Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pistachio Cupcakes for St. Patrick's Day

I love holidays! They give me an excuse to come up with or try a festive recipe that I normally wouldn't attempt.  This usually translates in to a baked good of some sort because we don't eat a lot of sweets otherwise.  This year I zeroed in on some pistachio cupcakes and dressed the icing up with a little bit of green food coloring for St. Patrick's Day.  I really wanted to make an amaretto buttercream icing to top them, but since I knew most of them would end up at work for immediate consumption, I refrained.  If you're headed to a friend's this weekend for some St. Patty's fun I would definitely recommend the amaretto version of the icing (see notes below for how to make it).  Also, in the interest of full disclosure, I'd lke to say that I have even more respect and admiration for bakers and those in the cupcake biz after this experiment.  I tried to be fancy and ice my cupcakes using the whole frosting bag with a fancy tip set up...major fail.  Oh well, at least I tried. They might not look as pretty as they could, but they're absolutely delicious, and that's what really counts ;-)  Slainte!

Pin It

Note:  For best results set the butter for the cupcakes and icing as well as the eggs out a few hours ahead of time to warm to room temperature. 

Cupcakes (Yields approx. 15 )

10 Tablespoons of unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 eggs (room temperature)
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant pistachio pudding mix
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2.  Using an electric mixer cream the butter, eggs and sugar together.  Add the vanilla.
3.  In a separate bowl combine the flour, pudding mix, and baking powder.
4.  With the electric mixer on a low setting, add the dry ingredients to the mixture in #2 and the milk, alternating one tablespoon of the dry mixture and a splash of milk until all ingredients have been combined.

5.  Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 375° for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
6.  Once the cupcakes are completely cool ice them using the recipe below and top with crushed pistachios.

Cupcake recipe adapted from Taste of Home's St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes

Almond Buttercream Icing (Yields approx. 2 cups)


1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon almond extract*
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 cups powdered (confectioner's) sugar
Food coloring (optional)
2 tablespoons crushed pistachios for topping (optional)
*Note: To make the amaretto version substitute 1 tablespoon amaretto for the almond extract, and use slightly less milk.

1.  Using an electric mixer cream the butter. 
2.  Add almond extract (or other flavoring).
3.  Add confectioner's sugar 1 cup at a time.  The mixture will appear dry.
4.  Add the milk.  Adjust the amount of milk, if needed, until the desired consistency is achieved. The icing should be light and fluffy.
5.  Add food coloring, if desired, according to package instructions to achieve the desired color.

Adapted from a buttercream icing recipe by Wilton.


  1. Almond buttercream icing??? Oh, yes please!!! I'm not usually much of a cupcake fan (much to my daughter's dismay...) but that icing does it for me. I'll take two please!!


All comments are moderated before posting.