Pistachio Pudding Cupcakes

by jenna on May 29, 2012

Howdy.

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend! I spent mine in Ann Arbor with the fam and it was lovely (despite the whole sidewalk face-planting thing). People. I’ve finally had to come to terms with the fact that I am not the type of delicate, graceful girl who never seems to get lipstick on her teeth, trip on sidewalks or rip holes in new shirts by forcefully yanking out the tag. I am not the type of girl that wears white shirts because there’s about a 99.99% chance I’ll get spaghetti sauce, coffee or chocolate on it by the end of the day…or a combination of the three. I am not the type of girl that carries cute little clutch purses on dates (my purse is practically a suitcase because I carry snacks, books, kindle, notebooks, journals, 10 lipglosses, hairbrush and more snacks in it). No…I am not a delicate, graceful girl.

And even though I AM the type of girl who loves tying on the ol’ apron and baking cupcakes from scratch, I still believe there is a time and place for betty crocker cake mix and instant pudding and this, friends, is it.

Listen up, friends: these cupcakes have only three ingredients in them. THREE INGREDIENTS! If you’re a lifelong pistachio ice cream lover like myself, you will fully appreciate these soft, springy pistachio cupcakes topped with a whipped pudding frosting.

I hope no one here has a problem with Jello.

It served us all well with the chocolate pudding dump cake last year, that’s for sure. Let us never be too good for Jello Instant Pudding!

Amen to that.

Since the frosting for these bad boys is simply a combination of pistachio pudding and whipped cream, it’s best you consume them right away (or the day of at least). They don’t keep well. But somehow I don’t think that will be a problem.

Also regarding the frosting….watch out. After a few swipes of my finger, I started just eating it by the spoonful as it tasted like the most light and heavenly pudding on earth. And when you top the cupcakes with salted crushed pistachios, you get that whole ridiculous sweet and salty combo.

Don’t mind if I do.

Pistachio Pudding Cupcakes

makes 12 cupcakes

based on Chocolate Pudding Dump Cake recipe

Print this recipe!

Ingredients:

1 box yellow cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)

1 3.4 oz package instant pistachio pudding mix

1 1/2 cups cold milk

for frosting—

1 cup cold milk

1 3.4 oz package instant pistachio pudding mix

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup powdered sugar

roughly chopped roasted/salted pistachio nuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together the instant pudding and the cold milk. Sprinkle in the cake mix and mix well with a spoon until well combined.

Fill a lined (or greased) cupcake tin about 3/4 of the way full with batter. You should get about 12-13 cupcakes out of this!

Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, whip the cream with powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Whisk together the other package of instant pudding with the milk. Fold pudding into whipped cream and pipe onto cupcakes. Garnish with chopped pistachios.

Time:

1.5 hours (includes time to let cupcakes cool)

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{ 85 comments… read them below or add one }

Justeen @ Blissful Baking May 29, 2012 at 3:38 am

I am totally a spill coffee and spaghetti sauce on my white shirt and trip on sidewalks kind of girl, too :) These cupcakes look great! I haven’t used a boxed mix in ages, but I LOVED eating yellow cake mix cake as a kid, and pistachios are kind of my favorite nut right now. And the frosting looks dangerously delicious!!

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Lauren at Keep It Sweet May 29, 2012 at 3:49 am

There really is a time and a place for a box mix and these look right to me! My purse is always filled with a bazillion snacks, you just always need to be prepared:-)

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Katrina May 29, 2012 at 3:56 am

Three ingredients?! I’m in! And these sound awesome.

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Joy May 29, 2012 at 4:03 am

I really want to make these… They look incredible

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Jenn May 29, 2012 at 4:14 am

Your frosting technique is really good. Cupcake boss?! :)

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Molly @ RDexposed May 29, 2012 at 4:31 am

3 ingredients and a cute picture means this will be everywhere on Pinterest!
Also, I actually went to grab the scissors to cut a tag off of a new shirt and ended up snipping the shirt. What do you do after that? Brand new shirt. Brand new hole.

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Kristen @ notsodomesticated May 29, 2012 at 4:43 am

Yum!! My mom would absolutely love these. So would the husband. And I love that they include minimal ingredients!

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 29, 2012 at 4:54 am

Ahh I got so excited when I saw your Instagram photo of these last night! They look gorgeous, and your photos are especially beautiful today!

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Kayla S May 29, 2012 at 5:11 am

Those looking amazing…! I love pistachio

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Jill May 29, 2012 at 5:50 am

I’m the same as you– huge purse full of crap. :)

These cupcakes look so delicious! I love that they only have three ingredients. Yummy and easy!

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Hilary May 29, 2012 at 5:53 am

I think we are the same person. I manage to get spaghetti sauce on myself every.single.time. (On the shoulder nonetheless, how does THAT happen?!) And I just bought new sky high wedges so mix that with my innate clumsiness and well.. I better pack some band-aids!

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Steffany May 29, 2012 at 6:17 am

I have made these several times over the years (though my recipe is a little bit different, but not much) and they are ALWAYS a hit !! In fact, my sister requested them I make them for her grad party last weekend, and then everyone requested the recipe haha.

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Margarita May 29, 2012 at 6:26 am

That is exactly the reason why I never wear white! Also big purses are a must for survival… If you get stuck somewhere, then you have a book and snacks to tide you over.

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Jennifer May 29, 2012 at 6:32 am

Thank you! Thank you! My whole family loves Watergate cake and my dad was complaining the other day that he had no one to make it for him since my mom passed away. I think that even he could manage this recipe.

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Mel May 29, 2012 at 6:34 am

Bahaha…I love how you tell it like it is. It’s really refreshing how you embrace yourself. I think life’s a lot more fun (and quirky) when you allow yourself to simple ‘be.’

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Shannon @ A Fork In Each Hand May 29, 2012 at 6:38 am

Pistachio pudding is something I ate as a kid growing up in central Illinois but never eat as an adult. I can’t wait to try this! Thanks!

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Rachel Wilkerson May 29, 2012 at 6:43 am

I LOVE pistachio-flavored desserts…will definitely give these a try!

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Andrea May 29, 2012 at 6:45 am

I am definitely making these for my dad, he looooves pistachio pudding! Do you think the frosting will still be good if I just and store it in the freezer and spread it on the cupcake each time…so we can enjoy the cupcakes for a few days?

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jenna May 29, 2012 at 3:59 pm

I would keep the frosting in the fridge in a tupperware container instead of the freezer, but yes!

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Lily O' Dare @ Candied-Life May 29, 2012 at 6:46 am

hahaha pretty sure we carry the same purse

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Beth @ DiningAndDishing May 29, 2012 at 6:53 am

Don’t worry Jenna, I am a total mess too :). I like to think it’s endearing!

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Shannon - Healthiful Balance May 29, 2012 at 6:53 am

I love pistachios and cupcakes so this is perfect! :D

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Michelle May 29, 2012 at 7:05 am

PERFECT TIMING!! I have just recently discovered that I love pistachios……and I’ve always loved cupcakes, so this looks like a must try to me! :)

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Francesca May 29, 2012 at 7:05 am

I’m actually not a huge pistachio fan, but my aunt makes this dynamite pistachio pie. I believe it has like a shortbread pistachio crust with a layer of pistachio pudding topped with whipped cream and more pistachio. Your cupcakes made me want that pie…and a cupcake! :)

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Becky Henderson May 29, 2012 at 7:16 am

Darn you pistachio allergy!!!!!!!! The cupcakes look amazing so i’m going to take the process and spin it with ingredients that my lame body CAN have! :) I’m always a clutz so I can very much empathize. :) Just wait till you get married and have babies. That purse will reach monumental proportions! LOL!

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jenna May 29, 2012 at 7:27 am

your cupcakes always look so fun! i love pisachios!

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Lauren May 29, 2012 at 7:34 am

That frosting sounds ridiculous……..I’d eat all of these :) Perfection, Jenna!!

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Melissa @ SquatsandSquash May 29, 2012 at 7:47 am

Can you believe that I’m 26 years old, and JUST tried pistachios for the first time last week?!?! I don’t know what I was thinking, those things are delicious. I will be making these cupcakes sometime in the VERY near future!

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Cassie May 29, 2012 at 7:50 am

LOVE that pretty green color!

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Julia {The Roasted Root} May 29, 2012 at 8:05 am

Ohhh jeez. Pistachios are my favorite! You really made my tweet tooth do loopty loops when I saw the cupcake pictures!

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Averie @ Averie Cooks May 29, 2012 at 8:24 am

Jenna the pics are gorgeous and you are so right….let us never be too good for Jello. Amen to that! :)

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Maddy May 29, 2012 at 8:28 am

Okay, I need these.

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Karen May 29, 2012 at 8:30 am

Pistachio pudding with a hint of peppermint extract is also delicious!

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Kristin @ FoodFash May 29, 2012 at 8:51 am

Pistachio pudding was my all time fav when I was a wee one. These cupcakes look divine, can’t wait to try!

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Beverly May 29, 2012 at 9:10 am

Pistachio pudding brings back so many childhood memories. My FAVE pudding by far! Must make these lovelies soon.

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Liz May 29, 2012 at 9:46 am

Oh man, those look so good, in a (some how) 1950s sort of way.

But, they have more than 3 ingredients, no? The cake mix, which presumably must be prepared with eggs and oil (three ingredients right there), the milk, heavy cream, powdered sugar, pudding mix, and pistachios….. 8 ingredients. (Still very simple!)

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Ashley @ Hudson on the Potomac May 29, 2012 at 10:35 am

I think she meant the cupcakes without icing only have three ingredients! If you read the full recipe you don’t add eggs and oil to the cake mix, you just throw it in with the pudding and milk.

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Liz May 29, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Ah, you’re right, I stand corrected on that point. Nevertheless, clearly the frosting is an integral part of the cupcake. Otherwise I could very easily just make cupcakes from a mix, still with three ingredients (or fewer) so it’s no big deal or unusual for plain cupcakes to have three ingredients. A minor criticism, though.

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Liz May 29, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Also, I did read the recipe – at least two times – actually looking for the instructions on how to use the cake mix (prepare as on the box, or not) and I didn’t see the instructions to just combine the mix with the pudding and milk, until now! I assume I’m just blind. :-)

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jenna May 29, 2012 at 3:57 pm

sorry about all that! Cupcakes are prepared simply from the mix, milk and pudding (not other ingredients that the box may call for). I can see how that could be confusing though so I apologize! (sometimes I have to read things at least three times before I really “see” them, too!)

Ashley @ Hudson on the Potomac May 29, 2012 at 10:27 am

Don’t worry— I wore a white skirt to work for the first time this season and spilled coffee almost immediately after getting in my car! Thank goodness for Tide sticks!! These cups cakes look great, and I love how easy they are!

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joelle (on a pink typewriter) May 29, 2012 at 10:31 am

LOVE this – great photos. And heck, I’m also not that type of delicate, graceful girls either.. more awkward with a loud laugh. :)

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Lindsey May 29, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Yum!! They photograph so well. Speaking of holes in shirts from yanking tags, I did that this morning. Oops.

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Kara May 29, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Amazing! So happy to see the recipe after the teaser pic on instagram. They look so beautiful (and delish)!

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kristin May 29, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Has anyone tried these with gluten free cake mix?

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Tara@Sugar Spice and Bacon May 29, 2012 at 1:48 pm

I love pistachio! These look amazing! Do you think it would work with my favorite homemade white cake recipe?

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jenna May 29, 2012 at 3:58 pm

You know, I’m not 100% sure since I haven’t tried making the mix part by scratch! And while I THINK so, I don’t want to tell you for sure because I would hate for you to attempt it and then have it not turn out. It could be an experiment though! :)

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Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe May 29, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Oh heck yes. I am making these immediately.
PS. I also have a purse that weighs about 10 pounds because of all of the “necessities” that I keep in it. People make fun of me…but the jokes stop when someone is suddenly desperately in need of a flashlight/snack/hand cream/mirror, etc. and guess who can deliver?!

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erin @WELLinLA May 29, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Very cute cupcakes (more of a green/yellow/orange than a pink cupcake person). While “3 ingredients” is a catchy hook, but 2 of “ingredients” are products that are comprised of many ingredients. Very simple for when you’re in a hurry or those just starting their adventures in the kitchen.

Red lipstick and heels mask all signs of any embarrassing moments.

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jenna May 29, 2012 at 3:54 pm

hi! I meant that you only need three ingredients to make this (cake mix, milk and instant pudding). I’m sorry if that got misunderstood–my mistake!

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Sue May 29, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Add a few more ingredients and some Midori liqueur and you can really ramp up those cupcakes.

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Amanda @ Becoming a Boulangère May 29, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Thank you for bringing pistachio pudding back into my life! I ate that stuff all the time as a kid- mostly covert finger swipes- and somehow managed to completely forget how delicious it is! And pistachios in cupcake form..even more amazing!

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Elizabeth @ chronic venture May 29, 2012 at 5:23 pm

love love love love love

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Dawn May 29, 2012 at 5:33 pm

I trip and fall so often that my husband doesn’t even ask if I’m okay anymore. :) We always get a good laugh out of it and my clumsy adventures always make for funny stories!

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Melissa May 29, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Those. Look. Amazing!

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Moanna May 29, 2012 at 7:16 pm

I just have a box of yellow cake mix lying around in my kitchen, totally going to make these soon! Thank you so much for the low-calorie recipe!

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Aggie May 30, 2012 at 3:03 am

Im such a pistachio pudding/ice cream girl! Love these!

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Emily @ Life on Food May 30, 2012 at 3:14 am

I love an easy recipe. These cupcakes are certainly unique. Pistachio is my favorite kind of special ice cream so I know I will love these. And forget about by the end of the day having a stain on my shirt. I typically have one before I even walk out the door in the morning. Needless to say I do lots of laundry.

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Moni Meals May 30, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Oh wow! I am on it with these. Great recipe Jenna!

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Beth May 30, 2012 at 3:24 pm

These look SO tasty! I’m a pistachio fan – and with so few ingredients, I don’t see how it could go wrong :)

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D May 30, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Hi! Could I make this using another jello flavor ? Such as chocolate ? And do I just follow the same recipe ?

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Margot June 1, 2012 at 1:47 pm

They look absolutely amazing! I will feature it as Article of The Week (just a thumb and link to your post)… hope you don’t mind.

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kate June 5, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Just made these today and they are A.MAAAAA.ZING. Thank you for such an awesome and easy recipe!

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Jessie June 13, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Hiya! These look so good! I am doing a charity event this weekend and baking lots of cupcakes. I have had a request for pistachio and came across this great looking recipe. Do you think the frosting will hold up for several hours in a possibly 70 degree room? Thanks!

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jenna June 13, 2012 at 5:05 pm

No…I think you definitely need to refrigerate these after making because the frosting contains dairy. I would sub out this frosting for a traditional butter cream (2 sticks butter or 1 cup shortening with 1 box powdered sugar)—that will keep much better!

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Jessie June 15, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Thank you!

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Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner June 14, 2012 at 9:59 am

Pistachio Pudding?! That is one of my dad’s favorites! Thank you so much for sharing this! I know he would LOVE them! :D

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Lori July 18, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Wanna talk about the baby puke on your shoulder just as you leave? Orrrrr my cousin let me out of the house and go to Wal Mart AFTER I let my 2 year old eat cheesies and then she hugged me and me, the EVER optimistic person (yeah – who am I kidding???) didn’t know I had cheesie hand prints over my back (on a lilac colored t-shirt thank you!!) Aww well….. I could go on about being used as a substitute kleenix and having boogers on me and the list goes on…anyway these sound delish. Can’t wait to try them! Keep up the good work!!!

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zavera July 19, 2012 at 1:37 am

they look super adorable!

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Hemlata @ indiamarks.com August 2, 2012 at 3:46 am

Wow!!! really amazing!”
“I have not enough words to thank you for your recipes! I’m really surprised
to see how these cupcakes look so delicious! I love that

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Michelle August 23, 2012 at 9:41 pm

I wanted to make these for the longest time! So I decided I would make them tonight. And wouldn’t you know, I didn’t have any pistachio jello pudding mix! I could have sworn I had a box…So I substituted pumpkin spice jello pudding mix and they turned out great! So this is definitely a keeper! Thank you :))

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Michele August 26, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Dear Jenna,

Thank you so much for sharing your recipe! I made these today and they were a huge hit at church. I doubled your recipe and followed it exactly and they turned out beautifully! Oh, and you were right – the frosting is DELICIOUS! I have a bit extra and am searching for things to put it on. Any suggestions? Thank you again!!

Love,
Michele

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Enne August 28, 2012 at 12:59 pm

I have seen other recipes online using Jello Pudding mix for pistachio cupcakes but they are also using all the ingredients for the cake mix. I’m not sure which one I should do and what is the difference? I’m sure not using the other ingredients would save me some fat and calories. What about the actual cupcake itself?

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Haseena107 August 31, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Hi,
I plan in making these on Sunday. I only have a mini cupcake pan.
How long should I bake them?
Please reply.
Thanks!

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amina October 17, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Hey! I made this, but they sank and stayed mushy is that normal?

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Stacy December 6, 2012 at 8:53 am

I made these for a potluck and they were devoured! Sooooo good! I had been looking for a pistachio cake to recreate one someone made for me on my birthday and this totally satisfied that craving. Thanks for the recipe!

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Jenny Suma December 23, 2012 at 8:44 pm

I’m not a very good baker or anything so dont judge my question but are you actually supposed to make the pistachio pudding then put it in or just the little package by itself?

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ann January 5, 2013 at 3:55 pm

My frosting turned to shit. The actual cake part was delicious however.

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Mollie January 22, 2013 at 6:17 am

These cupcakes are amazing. Instead of using the heavy cream and powdered sugar in the frosting, I mixed the set pudding with about 3/4 of a small tub of cool whip since that’s what I had in the fridge. It worked out perfectly, and they have kept in the fridge for days.

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Dana February 20, 2013 at 6:04 am

These are gorgeous! I love that green color…and I adore pistachios! Love how quick this recipe is, too! :-)

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Ashley March 18, 2013 at 5:06 pm

I made these tonight and the cake part came out AMAZING!! However I have not been able to frost them as my frosting came out just runny:( I’m totally confused as to why because I keep reading the amt. Of ingedients needed of each item and I followed the directions exact!!! I’m so bummed.. .I was craving the whole finished product!! Has this happened to anyone else?? Any suggestions?? Thanks )

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Angie @ Pint of Goals April 7, 2013 at 6:31 pm

I made these for the second time and loved them again! So easy, and I like how the “crust” of the cupcakes gets kind of chewy. I can’t wait to share these with my students tomorrow!

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Monique @ Ambitious Kitchen May 22, 2013 at 11:08 am

I’ve been dreaming about these cupcakes for almost a year. Sadly, I’m not kidding. I remember when I first saw them; they’re so beautiful and delicious looking.

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Rod August 5, 2013 at 6:07 am

Saw these on foodgawker, made them.

I give them an A+. If I can make them, anyone can. They are awesome.

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Cynthia September 26, 2014 at 11:20 am

Thank you for this amazingly easy recipe! The cream was fantastic! I totally suck at baking, pretty much will burn anything so having so many taste testers loving this cupcake, it felt really nice. Definitely a party fav.!!!

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