I’ve been meaning to try pistachio cupcakes for a long time, but well, my list of cupcakes to try is just very, very long.  Pistachio is certainly a delicious flavor but it is not as indulgent and compelling as some of the other flavors.  These cupcakes have been passed over time and time again for something more…exciting.  Recently a reader requested a recipe for pistachio cake and finally I got the push I needed to try these cupcakes.  My family, friends, and myself are now thankful that I got that push because these were a major hit with everyone as a sweet ending to a get together this weekend.

The pistachio flavor is just right thanks to the multiple inclusions of pistachio in the recipe.  First, pistachios are ground into a powder and incorporated into the batter.  Then coarsely chopped pistachios are mixed in to the batter before baking.  Finally, you can top with additional pistachios for garnish (and you should – so pretty!)  The cake itself is exactly what I was hoping for – tender with good pistachio flavor, and just slightly dense, but in a good way.  This is at least in part due to the fact that the recipe includes no chemical leaveners.  These would surely be wonderful topped with a pistachio buttercream but personally I just can’t pass up the combination of pistachio and dark chocolate so I opted for a thin layer of ganache.  My most important piece of advice with this recipe: buy pre-peeled pistachios.  I have bought them before at Trader Joes, but unfortunately my regular store does not carry them.  If you don’t believe me, believe the blister on my thumb.

PS – Stay tuned for instructions on how to make your own cupcake tower later this week!