These soft and fluffy pistachio cupcakes with creamy strawberry frosting have the most wonderful sweet, fresh, and nutty flavors!
- 1 cup unsalted shelled pistachios (out of shell)
- 1 and 3/4 cups (207g) cake flour* (spoon & leveled)
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1/2 cup (120g) full-fat sour cream at room temperature*
- 1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk at room temperature*
- optional: 1 tiny drop green food coloring*
- 1 cup (about 25g) freeze-dried strawberries
- 1 cup (235g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 4 cups (480g) confectioners’ sugar
- 3 Tablespoons (45ml) heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- salt, to taste
- optional for garnish: fresh strawberry slices
- Pulse the pistachios in a food processor until ground up into fine crumbs. See photo above for a visual. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Line a second pan with 4 liners – this recipe makes about 16 cupcakes. Set aside.
- Make the cupcakes: Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and 3/4 cup of pistachio crumbs together. Reserve the rest of the pistachio crumbs for decoration.
- Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy – about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed for 2 minutes until creamed together. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the egg whites, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Beat on medium-high speed until combined, then beat in the sour cream. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients until just incorporated. With the mixer still running on low, slowly pour in the milk until combined. Do not overmix. You may need to whisk it all by hand to make sure there are no lumps at the bottom of the bowl. The batter will be slightly thick.
- Pour/spoon the batter into the liners – fill only 2/3 full to avoid spilling over the sides. Bake for 19-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. For around 30 mini cupcakes, bake for about 11-13 minutes, same oven temperature. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
- Make the frosting: Using a blender or food processor, process the freeze-dried strawberries into a powdery crumb. You should have around 1/2 cup. In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, strawberry powder, cream, and vanilla. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes. Taste. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet.
- Frost cooled cupcakes and decorate with remaining pistachio crumbs and strawberry slices. I used the Ateco #849 closed star tip.
- Make Ahead Instructions: Cupcakes can be made ahead 1 day in advance, covered, and stored at room temperature. Frosting can also be made 1 day in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. Leftover cupcakes keep well covered tightly in the refrigerator for 3 days. Frosted or unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer |5-qt Tilt-Head Glass Mixing Bowl | KitchenAid Hand Mixer | Ninja Master Prep Professional Blender | Trader Joe’s Freeze Dried Strawberries | Mother Earth Freeze Dried Strawberries | Spatula | Cupcake Pan | Paper Cupcake Liners | 16-inch Frosting Bags | Closed Star Frosting Tip
- Cake Flour: If you can’t get your hands on cake flour, you can make this homemade cake flour substitute. I suggest doing this twice, mixing it all up in 1 bowl then removing 1/4 cup since you need 1 and 3/4 cups in this recipe.
- Whole Milk and Sour Cream: Strongly recommended for the best taste and texture! A full fat plain yogurt would work instead, though the cupcakes may not be as light. Same goes with a lower fat milk.
- Food Coloring: While the pistachio crumbs do tint the batter light green, I added 1 *very teeny* drop of green food coloring to help brighten the green color. This is completely optional!
- Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking the BEST cupcakes before you begin!
Keywords: pistachio cupcakes, strawberry frosting, cupcakes