Pistachio Cupcakes

Published July 21, 2016. Updated December 3, 2018

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These soft and fluffy pistachio studded cupcakes are sure to be the hit of the party! They have a sweet, decadent, nutty flavor and the frosting is the perfect finishing touch. Finish with edible icing roses for a beautiful finish to a dainty cupcake.

Pistachio Cupcakes

Pistachio Cupcakes

My husband labeled these as one of the best cupcakes he’s ever eaten and I’d have to say I’m a huge fan myself!

They remind me so much of a good pistachio ice cream (one of my favorite flavors) and I love that they are perfectly soft and tender.

Plus that buttercream is what dreams are made of! If like pistachios don’t pass these by! They’re such a decadently delicious cupcake!

Pistachio cupcakes with pink piped buttercream roses on top.

Is There a Substitute for the Pistachio Flavor?

I’ve always wanted to make are pistachio cupcakes but I prefer natural flavors over imitation (unless it’s Cotton Candy, that’s always going to be imitation), and I finally came across a natural pistachio flavor.

While it’s not very strong it get’s the job done if you use pretty generous amount of it.

You can also use almond extract here as a substitute, ONLY use 1/2 tsp!

One pistachio cupcake on a wooden dessert plate. Cupcake is light green with a white buttercream frosting and it's topped with a pink piped rose.

I Finally Made Icing Roses!

Now that I’m nearing 30 I figured it was due time I learned how to pipe roses for cakes and cupcakes. I’ve always wanted to learn and I had some downtime from a minor surgery a few weeks ago so I watched a youtube video a tested a few.

They were much easier than I had always expected but the downfall was that it was a hot summers day and even inside the house the buttercream was hard to keep at a nice 70 degrees so things weren’t turning out so great..

So fast forward a few weeks later and I made these roses with a store bought decorator icing.

Pistachio Cupcakes | Cooking Classy

Cheater I know, but I saw that it was shortening based which holds up better than a butter based icing, plus I don’t really want to eat them anyway (too much sugar all together) so it works for me.

No my roses aren’t perfect by any means, but they were fun to finally make! And what better way to decorate a dainty pistachio cupcake?


More Cupcake Recipes to Try!

Pistachio Cupcakes | Cooking Classy

16 Quick & Easy 30 Minute Recipes! (plus weekly recipe updates)

5 from 3 votes

Pistachio Cupcakes

These soft and fluffy pistachio studded cupcakes are sure to be the hit of the party! They have a sweet, decadent, nutty flavor and the frosting is the perfect finishing touch. Finish with icing roses for a beautiful finish to a dainty cupcake.
Servings: 12
Prep30 minutes
Cook20 minutes
Ready in: 50 minutes




  • 3/4 cup (170g) butter, nearly at room temperature (I recommend using 1/2 cup unsalted 1/4 cup salted)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp (20ml) heavy cream, then more as needed
  • 1 Tbsp natural pistachio flavor (see note)
  • 2 3/4 cups (334g) powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup (33g) unsalted pistachios, finely chopped, for topping


  • For the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt for 20 seconds, set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer whip together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time then blend in pistachio flavor and green food coloring (I used about 8 liquid drops). 
  • Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and blend on low speed until combined then blend in 1/2 of the milk, then mix in 1/3 of the flour mixture followed by remaining 1/2 of the milk. Add last 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix just until nearly combined.
  •  Remove bowl from stand mixer, add pistachios and fold mixture while scraping bowl to evenly incorporate pistachios and blend batter (don't over-mix). 
  • Divide batter among 12 paper lined muffin cups filling each 2/3 full (about 1/4 cup in each). 
  • Bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 18 - 22 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack 10 minutes then transfer to an airtight container to cool completely.
  • For the pistachio buttercream frosting: In the bowl of an electric stand mixer whip butter until very pale and fluffy. Mix in heavy cream, pistachio flavor and powdered sugar. Whip until pale and fluffy. 
  • Pipe over cupcakes and sprinkle pistachios over top. Store in an airtight container.


I used Beanilla's Natural Pistachio Flavor. It tastes really close to almond extract if you are looking for a cheaper alternative, in the cupcake only use 3/4 tsp of the almond extract and 1/2 tsp in the frosting. If you are using an imitation pistachio flavor such as Lorann's you won't need near as much, probably 1/8 tsp in place of the 1 Tbsp.
Nutrition Facts
Pistachio Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 465 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Fat 24g37%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Cholesterol 81mg27%
Sodium 170mg7%
Potassium 197mg6%
Carbohydrates 58g19%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 41g46%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 690IU14%
Vitamin C 0.2mg0%
Calcium 65mg7%
Iron 1.4mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.