Easy Pistachio Buttercream

4.89 from 9 votes

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This pistachio buttercream is light and fluffy, easy to make and made with no artificial flavors! Pure pistachio goodness!

Piped pistachio buttercream on a white plate.


Why you’ll love this buttercream:

So, you love pistachios? Me too!

This light and fluffy pistachio buttercream is crazy easy to make!

And you’ll love the burst of natural pistachio flavors, because we’re using pure pistachio paste to flavor this buttercream!

Plus, this buttercream doesn’t have any food coloring, thanks to the vibrant color of my homemade pistachio paste. (<- Check out the full tutorial for the secret to the vibrant green color!)

Ingredients Notes:

  • Butter – I prefer unsalted butter because that way I’m in control of how much salt goes in to my buttercream frosting. Different brands have different levels of saltiness. Especially, European butters are much saltier than American brands.
  • Pistachio paste – My DIY pistachio paste is quick and easy to make, and that’s what I typically use. Note that most store-bought pistachio paste contains sugar, but it’ll still work in this recipe.
  • Powdered sugar – Since powdered sugar (aka confectioner’s sugar) clumps easily, I highly recommend sifting it for the smoothest buttercream.
  • Salt balances the sweetness, making the icing well balanced!

How to make pistachio buttercream:

  1. Beat butter and pistachio paste until nice and fluffy.
  2. Add powdered sugar along with salt and whip it until the frosting is nice and smooth, about 2 more minutes.

Seriously, how easy is that??

Pistachio buttercream in a mixing bowl.

Tips for Fluffy Buttercream Icing:

  • Room temperature butter is essential for making a fluffy buttercream. Leave butter out on the counter for about 1 hour prior to making the frosting.
  • Beat butter and pistachio paste until fluffy and doubled in volume. And only then add powdered sugar.


The proper butter consistency is important. You don’t want too soft, or too hard butter to make buttercream frosting. Here’s what room temperature butter means.

Vanilla cupcake frosted with pistachio buttercream.

How to store buttercream:

  • Refrigerate the buttercream frosting in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
  • Or freeze it for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw the frozen buttercream in the fridge overnight. Bring it to room temperature and whip it again in the mixer until fluffy.

Ways to use pistachio buttercream:

This buttercream is quite versatile. It complements just about anything. Here’re a few ideas for you:


Vanilla cupcake frosted with pistachio buttercream.
4.89 from 9 votes

Pistachio Buttercream

This fluffy pistachio buttercream pairs exceptionally well with chocolate cake. If you love pistachios, you’ll love this buttercream!
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 3 cups


  • 2 sticks (225g) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ½ cup (60g) pistachio paste Note 1
  • 2 cups (250g) powdered sugar sifted
  • ¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt


  • In a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment, combine butter and pistachio paste and beat on medium high heat for about 2 minutes, or until pale and fluffy. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a silicone spatula half way through.
  • Add half of the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated.
  • Then add the reamining powdered sugar and salt and start mixing on low speed. Gradually increase the speed to medium high and continue beating until the frosting is nice and smooth and fluffy, about 2 more minutes.

Tips & Notes

Yield: This recipe makes enough frosting for 24 cupcakes (moderately frosted), two-layer 9-inch cake, or four-layer 7-inch cake.
Note 1: I use this homemade pistachio paste recipe.
Make-Ahead Tip: Store the frosting in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 1 week, or freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw the frozen frosting in the fridge overnight. Bring the frosting to room temperature and whip it again in the mixer until fluffy.


Calories: 121kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 20mg, Sodium: 26mg, Potassium: 28mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 243IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 5mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

This recipe was originally published on January 19th, 2015.

Hi, I’m Shinee!

Welcome! I’m so happy you’re here! I believe anyone can cook restaurant-quality food at home! And my goal is to help you to become a confident cook with my easy-to-follow recipes with lots of tips and step-by-step photos.

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  1. 5 stars
    This pistachio buttercream was delicious! I have been searching for a pistachio extract to flavor frosting that didn’t taste like garbage with no luck. My husband shared this recipe and everyone raved about it. I used it as a macaron filling, and it was great. Thank you for solving my pistachio problem!

    1. Yay, so happy you found and loved this recipe. It’s one of my favorite flavors! Thank you for your feedback, Liz!

  2. 5 stars
    This was awesome! I made my own paste as indicated. The only modification I made was to add a couple of drops of green food coloring to balance the color, without it, the color was a rather unappetizing muddy brown-green.

      1. So about 1 cup of icing would you say? i love this recipe but I’m not sure by how many times i should double or triple it.

        1. Hmm, I think it’ll make more than a cup of icing. I’d say at least 2 cups. How big of a cake are you making?

  3. Thanks very much for this! This is super exciting – France is my wife and my favorite place in the world, and her favorite flavor is pistachio. One of her favorite things is pistachio flan, which you generally just won’t find stateside (we hardly know what flan is.) Do you have any thoughts on what version of pistachio concoction to add to a flan recipe to flavor it properly?

    1. Hi, Michael! Thanks for reaching out. I think you can add a little bit of pistachio paste in the custard. Or you can also scald milk, add chopped pistachio and let it sit for couple of hours to infuse the milk with pistachio flavor. And top the flan with some fresh pistachio would be great. Now I kind of want to try making it. 🙂 Let me know if you try this.

    1. Hi, Hang! I’ve never tried making buttercream with freeze-dried strawberries. But I think it’ll work great if you grind it into powder.

  4. recipe looks great but instead of using heavy whipping cream, can i substitute it with milk? Also, can i just use pistachio flour instead of pistachio paste?

    1. Hi, Emily! Yes, you can use milk, just start with 1 tablespoon at time. I’ve never tried making it with pistachio flour, so can’t advise on that.