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grinch cupcake with liner pulled off

Pistachio Cupcakes with Vegan Buttercream Santa Hats

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  • Author: thebananadiaries
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 15 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Green and red Pistachio cupcakes topped with a vegan buttercream frosting made into a Santa Hat! Naturally vegan and gluten free, these Christmas cupcakes are perfectly Grinch-like and festive!


  • 1 3/4 cup cassava flour
  • 1 cup pistachios, pulsed into almost a flour
  • 1 cup coconut/almond milk + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Optional: 1 tsp almond extract
  • Optional: 1 tsp natural green food coloring or 1 tbsp matcha powder

Vegan Buttercream:

  • 1 cup vegan butter, softened to room temperature
  • 34 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp red natural food coloring or 1 tbsp beet powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 375F and line two cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cassava flour, pistachios, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the coconut or almond milk with apple cider vinegar, ground flaxseed with water, applesauce, vanilla extract, coconut sugar, and optional almond extract together until well combined. 
  4. Sift in flour mixture into the wet ingredients and mix until well combined.
  5. Add in the optional natural green food coloring or 1 tbsp matcha powder, and mix until thoroughly combined.
  6. Fill each cupcake liner about 3/4 of the way full and place the cupcake tins into the oven to bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Let cool completely before frosting.
  8. To make the vegan buttercream frosting, use a hand mixer or stand mixer to beat together the vegan butter and powdered sugar until it’s a thick frosting.
  9. To make a Santa hat, separate about 2/3 cup frosting into a separate bowl to keep white. Add in a few drops of natural red food coloring or beet powder into the main frosting and mix with a hand mixer until the color is thoroughly distributed. 
  10. Add the red frosting into a large tipped piping bag and the white frosting into a small tipped piping bag. Pipe the Santa hat first with the red, then add the pom pom and white rim second.
  11. Repeat for all cupcakes.


  • Serving Size: 1 cupcake with frosting
  • Calories: 256
  • Sugar: 27.9 g
  • Sodium: 209.4 mg
  • Fat: 10.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 40 g
  • Protein: 2.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg