When I around ten or eleven years old, my best childhood friend and I made a time capsule.

pistachio ice cream hot fudge cupcakes I howsweeteats.com

A legit time capsule. Well, as legit as you could get as a tween in 1994.

We put things in it that I can’t remember – but I’m almost positive that it had to include some sort of candy striped friendship bracelet (which I’m pretty sure is now called the “chevron,” thanks 2014) made while stuck in a caboodle, country apply body spray from bath and body works because it was new back then and #omgamazing, cheddar chex mix (it was our drug of choice as we watched snick on Saturday nights) and maybe a babysitter’s club book or something.

pistachio ice cream hot fudge cupcakes I howsweeteats.com

We actually dug up part of my parents’ yard by a stop sign and buried that thing. If my dad knew we dug up the yard he’d prob be ticked, so I’m still not sure if he knows about it today.

The thing is that it’s still there. STILL! It’s been like twenty years at least. I forget when we said we’d dig it up. I’m fearful because it’s probably been chewed through by rodents or something and I’m a scaredy cat.

If my ten year old self even knew that my thirty year old self would be consuming desserts with nuts, specifically weird green ones, I’d probably punch that one in the face. Nuts would have never made it into my kiddo time capsule, unless I was making a “things I hate” time capsule in which case we could also put jeans, all vegetables, the night before school started in august and the simpsons in there too. It’s true.

pistachio ice cream hot fudge cupcakes I howsweeteats.com

Oddly enough my time capsule of rightthisverysecond proooobably wouldn’t be all that different in the sense that it would probably be flooded with neon crap, a bunch of beauty or body products and songs from twenty years ago.

My food time capsule would include things like avocado toast, pulled pork tacos, buffalo chicken pizza, chopped salads, a bunch of fried eggs and pistachio gelato because OMG I cannot get enough. Because that whole combination doesn’t sound horrific of anything.

But you get the gist.

pistachio ice cream hot fudge cupcakes I howsweeteats.com

I made these cupcakes almost entirely from scratch, aside from the gelato because I might have thirty pints of pistachio in my fridge. But guess what! You so don’t need to. You can go all semi-homemade on these things if you want. I’m sure boxed brownie mix would work. Leftover or canned frosting (I don’t hate on that triple fudge chip that you can find in the grocery store…), maybe jarred quality hot fudge.

Because let’s be honest, these little cakes are slightly high maintenance.

Like really high maintenance.

pistachio ice cream hot fudge cupcakes I howsweeteats.com

Fudgy brownie bottoms, pistachio gelato on top, cream cheese frosting (!!!), topped with gooey chocolate, crushed pistachios, sprinkles and my all-time favorite cherries.

The dang cherries. They are so freaking good. They make the best cocktails. I eat like ten at a time for a snack. ADORE. (p.s. I find mine at whole foods – they are the same brand as these pink ones.)

AND the dang cupcakes. This is my idea of perfect.

pistachio ice cream hot fudge cupcakes I howsweeteats.com


Pistachio Hot Fudge Cupcakes

Yield: makes 18+ cupcakes

Total Time: 4 hours


1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ounces high-quality milk chocolate, melted
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup chocolate chips/chunks
2 pints pistachio gelato/ice cream (you probably won't need ALL of this... but have some extra)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons milk, if needed

for topping
hot fudge
crushed pistachios (roasted/salted is fine - your preference)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with liners and lightly spray with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, combine melted butter with sugar and vanilla extract, whisking until combined and almost smooth. Whisk in each egg one at a time, stirring until a smooth batter forms. Stir in oil and melted chocolate. Add in flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, stirring until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Add about 2 tablespoons of brownie batter to the bottom of each cupcake liner. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until batter is just set. I slightly underbaked mine so they were still a bit sunk in the centers. Remove and let cool completely.

Once cool, remove ice cream from the freezer and let it get slightly soft. Add a scoop on top of each brownie cup, molding it and smoothing it out with a spoon. You want the top to be somewhat flat so the frosting can have a place to sit. Place in the freezer for 2-4 hours. Or even overnight.

To make the frosting, beat the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add the sugar and beat on low speed, increasing to high speed and scraping down the sides if needed. Add in in the vanilla extract. Beat the frosting on high for 3 to 4 full minutes. If the frosting is to thick, beat in a tablespoon of milk at a time. When ready to serve, remove cupcakes and immediately frost the tops. Top with hot fudge, sprinkles, pistachios and a cherry. Serve immediately.

[brownie adapted from my coconut ice cream cupcakes]

pistachio ice cream hot fudge cupcakes I howsweeteats.com


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46 Responses to “Pistachio Hot Fudge Cupcakes.”

  1. #
    Belinda@themoonblushbaker — April 24, 2014 @ 7:01 am

    Can this get any more perfect! i recently discovered pistachio ice cram in the store; I am keener than green to try this.
    The food capsule is something we can dream about; but it would be so interesting to see how food and your taste change. You have certainly have a great combo there! i am sure your child self would love the neon ( I would)


  2. #
    Jess — April 24, 2014 @ 7:01 am

    Please post pictures when you dig up your capsule! I’m dying to know what’s actually in it! Also, now I have an uncontrollable desire to eat cheddar chex mix while watching Are You Afraid of the Dark? Like, seriously uncontrollable.

    Also, those cupcakes!!!


  3. #
    Chloe @ foodlikecake — April 24, 2014 @ 7:34 am

    These are so cute!


  4. #
    Lisa @ Simple Pairings — April 24, 2014 @ 7:40 am

    Ooh, pistachio gelato! What a nice indulgence to tuck inside these cupcakes!


  5. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — April 24, 2014 @ 7:50 am

    These look freaking amazing! One of the reasons I love your posts so much is because you remind me of the best bits of my childhood – caboodles, friendship bracelets, Lisa Frank… all that awesome stuff! My friends and I also made a time capsule at some point but I don’t think we ever ended up burying it (maybe we were too busy making more friendship bracelets?) I’m liking your food time capsule much more, provided we could somehow seal it in a way that would prevent any of the food inside from going bad. I’d want to toss in smashed avocado toast, a watermelon (this would have to be a big time capsule!) Werthers Originals (because I’m like an 80 year old in a 25 year old’s body), grilled salmon, nori sheets…. and one of these cupcakes. ;)


  6. #
    Alicia — April 24, 2014 @ 7:51 am

    Can’t even handle how gorg your photography is! Soooo amaze!


  7. #
    Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onions — April 24, 2014 @ 8:10 am

    LOVE these. Thanks for the walk down memory lane with you time capsule story.


  8. #
    Laura — April 24, 2014 @ 8:15 am

    High maintenance or not, these cupcakes are perfect. So pretty and the pistachio ice cream bit has ma me think of an ice cream we used to have here in the UK. I want to make these cakes now to finish off a summer family meal or something similar =)


  9. #
    Alicia Greenrabbit — April 24, 2014 @ 8:28 am

    This looks like spring is here and I’m getting crazy about food!!!!!!!!!!!


  10. #
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles — April 24, 2014 @ 8:29 am

    Ha – I had two time capsules- one we made in 6th grade at school which I stuffed with Lisa Frank stickers and other nonsense from 1990 and one I made with my friend at which time we also dug up my parents’ lawn to bury it lol….The one from 6th grade had a note that said do not open until year 2000. I had picked the date, put it in a drawer and never forgot about it. I totally opened it on the date! I still have it and remembered most of what was in there! BTW, I think you would enjoy my sticker book. Yeah, I still have that in my armoire tucked away at the age of 35.


  11. #
    Rasa @ The Vixen Life — April 24, 2014 @ 8:30 am

    Love these! I recently made my own Maraschino cherries have been looking for something to use them in…these would be perfect!


  12. #
    Rachel W. Miller — April 24, 2014 @ 8:43 am

    Omg, I was just waxing poetic about Country Apple yesterday!! I really want to get a bottle of the lotion at the next B&BW semi-annual sale. (How’s that for #tbt?)

    PS Gorgeous pics, as usual!


  13. #
    Ashley — April 24, 2014 @ 8:57 am

    I am obsessed with the way you frosted the cupcakes. They’re SO puffy! And pistachio gelato underneath?? Have mercy.


  14. #
    Liz @ Floating Kitchen — April 24, 2014 @ 9:46 am

    I would like one of these for breakfast right now. And then for lunch later and for a mid-day snack and….


  15. #
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — April 24, 2014 @ 10:17 am

    These are amazing!! The pistachio gelato layer is blowing my mind right now.


  16. #
    allie@sweetpotatobites — April 24, 2014 @ 10:30 am

    I never know what to do with pistachios – these cupcakes have just given me the answer.


  17. #
    ThisBakerGirlBlogs — April 24, 2014 @ 10:36 am

    Love love LOVE! I can’t even deal with how incredible they look.


  18. #
    Lauren @ Healthy Delicious — April 24, 2014 @ 10:39 am

    OMG these look AMAZING! I love pistachio!


  19. #
    Melinda @ Posh Purpose — April 24, 2014 @ 12:09 pm

    Gah! Love this! It’s like the best of all my favorite worlds…brownie sundae with frosting in mini form! Since it’s mini…that means more diet friendly right? Of course, that’s assuming I would limit myself to just one……

    PS Thanks for introducing me to the pink cherries! I found them at Whole Foods and used them to make mini pineapple upside down cakes! yum!



  20. #
    Haley @ Sugar Bloom — April 24, 2014 @ 12:09 pm

    These are adorable! Gelato + icing = OMG <3


  21. #
    Heather @ Sarap Life — April 24, 2014 @ 12:11 pm

    What an adorable story! It actually makes me want to make a time capsule of my own now to open up later in life. Although I live in an apartment so I’m not sure I can dig up the yard. Maybe a digital time capsule??

    Anyway, these cupcakes are gorgeous. Love the tips you gave about making it semi-homemade; sometimes you just gotta reach for the canned frosting :-D


  22. #
    Tamsin | A Certain Adventure — April 24, 2014 @ 12:53 pm

    I really love how you linked the time capsule anecdote with this recipe! Great writing, very evocative – and those cupcakes look scrummy :)


  23. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — April 24, 2014 @ 1:12 pm

    I am in love with pistachio stuff lately. I just bought a huge bag of pistachios and had to hide them from myself. My thumb skin was sore from shelling so many of them. LOL I would adore these. Wow. They are beautiful & so many flavors, layers, and textures going on – pinned!


  24. #
    Amanda — April 24, 2014 @ 1:21 pm

    These are beautiful cupcakes! I’ve never done a time capsule, it would have been such a fun thing. Great story :)


  25. #
    Polly @ Tasty Food Project — April 24, 2014 @ 1:46 pm

    Oh yum! Pistachio and hot fudge together sounds heavenly!


  26. #
    marie — April 24, 2014 @ 2:31 pm

    Aw, you made cupcakes for my birthday! Gorg pics btw (as usual)


  27. #
    Carol at Wild Goose Tea — April 24, 2014 @ 3:28 pm

    Boy you did it this time. The cupcake itself is the bomb. But your entire treatment is flat out adorable. What a wonderful cupcake for a birthday party.
    Excellent job.


  28. #
    Shannon Dunne — April 24, 2014 @ 3:47 pm

    These are going into my dessert arsenal immediately! :) Wow, pistachios are my favorite nuts (next to almonds) and these tasty treats would totally be a hit at a birthday party!!


  29. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — April 24, 2014 @ 4:13 pm

    These cupcakes totally just made me swear (not that that’s not normal) and I flipping love them. SUCH A COOL IDEA!


  30. #
    Marcella — April 24, 2014 @ 4:39 pm

    omg these are like mini ice cream cakes — genius!! Love the flavor combo, btw. I will never forget the pistachio cupcake I had at Magnolia Bakery in NYC… I actually just wrote about it in my recent blog post if you wanted to stop by :)



  31. #
    Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs — April 24, 2014 @ 4:43 pm

    OMG so delicious, :)


  32. #
    ami@naivecookcooks — April 24, 2014 @ 11:37 pm

    These look divine! Brownie, gelato, fudge ! Girl you are the best!!


  33. #
    Purely Twins — April 25, 2014 @ 8:58 am

    OH man we wish we knew about these sooner!! Today we are sharing our birthday cake recipe, but these would of been amazing to have….umm guess you can never really have too much cake, right?


  34. #
    Sophia @ NY Foodgasm — April 25, 2014 @ 11:05 am

    Soooo much YUMMMMM and I heart pistachios!!


  35. #
    Phi @ The Sweetphi Blog — April 25, 2014 @ 1:33 pm

    ok, totally hilarious about the time capsule, but can we talk about these cupcakes for a second? I went ‘oh mmmm fing g’ those are the coolest cupcakes I have EVER SEEN! SOooo beautiful, makes me want one right now!


  36. #
    Angie W. — April 25, 2014 @ 1:39 pm

    Yes, but where do you GET said pink cherries? They are incredible looking and I must know where to purchase them.


  37. #
    Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie — April 26, 2014 @ 1:49 pm

    Haha sounds like the same things I would’ve put in a time capsule around that same year, I feel like I did do one at some point but I have no idea who with or where. You need to dig that up!


  38. #
    Medeja — April 27, 2014 @ 4:58 am

    Little bites of heaven.. I can imagine they taste amazing!


  39. #
    Jessica @ Sweet Menu — April 27, 2014 @ 11:28 pm

    I’m speechless! These cupcakes look too good to be true!!


  40. #
    Kelsie @ Pizza & Champagne — April 29, 2014 @ 7:23 pm

    Ohh my gosh, I’m in love (can you be in love with cupcakes?). These sound and look delicious!!


  41. #
    Emily @ Life on Food — May 11, 2014 @ 1:16 pm

    Beautiful and irresistible all in one! Now I am going to be rude and say “give me, give me!!”



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