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Pistachio Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream

April 25, 2012

So I actually swore off blogging for a whole 4 days last week.  I ran out of photo space here so I figured I would finally transfer the blog over to the new domain and hosting.  After 3 days, a rather rude customer service representative, multiple downloads and plugins and a migraine later, I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t do it on my own and I would just stop blogging until I had the time and/or money to do it right.  I came to my senses several days later and realized there is no shame in just keeping it a simple blog 🙂  So I’m back 🙂  I’ve added more storage space and I’m ready to chat again!

Oh and we also got a puppy so I’ve been a little consumed with her as well 🙂

These cupcakes were another one of those unplanned recipes that worked out.  I was driving home from church and looking at all the beautiful bright green and pink flowering trees and thinking how I could translate spring into a cupcake.

 I don’t even know how to describe it but these fit the description!  The cupcake is moist, slightly nutty with a very light lemon-y taste and the frosting is buttery, not too heavy but rich with a refreshing raspberry flavor.  They are just all around delicious and their pretty color isn’t too bad either 🙂

One Year Ago: Oatmeal Butterscotch Cream Cheese Sandwich Cookies

Pistachio Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream
Yields approximately 12-15 cupcakes

Ingredients:

3/4 cup unsalted pistachios (shelled)
1 cup flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature

4 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter
1/2 cup raspberry puree (about 6-8 ounces of fresh or frozen raspberries, pureed and strained)

Directions:

1. For the Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).  Line 2 cupcake tins with liners and set aside.

Place the pistachios in a food processor and pulse for about 40 seconds or until very finely chopped (just watch them carefully because too long and they will turn into a paste).  In a medium mixing bowl stir together the chopped pistachios, flour, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest and set aside.  Cream the butter for about 3 minutes in a large mixing bowl on medium speed of an electric mixer.  Gradually beat in sugar and continue to beat until fluffy.  Beat in eggs one at a time, periodically scraping down the bowl.  Beat in vanilla extract.  Add the flour mixture in two parts alternating with the milk.

2. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake in preheated oven for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the tops of the cupcakes spring back at touch.  Let cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

3. For the swiss meringue buttercream:  In a medium size pot pour enough water to come up about an inch.  Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, reduce heat to keep the water at a slow simmer.  In a very clean, dry, streak free metal bowl of a standing mixer place the egg whites and sugar.  Clip a candy thermometer to the side and place the bowl over the simmering water.  Whisk the egg whites and sugar constantly until the temperature reaches 160 degrees (F).  Remove the bowl from the heat (and turn it off all together!), remove the candy thermometer and transfer the bowl to the standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Start beating the egg whites on medium and gradually increase the speed to medium-high until the egg whites are stiff and glossy.  Start adding the butter, a few cubes at a time.  The egg whites will deflate and the mixture becomes soupy-thats good-it should be :)   Keep beating and adding butter cubes gradually.  When you reach about 3 sticks of butter the mixture will start to look like it’s curdling-you’re almost there!  Turn the speed up to high and add a few more cubes of butter, beating until the frosting is fluffy and smooth.  Beat in raspberry puree and use immediately.

-if you’ve added all the butter and it still doesn’t look like the frosting is coming together your butter was probably just a little too soft.  Place the bowl of frosting in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes and then return to beating it, it should fluff up just fine.

-If you can’t use the frosting immediately it can either be stored covered at room temperature for a few hours or covered and refrigerated for a day-just let it come to room temperature and you may have to beat it a bit before using.

I store the cupcakes covered at room temperature and they’ve lasted for 2 days.

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. April 25, 2012 9:49 am

    I’m jolly glad you’re back! These are so pretty – perfectly decorated!

  2. April 25, 2012 10:23 am

    Mmm, these look so good, and they are so pretty. Love the flavor combo with the pistachios and the raspberry.

  3. April 25, 2012 12:05 pm

    Absolutely beautiful pictures! I wish I could make beautiful frosted cupcakes. Congrats on your new puppy, she is adorable!

  4. April 25, 2012 3:06 pm

    Awe…a cupcake inspired by spring and a new puppy. Life is good! 🙂

  5. April 25, 2012 3:23 pm

    I love pistachios, so this sounds like a perfect treat for me 🙂

  6. April 25, 2012 5:48 pm

    Your new puppy is absolutely precious! The cupcakes look absolutely incredible too. The naturally pink flowerers are such a perfect spring treat!

  7. Francesca permalink
    April 25, 2012 9:31 pm

    Glad you decided to come back; I really enjoy reading your blog. And seeing those pictures of your beautiful new puppy make it even better 🙂 may I ask what he/she is called?

  8. Elle of Chellbellz permalink
    April 26, 2012 8:53 am

    OMG these look freaking delicious! I’m glad you’re back.

  9. April 26, 2012 12:11 pm

    Glad you are back and you brought a tasty recipe. The cupcakes do look stunning and pistachio and meringue do sound tasty. Also, I see you have a new addition-your pup is adorable. Have a great day!

  10. lovefoodcookfood permalink
    April 26, 2012 2:21 pm

    A work of art. They look almost too good to eat. 🙂

  11. April 26, 2012 3:10 pm

    these look soooo delicious! love the combination of pistachio and raspberry!!

  12. April 26, 2012 4:56 pm

    Aww your puppy is so cute!! Raspberry buttercream sounds to die for, by the way!

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