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Pistachio cupcakes with cannoli frosting

Pistachio Cupcakes with Cannoli Frosting

5 from 3 votes
Gorgeously green, light, fluffy pistachio cupcakes topped with a creamy cannoli frosting with hints of orange and lemon zest and mini chocolate chips!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 12 cupcakes


Pistachio Cupcakes

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 cup pistachios, shelled and divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure almond extract, or 1 teaspoon pistachio flavoring
  • ½ cup sour cream, room temperature
  • ½ cup milk
  • Green food coloring, I use 2 drops of this gel paste

Cannoli Frosting

  • 15 ounces ricotta, drained
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • ¾ cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup mini chocolate chips


Prepare the cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners and set aside.
  • In a food processor, pulse pistachios until they produce crumbs - but not too fine, you don't want pistachio dust! See picture above for reference. Place 1-2 tablespoons in a small bowl and set aside (you'll use these for garnish).
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, ground pistachios (all but what you reserved for garnish), baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In another large bowl, beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs, almond extract, sour cream and milk and mix to combine.
  • Add dry mixture to wet mixture (and add food coloring if desired) and mix on low speed until just incorporated.
  • Fill each cupcake liner a bit more than ⅔ full - you don't want to fill the cups completely, but pretty closely if you want a nice dome. If you'd like, sprinkle some of the remaining crushed pistachios on top. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Prepare the frosting

  • In a large mixing bowl, beat together ricotta, mascarpone cheese and confectioners sugar until well combined and fluffy. Add orange zest, lemon zest and vanilla extract until combined.
  • When cupcakes have completely cooled, fit a piping bag with the desired tip and pipe frosting onto each cupcake. Top with mini chocolate chips and reserved ground pistachio. Serve and enjoy!


Storage: Cupcakes can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days and then brought to room temperature before serving, but I highly recommend consuming them the same day they are made.
Preparing ahead of time: You could also make the frosting ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the fridge until you've made the cupcakes and are ready to serve - just give it a quick whip to fluff it back up before piping!


Calories: 455kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 156mg | Potassium: 196mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 845IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 175mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
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