Pistachio Cupcakes


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. 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, I need to figure out how to get less cracking along the edges and things like that but they were fun to finally make even if they aren’t the best. And what better way to decorate a dainty pistachio cupcake?

Pistachio Cupcakes | Cooking Classy

Another thing 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. If you wanted to go the cheaper route you could use an imitation pistachio flavor but you’ll wan’t to use much less (see notes in the recipe) – but I can’t say the outcome will be quite as good.

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 | Cooking Classy Pistachio Cupcakes | Cooking Classy Pistachio Cupcakes | Cooking Classy pistachio_cupcakes. Pistachio Cupcakes | Cooking Classy


Pistachio Cupcakes

5 from 1 vote

Yield: 12 cupcakes



  • 1 1/2 cups (212g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp (6g) cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup (156g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) milk
  • 1 Tbsp natural pistachio flavor (important - see note)
  • Green food coloring
  • 1/2 cup (66g) unsalted pistachios, finely chopped


  • 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 1 tsp at a time 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


  1. For the cupcakes:
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt for 20 seconds, set aside.
  3. 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. Then 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.
  4. For the pistachio buttercream frosting:
  5. 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.
  6. Recipe source: Cooking Classy

Recipe Notes

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.


  • Beverley: 30! Wow you’re still a young thing. I love the cupcakes and I need to learn how to make those roses too. What YouTube program did you use. Yours turned out perfectly xoxo July 21, 2016 at 4:40am Reply

  • Laura – Essential Bazaar: OMG they look so yummy!! And I love pistachios… not to mention those pictures!

    Yup, it all looks awesome and I bet they’re even tastier than they look! Congrats, if you wouldn’t have said it I wouldn’t have thought the roses aren’t “perfect”. They seem almost “natural” to me :) July 21, 2016 at 5:07am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Laura! July 21, 2016 at 11:41am Reply

  • J: Very pretty. Where do you buy the pure extract? July 21, 2016 at 6:03am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I got it from beanilla.com. And thanks! July 21, 2016 at 11:32am Reply

  • Anna: So here’s the cheater’s method: omit the flavoring and coloring and add in one packet of pistachio pudding mix, dry, to the batter. Works great. I will definitely try this frosting, sounds yummy! July 21, 2016 at 6:43am Reply

    • Ana: How many boxes of the pistachio pudding do you use if you’re doubling this recipe to 24 cupcakes and what size of the pudding box? Thanks! September 17, 2016 at 10:38am Reply

  • Deborah @ The Harvest Kitchen: Such beautiful cupcakes & the piped roses are PERFECT!! Pistachio ice cream is my favorite – so I can’t wait to make these cupcakes! July 21, 2016 at 7:48am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Deborah! July 21, 2016 at 11:31am Reply

  • Sandie@afoodieaffair.com: Hooooly! These cupcake are gorgeous! The roses look pretty darn perfect to me! And the flavor of pistachio……perfect. We are having a Summer tea as a fundraiser for our church soon, and I’m going to attempt these in miniature form! July 21, 2016 at 7:54am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the compliment Sandie! I hope you love these! July 21, 2016 at 11:31am Reply

  • Paige Flamm: These cupcakes are so gorgeous! You did an amazing job!

    Paige July 21, 2016 at 9:57am Reply

  • ChaJo: Who Hoo!! These look great!! Don’t be hard on yourself about the roses. They look natural! Such a beautiful picture! July 21, 2016 at 3:01pm Reply

  • Andrea S.: Those cupcakes, WOW! They look amazing. I love your site. you have been my go-to for recipes since I found your website. Truly CLASSY! July 21, 2016 at 3:38pm Reply

  • Patricia Mapley: As a baker and former cake decorator~your roses look amazing. Never under estimate your talents. These cupcakes look scrumptious. July 21, 2016 at 6:56pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Aww thanks Patricia! That means a lot! July 25, 2016 at 10:52am Reply

  • Francesca: These are gorgeous and such a great idea! I love pistachios — I actually recently made a pistachio semifreddo that was to die for, I recommend it!! Just noticed the pistachio black and white cookies you have on here too — another great idea! July 22, 2016 at 8:22am Reply

  • Ami@NaiveCookCooks: Jaclyn these are STUNNING!! I had the best pistachio cake in my life while visiting Georgetown, DC and now looking at these, I wish I had few of these cupcakes right by my side! Those roses girl – SUPERB!! Everything is so so stunning!! July 22, 2016 at 2:13pm Reply

  • Ms Rose: These are gorgeous and look to good to eat.
    I’m so tired of the old basic flavor cupcake.
    This will definitely be a project for next weekend. July 23, 2016 at 5:39am Reply

  • Linda @thedutchbaker: Those are absolutely gorgeous!! ive never had a pistachio cupcake, cant wait to try these :) you always have the most amazing recipes!

    Thanks for sharing! xx July 23, 2016 at 8:03am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the compliment Linda! July 23, 2016 at 4:36pm Reply

  • Patricia: Jaclyn, these are the most beautiful and unique cupcakes I have seen in a long time! They would be beautiful for a wedding shower or an afternoon tea! Lovely! 😊 July 23, 2016 at 5:03pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much for the compliment Patricia :)! July 24, 2016 at 10:32am Reply

  • Evil Twin: I love everything pistachio and your cupcakes are probably the prettiest things I’ve ever seen! I can’t believe you *just* learned how to pipe roses. Looks like you’ve been making them all your life!

    And I am totally in love with your pictures and how you set such a romantic mood with the candles and all. Utter perfection!! July 24, 2016 at 7:12am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the compliments :)! July 24, 2016 at 10:31am Reply

  • Veronika: Wow! These cupcakes look amazing! And I looove pistachios! Will definitely try to make them)
    Thank you for sharing this recipe! August 1, 2016 at 3:40pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Veronika! August 5, 2016 at 4:57pm Reply

  • Dog Breeds: This is so beautiful!! I have never tried a pistachio cupcake, it sounds great! Thank you for the recipe. I love you blog so much!! November 28, 2016 at 12:01am Reply

  • neda: i baked them.they were amazing.
    can i bake it in 2 6″ round cake pan? December 3, 2016 at 1:18pm Reply

  • Sue Borchert: Your roses are BEAUTIFUL! What tip did you use for the roses and which one for the leaves? Thanks! March 5, 2017 at 5:48pm Reply

  • Tati: This is the best cupcakes I have ever made. Everything is perfect, beautiful, and test delicious. I ordered the flavor pistachio in Ebay, it was the cheapest I found it. The smell is awesome.Thank you so much for share this great recipe. April 20, 2018 at 12:20pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for leaving a review! April 24, 2018 at 11:51am Reply

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