Recipe courtesy of Don Hein
Show: Cupcake Wars
Princess Annie
1 hr 45 min
(includes cooling time)
50 min
30 cupcakes
1 hr 45 min
(includes cooling time)
50 min
30 cupcakes


Cake Batter:
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup ground pistachios 
  • 1/4 cup almond flour 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 4 1/4 cups sugar 
  • 6 eggs 
  • 2 cups canola oil 
  • 2 cups buttermilk 
  • 2 teaspoons almond bakery emulsion 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla 
  • 2 drops green coloring 
  • 1 cup egg whites (7 large whites)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar 
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 pounds (7 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces 
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla 
  • 4 ounces marzipan 
  • Silver luster dust, for dusting marzipan hearts (available at craft stores) 


Special equipment: piping bag with decorating tip and heart-shaped cookie cutter

For the cake batter: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with 30 cupcake liners.

Sift together the all-purpose flour, pistachios, almond flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a large bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the sugar and eggs until light yellow in color, about 3 minutes. Mix in the oil until combined. Add the sifted ingredients and mix until incorporated. Mix in the buttermilk. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the almond emulsion, vanilla and green coloring and mix until incorporated.

Fill the cupcake liners three-quarters full with batter. Bake until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool 15 minutes, and then pull them from the pans and place on a cooling rack or baking sheet to cool completely.

For the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar and whip at medium speed until frothy. Add 1 1/2 cups of the sugar and whip at high speed until stiff peaks form.

In a saucepan, stir the remaining 1/2 cup sugar into 1/2 cup water. Put a candy thermometer in the pan and place the pan over medium-high heat. When the simple syrup reaches the soft-ball stage (235 to 245 degrees F), immediately pour it into the egg whites while the mixer is on low speed. Once all the syrup is added, turn the mixer to high and whip until the bottom of the bowl is cool, about 15 minutes. Add the butter and whip until smooth and silky. Add the raspberries and vanilla and mix until incorporated. 

Put the frosting in a pastry bag with the desired decorating tip. Pipe one low swirl of frosting on top of each cupcake. 

Roll out the marzipan with a rolling pin and cut into heart shapes. Dust each heart with silver luster dust and place one in the center of each frosted cupcake.

This recipe was created by a contestant during a cooking competition. It has not been tested for home use.

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