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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.

Pistachio Cupcakes with Pink Champagne Frosting

Yield: 20-24 cupcakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35-40 minutes


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.

Making this recipe? Why not take a quick shot and share it on Instagram! Make sure to tag it #ASpicyPerspective so we can see what you're cooking!

More Single-Serve Ideas:

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Strawberry Yogurt Muffins ~ A Spicy Perspective

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98 Responses to “Pistachio Cupcakes with Pink Champagne Frosting”

  1. Jessica @ How Sweetposted September 26, 2011 at 5:22 am

    these are absolutely stunning! and it helps that they are my favorite colors. so pretty. :)


  2. Pamposted September 26, 2011 at 5:37 am

    Pink is my favorite color too, and I especially love it on cupcakes!


  3. The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Timeposted September 26, 2011 at 7:10 am

    Your daughter is very talented. The scrapbooker in me was examining how those daisies were made. :)

    I love the cupcakes as well. What a gorgeous color and flavor combination. It’s obvious that they were made with love and care. If you ever need a taste tester, please let me know. It’s only a 4-hour drive.


  4. Sneh | Cook Republicposted September 26, 2011 at 7:13 am

    Those have to be the prettiest cupcakes I have seen in a while .. love love the colors and the flavours! Your little girl is an artist, how adorable are those toppers!!!


  5. Cookin' Canuckposted September 26, 2011 at 7:16 am

    You;re right – I could do nothing but smile while holding one of these. Not only do they sound good, but they are so darn pretty. Those toppers and cups are adorable!


  6. Chef Dennisposted September 26, 2011 at 7:17 am

    I love pistachio, but never thought of it for cupcakes! I’m sure they were the hit of the event, they are beautiful! I had no idea you could get Champagne extract,, I always learn something when I stop by your blog!


  7. MIss @ Miss in the Kitchenposted September 26, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Gorgeous cupcakes and I can’t imagine a cupcake that would taste any better. I love the toppers too, so cute.


  8. Jeanetteposted September 26, 2011 at 8:00 am

    Love the decorative tops your daughter made for these – she is so creative!


  9. Barbara | Creative Culinaryposted September 26, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Oh so very pretty. And your girl should be so proud; those toppers are adorable. And…I agree with the hubs. I think it’s the frosting to cake ratio. That sounds so scientific but it’s anything but. It’s the words of a frostingaholic.


  10. Kellyposted September 26, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Wow these must be the most gorgeous cupcakes ever, what a cute idea! And champagne frosting?? Yes please!!


  11. Elies_Lieposted September 26, 2011 at 8:33 am

    lovely gorgeous cupcake u have there!
    Looks so beautiful! :)
    Tq for share the recipe with us! ;)


  12. Kathy - Panini Happyposted September 26, 2011 at 8:47 am

    These are so pretty – your little girl is awesome with her paper cutter! Wonderful collabo, you too. :-)


  13. Lizposted September 26, 2011 at 8:59 am

    You and your sweet girl are BOTH clever! What fabulous cupcakes!!!


  14. Belinda @zomppaposted September 26, 2011 at 9:27 am

    These are so gorgeous! Happy cupcakes, indeed.


  15. Tricia @ Saving room for dessertposted September 26, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Those cupcakes made me so happy just to look at them! They are beautiful. I can’t believe your daughter make the toppers. Wonderful – really great idea.


  16. RavieNomNomsposted September 26, 2011 at 10:56 am

    First off, what a lovely combination! Secondly, those cupcakes are just simply gorgeous!! Seriously. I love the flavor and color combination. It is divine!


  17. Nanaposted September 26, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Sommer, you and Ava are some of the smartest and most creative persons that I know. I bet Ava grows up to be just like her Mommie. The cupcakes are so beautiful and I know they taste wonderful. Also, I learned a new word “atimate” I had to look it up to make sure you had not misspelled adamant. I think I will use atimate the next time I want to say persistent.


  18. Diane {Created by Diane}posted September 26, 2011 at 11:23 am

    frilly and pretty :) love them!


  19. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Dessertsposted September 26, 2011 at 11:29 am

    So cute! These sound absolutely incredible!


  20. claire @ the realistic nutritionistposted September 26, 2011 at 11:51 am

    I am absolutely IN LOVE with this idea!!! I love those adorable cupcake holders!!


  21. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchenposted September 26, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Those are so pretty! I love the sunflower decoration your daughter made, they are so well done!


  22. Sweetsugarbelleposted September 26, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    These are gorgeous! And I’ve been wondering for the LONGEST time how to make pink champange frosting!


  23. Sasha @ The Procrastobakerposted September 26, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    Beauuttifulll! What a gorgeous flavour combination, i would never have thought it but it really sounds stunning :)


  24. Beth Michelleposted September 26, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Your cupcakes are beyond beautiful!!! What a great combination of flavors!! Love the pink champagne frosting!


  25. Bonnie Bantersposted September 26, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    These are incredibly beautiful, elegant and delicious looking! Perfect for a shower or similar special occasion! Your little girl can make toppers for my cupcakes anytime! The holders are amazing also!


  26. Lindaposted September 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Your daughter is very talented!!! Those little flowers put these cupcakes over the top pretty!! Like your husband I like cupcakes over large cupcakes. For me it’s about indulging in your own tiny cake, not a sliced version!! What a great combination of flavors and tastes! These are winning cupcakes!!


  27. DessertForTwoposted September 26, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    I love when you say these cupcakes should be double fisted with smiles and confetti!


  28. Liz @ Southern Charmposted September 26, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Love how creative you are! This look amazing and definitely bring a smile to my face :)


  29. kristin moyersposted September 26, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    These look divine, Sommer! And Ava did an awesome job on the toppers!!!!


  30. Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.posted September 26, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    wow! Love these!


  31. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.posted September 26, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Yup, you’re right. These just totally brightened my day! They are so colorful and pretty looking, but I also LOVE the flavor combo of the champagne frosting and pistachio cake. I tried making champagne frosting once, but I didn’t know there was champagne extract! I bet it brings out the flavor even more in the frosting! YUM!!


  32. Robyn | Add a Pinchposted September 26, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    These are gorgeous, Sommer! YUM!!!


  33. RisaGposted September 26, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    How incredibly pretty – love the photos. Making me so hungry. Love the cups that you put the cupcakes in too. So delicate and lady-like.


  34. Evan Thomasposted September 26, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    I love the combinations of flavors. Great presentation, too.


  35. Shelbyposted September 26, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    These are adorable! I love how you’ve decorated them and I really love the flavors!


  36. Kitaposted September 26, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    Wow! I could really use one of these cupcakes after today! These are perfect little show stoppers!


  37. JulieDposted September 26, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Thanks so much for linking up. :) I love the colors on your cupcakes and the flavors sound so amazing!


  38. Lora ~ cakeduchessposted September 26, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    That frosting…oh my goodness! These cupcakes brightened up my gloomy/rainy Monday. Your daughter is so creative and I LOVE the frou-frou toppers:)Hope you’re having a wonderful beginning to your week.


  39. Betsyposted September 26, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    Yum! Love the adorable flower toppers too! really cute


  40. Katrinaposted September 26, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    In a house with a husband and four boys, I miss pink! sigh So cute/pretty cupcakes!


  41. Working Mommyposted September 26, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Those look SO delish!! Happy belated SITS day!



  42. Donnaposted September 26, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    Wow! What beautiful cupcakes. They make me smile. Can I hire your daughter to make some cupcake frills for me?! :)


  43. Krista {Budget Gourmet Mom}posted September 26, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Beautiful! I love the cupcake toppers your daughter made!


  44. Angie's Recipesposted September 26, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    So pretty! Definitely would brighten up my day!


  45. Christineposted September 26, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    Beautiful cupcakes.


  46. chinmayie @ love food eatposted September 27, 2011 at 4:05 am

    Such gorgeous perfect cupcakes!! I am sure my husbands dream would be to have a wife who makes things like these!! lol!


  47. Carolynposted September 27, 2011 at 4:25 am

    Those are certainly gorgeous, and I love the sweet flower cupcake toppers your daughter made!


  48. Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchenposted September 27, 2011 at 4:59 am

    Cupcakes sure are a source of nostalgic joy as you so beautifully put it. How gorgeous are these! Your photos are wonderful and I’m so impressed with the little cupcake toppers. Clever, creative daughter!


  49. Kimmiposted September 27, 2011 at 8:49 am

    The cupcakes just made my day. I love the decorations and toppers. So adorable.


  50. Dmarieposted September 27, 2011 at 9:05 am

    oh, how adorable!!


  51. Cécyposted September 27, 2011 at 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.


  52. Amy @ Gastronome Tartposted September 27, 2011 at 9:25 am

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


  53. Angie @ Bigbearswifeposted September 27, 2011 at 11:44 am

    They are so pretty!


  54. Laurenposted September 27, 2011 at 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 :)


  55. wizzythestickposted September 27, 2011 at 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:-)


  56. Eliotposted September 27, 2011 at 3:48 pm

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


  57. pattyposted September 27, 2011 at 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;-)


  58. Kim Beeposted September 27, 2011 at 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.


  59. KonstantKraverposted September 27, 2011 at 10:15 pm

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


  60. Laurenposted September 28, 2011 at 9:33 am

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


  61. Corey Organicposted September 28, 2011 at 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.


  62. Wenderlyposted September 28, 2011 at 2:10 pm

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


  63. Nelly Rodriguezposted September 28, 2011 at 5:12 pm

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


  64. kankanaposted September 28, 2011 at 9:12 pm

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


  65. Cucina49posted September 29, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    These look celebratory indeed!


  66. Julia @ DimpleArtsposted September 29, 2011 at 2:27 pm

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


  67. Becca Aryposted September 30, 2011 at 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,


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  69. Amanda : Grace & Gustoposted October 4, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Oh my gosh, these look amazing!


  70. Laura @ Family Spiceposted October 30, 2011 at 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!


  71. Pingback: Pistachio Cupcakes with Recipe Link | Delicious Recipes

  72. Montañaposted December 19, 2011 at 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!


  73. tracyposted December 27, 2011 at 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. :)


  74. Taraposted January 1, 2012 at 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. :)


  75. tanya1234posted January 12, 2012 at 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. :)


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  77. Geri Schnarrposted March 17, 2012 at 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!!


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  80. Aprilposted May 10, 2012 at 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!!!


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  84. Emilyposted November 3, 2012 at 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!


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  86. marcy franksposted March 14, 2013 at 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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