Oh, pistachio, you can be a tricky taste. But who doesn’t like this little green beauty? After some troubles even getting a chance to put one of these in our mouths, we simply hoped it wouldn’t be a disappointment. How did Cupcake Royale do? Is this cupcake salt of the earth…err…cake? Read on!
Sea-Salted Pistachio Cupcake
Amber: Before I even took a bite, I was super pleased to see this was built on their white cake. Yay for Cupcake Royale’s white cake! I was also inordinately excited about the salt part because I have a salt issue (salt is my birthright…all salt belongs to my tongue!). The pistachio flavour they use is a correct flavour…For some reason, with pistachio treats, I live in constant fear that they’ll use something called pistachio but that is like that aggressive flavouring that some candy makers call banana (which isn’t a bad flavour, it’s just disingenuous to say it’s banana). That’s important. I was afraid I’d be so disappointed that I’d need to go binge on some pistachio pudding and/or gelato. Nope. All this proper pistachio flavour is in the frosting, which was its own surprise. The frosting is their buttercream but…liquidier. Only slightly. And that’s not a complaint. It totally worked for me. I might even prefer it this way. The salt also did not disappoint. There was, for my tastes, just enough salt. Which means there was definitely more than a slight hint…It was a substantial component. The crunch of salt was the only interruption to the sweet smoothness of cake and frosting. It gave a perfect tang, a nice counter to the sugary goodness of the rest. And the overall texture of this cupcake is really welcoming to my picky tongue (picky about texture, to be clear…probably not picky enough about other things). My only complaint is that, whilst the cupcake tastes lovely, I’d really like more pistachio flavour. Maybe use the frosting to fill it as well? Oh! Or just give me a spare cup of it so every bite has more more more! If you’re looking for something that is quite light and subtle (aside from the saltiness), this might be your answer.
Cat: My name is Cat, and I am a salt-aholic. This desire for delicious salted goods extends to almost every variety of nuts, most especially pistachio (there was one time as a child where I snarfed an entire bag of pistachios and had some regrets, but mostly felt victorious), so I was pretty stoked for this month’s cupcake. Upon first glance, I had a good vibe about this. The cake was clearly the incredibly dense white cake, which is promising and always feather-light on the tastebuds. Dipping into the first bite proved my anticipation correct, as I was swept into a smooth pistachio dream. The star, now and always, was the frosting. Let’s talk about the frosting for a bit. This stuff is fascinating. In Brookstone and high-end toy stores recently, they’ve been shilling this sand-clay substance for kids. It’s all sand, natural and chemical free, but it forms a moldable clay that feels distinctly otherworldly. It’s a sensation that feels weird for a plaything, but I swear, the frosting on this felt exactly the same, and it was AWESOME. I just kept poking at it, feeling how smooth but firm it was? I guess liquidier is the right term. I loved it. The pistachio flavor was spot on. The combination of the buttery smooth pistachio-ness with the sprinkles of sea salt conveyed the perfect illusion of nuttiness (nut-like taste sensation, not eccentricity). If this was something like a cake pop, where the entire white cake was covered with the mysterious and enthralling frosting, I would have been perfectly content.