Pistachio Pudding Cupcakes


February 26: National Pistachio Day

As the end of February quickly approaches, we look forward to marching on toward St. Patrick’s Day. During this time, we experiment with a variety of green-colored recipes before deciding what to take to potluck parties in celebration of the patron saint of Ireland. Although pistachio pudding cupcakes are not Irish, we like the subtly nutty taste and the soft shade of green from the frosting. They look festive at the food table for green-themed get-togethers and pistachio pudding cupcakes are perfect on National Pistachio Day.


(From an undated community cookbook)

For the pistachio pudding cake

  • ½ cup pistachio nuts, chopped
  • 1 box white or yellow cake mix
  • 1 box (3.4 ounces) pistachio nut instant pudding
  • 1 cup cooking oil (canola or vegetable)
  • 1 cup lemon-lime soda (such as 7Up)
  • 3 eggs


In a large bowl, combine the pistachio nuts, cake mix, pistachio pudding mix, cooking oil and lemon-lime soda. Beat in the eggs.


Scoop into cupcake papers. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes or until done. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack.


For the pistachio pudding frosting

(Adapted from Food.com)

  • 1 box (3.4 ounces) pistachio nut instant pudding
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • 1+ cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • pistachio nuts, chopped (for garnish)


In a bowl, combine the pistachio pudding mix with the milk and stir until smooth. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat the butter with the shortening. Gradually add the powdered sugar and mix well until creamy.


Blend in the thickened pudding mixture and beat until light and fluffy. Scoop into a piping bag with a decorator’s tip (we used Wilton tip 1M). Pipe swirls of frosting on top of the cupcakes. Sprinkle pistachio nut pieces on top.



  • Toast the pistachios to boost the flavor of the nuts in this recipe. In a small pan on the stovetop, heat the nuts over medium high heat, stirring constantly so the pistachios do not burn or brown too much. Remove the nuts from the pan and cool completely before using them in this recipe.
  • Optional: Sift out the pistachio pieces in the boxed pudding mix before using in the frosting recipe to make it smooth for piping out from a pastry bag.
  • Add powdered sugar a little at a time to the butter-shortening mixture in the frosting recipe and blend until it is a desired consistency for piping. Otherwise, the moist and soft frosting simply may be spread onto the cooled cupcakes instead.