Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pistachio Cupcakes with Rosewater Buttercream

I'm on the search for a cupcake that has the perfect flavor combination of pistachio, rosewater, and cardamom. Some friends are getting married in March and want a cupcake with those flavors, a flavor combination kind of modeled after kheer (an Indian dessert).

This cupcake was absolutely delicious, but is so difficult to describe. There are cardamom and ground pistachios in the cupcake, and rosewater in the buttercream, but you really can't taste any of those elements. They all come together really nicely and you end up with a cupcake that has a fantastic & unique flavor, but you really can't place what makes it different.

These are moist and delicious, and the frosting (my go-to buttercream only with rosewater instead of vanilla extract) is creamy and fluffy.

Pistachio Cupcakes with Rosewater Buttercream
(Cupcake recipe adapted from this one; frosting recipe adapted from this one.)

  • 1/3 C. of shelled pistachios
  • 2/3 C. of all purpose flour
  • 1 t. of baking powder
  • 1/4 t. of salt
  • 1/4 t. of ground cardamom
  • 4 T. of butter (1/2 a stick)
  • 1/2 C. of sugar
  • 1 large egg; room temperature
  • 1/2 C. of whole milk
  • 1/2 t. of vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees & line 8 cupcake tins with muffin liners. 
  2. Place the pistachios in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. 
  3. Sift the flour, salt and cardamom together and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. 
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg. Beat until well incorporated, making sure to scrape down the sides.
  6. Add half of the flour mixture & mix until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
  7. Add the milk and the vanilla extract, and then the rest of the flour. Mix until just combined after each addition. 
  8. Add the pistachios and mix into the batter. 
  9. Fill each muffin cup 2/3 of the way full and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. 
  10.  Let cool completely before frosting.

  • 1 & 1/2 sticks of butter
  • 3 & 1/2 C. of powdered sugar
  • 2 T. of whole milk
  • 2 T. of rosewater

  1. Beat butter in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy.
  2. Add powdered sugar in stages.
  3. Add milk and extract and beat frosting on high speed until smooth and creamy.
(I tinted the frosting pink, and if you do that, add one drop of food coloring when you add the liquid.)


  1. These sound wonderful!
    Do you add the baking powder with the flour?

    1. Oops, sorry about that. Yes, add the baking powder to the flour mixture.


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