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
Sugar: 10g
Sodium: 26mg
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.

4.89 from 9 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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  1. 4 stars
    I made this today but when I blended my pistachios I struggled to get the smooth consistently you did. It still had chunks. I added more water. The result was my icing was a little runny.

    I also found the icing was a bit too buttety for my liking. I would probably change it 3/4 cup next time.

    Thanks for the recipe!!

    1. Hi, Daveenah. What kind of pistachio paste did you use? If you used a chunky paste, there’s nothing you can do to turn it into a smooth buttercream. And no, adding water won’t help at all, and it’ll just make the buttercream runny, as you had experienced. So, I’d advice to use a good pistachio paste to begin with. If you’re making it yourself, process it in the food processor really well. And if you want less butter-y buttercream, you can add more powdered sugar. Thanks for trying my recipe and reaching out!!

  2. Hello, the recipe looks great. If I put it over cupcakes, how long do you think it will last without a fridge? or will it melt? 

    1. Hi, Gina. It should be fine fore few hours. This buttercream won’t melt unless it’s in hot environment for too long.

  3. I don’t have the Pistachio paste but I’ve got pistachio flavoring, will this recipe still work with the Pistachio flavoring?

    1. Hi, Jamie. Not sure what kind of pistachio flavoring you have, but I haven’t tested this recipe with anything but pistachio paste.

  4. 5 stars
    This is possibly the best buttercream I’ve ever tasted. The homemade pistachio butter absolutely seals the deal. Used it as a macaron filling and it was a hit with everyone. Thanks so much!!!

  5. 5 stars
    This Buttercream recipe is perfect!  I followed it as written.  Now I practice self-control, trying not to eat the whole cake before anyone sees it. 

  6. I have used this recipe several times now. Love it! The only thing I add, is a 1/4 tsp almond extract. It just enhances the flavor of the pistachio, that much more!