We went from electric blankets to an air conditioners in one day. That’s how dramatic the temperature change has been here in New England. No complaints though. It’s sunny, warm and beautiful outside and I love it.


We actually have a few days off this week and when we’re not outside enjoying the sun, I’ve had a bit of time to tinker around in the kitchen.


mid cupcake


Increasingly, I’m enjoying the process of developing and creating my own recipes. The process used to intimidate me but as I get more into it, I’m finding it’s a good deal of fun to create my own signature desserts.


The process of making your own desserts is not too difficult once you realize that all recipes have a formula. For example, with most cakes and cookies you cream the butter, add the sugar, mix in the eggs, etc. Most recipes have a standard procedure and once you learn it, you can vary the ingredients. The possibilities endless.



Of course, there’s a lot more trial and error when you’re inventing your own recipes but it’s worth it. Just look at these sensational Pistachio and White Chocolate Cupcakes. They’re like no cupcake I’ve ever had. Light, fluffy, creamy. The taste is phenomenal. I’m too embarrassed to tell you how many of these we ate yesterday. They are that good.




This cupcake was inspired by my surroundings. Everything is so lush and green here, I wanted to make a cupcake that reflected the beauty of spring. Honestly, the scenery here is so awe inspiring here – it makes me want to take up painting. For now, I’ll make cupcakes.


country collage


Several of you have written and asked we’re I’ve been. I suppose that’s a nice way of saying I’ve been a bit slow at putting up blog posts this month. Rest assured, there’s a good reason and I’m hoping to share it with you soon. So stay tuned for the announcement.
In the meantime, pack up a few of these White Chocolate and Pistachio Cupcakes and head outside. The season is short and we have to savor every moment we can.


bite of cupcake
sliced_cupcake (2)


Pistachio and White Chocolate Cupcakes




135 g unsalted butter
12 g vegetable shortening
285 g granulated sugar
33 g coconut palm sugar
3 eggs
7 g vanilla
238 g cake flour
25 g pistachio flour (shelled pistachios finely ground in the food processor)
11 g baking powder
1 g salt
235 g whole milk
2 tbs. pistachios, shelled and coarsely ground


Preheat oven to 350 degrees (177 c).


Cream together butter, shortening and sugars until light and fluffy. Thoroughly beat in 3 eggs.


Sift together dry ingredients. Set aside. In a separate bowl, stir together milk and vanilla. Alternately stir in 1/3 of the milk and dry ingredients beginning with the milk. To finish, beat for 35 seconds.


Insert liners into muffin pan. Fill liner until 1/2-2/3 full.


Bake 20-24 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out clean. To prevent shrinkage, cool in the muffin pan before removing.


Note: These cupcakes are very delicate. Bake once tray at a time. To prevent collapse, do not open the oven door to check the cupcakes until at least 15 minutes have passed. Do not fill the muffin cups more than 2/3 full.




115 g good quality white chocolate
70 g heavy cream
5 g corn syrup
145 g unsalted butter, softened
275 g powdered sugar
8 g pistachio extract
1 drop green food coloring


Chop chocolate and place in heat proof bowl. In small pan, mix cream, corn syrup and bring to boil. Pour over chocolate. Stir rapidly until smooth. If any clumps of chocolate remains you can heat the mixture in the microwave, stirring after 10 second intervals.


In bowl of stand mixer, beat the softened butter at medium speed until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat the mixture at low speed just until combined. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until smooth. Add the chocolate mixture and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the extract and food coloring. Let the mixture rest for 15 minutes. Pipe the frosting on the cupcakes and top with ground pistachios. Store the cupcakes in the refrigerator.


Bon appetit!



Fresh New England

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  1. It must be amazing to be able to create your own signature desserts. These cupcakes look amazing El, I love the color, the color of spring as you put it. I’ll give them a try, I haven’t made cupcakes in such a long time!

  2. Don’t get me started on the weather 😛
    One day it’s hot and sunny, next day it’s freezing 😛
    Cupcakes look very delicious and the photos are breathtaking, as always :))

  3. I’m just starting to create my own recipes as well, and isn’t the process just so much fun! These cupcakes look glorious! Pistachio and white chocolate sound like a luscious combination.

  4. Hmmm, now I’m very curious about your announcement. It has been very nice lately, and while Manhattan is void of green shoots, I can totally appreciate these cupcakes and their inspiration.

  5. It’s so lush and green where you are, not what you see when you live in the city! I love that you’ve used pistachio powder in the base of the cupcakes. I’ve been experimenting with nut flours recently and love the way they add moistness and a light texture to baked goods.

  6. Your photos are divine! And I love pistachio anything (especially ice cream). I’ve already copied this…love that you’ve got pistachio in the cake as well as the frosting.
    I am going immediately right to amazon to order pistachio flavoring!

  7. Please, one cupcake and a blanket to sit under those trees! Everything looks gorgeous, illuminated by May light.

    I hope summer brings you many delightful days!
    Looking forward to the good news,
    Curious Cat aka Merisi

  8. Isn’t that true, the weather is playing with us.. we had 90 degree weather, which dropped to 69 followed by a typhoon and rainy season… “sigh!

    I think all of these “barely green” colors and hue’s are diving.. of course the cupcakes look fabulous.

  9. Ohhhh ma gosh, why oh why have I never thought to incorporate pistachios into frosting?!

    This is why I so love your blog: all sorts of recipes that are made of simple enough ingredients… turned into amazing combinations I could only dream of coming up with myself!

    And beautiful photos to boot!

  10. El, I was so happy to see this in my RSS box today. Have missed being fed by you. Lovely spring time photos, and delicious looking cupcakes. I love those little papers for baking, and have yet to find them. Probably a good thing as I would be baking very often if I did have them! Making this recipe as I have a feeling it will be perfect for summer time dinners/desserts out on the back porch, if the sun ever comes our way! xo

    ps… can’t wait to hear the news. I am kind of guessing but keeping to myself. 🙂

  11. isn’t that funny. i started out my last post with electric blankets to a/c too. well living in NE you can’t help but always have the weather in chat or written.
    today was lovely wasn’t it? finally no humidity. just opened the pool and those high winds blew everything in there. fabulous.
    when i go to trader joes i stock up on those salty pistachios. so i can imagine how well those salty gems go with white choco.

  12. Such amazing and beautiful photographs. I’m sure the pistachio and white chocolate combination is as incredible as it looks. Thank you for making my day happier!

  13. It is fun to create one’s own signature recipes! I agree. In my foods classes, I would always start each “unit” by teaching the students the “basic” recipe: pancakes, muffins, cakes, biscuits,drop cookies… etc
    Then, I would teach them a couple of variations on the basic recipe: blueberry pancakes, banana or bran muffins, chocolate cake or carrot cake, cheese or herb biscuits, etc…
    And finally, they would get to “design their own” or “play with their food” using the basic recipe as their formula. Those classed were the ones I evaluated. I didn’t evaluate the product, but the thinking. What fun! I love your photographs and the colour of the icing and the calm mood it sets with that quiet yearning created to want to taste the cake and the flavour of the icing.

  14. What a delicious cupcake recipe. And the cupcakes look so elegant too! Of course not forgetting the beautiful countryside photos … sigh wish Singapore was a bit like this!

  15. We experienced the same rapid change in weather. From a cool, rainy spring to 90 degrees today! I love the beautiful scenery you shared but above all, those cupcakes sound amazing. Pistachios are one of my favorite nuts. They are so pretty too.

    Can’t wait for the news!

  16. It has been a roller coaster, hasn’t it? In Vermont last weekend… well the black flies were killers this year. All that gorgeous green from the rains had a hefty price tag. The cupcakes are gorgeous. What a fine recipe you’ve made and the pictures are remarkable. I hope the announcement has something to do with a book???? You really should do one.

  17. Love all the great new options on your site. I’m sure they’ll come in extremely handy as I plan our road trip there this coming fall. Yummy cupcakes — looks like I just may be able to make one disappear in a single bite!

  18. I love the color of pistachios. I also, love the idea of white chocolate and pistachios together I bet the flavors were out of this world! It looks so green where you are, now. I’m a wee bit jealous, in a good way! I have to try these 🙂

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