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Pistachio Cake Cupcakes with Rosemary and a Cherry Glaze

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Seeing some leftover crumbs of this pistachio cake cupcake on a party napkin, one would think that it was a simple yellow cake.  Unlike most of the pistachio cake recipes that you will find with a quick Google search for “pistachio cake recipes“, this cake isn’t green – there is no green food coloring and no instant pudding.  Interestingly, this pistachio cake recipe doesn’t use any pistachios (except on top for decoration).   All of the pistachio flavor in the cake comes from pistachio oil.

Using pistachio oil gives these pistachio cake cupcakes an intense pistachio flavor (think pistachio ice cream) without adding crunch.  If you like crunch, you could always throw some nuts into the batter.

Rosemary, You Say?

Rosemary is typically found in more savory baked goods, such as focaccia bread.  But, it worked like a cupcake charm with the pistachio cake.  It made the cake taste woodsy like something Hansel and Gretel would have enjoyed in the forest after they grew up and developed more refined palates.  I wish I could take credit for the flavor combination idea, but full accolades go out to The Flavor Bible (more on that book in an upcoming post).

And The Cherry Glaze?

The cherry glaze mostly serves to add a pretty pink top to the cupcake.  The cherry flavor is not particularly detectable, but if you love sugar glazes like I do, this is a nice one to add to your arsenal.

The Pistachio Cake Cupcake Recipe

This recipe is adapted from the pound cake recipe that I made for Wedding 3.0.

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Pistachio Cake Cupcakes with Rosemary and a Cherry Glaze

Servings 15 cupcakes


Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1/2 C unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/4 C pistachio oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 C milk I used 2%
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary chopped finely

Cherry Glaze Ingredients

  • 3/4 C powdered sugar sifted
  • 2 tbsp cherry juice To get my cherry juice, I stemmed, pitted, and food processed a handful of cherries. Then, I strained the cherry mush to get only the juice.


Cupcake Instructions

  1. Cream butter and sugar together.
  2. Mix in the pistachio oil.
  3. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  4. Beat in flour, a half cup at a time, alternating with milk.
  5. Mix in rosemary.
  6. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
  7. Bake at 275 F for 1 hour.

Cherry Glaze Instructions

  1. Mix the sugar and cherry juice until completely smooth.
  2. Dip the cupcakes in the glaze. It will be drippy at first, but it will harden quickly on the cupcakes.


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