Pistachio Cupcakes Recipe

This tasty Pistachio Cupcakes recipe are super duper easy and perfect for any time of the year.

Easy Pistachio Cupcakes Recipe

I cheated. I’m a cheaty McCheater. I used a box of cake mix and a box of pudding mix. There it is. It’s all out in the open. We can move along now in good conscience.

This is Pistachio Cupcake recipe is perfect for green holidays, pastel holidays, and whenever you’re feeling like a pistachio cupcake would hit the spot. Which around here might just be any day of the year.

Again, I used a boxed cake mix, and all required ingredients that it called for, as well the addition of a box of pistachio pudding mix. They baked up nicely as cupcakes.

Pudding and Cake Mix Pistachio Cupcakes

For the frosting, hugs and kisses to Alice from Savory Sweet Life for the wonderful Vanilla Buttercream Frosting. I figured if anyone knows frosting, Alice does. She used to be a professional cake maker, ya know?

Easy Pudding Pistachio Cupcakes

For the shavings on top, I melted some white chocolate chips, along with a bit of vegetable shortening, and spread it out thinly on a baking sheet to let harden a bit.

white chocolate shavings

Using a spoon, I scraped curls and shavings as a topping for the cupcakes. Sprinkles or some festive candy would be just as cute. I was trying to cover up my lack of icing skills. Plus it was fun.

Pistachio Cake with White Chocolate Frosting

There you have it. A honestly good cupcake made by cheating.


Pistachio Cupcakes Recipe
This Pistachio Cupcake is perfect for green holidays, pastel holidays, and whenever you're feeling like a pistachio cupcake would hit the spot. Which around here might just be any day of the year.
Serves: Makes 24.
For cupcakes:
  • 1 box of white cake mix & all ingredients that it calls for
  • 1 box of pistachio pudding mix
  • 1 batch of Vanilla Buttercream Frosting (this one mentioned above from Savory Sweet Life is terrific!)
For white candy/chocolate shavings:
  • 7 ounces weight white chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable shortening or vegetable oil
For cupcakes:
  1. Combine cake mix and it's ingredients as packaging instructs.
  2. Add in pudding mix and combine well.
  3. For cupcakes, fill cupcake liners about halfway full with batter.
  4. Bake as directed on cake mix packaging.
  5. Cool and decorate as you like.
For white candy/chocolate shavings:
  1. Melt chips according to package instructions.
  2. Stir in vegetable shortening/oil until combined well.
  3. Using a spatula, spread melted candy/chocolate thinly on a baking sheet.
  4. Let harden for a few minutes.
  5. Using a spoon, scrape across hardened candy/chocolate to create curls and shavings.


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  1. 2


    Life is busy and I am all about cheating! Love the pistachio pudding in the cupcakes, I will be trying these!

  2. 8

    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says

    These are absolutely lovely! I can’t wait to try these out!

  3. 9


    I just love the white chocolate shavings! And cheating is so necessary, acceptable even, every once in awhile! Love this idea.

  4. 18


    I think there is a special rule of exception for recipes that use the combo of a box of cake mix and pudding. I have one for a butter/rum cake I make during the holidays that I love and I have no intention of changing that or the method of getting it made! The pistachio is the perfect choice for cupcakes for St. Pat’s!

  5. 19


    You may have used boxed ingredients, but they were expertly compiled 😉 Great thinking with the fluffy vanilla cake and pistachio pudding – this by itself sounds delicious. But your buttercream frosting and the shaved white chocolate made the cupcakes absolutely gorgeous and I bet enhanced the flavor as well. Hope you had fun this weekend!

  6. 20

    Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking says

    Oh these look so delicious! I am new to your blog and am so glad that I found it!

  7. 22

    SMITH BITES says

    cheat or no cheat . . . wish i could have one . . . ok two . . . or . . . for breakfast . . .

  8. 24

    farmerswife518 says

    Made these on St. Paddy’s day…fabulous!!!! Family enjoyed them so much! Plus it was a great “time cheater” :)

  9. 25


    Cheating is totally allowed when one is creating such tasty treats on the fly. My Dad would have LOVED this!

  10. 27


    Oh my these look good. When I first looked at the photos I thought the topping was big coconut flakes. I love the chocolate! (not that coconut isn’t healthier but hey, chocolate!) I’d be happy to cheat with a box if they looked like these!

  11. 30

    katie says

    Sometimes we all need to use the box–and best of all people who eat it have no idea it came from a box! We are all just good like that. Must try this recipe soon. Beautiful photos as always.

  12. 31


    Hello Amy,
    I saw link to your post at addapinc.com and when I saw word pistachio in your recipe I had to check it out. I love them. This is wonderful, pistachio pudding and white chocolate, it can’t get any better :) I have to make this one. Great recipe!

  13. 36

    Alessandra says

    These look great. I have to admit your post made me laugh when I read the obvious sense of guilt for using a boxed cake mix, we all do it whether we admit it is a different thing. I have used boxed jello, when most of the time I make my own, sometimes it’s just easier. Love the post thanks for sharing, like look amazing.

  14. 37

    Leigh Ann says

    I make a pistachio cake all the time for my friends ( I made one last night in fact). I will have to try these cupcakes. They look so great!!! Thanks for the recipe :)

  15. 38

    Rachel says


    I saw this a few weeks ago and bookmarked it, and decided to give 2 batches of cupcakes for a party a shot…OMG not looking back! Instead of boxed cake mix, I used my own stand-by scratch recipe for white cake but put a box of Jell-O pistachio pudding in the mix and it came out so awesome. I frosted them with some homemade vanilla frosting dyed lime green. For my next batch, I used the same idea but with chocolate frosting a box of Dr. Oetker’s coconut pudding….added a whole dimension of nomminess!
    Next time, I might try putting some of the pudding mix into the frosting bowl to give it a smoother texture and enhanced flavor.
    Thanks so much for sharing this!

  16. 39

    Christine says

    How did you get the tops so smooth? Mine wrinkled! Maybe the extra box of pudding I put in?

  17. 41

    Suzanne says

    When my son was a child (in the 1980’s) I used to make a Pistachio Cupcake for him and we added those teeny tiny chocolate chips. They were FAB!

  18. 42

    Sarah says

    I made these as the recipe called for, but my cupcakes flattened once I put them on the drying rack?!? I’ve never had this happen before, so I’m wondering if it’s from the pudding mix.

      • 44

        Amanda says

        I had the same thing happen. There are different weights of pudding mixes out there. Maybe the boxes we used are bigger than what she used?

  19. 46

    Jenni @ Sweet Pennies says

    I’m a box girl myself. If you don’t have to make it from scratch, then I prefer the easy way! I’m glad I found this recipe! I have a box of Pistachio pudding in my cabinet and wanted a different recipe to use it. Looks like cupcakes are in order 😉

  20. 48

    Julia Bettencourt says

    Tried these and sent them to a our band bake sale. They turned out great. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I need all the quick and easy things I can find :)

  21. 49

    Gail Breazeale says

    I make this for my daughter’s birthday every year except with Cream Cheese Frosting. Delicious!!!!

  22. 50

    Hannah says

    I was really excited to try these, but I have to say that I’m very disappointed. The texture was amazing, but the pistachio flavour got lost in the cake mix.. all I could taste was the plastic bag the mix came in :( maybe if the cake batter was from scratch it would be better.

  23. 52

    Rojo says

    Had these at a bake sale. Lots of options and these were by far my fav. When I asked the woman who made them (who is a detailed and excellent cook) I was ready for a complicated recipe. She told me this and I couldn’t believe it. Your shavings idea is a great one to top them off. I’m going to use these for the holidays. Thanks for sharing. Beautiful detail and pics.

  24. 54

    Samantha says

    Omg these look delicious! My boyfriend is gluten free but loves cupcakes and pistachio EVERYTHING. Do you think this would work with a gluten free cake mix and the pudding mix?! He’d just love these (and I wouldn’t mind helping to eat them!)

    • 55

      Samantha says

      I should add, he is gluten free because he has celiac disease, so there’s no cheating by way of eating non-gluten free!!

  25. 56

    rita says

    What size pudding mix should I use? These look AMAZING, can’t wait :) Thanks so much

  26. 58

    robin says

    i’d like to make this but in cake form for my husbands birthday. think it can work?

  27. 60

    Doreen says

    Do you think you could use fat free/sugar free pudding and have the same results?!

  28. 62

    Kate says

    Made these today! They turned out amazing! Instead of white chocolate shavings, I topped mine with crushed pistachios. So good

  29. 64

    Vickey says

    I remember my mom making this as a cake back in the 70’s. It’s one of my favorites and I actually just made it again a few days ago. I make a layer cake with two cake mixes, the ingredients on the boxes plus and extra egg white per box and two small boxes of pistachio pudding mix. Make and bake according to package directions but adding the extra egg whites and dry pudding mixes. I should also mention that this is a 9×13 layer cake. We used to use this for parties and NEVER had leftovers. I don’t use a butter cream frosting though. It’s much simpler. One pint heavy whipping cream beaten to soft peaks. Fold in a box of dry pistachio pudding mix and frost the bottom layer. Repeat for the top. The frosting is light, fluffy and creamy and adds a perfect texture balance to the cake.

  30. 67

    Rhiannon says

    This may be a dumb question but do I prepare the pudding as directed before adding it or do I just add the powder??

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