Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Pistachio rose cupcakes

vegan pistachio rose cupcakes

Super-short post today, because I’m uber-tired (as usual) and my largely self-inflicted to-do list is growing longer as I type. (I really should be committing a few charts' worth of Latin pronouns to memory right now.) But arranging priorities has never been a strong point of mine, has it?

Not to mention, I’ve recently become more involved in a certain science-y project I’m working on, which involves investigating the macroinvertebrates of local streams by harvesting the little buggers, picking them out one by one, and brutally plunging them into vats of alcohol. And good god. Those wormy, Davy Jones-looking things, also known as crane fly larvae, are nasty as fuck. Makes me wonder why I ever decided to study macroinvertebrates for this little project, of all things.

But it is all useful for something—now I know never to walk in a stream barefoot, having intimate knowledge of exactly what lurks under the rocks and in the sand beneath those murky waters.

On the bright side? It’s always fun when you accidentally catch some fish along with your standard plethora of vaguely disgusting spineless organisms, or maybe a salamander or two. Serves as a small reassurance that all underwater life isn’t butt-ugly. 

Maybe I am mistaken in that. source

But enough about that. Let’s get to the point here and talk about these cupcakes.

Much more attractive than crane fly larvae.

The recipe is taken straight from the (totally awesome, you should get it) cookbook Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World; and believe me, I would have no problem with these cupcakes taking over the world. They’re wonderfully simple to make, so simple that I was able to whip them up on a weeknight before taking them to a party the next day. Sometimes, mix-and-bake recipes are just what you need. Now, the frosting is a standard buttercream, requiring you to grease up your stand mixer with butter and powdered sugar and use a piping bag or two, but it’s definitely worthwhile.

Duh. Frosting is always worthwhile.

And, you know, the original recipe called for making a simple glaze rather than the whipped affair you see above...but I’m not much of a glaze person. I’ll take a thick, fluffy buttercream over a runny waterfall of glaze-y sadness any day.

Not hating, just stating the facts.

The rose / pistachio flavor combo is perfect as well. Highly recommended. One might even say that they give these cupcakes a Middle Eastern flair (since rosewater and pistachio both have roots in the region), if cupcakes were a Middle Eastern thing. Which...probably not.

To paraphrase the cookbook from which this recipe is blatantly ripped—these would be the perfect finale to a Persian feast, if anyone ever invited me to one.

Here’s the recipe.


Pistachio rose cupcakes

Adapted from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Makes 24 cupcakes



225 grams • vanilla soy yogurt • 1 cup

325 grams • nondairy milk • 1 1/3 cups

140 grams • vegetable oil • 2/3 cup

350 grams • granulated sugar • 1 3/4 cups

24 grams • rosewater • 2 tablespoons

306 grams • all-purpose flour • 2 1/4 cups

32 grams • cornstarch • 1/4 cup

4 grams • baking powder • 1 teaspoon

4 grams • baking soda • 1 teaspoon

3 grams • salt • 1/2 teaspoon

0.5 grams • cardamom • 1/4 teaspoon

40 grams • chopped pistachios • 1/3 cup


224 grams • vegan butter, room temperature • 1 cup

360 grams • powdered sugar • 3 cups

4 grams • rosewater • 1 teaspoon

45 grams • nondairy milk • 3 tablespoons

Pinch salt

Beet puree, for coloring (optional)

Pistachios, to taste


To make cupcakes, start by preheating oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or line with paper liners 24 muffin tins.

In a large bowl, combine yogurt, milk, oil, sugar, and rosewater and whisk until frothy. Sift in flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom. Whisk until no lumps remain and batter is smooth. Fold in pistachios.

Fill each muffin tin up about 3/4 of the way. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes in tins before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make frosting, place vegan butter in the bowl of an electric stand mixer and beat until smooth. With mixer on low speed, spoon in powdered sugar. Mix until incorporated. Add rosewater, milk, salt, and beet puree (if using) and increase speed to medium-high. Beat for 2 to 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.

Pipe frosting on cupcakes. Decorate with more pistachios. Munch.


So perdy.

For more delectable cupcakes, check out these links.

Cappuccino cupcakes. An ode to chocolate and espresso.

Funfetti cupcakes with chocolate mousse frosting. Almost too healthy to be true!

Fudgy brownie cupcakes with matcha frosting. Like little Christmas trees!

Tomato cupcakes with balsamic frosting. Yes, you read that right.


  1. Oh heeeey, I took Latin in school as well! It has never once come in handy as an adult, but it for sure helped on the SATs. Plus, I get to feel like a smarty-pants whenever someone asks what a Latin phrase means. So, yay?

    In other news, I am such a sucker for the pistachio-rose water combination! I'm not vegan but I have a few cookbooks by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and absolutely love her--all of her recipes are so great!

    1. I'm personally fond of informing people of the Latin roots of random words. Very helpful skill that is :) And I think I'm in love with the cupcake cookbook, so I'll have to go check out more of hers in the meantime! :D

  2. I love the combination of rose and pistachio! Actually had it for the first time this Summer, and it was basically what you see above, except less vegan and in a cake form.
    I'm sitting here drooling, and it is almost midnight *feelslikeagremlin*
    All the best with the studying missy! Sounds like you've got quite the amount of work, but you can power though it, just belieeeeve! x

    1. LOL yeah I'm trying to believe :P I'm a new fan of pistachio + rose myself, so I might have to incorporate it into some more recipes... :)

  3. Rose and pistachio is such a great flavor! I love that cloud of frosting!