Week 39: Birthday Cupcakes: Pistachio Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

My sister requested Pistachio Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting for her birthday...which isn't until January 25th...but we can't get together on that day. The first thing I do is think about going to this cake supply place my boss told me about in Laurel, MD, called Cakes Plus! I was so excited to have a reason to go there. So, at lunch on Friday I popped in my Jetta and off we went! When we got out of the car...you won't believe this...the place is in a shopping center right next to Kohl's...we could smell cakes baking. It was so cool! I found so much cool stuff...beautiful candy flowers of all kinds, books, frostings, glow lite candles, more stuff than I knew existed. They bake wedding cakes, party cakes, cupcakes, and more. That's where I got these cute little pansies. I also bought some roses to use on Valentine's Day! I had a very hard time getting out of there...

My sister's birthday dinner was at my Mom's house in Prince Frederick, MD, on Saturday late afternoon. I spent the morning making the cupcakes after I found the only recipe that seemed to exist on the web (none of my books had a recipe for pistachio cupcakes). The one I found was called St. Patrick's Day Cake. It called for pistachio instant pudding which meant a trip to...you know where...the grocery store! I had to pick up my Diet-to-Go stuff so I went to Wintergreen Shopping Center where I pick that up and they have a Food Lion there that I am growing to love. It has the most different stuff for baking. It's the only place I've found unwrapped hershey kisses...they actually are packaged this way. I've never found them at Giant or Safeway. I even found Ancho Chile Pepper there after I had made my cupcakes! I always end up taking too much time in the grocery store, so by the time I got back, time was becoming an issue for me.

The only thing I changed about the recipe is that I added a cup of chopped pistachios to the mix. One non normal thing I did was for one batch I used a pan that makes square cupcakes...I think it's really for muffin-type things. I got it for Christmas. The square cupcakes turned out great. The one drawback was that they were pretty big...the amount of batter was like two cupcakes worth to fill one square. Other than that, these cupcakes were really easy to make. Then I made my favorite vanilla buttercream frosting by Magnolia. It's always the best there is! It is easy to decorate with, too. And, it has just the right consistancy for the swirls. I also decided that these would be the cupcakes I would take to the office on Monday, so I made two batches of them and the frosting.

The recipe calls for mini-chocolate chips and I wondered why. I figured it out when I tasted the cupcakes...pistachio doesn't have much flavor...even with the added real pistachio...but the little bit of chocolate really gives just the punch it needs. And, the green color is a very nice addition! I call this photo "bite me." I posted more photos on my flickr account in this SET.

The recipe is HERE