Let’s Be Pen Pals

Good morning Lovelies,

How has your week been? We were blessed to have big sister home this week, which brings much delight to our household. The younger girls all squibble to sit next to her at meals, go places in her car and get as much attention as they can. She has true celebrity status. It’s really nice watching the sisterhood develop as the years go by and true friendship emerges. This encourages me through the years of sister sass!

I didn’t get any baking done this week. However, I have been working on this recipe for quite a while now, and I think I have finally got the delicate balance of rosewater swiss meringue buttercream and the nutty pistachio cupcake just right. 

This is a very feminine cupcake with a subtle rose flavour and pastel pink buttercream. If you are hosting a bridal shower or girl baby shower, these little sweeties are perfect. I have used edible roses on my cupcakes, along with sugar rose petals. With a sprinkle of chopped pistachio nuts, they are irresistible. Make sure you eat them at room temperature though, as the frosting absolutely needs to be silky smooth, melt in your mouth consistency. YUM.

Rose & Pistachio cupcake

A delicious vanilla cupcake with finely chopped pistachio nuts, topped with silky smooth rosewater swiss meringue buttercream.
Cook Time 18 minutes
Servings 18 cupcakes


  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup warm water

Dry mix

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1 1/2 cups castor (granulated) sugar
  • 1/2 cup pistachio nuts finely chopped

Rosewater Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups castor sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups butter (280g) at room temperature, chopped
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons rosewater I use 1/4 cup, but just add a few tblsp at a time until you are happy
  • 1 drop pink gel paste colouring


  • Preheat oven to 180 C
  • Line two muffin pans with 18 cupcake liners

Cupcake instructions

  • In a medium bowl, using a hand whisk, beat together eggs, oil and vanilla
  • Add sour cream, mix well
  • Add water, whisk together until well combined
  • In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, bicarb soda and sugar together
  • Add finely chopped pistachio nuts. Mix well with a hand whisk
  • Carefully pour wet mix into dry mix and whisk together until well combined. Using an ice cream scoop,pour batter into cupcake liners.  
  • Bake for 18 minutes or until firm to touch and sightly brown. Cool on wire rack before frosting with Swiss meringue buttercream.

Rosewater Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • Separate egg whites from yolks
  • Put egg whites into a heatproof bowl ( I use my Kitchenaid bowl) 
    NOTE : Make sure your bowl and whisk are very clean and dry. Rub with lemon juice to get rid of any oily residue that will hinder your egg whites getting fluffy.
  • Add sugar and whisk together with a hand whisk until well combined
  • Put bowl on top of a saucepan with 1/2 inch (2cm) water in the bottom. Turn stove onto medium heat and simmer until sugar is dissolved,about ten minutes. 
    * You can check when it is ready by lifting a spatula of mixture, drizzling it and rubbing two fingers between it. Mixture is ready when cannot feel the sugar granules. NOTE : Be careful! It will be hot.
  • Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk egg mixture on med - high until soft peaks form, about 8 minutes.
  • Change to paddle attachment and reduce speed to the lowest dial.
  • Gradually add butter, one cube at a time. It is important to keep the mixer on the lowest speed. Keep adding butter until it is all mixed in. This can take around ten minutes.
    NOTE : Don't panic if the mixture looks soupy, then curdled, like scrambled eggs. This is normal and it will eventually come together.
  • Once your buttercream looks silky smooth, and you are doing the Happy Dance because it worked, add rosewater and one or two drops of food colouring. Woo Hoo! You did it! Now have fun making your cupcakes look pretty! xx 

I hope you all enjoy your weekend. Let me know if you make these delicious cupcakes. I’d love to see your creations.

Keep an eye out next week for a boy baby shower with a difference.

See you next Saturday. xx

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  • Hi, I tried making these but the batter was super runny, waaaay runnier than pancake batter even. My first batch started getting really dark at 14 minutes, but they were still all soggy inside. Second batch, I lowered oven temperature to 165 C (I have an oven thermometer) and baked for 30 min – they were very dark at this point, but still soggy and oily inside. They didn’t dome at all. Any ideas about what went wrong? I toss my flour into the measuring cup, do you pack flour more tightly when baking?

    • A
      Anna Hogbin

      Hi Juuli,
      Thank you for reaching out and apologies for not getting back to you sooner. My website has been upgraded over the past eight months and is only back online now.I am sorry this recipe wasn’t working for you. It is an older recipe and I have readjusted measurements since then. ( I will edit it on the website). There is too much warm water in the wet mix. Change 1 cup to 3/4 cup. You may want to add less sour cream too.(3/4 cup). I make this flavour combination regularly and find the 3/4 cup water works well. Again, thanks for reaching out. Kindly,Anna

  • Pam Selwood

    I’ve done them and they are really yummy. I took out 2 portions of the mix from my Kenwood mixer and carried on mixing what was left on low speed and hey presto it thickened to a piping consistency.

    • A
      Anna Hogbin

      That’s great Pam, so happy you liked them. Thanks fro taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it. xx

  • Tooba Tariq

    Heyy. I wanted to try this recipe without the eggs. Can you please suggest what can I substitute the eggs with? Thank you 🙂

    • A
      Anna Hogbin

      Hi there! I haven’t ever made these without eggs, however you could use powdered egg replacer.. I think health food shops sell it. I hope you enjoy the recipe, it’s one of my favourites. Anna

  • Hi can you let me know the measurements in grams please

    • Pam Selwood

      Hiya, I need these cupcakes fresh in 2 days time. Do I make them now and keep them in the fridge or shall I make them the day before and keep them in a air tight container? Love Pam

      • A
        Anna Hogbin

        PS : Just saw the request for measurements in grams…. best to just google them. I’ll look into adding grams in future recipes. Anna

      • A
        Anna Hogbin

        HI Pam, These cupcakes will be fine to make today. Keep at room temp in an airtight container. (its cool enough not to refrigerate them). They will still be super fresh in two days time. Enjoy! Anna

    • A
      Anna Hogbin

      Hi. Just do a quick Google comparison to get gram measurements. Should be pretty straight forward.

  • Hi Anna,
    The cupcakes were delicious however my buttercream turned out really runny,I placed it in the fridge for a whole to get the butter to set but it didn’t hold up.What do you think went wrong with my method?

    • you can’t get any water / oil mixed in with swiss meringue buttercream. even a drop can ruin your entire batch. sometimes you may not even think it got in there but it does. if your meringue was too hot and you added the butter the hot meringue could melt the butter

    • A
      Mama Bear

      Hello! Thank you for your comment. Swiss meringue buttercream can be really tricky to get right. If it doesn’t come together you can refrigerate (which you did), but as you found out, that may not work. Another option is to add more butter one small cube at a time to see if it comes together. More often that not if mine doesn’t work, I have to toss it and start again. Best to persevere and try again because once you do get it right you will love it and find it hard to go back to American style buttercream. Hope this helps. Love Anna xx

  • Kathie Tanttari

    Yuuuuuum!!! I’ve never tried making Swiss meringue butter cream before. Think I’ll give it a go!!!

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