Remember the ever-popular Sprinkles cupcake era of 2010; when Cupcake Wars was the best show on TV and gourmet cupcake shops were popping up at every corner? Cupcakes were adored by the little ones for birthday parties but also by the Grandmothers who loved pairing them with a cup of coffee for breakfast.
During that time period I learned that ordinary cupcake flavors almost always disappointed me. When I went to local cupcake shops, I stuck to the classics: chocolate with chocolate frosting and sprinkles, strawberry, red velvet, vanilla birthday cake, etc. They were never magical enough for me to want to return for another.
I remember the first time I chose something out of the ordinary: a mango cupcake with a mango orange buttercream. My goodness, it was downright sensational! From that moment, I vowed to choose the surprising, unique cupcakes flavors over basic bettys.
Today’s recipe was inspired by a lemon pistachio doughnut at Stan’s Donuts in Chicago. Tony took me there for my birthday breakfast and we ordered about 6 of their doughnuts (so we can have a bite of each!); we knew the lemon pistachio flavor stood out by a mile because it was devoured in less than two minutes.
This time I wanted to create a vegan cupcake that was similar to Stan’s famous donut. I opted for pistachio cupcakes with beautiful with the beautiful spring flavors of lemon and blueberry.
How do you make these cupcakes vegan and gluten free?
I used soy free vegan buttery sticks for the both the cupcake and frosting and seriously, you’d never be able to tell that they’re vegan.
Did I mention they’re gluten free too?! This means that anyone will be able to enjoy these beauties. They’re moist with a light crumb and the lemon buttercream frosting is the perfectly fluffy, sweet and tart. Keeping your fingers out of the frosting bowl is going to be pretty difficult, so good luck.
I love that you can actually taste the pistachios in the cupcake without having to use pistachio pudding flavor additives. The lemon flavor is also very prominent, making the cupcakes feel fresh and light.
I hope you love these cupcakes as much as I did. They’d make the perfect Easter or party dessert. If you make these, please let me know by leaving a comment below or snap a photo, upload it to Instagram and tag #ambitiouskitchen! xo.
More gluten free desserts you’ll love:
Vegan and Gluten Free Lemon Blueberry Pistachio Cupcakes
Lemon Blueberry Pistachio Cupcakes with the best fluffy lemon buttercream on the planet. Vegan & Gluten Free.
- 1 1/2 cups oat flour
- 1 cup shelled roasted pistachios (pistachios without the shells)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 3 tablespoons Earth Balance vegan soy free buttery sticks
- 2/3 cup organic cane sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
- 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- For the vegan lemon buttercream
- 1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan soy free buttery stick
- 1 cup organic powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- zest of 1 lemon
- For garnish: 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with liners and spray the inside of the liners with cooking spray.
- Add pistachios to a food processor or high powdered blender and process for about 45 seconds until pistachios are finely ground. Transfer to a large bowl and add in oat flour, baking soda and salt. Whisk together to combine.
In a separate large bowl, mix together lemon juice, almond milk, melted Earth Balance vegan butter, sugar, almond extract, apple cider vinegar and flaxseed meal until well combined.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Gently fold in blueberries.
- Divide batter evenly into cupcake liners, filling 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 23-27 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached.
- Transfer to wire rack to cool for 5 minutes then remove cupcakes from pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once cupcakes have cooled completed (at least 1 hour), you can make the frosting: Using a stand or hand mixer, whip butter, powdered sugar, lemon juice and zest together until light and fluffy. Frost the cupcakes however you like and garnish with pistachios and extra blueberries, if desired.
The frosting makes just enough to frost each cupcake very lightly. If you'd like more and want them to be actual cupcake-like frosting, I recommend doubling the frosting portion of the recipe.
The cupcakes are very delicious without frosting too, if you want to enjoy them as is. Nutrition for 1 cupcake without frosting: 179 calories | 6.6g fat | 26.1g carb | 2.8g fiber | 12.4g sugar | 4.8g fiber