Lucky Vanilla Cupcakes

Can you believe March is only a few days away?  That means St. Paddy’s day is not far behind.  I’m all for starting the celebration early, so let the baking of green treats begin! 

While shopping at the market last week I spotted some of the greenest pistachios I’ve ever seen!  Isn’t it wonderful that such a brilliant color can occur naturally? 

I was inspired.  I had to have them.

They ended up being ground in the food processor for a colorful
topping.  Sprinkled on a frosted cupcake, they make a cute little mossy knoll for a lucky horseshoe to sit atop.

The frosting is a yummy cream cheese and honey combo that goes nicely with the pistachios.  Dare I say they taste –wholesome?

We can pretend.

Lucky Vanilla Cupcakes                                [click to print]

Cake portion adapted from Martha Stewart.

Yield: 15 Cupcakes

Cake:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

6 Tbsp butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 vanilla bean, seeded and hull discarded

1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp milk

Heat oven to 350 and line cupcake pan with papers.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.  In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until lightened in color and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions.  Beat in vanilla bean seeds and vanilla extract.

Add flour mixture and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour.  When completely incorporated, divide batter evenly amongst liners, filling them 2/3 full.  Bake for 15-20 minutes (check at 15).  Cool completely before frosting.

Honey Cream Cheese Frosting:

8oz package cream cheese, room temperature

1 stick of butter, softened

1/4 cup clover honey

3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar

Place cream cheese, butter and honey in the bowl of a stand mixer; beat until combined. Gradually add in confectioners’ sugar, mixing until it is spreading consistency.  If frosting is loose, place in refrigerator until firm enough to spread.

Assembly:

1 cup pistachios, ground in food processor

3 oz. chocolate, melted and placed in a piping bag with a fine tip (or a zip-top bag with a corner cut)

On a parchment lined cookie sheet, pipe melted chocolate into 15 small
“U” horseshoe shapes and place in refrigerator to harden.  Frost
cupcakes and sprinkle generously with ground pistachios.  Top with
chocolate horseshoe.

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Heather Ozee
Heather Ozee
10 years ago

We were simply made for each other(taste buds and all) Love Ya and hope we can see you in June. I'll be up around the end of June.

Unknown
Unknown
10 years ago

Heaven like always, these look so full of flavor and of course you manage to make them too gorgeous to eat..almost let's not lie, I could eat two

The Blue-Eyed Bakers
The Blue-Eyed Bakers
10 years ago

Oh goodness these cupcakes are completely adorable. And we're sure taste fairly fabulous as well…!

Anna
Anna
10 years ago

These look beautiful! I love pistachios and I'm loving the adorable horse shoes ๐Ÿ˜€ Be sure to save the vanilla husks though! I keep mine in a jar full of sugar, you never know when you might need vanilla sugar ๐Ÿ˜€

cakeologist
cakeologist
10 years ago

Can't wait to whip up a batch of honey cream cheese frosting! I love honey and I love cream cheese frosting – never thought to put the two together…thanks for the recipe!

Wish I could get my cupcake frosting to look as pretty as yours and beautiful photographs too.

Unknown
Unknown
10 years ago

Your frosting sounds gorgeous and I adore these cupcakes, the whole look is perfect, so well thought out. x

Shannon
Shannon
10 years ago

Honey Cream Cheese Frosting?!!!? I so cannot wait to put that on something! What a perfect combo. Never thought of it!

Chels/Catz in the Kitchen
Chels/Catz in the Kitchen
10 years ago

I would of never thought to do that with Pistachios, Brilliant! And I love your frosting technique. Mine always turns out boring looking.

Rosa's Yummy Yums
Rosa's Yummy Yums
10 years ago

Beautiful cupcakes! So pretty and perfect.

Cheers,

Rosa

emily
emily
10 years ago

those are stunning! i think pistachio and honey sounds like a fab combination.

linda
linda
10 years ago

i truly adore all your posts & this one is no exceptionโ€ฆit is exceptional!
love the little horseshoesโ€ฆthey look fabu on top of the cuppies!

Unknown
Unknown
10 years ago

I am loving this frosting recipe. It looks so good.

Megan
Megan
10 years ago

Pistachios are the prettiest! Love these. ๐Ÿ™‚ What piping tip did you use for these guys? They look awesome!

Helena
Helena
10 years ago

The horseshoes are really pretty, such a great idea ๐Ÿ™‚

Lili
Lili
10 years ago

Oh how beautiful Heather! I was thinking those horseshoes were little decorations you found and when I scrolled down and saw you made them, I thought to myself "of course she made them, what was I thinking!!" As usual, another exquisite treat you've created for us to delight over! xo ~Lili

EmLoves
EmLoves
10 years ago

Oh happy day, I DO have all of the above ingredients! I really don't need these but I really need these. Cupcakes-1, Willpower-0.

Can't wait to make them! TOO cute! Thanks!

Unknown
Unknown
10 years ago

I love, love, love the idea of adding the ground pistachios! I have a St. Patrick's Day baby, and it's hard finding new ideas for her birthday each year, so I'm very excited to find this post!!

Thanks for the great idea.

Unknown
Unknown
10 years ago

I am so happy to have found you!! ๐Ÿ™‚ You brighten my life with all your goodies!! If only I could have a taste too!! lol! ๐Ÿ™‚

Shirl-thefoodie.blogspot.com

Jessica @ How Sweet
Jessica @ How Sweet
10 years ago

Absolutely LOVE the frosting! It looks perfect!

Holly
Holly
10 years ago

These look so gorgeous!! I love the pistachio "sprinkles";)

Lora
Lora
10 years ago

These are beautiful! Love the chocolate horseshoe accent.

Stef
Stef
10 years ago

I'm really enjoying this blog. You have such great ideas! Love the green without food coloring!

Bourbonnatrix
Bourbonnatrix
10 years ago

So pretty! Can't wait for St. Patty's day!

marla
marla
10 years ago

Heather loving these lucky cupcakes. The little chocolate horseshoes are so cute. Think I also would have jumped for joy to see those bright green pistachios. These must taste amazing, they make a very nice grassy knoll. xo

Jenn@slim-shoppin
Jenn@slim-shoppin
10 years ago

Those look amazing, love the pistaccios on top! I can't believe its almost March either! We have March Madness in my family with birthdays. Me and my twin sisters birthday, my sons birthday, my 2 nieces and my wedding anniversary crazy times!

Katie Yoon
Katie Yoon
10 years ago

Wow! Beautiful cupcakes! Thank you for sharing recipes!

Sue
Sue
10 years ago

I love how you use the natural green of the pistachio for St. Patty's Day:) Pretty and delicious! I have a son-in-law that loves pistachios and I'm sure he'd love these! Your little horseshoes look so smooth and perfect. Have a wonderful weekend, Heather! ๐Ÿ™‚

Unknown
Unknown
10 years ago

omg…am loving that you have started early for St. Patty's day! Can't wait..these cupcakes are stunning!! Beautiful job with the piping and photos are outstanding, as always. Oh, and the honey cream cheese frosting? Brilliant. Have a great weekend!

Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama}
Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama}
10 years ago

These are adorable! I love St. Patrick's Day!

Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot
Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot
10 years ago

These are the most adorable cupcakes I've ever seen! I love the cute little horseshoe on top! Thanks for reminding me about St. Patrick's Day too. I nearly forgot!

Unknown
Unknown
10 years ago

Wow, these look amazing. I love the first picture. The cupcakes alone are not terribly fattening, I like that.

Su-yin
Su-yin
10 years ago

Brilliant use of pistachios, I've not thought of using it as a garnish before. And those delicate horseshoes are just the icing on the cake! ๐Ÿ™‚

Paula
Paula
10 years ago

you know, I think when I`d try such "Lucky Cupcakes" I`ll have so many luckiness in my life ๐Ÿ™‚ so I`m really motivated to try some!

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

The pistachios look really pretty on top of the cupcakes!

Pretty. Good. Food.
Pretty. Good. Food.
10 years ago

Those are so stinkin' cute! Love it!

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

With a little bit of mint julep flavor, those would be perfect for Derby too!

susan
susan
10 years ago

I need to hang out with you, seriously! I want to spend 3 days in the kitchen, baking and laughing. These are amazing. and your photos are perfect.

oneordinaryday
oneordinaryday
10 years ago

I have to say, a dusting of pistachios trumps sprinkles any time. Beautiful.

anna
anna
10 years ago

So cute! Those are some of my favorite liners and the pistachios are gorgeous.

Rachel@oneprettything.com
Rachel@oneprettything.com
10 years ago

Oh my, yes, yes, yes! Vanilla and pistachios = love. Thanks for the how-to, I'll be linking.

Darla @ Bakingdom
Darla @ Bakingdom
10 years ago

Oh my goodness! How did I miss these?? They're beautiful and sound so delicious. Your little chocolate horseshoes are just perfect!

rubelin
rubelin
10 years ago

oooh, that cream cheese & honey frosting sounds inspired! Please share how you piped such perfect caps onto those cupcakes =)

nicole
nicole
10 years ago

i just happened upon your blog & i love everything! you are so talented & make absolutely beautiful desserts!

can i ask what kind of tip you used to frost the cupcakes?? i looks amazing! thank you!!

April
April
10 years ago

Beautiful cupcakes! If you wouldn't mind,yes please tell me what kind of tip you used as well. Thank you so much!

The Blonde Mule
The Blonde Mule
9 years ago

I bookmarked this recipe a long time ago, but just made them this weekend. So good! Thank you!

–Kim

Jan
Jan
9 years ago

Beautiful little cupcakes, they look so yummy!!!

Laura
Laura
9 years ago

I am not a baker, but I made these with my 13 year old son for my daughter's 16th birthday party, and they turned out great! They looked stunning, and they tasted delicious! Thank you! Thank you! We can't wait to make them for our next occasion.

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

Wow, I know this is ages from when this was posted… however because of Pinterest I found your blog and this recipe and I just have to tell you how unbelievably delicious these were. I don't even really care to eat a whole lot of sweets, but I love to make them… and these I could actually eat more than one! I plan to make these every St. Patty's day from here on out, thanks for the recipe and thanks for the inspiration for a new holiday tradition.

AnickH
AnickH
9 years ago

I just made these and blogged about them, super YUM

Unknown
Unknown
8 years ago

Would it be possible to omit the vanilla bean since I can't find them locally?