a kid after finding glasses of the creamy, cool dessert tucked away in the fridge. Pudding-for-dessert nights meant my dinner-time broccoli disappeared at a rapid pace. Funny how that works.

The joy reignited early last year with banana pudding and from there I was hooked like I was when I was a kid. Chocolate soon followed, I shared a Nutella Pudding Cups in January, and last week, after being stared-down for weeks by a post-it scribbled with a reminder to make it, pistachio has joined the ranks. It’s high time I made it because of all the desserts my family shared growing up, pistachio pudding topped my list of favorites.

And pudding-for-dessert these days brings as much joy as it did growing up. Maybe more given all that’s happened because it’s hard not to be happy when some pudding is within reach and any extra happiness is worth holding on to these days.

Oh, and when I shared my pistachio pudding plans with my friend, Bridget, she reminded me the timing couldn’t be better. With St. Patrick’s day on the horizon a naturally green dessert fits right in.

I think it’s one of those “everything happens for a reason” things.

three pistachio pudding parfaits on a marble board

More Dessert Recipes

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Peach Hand Pies

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Pistachio Pudding Parfaits

Homemade Pistachio Pudding layered with lemon pound cake and whipped cream | girlgonegourmet.com

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I’m not sure these meet the technical definition of “parfait”, but that’s what I’m calling them because there are three layers: soft lemon pound cake, creamy pistachio pudding, and Cool Whip, because that’s what I loved growing up (homemade whipped cream works just as well).

  • Author: April @ Girl Gone Gourmet
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Desserts
  • Cuisine: American


  • ¾ cup shelled pistachios
  • 2 1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 1 ½ cups cubed lemon pound cake
  • Whipped cream, for garnish


  1. Place the pistachios in a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped. Add them to the milk and whisk to combine.
  2. In a large saucepan, whisk the sugar and cornstarch together. Add a small amount of the milk and whisk until smooth. Add the rest of the milk and whisk until combined. Turn the burner to medium heat and cook the pudding until it’s thickened, stirring frequently.
  3. Place a strainer over a large bowl and pour the hot pudding into the strainer. Using a spatula, press the pudding through the strainer and discard the solids (it’s okay if some of the nutty bits slip through!). Add the butter to the pudding and stir until it melts.
  4. Divide the pound cake cubes among the serving bowls. Top with the warm pudding. Cover with plastic wrap (the wrap should touch the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming) and chill for an hour or up to one day. Before serving garnish with Cool Whip or whipped cream.


Nutrition estimates do not include the whipped cream or pound cake.


  • Calories: 320
  • Sugar: 28.6g
  • Sodium: 138.7mg
  • Fat: 16g
  • Carbohydrates: 36.4g
  • Fiber: 1.7g
  • Protein: 9.7g

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