Pistachio Cupcakes with Pink Champagne Frosting

Pistachio Cupcakes Pink Champagne Frosting

There are moments in life that call for a sturdy stick-to-your-bones meal, and moments for Pistachio Cupcakes with PINK CHAMPAGNE FROSTING. These little babies are pure celebration, meant to be double-fisted with smiles and confetti.

I love how certain foods can change your mood in an instant. You will never see a person holding a cupcake with a frown on their face. Never.

Pistachio CupcakesServed on elegant Villeroy & Boch Dishes.

Cupcakes are a source of nostalgic joy. As I peel back the paper liner, my mind is flooded with memories of birthdays, Valentine’s parties and picnics. My husband would tell you that cupcakes taste better than regular cake. I’m not quite sure of the rationale here, but he is ATIMATE that the individual portion improves the flavor… I just smile and nod.

This Pistachio Cupcakes with Pink Champagne Frosting recipe was birthed out of the need to create a pink and green cupcake combo for an event. The rich nutty pistachio flavor accents the delicate champagne essence and the textures of both are divine. The Pistachio cupcake is light and moist, yet with a touch of crunch from the chopped pistachios. The Pink Champagne Frosting is truly unique, with a roux-like base that allows it to be beaten to a “whipped cream” consistency, yet still sit out at room temperature.

Enjoy. These cupcakes are sure to bring a little cheer into your day!

Pink Champagne FrostingMy little girl made these frou-frou cupcake toppers with a paper punch and craft buttons. Isn’t she clever?


  • Pistachio and almond extract taste very similar. If you can’t find pistachio extract, no worries.
  • Champagne extract is sold at baking supply stores. To make the frosting without it, simmer 1/2 a cup of champagne until in reduces down to a couple tablespoons.
  • The flour base of the frosting will thicken to a paste consistency when cooked. Make sure to whisk the entire time so you don’t have clumps.


Yield: 20-24 cupcakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35-40 minutes

Pistachio Cupcakes with Pink Champagne Frosting


For the Cupcakes:
2 ¼ cups cake flour
1 Tb. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
1 ¼ cup half and half
4 egg whites
1 stick butter, room temperature (1/2 cup)
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp. pistachio (or almond) extract
1 cup ground pistachios
Green food coloring if desired

For the Frosting:
2 ½ sticks butter, softened
1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
1 1/3 cup half and half
1/3 cup flour
1 ½ Tb. champagne extract
½ Tb. vanilla extract
Red food coloring if desired


Preheat the oven to 325 degree F. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside. Whisk the half/half and eggs together in a separate bowl and set aside.

In an electric mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in the extracts and mix well. Alternate adding the dry mixture and the wet mixture into the sugar mix, until all are combined. Stir in the ground pistachios and 1-2 drops food coloring.

Fill cupcake liner 2/3 full and bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, add the half/half, extracts, and flour to a cold sauce pan. Whisk until there are NO lumps. Then heat over medium, whisking constantly until he mixture comes to a boil. Whisk and cook a few more minutes until it thickens into a paste. Remove from heat and place pan in the fridge to cool.

Beat the butter and sugar in a clean mixing bowl, for 5-7 minutes, until fluffy and glossy.

Once cooled, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until light and fluffy 5 minutes. Color with 1-2 drops of food coloring if desired.

Place the frosting in a piping bag and pipe onto the cupcakes.

More Single-Serve Ideas:

Chicken and Waffles Cupcakes ~ The Basics

Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes ~ The Little Kitchen

Brownie Banana Bread Cupcakes ~ How Sweet It Is

Strawberry Yogurt Muffins ~ A Spicy Perspective

Zucchini Nutella Swirl Muffins ~ A Spicy Perspective

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98 Responses to “Pistachio Cupcakes with Pink Champagne Frosting”

  1. #
    Cécy — September 27, 2011 @ 9:19 am

    For some reason cupcakes are this one American thing I have a hard time getting into. I don’t know if it’s because of the mountain of frosting that always seems to cover them or not. I need to try a simple recipe and see if I can work it out. My last attempt was a little flat.


  2. #
    Amy @ Gastronome Tart — September 27, 2011 @ 9:25 am

    Oh wow! I love pistachio desserts. These are super cute and tasty I’m sure.


  3. #
    Angie @ Bigbearswife — September 27, 2011 @ 11:44 am

    They are so pretty!


  4. #
    Lauren — September 27, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

    Wow, the cupcakes are so adorable and so is the entire presentation! I’ve never tried champagne frosting but if it’s got two of my favorite things in it, it has to be delicious :)


  5. #
    wizzythestick — September 27, 2011 @ 2:50 pm

    Oh my look at those clever and cute toppers! This is the first time I have ever visited a food blog and ogled more at the decorations than the food. The cupcakes are great but I think your daughter stole the show with these:-)


  6. #
    Eliot — September 27, 2011 @ 3:48 pm

    Aren’t the best recipes sometimes borne out of necessity????? These look absolutely amazing!!!!!


  7. #
    patty — September 27, 2011 @ 5:48 pm

    Thank you for brightening my day with these lovelies! I had no idea that champagne extract existed, I suppose opening an entire bottle of champagne for such a small amount is extravagant! But then you would probably be making these cupcakes for a party where champagne might very well be poured. So, maybe the cook has her glass of champagne before the guests- not the end of the world;-)


  8. #
    Kim Bee — September 27, 2011 @ 9:48 pm

    I’m trying so hard not to drool all over the computer right now. Pistachios are my fave thing in the entire world. You have drawn me in here, I cannot look away. I am totally making these this week. Will report back on what I think of them. I highly doubt they’ll last long enough for toppers. Anything pistachio gets scarfed really quick here.


  9. #
    KonstantKraver — September 27, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

    They so pretty and fairytale like ..well done,champagne icing sounds so fabulous!


  10. #
    Lauren — September 28, 2011 @ 9:33 am

    I can’t believe those cake toppers are homemade! I was going to ask where you got them!


  11. #
    Corey Organic — September 28, 2011 @ 11:43 am

    Wow these look amazing! I love unusual flavor combinations. And I can’t wait to try this, I am sure it will taste as good as it looks! And I have to agree with your husband. I also believe cupcakes taste better than regular cake.


  12. #
    Wenderly — September 28, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

    Your little girl is clever indeed! Love everything about these!


  13. #
    Nelly Rodriguez — September 28, 2011 @ 5:12 pm

    These would make anyone’s day so much better and happier! Loved them and the combination of colors!


  14. #
    kankana — September 28, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

    i don’t like frosting! weird i know :) But these cupcakes are seriously the cutest I have seen. such pretty presentation.


  15. #
    Cucina49 — September 29, 2011 @ 2:06 pm

    These look celebratory indeed!


  16. #
    Julia @ DimpleArts — September 29, 2011 @ 2:27 pm

    Oh what beauties!!! I see … young girl’s birthday tea party :) Although if champagne would factor in well :)


  17. #
    Becca Ary — September 30, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

    Hi Sommer,

    What beautiful cupcakes! I’m planning to make some pumpkin ones with whipped cream cheese frosting this weekend, and yours are great inspiration. I’d love to get to know you better before the Food Blog Forum next weekend. Check out the questionnaire on my blog: http://wp.me/p1kaiq-e9.

    See you soon,


  18. #
    Amanda : Grace & Gusto — October 4, 2011 @ 11:23 am

    Oh my gosh, these look amazing!


  19. #
    Laura @ Family Spice — October 30, 2011 @ 4:55 pm

    My daughter’s room is decorated in those colors! LOL! Seriously gorgeous cupcakes! I wish I was your neighbor so I could sample your goodies!


  20. #
    Montaña — December 19, 2011 @ 12:08 pm

    That’s amazing, and I would like to try this recipe but… What is “half and half”? Or, what do you mean with that?

    I’ll be very graceful for your answer! Thank you!


  21. #
    tracy — December 27, 2011 @ 7:26 pm

    I really loved the look of these cupcakes and wanted to make them for Christmas (when all stores were already closed). So I did make them but made my own pistachio frosting since I couldn’t get the extract. My question is regarding the amount of half & half that your recipe calls for. I had to use 1 1/4 cup and not 1 1/4 tsp. as the recipe states – they turned out beautifully once the liquid was adjusted . I can’t wait to make them again with your buttercream recipe. Thanks!


    • Sommer — December 27th, 2011 @ 7:29 pm

      Yikes! Sorry about the typo. You got it just right. I’ll fix that immediately. :)


  22. #
    Tara — January 1, 2012 @ 12:12 am

    Hi can you please let me know what is ‘half and half’ also is cake flour like self raising flour?
    Many thanks


    • kateiscooking — January 2nd, 2012 @ 2:59 pm

      Hi Tara,

      Half and Half is half milk and half cream here in the states. Cake flour is a low protein flour that is lighter weight than all purpose. Hope this helps you find what you need. :)


  23. #
    tanya1234 — January 12, 2012 @ 3:39 pm

    thankx alot for the recipe i have to try it right on

    little question from where can i get the cute little cups with the flowers


    • Sommer — January 12th, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

      Hi there! I found those at a baking supply store. :)


  24. #
    Geri Schnarr — March 17, 2012 @ 7:36 am

    Hi there! I LOVE pistachios! I’m really excited to try this recipe. Quick question though…how long are these able to stay at room temperature? Would I be able to make and frost them today and leave them out to serve them tomorrow evening or should I refrigerate them and then let them come to room temperature tomorrow afternoon?

    Thank you!


    • Sommer — March 17th, 2012 @ 8:39 am

      Hi! I would refrigerate them and sit them out at room temperature tomorrow morning. Have fun!!


  25. #
    April — May 10, 2012 @ 9:25 am

    I want to make these for my daughter’s school’s “May Day” festival….it’s a real British tradition…going back hundreds of years…..these would suit the “garden party” atmosphere and will look great next to all the pieces of Victoria Sponge…oooooh I hope I can pull it off!!!


  26. #
    Emily — November 3, 2012 @ 7:21 pm

    I made these today and while the cupcake itself was delicious, I couldn’t get the frosting recipe to work. I followed directions exactly but somehow it ended up not coming together? almost looked curdled or something….so i ended up doing a plain buttercream instead. But i’ll definitely try this one again!


  27. #
    marcy franks — March 14, 2013 @ 7:42 am

    I know this is an old post but I was wondering, do you think I can replace the half an half with all in milk? We can’t have dairy. Would I need to reduce the amount since it Isn’t as thick as half and half? Thanks!



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