Pistachio cupcakes with strawberry buttercream

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I'm thinking Lily Pulitzer would approve of these prepster-looking green and pink cupcakes.

These pistachio and strawberry cupcakes were concocted as part of an effort to use up the remainder of my gallon of strawberries from last weekend.

Slightly green, the pistachio cupcake base is made from a Dorie Greenspan white cake recipe which I edited by adding ground pistachios and a splash of almond extract. I created my own strawberry frosting recipe by using a basic buttercream recipe and adding chopped strawberries. A few taste testers have mentioned they like the frosting so much, they'd eat it straight up, minus cupcake. What's good about the frosting is that it's sweet, but not cloying.

To finish the cupcakes off, I rolled the edges of the frosted tops in chopped pistachios and topped them with mini strawberries.

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Pistachio cupcakes with strawberry buttercream

Makes about 30 cupcakes

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups cake flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups whole milk

4 large egg whites

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/3 cup pistachios, ground

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with paper liners.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.

Put the sugar and butter in a mixer bowl and beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extract and ground pistachios, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Fill cupcake tins a little over half full.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and springy to the touch – a thin knife inserted into the centers should come out clean. Transfer the cupcakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then remove from pan and cool to room temperature. Frost with strawberry buttercream.

Strawberry buttercream

Yields 4 cups

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1 cup shortening

1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract

2 pounds, minus 1 cup, confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar, 10x)

1 1/2 - 2 cups finely chopped strawberries

Directions

Cream the butter and shortening in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer. Add the clear vanilla extract and combine well. Begin adding in the sugar and mixing thoroughly after each addition. After all of the sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, begin adding the strawberries… half cup at a time, combining very well after each addition (mixer on medium-high to high speed) until you reach the desired consistency.

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