Are you a pistachio lover? If so, this buttercream is for you! A pistachio buttercream frosting, perfect for giving a pistachio kick to your next bake. Easy recipe with only five ingredients, for a nutty and naturally green buttercream full of flavour!
Making Pistachio Buttercream Frosting
For pistachio buttercream, you'll only need five ingredients:
- Powdered icing sugar (also known as confectioner's sugar).
- Butter - the key to any good buttercream is good quality unsalted butter at room temperature. You don't want it too soft, of the frosting may be too runny, but similarly too stiff and it will be difficult to beat.
- Pistachio paste - you can buy pistachio paste from specialty stores or make you own. My recipe for easy pistachio paste makes plenty for use in this recipe and other bakes!
- Vanilla extract
- Milk - use whole milk to control the consistency of your frosting. You can leave this thicker by reducing the amount of milk or make a thinner icing with a bit extra liquid. Whole (full fat) or semi-skimmed (2%) both work in this recipe, but I don't recommend using skimmed (1%).
Simple Buttercream Process
This buttercream follows roughly the same process as my classic vanilla American buttercream.
First, using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the softened butter on a medium low setting for about 30 seconds. This helps to make the butter creamy and will enable you to incorporate the sugar more easily.
Next, add the pistachio paste to the butter and beat again for about 30 seconds. As a nut butter, this blends into the softened butter nicely and gives you a more even spread of pistachio in your finished buttercream.
Once you've blended the butter and nut paste, add in sifted powdered sugar. I like to do this in two additions, to avoid an explosion of sugar in the kitchen! Add about half, beat until it is incorporated and then add in the rest, along with the vanilla and milk.
Continue to beat for about 5 minutes until you have a light creamy pistachio buttercream.
Key Tips for Buttercream
- Keep the beater on a low setting and use a paddle attachment. You are not aiming to add air to the buttercream - the goal is not to whip it. For a smooth buttercream, a low or medium low setting on a stand mixer is perfect.
- Consistency can be controlled with milk. Add milk to pistachio buttercream slowly. The measurements in this recipe should produce a spreadable creamy buttercream. If you want a thicker buttercream, you do not need as much milk. Similarly if you have added the 1½ tablespoons but feel that your frosting is still too thick, add a little bit more (adding about half a tablespoon at a time).
Uses for Pistachio Buttercream
Pistachio buttercream is super versatile and great on many bakes.
Try it with:
My pistachio buttercream keeps well for several days in the refrigerator. For best results, leave to sit at room temperature for an hour or so and beat lightly to smooth before using.
Yes, pistachio buttercream can be frozen in the same way as any other buttercream. Once made, place in a freezer safe container or ziploc bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Allow to defrost before use and beat lightly until smooth.
It is possible that you over added milk to your frosting. This can happen when you have added the milk too quickly and not mixed thoroughly before adding more. Don't worry though! As long as you've not added a huge amount, powdered icing sugar will fix the problem. Add a bit more sifted powdered sugar (a few tablespoons at a time) until you reach your desired consistency.
Now, unfortunately, if you did way over add milk (by more than 3 tablespoons), the powdered sugar might not bring things back together as well. You can still try adding the sugar, but it will likely require several tablespoons and impact on the overall flavour, diminishing the pistachio taste.
Pistachio buttercream will have a lovely light green colour naturally from the pistachio nut butter. You can use food colouring on this, but you will find that your options are limited by the base green colour which will impact on the shades possible to achieve.
If you like this recipe, you may also like these other frostings:
- Dulce de Leche Buttercream
- Classic Vanilla Buttercream
- Cinnamon Buttercream
- Cream Cheese Frosting with Spreadable Cream Cheese
- Stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment
- ¾ cup unsalted butter softened at room temperature
- 3 tablespoon pistachio paste
- 3 cups powdered icing sugar or confectioners sugar
- 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ tablespoon milk
- Begin by placing the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on a medium-low setting for about 30 second to loosen.
- Add the pistachio paste and beat for another 30 seconds until combined.
- Sift about half of the powdered icing sugar into the bowl of the mixer. Beat on medium-low until incorporated.
- Finish sifting the remaining powdered icing sugar into the bowl and return the mixer to a medium-low setting, adding the vanilla extract and milk. Beat for about 5 minutes until light and creamy.