Pistachio Olive Oil Cupcakes + Fig Compote + Cream Cheese Frosting

Hey guys. I really need a haircut. I also need an oil change. But you know what did this weekend instead of those things? I took down wallpaper all by myself and I made these super-pretty cupcakes because my friend Lauren wanted me to, and you know what? Lauren’s a hip lady, so there you go.

Shelling a cup of pistachios isn’t so bad. Makes you feel like you’re shelling teeny-tiny shell fish. Or at least that’s how I felt… Also, see that lovely orange down there? It’s a cara cara navel, and let me tell you … they are the best orange of all the oranges. And the prettiest too.

Do you like figs? Honestly, until now I was only really familiar with figs of the newton variety. But I’m feeling good about figs now. They sure smelled good when the compote was cooking with orange juice. And this cake is SO good. The taste is complex and dreamy and pretty much, if you love olive oil and you think pistachios are the best color, you’ll love these.

Pistachio Olive Oil Cake
Recipes from Ming Makes Cupcakes via design*sponge


  • 1 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 t lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350ΒΊ. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan with olive oil or cooking spray or line with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. Place pistachios in a food processor. Pulse until the texture of small gravel; remove about half. Pulse the rest until the texture of coarse sand.
  3. In a bowl, combine finely ground pistachios, flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Stir until well combined. Add oil and milk. Beat with an electric mixer until blended. Add eggs and lemon juice and beat until just mixed. Stir in the coarsely ground pistachios.
  4. Divide batter between the muffin cups. Bake for about 16 minutes, or until edges are lightly brown, and a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool for at least 15 minutes before trying to get the cupcakes out. Using a small paring knife loosen the cupcakes from the pan, and twist lightly to release. Cool completely.

Note: If you’d like to make this into a cake, line an 8×8 inch square baking dish with foil and grease it with olive oil. Bake for 35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. When it’s cool lift it out of the pan and slice it in half horizontally with a serrated knife. Assemble by spooning filling evenly onto bottom layer, replace top layer and frost with cream cheese frosting. Top with figs and pistachios.

This is my very first compote. It has freckles.

Fig Compote
If making cupcakes you only will need 1/2 of the compote.


  • 1 1/2 cups whole dried figs
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • the juice of one orange (about 1/3 cup)
  • a couple dashes of salt
  • 2 T honey


  1. Chop figs into small chunks, about the size of peanuts. Cook in the saucepan with water, juice and salt until figs are soft and water is evaporated, about 20-30 minutes.
  2. Add honey and cook for a minute more. Set aside to cool.

I have trouble waiting until the very end of the process to sample.

Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 1/2 stick butter, room temperature
  • 4 oz. cream cheese.
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar


  1. Mash ingredients together until roughly combined. Beat with an electric miser on high until creamy and fluffy and pretty.


After cupcakes are cool, cut a cone shape out of the top of the cupcake. Slice off the the top 1/4 inch, creating a cap for the hole. Fill with fig compote and replace cap. Frost with cream cheese frosting. Top with figs and pistachios.

Figgy middles and a frosted thumb.

8 thoughts on “Pistachio Olive Oil Cupcakes + Fig Compote + Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. Thanks Beckie! They were fun to make because of all the interesting goodness. I too, am a sucker for cream cheese frosting. Yu-um!

    Hey Dana! Thanks so much! I used sun-dried figs. These are my first fig endeavor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *