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Cardamom and Rosewater Scented Pistachio Cupcakes with Vanilla Coconut Cream Frosting

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

Makes 12 cupcakes

Baking is one of my favorite things to do. I absolutely love making decadent treats for everyone to enjoy. Unfortunately, wheat, dairy, and refined sugars do not like me as much as I like them. Vegan baking came pretty naturally to me but for the longest time, gluten free vegan baking was an enigma. And, add in no refined sugars, I had to redefine my 40+ years experience in the kitchen. So, inspired by a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, I created these delicious beauties for my birthday. The flavors I used are some of my favorites but if they don't call to you, you could use orange blossom water or vanilla beans or lemon zest or cinnamon or whatever calls to you. You can leave out the nuts or replace them with chocolate chunks. Have fun with it!!

The frosting is so simple and the kids and I were eating it by the spoonful. Surprisingly, it doesn't have a super coconutty flavor; I think the addition of the vanilla helped with that. Again, you could also add in some cinnamon or zest to change the flavor. Yum!

Cupcake Ingredients

1 cup unsweetened milk (cashew, coconut, soy, whatever you like)

1/3 c coconut oil (melted)

3/4 c honey (or pure maple syrup if you're vegan)

2 T rosewater

1/4 c tapioca flour

2 T ground flax seed

1/2 c almond flour (use corn flour if you're nut free)

1 c Gluten free flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 T ground cardamom

1/3 c raw shelled pistachios, chopped (I pulsed them in the food processor until about 1/2 were ground into a coarse meal and the rest were still in larger pieces. Maybe 5 or 6 pulses)

Frosting Ingredients

1 can chilled coconut cream (not coconut milk. I prefer 365 brand. Definitely do not use Trader Joe's brand. It is more like coconut oil instead of cream.)

2 T honey (or maple syrup)

1/2 vanilla bean scraped or 1 tsp of vanilla bean paste or extract

Rose petals for garnish

Cupcake Method

Preheat oven to 350F and line the cupcake tray with papers

Combine milk, oil, honey, and rosewater. Whisk together until combined. The coconut oil will begin to solidify a little and that's ok.

Whisk in tapioca flour and flax seeds. Mix until combined. About 30 seconds to one minute.

Add in remaining ingredients and whisk vigorously until combined. Because there's no gluten, you don't have to worry about over mixing.

Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full.

Bake for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Frosting Method

Chill coconut cream in the fridge overnight so that the cream solidifies at the top and the water is at the bottom.

Note: You might want to place two cans in there just in case there isn't enough cream in the first can. I find that one can of 365 brand is the perfect amount as it is usually 3/4 cream and 1/4 liquid.

Open can and scoop out all of the luscious coconut cream into a mixing bowl. Save the water for use in smoothies. Add in honey and vanilla and whisk vigorously until combined. If it begins to melt too much, place in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Using a spoon, place dollops of the cream on top of the cupcakes. Sprinkle with rose petals and serve immediately. Refrigerate if you aren't planning to eat them right away.

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