Cardamom, pistachio, and rose cupcakes

I have been craving rose water nougat for weeks. Unfortunately, my husband doesn’t care for it so I have refrained from making it. So far. But the craving for something containing rose water has remained with me, so a few days ago I went on Pinterest for recipe inspiration.

I found a recipe that looked interesting by Food52, but, as expected, it utilized dairy products. I therefore followed the recipe, but replacing butter with a dairy free alternative (I used Melt) and the milk with soy milk. I also doubled the amount of almond extract and cardamom as I love cardamom like all good Norwegians: we put it in anything from cinnamon rolls to waffles and pancakes, as well as our version of mulled wine, called gløgg (pronounced kind of like glug). 

I also used cake flour instead of all purpose flour to make them lighter and counteract the slightly heaving caused by the addition of the nuts. I therefore increased the amount of flour somewhat as the cake flour is lighter in weight than regular flour.

I didn’t use the frosting recipe, however, as it called for such a large amount of butter that I was afraid I’d introduce too much coconut flavor to it by using my trusted dairy free alternatives (btw, I keep reading British blogs that use sunflower spread. Maybe we’ll get it here some day so I can try it out? Most dairy free ones here use coconut). Instead, I made a buttercream with 1 stick of shortening, about 1 lb of icing sugar, rose water flavoring, and enough water to make a good thickness.

Making the recipe also gave me a chance at testing it out before making a bunch for a fundraiser at our son’s school.

I’ve tried, and will keep trying, to leave my blog as free of politics as possible, but I’m afraid I just have to vent for a second: the fundraiser was for hiring a music teacher next year. How the Department of Education cannot give our school money for a music teacher when the school up the road has one is beyond me. It should not be the responsibility of the neighborhood to raise money for a teacher! That’s a travesty! Vent over.

I made 24 of these cupcakes for the fundraiser, in two different frosting colors: gold (using gold edible spray) and purple for the school colors. Since I couldn’t find containers to sell them in, I, very gingerly, placed them in gusseted bags and tied them with little tags that announced them to be dairy free. They were quite the hit, so I’m very happy I was able to help the school raise money (though I’m still angry I had to do it in the first place).

So here it goes, my dedairyfied version of the cardamom, pistachio, and rose water cupcakes:

Ingredients for 9 cupcakes

1/4 C / 65 ml raw, shelled pistachios

4 tbsp butter alternative

1/2 C / 125 ml sugar

1 lg egg

1/2 C / 125 ml soy milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp almond extract

3/4 C / 190 ml cake flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cardamom


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F / 180 degrees C and place 9 cupcake wrappers in a cupcake pan. Blend pistachios in a food processor or blender until finely ground.

Mix butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and mix. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and cardamom. Add half of the dry ingredients to the bowl, mix, add the remaining wet ingredients, mix, then the remaining dry mixture and mix. Fold in the pistachios.

Divide among the cupcake wrappers and bake about 16 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry. Cool 5 minutes in the pan, then remove the cupcakes from the pan and let cool completely on a rack.

Once cool, use your favorite buttercream frosting flavored with rose water.


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