Rosewater pistachio cupcakes with mascarpone cream frosting

Pistachio and rosewater is a match made in heaven. Nisha shows how they make the perfect pairing for cupcakes.

I love baking cupcakes. For one, they are great subjects for photography and two, they somehow get consumed much faster than a regular cake. I have adapted almost all the cakes I’ve baked into cupcakes and the pistachio cake is no exception. Pistachio cakes are not really that common and the first time I tried it, I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious it tasted. It was a little too greasy for my liking, but they were tasty nonetheless. This time however, I reduced the amount of butter used and it does make a difference.

Pistachio and rosewater is a match made in heaven. Be it a fruit salad, ice cream or however you try and pair it, it’s a winner. Both these flavours are generously used in these cupcakes and they compliment each other very well. I am not that big a fan of rosewater and was a bit apprehensive at how it would turn out, but this sure hit the right spot, with the rosewater not being overpowering, but still being present in a pleasant sort of way. If you are not a fan of rosewater, reduce the quantity to about 1 tsp and it would be almost non existent.

The frosting is a bit rich, so feel free to omit it, if you are making this for tea or so. But if you are a fan of frosting, then this is THE one to use for this cake. So go on, make some Mediterranean inspired cupcakes to celebrate National Cupcake Week and while you’re at it, pretty them up and make a party out of it!




Rose water and pistachio cupcakes

Mascarpone cream frosting

  • 100ml of double cream, cold
  • 250g of mascarpone, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp of icing sugar
  • 1 dash of vanilla extract
  • red food colouring, optional


Preheat the oven to 175°C/gas mark 4. Line an 8-hole cupcake pan with paper liners
First, make the cupcakes. Grind together the pistachio nuts, almonds and plain flour in a spice grinder or mill. Make sure you don’t over grind it, or the mixture will go from powdery to lumpy
Add the baking powder to the ground nut mix and keep aside
Beat together the butter and caster sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. You can do this using a hand mixer, or the paddle attachment of a free standing mixer
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, followed by the milk. Add the rose water and vanilla and mix well to combine
Finally, fold in the ground nut and flour mix until smooth and incorporated. Pour into the cupcake cases (until about 3/4 full) and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cupcakes comes out clean
Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely on a cooling rack while you prepare the frosting
Whisk the double cream in a large mixing bowl using the whisk attachment or a hand whisk, until stiff peaks form. Do not over-mix, or the cream will split
In a separate bowl, mix the mascarpone cheese and icing sugar slowly until well combined
Add this into the whipped cream, followed by the vanilla and a couple of drops of food colouring - be very sparing with the colouring, adding a drop at a time until you reach the correct shade. Continue whisking on a low speed until well-combined
Transfer into a piping bag and once the cupcakes are completely cool, pipe the frosting on top. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use

Nisha is a freelance writer, avid food blogger and wannabe food photographer.

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