May 18, 2012

Pistachio Cupcakes with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

This has been quite a week! I am so glad it is Friday! Yesterday, the needle on the stress meter went through the roof when I got numerous automated calls from the college that there was "an incident"!

Madison attends college in Savannah, Ga.  Her school campus is the Historic District in the city of Savannah - the school has over 70 buildings within the city! The incident was a gunman initially on the loose and then barricaded in one of the upscale, landmark restaurants right down the road from Madison's dorm!
Of course, the District being 1 square mile, everything is right down the road 

The school acted quickly and locked down all buildings advising students to stay inside. The police, too, shut down much of downtown to keep people away from the area.  

SWAT surrounded the restaurant; sent a robot inside; then entered the building and apprehended the perp (HA - love cop show talk)

Even though I was in contact with Madison and knew she was safe, I was still shaken by this event.  Thankfully, no one was hurt and all is back to normal. Just a little excitement to get the kids ready for finals!

With the stress level at an all-time high, I had to get some relief!
So, I took some time out and baked....ahhhhhhhhhhh

I made these Pistachio cupcakes that are the prettiest shade of green - Perfect for St. Patty's Day!
They make me smile (green is, after all, my favorite color)

I was going to frost them with a chocolate butter suggested in the recipe, but I had a couple strawberries on hand and decided they would be more refreshing with a strawberry cream cheese frosting (not to mention how pretty the pink and green look together) Boy was I right! These little pieces of heaven are definitely refreshing!
Hard to eat just one! The fresh strawberry taste comes through and pairs nicely with the slightly nutty flavor of the cupcake - yummmm yummmm yummmm

1 box White Cake Mix
1 box Pistachio Instant Pudding (3.4 oz)
4 Eggs
1 cup Buttermilk
1/4 cup Oil
1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
3/4 cup Sour Cream

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pan (makes about 24)
Whisk eggs, buttermilk, oil, extract, and sour cream together in a good sized bowl.  Add cake mix and pudding; combine until just incorporated.  Fill cupcake liners about 1/2 full and bake for about 15 minutes.  The tops of the cupcake should spring back when lightly pressed. Remove from oven and let cool.

1 cup Butter, softened
8 ozs Cream Cheese
1 lb Powdered Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 cup chopped Strawberries

In a bowl of an electric mixer using the whisk attachment, cream butter and cream cheese until fluffy - about 3-4 minutes. Occasionally scraping down bowl. Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until incorporated. Add vanilla and mix until smooth. Add strawberries and beat until they are chunked up really well. If you are piping the frosting onto the cupcakes you will need to get these really chunked (is chunked a word? hmmmm...I guess it is now) up so they don't clog up your tip...learned that the hard way!  Put frosting in freezer for about 20 minutes to stiffen up if needed. Then frost cupcakes as desired. Store these in the fridge.


  1. My GOODNESS Marion...that IS so scary! But quite phenomenal that they were keeping parents informed. Yikes...jack up the adrenaline before finals a bit! Bet it worked!

    Hey...have any great recipes for Lemon and coconut cake...which my little girl is requesting for her birthday this week??

  2. I am not a fan of coconut. I know! Hard to believe, but it's true. So, I don't have ANY coconut recipes. What I would suggest is making your favorite white cake recipe and putting lemon curd between layers then top with a cream cheese frosting and fresh coconut shreds. Here is a recipe suggested to me by a friend:

    If you want a super easy cake recipe use this one - made in 2 8" round cake pans instead of cupcakes: (I really like the recipes on here - they are made with a box mix, but they are always moist and delish)
    Lemon curd between layers and cream cheese frosting with coconut shreds on top. For the frosting:
    1 cup Butter, softened
    8 ozs Cream Cheese
    1 lb Powdered Sugar
    1 teaspoon Vanilla (or maybe coconut extract)
    Cream butter and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar a cup at a time and mix. Add vanilla and mix until smooth.

    Good Luck! and give Libby Happy Birthday hugs from me!

  3. This would work perfect for St. Patricks Day!

  4. These are just beautiful! I love pistachio and/or cream cheese anything! Thanks for a great post! :)
    P.S. I LOVE your idea you gave to the previous poster about coconut and lemon curd between white cake layers! Oh, my! :)
    ~Joy from Yesterfood

    1. Thank you, Joy! I'm making these today for a friend - they smell so good! I was just enjoying your blog and will have to make those pumpkin baked donuts - they look and sound amazing! Thanks for stopping by my little blog :o)

  5. do you think I can just add the almond extract and pudding mix to a cake mix I make? I don't use cake mixes from the box anymore

    1. Hi there! The almond extract, yes, but the pudding mix you would have to be very careful. Boxed mixes are very forgiving, but a homemade cake has to be precisely measured for the reactions to take place and everything to turn out just right. I once added extra lemon juice to a recipe to make it extra lemony, and it just ended up horrible. It wasn't even a lot of extra juice, but the extra sugar from the juice made the texture very dense (learned the hard way ;o) ). I would suggest googling a homemade cake made with pudding. Here is one from (I haven't tried this, so I can't give an opinion good or bad) I hope that helps! ~Marion

    2. thanks :) I'll give it a try


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