A swarm of tiny chocolate frogs makes a delightfully deranged scene (perhaps they escaped from some sweet-toothed witch's cauldron). Here they top moist pistachio cupcakes iced with two shades of green. Make a batch for a Halloween party and then watch as the treats leap off the table.


Credit: Hector Sanchez

Recipe Summary

Makes 36


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 36 cups of standard muffin tins with paper liners. Coarsely chop 3/4 cup pistachios, and reserve. In a food processor, grind remaining pistachios to a paste.

  • With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, cream cheese, and pistachio paste until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Gradually add sugar; beat until smooth, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until each is incorporated, and scraping sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour and salt, beating just until combined. Fold in chopped pistachios by hand.

  • Divide batter among lined cups, filling each almost three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely. (Cupcakes can be stored up to 1 day at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.)

  • Glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth and combined. Transfer half to another bowl. For lighter green glaze (base color), add 4 drops Moss Green and 2 drops Brown food coloring to one bowl; stir to combine, adding more of each color as needed to achieve desired shade. For darker green glaze (top color), add 4 drops Juniper Green, 2 drops Royal Blue, and 1 drop Brown food coloring to other bowl; stir and adjust until desired shade is reached. Use immediately.

  • To finish, place cupcakes on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Spoon lighter glaze over each; let set until no longer tacky, 30 to 60 minutes. Drizzle cupcakes with darker glaze, allowing lighter glaze to show around edges; let set before decorating with chocolate frogs and serving.

Cook's Notes

We used chocolate frogs from Black Dinah Chocolatiers and gel food coloring from Wilton.