Pisces Birthday Post & Recipe: Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Pistachio Buttercream


February 19 – March 20


RULING PLANET: Neptune, Jupiter

COLOR: Sea Green & Lavender

KEYWORDS: Adapting, Compassion, Imagination

Pisces, like all water signs, are emotional and sensitive at the core and are very receptive to their environment. They do possess the talent for being able to turn this off or withdraw when needed, to escape. Like the sign, two fish swimming in opposite directions, they can switch directions on this when they need to. They tend to have vivid imaginations, are very selfless and patient. Through their humor and ideals, they can be an optimistic influence on everyone they’re around.

Pisces are often considered psychic or super intuitive and are the type to trust their gut, while a mutable sign, they can make decisions easier than most when they have a strong sense about something. Being so sensitive, and compassionate can be draining, hense the strong creativity they possess to keep their minds focused elsewhere. This internal back and forth make them quite loyal, loving, caring and real friends who can empathize in reality but appreciate the reasoning behind needing to escape reality at times too. They try not to get stuck dwelling on things and go with the flow. Something we can all appreciate and learn from!

Shopping for Pisces? Remember their emotional, spiritual, and artistic side and run with it. Anything romantic or imaginative will make them so happy like tickets to a museum or art exhibit for example, wine tasting or a craft class. Anything where they can let these abilities of theirs’ shine! The feet are their body part – so take them shoe shopping or get them a spa pedicure. Anything you give them will be appreciated, they’ll just be happy you thought of them. And, don’t skip on the card… write something extra to show you care.

Pisces is far from selfish, so let them be for their birthday! Ask them what they want to do, and if they barely reply because of their easy-going attitude, encourage them out of their head and take them out. Make them an easy to eat and enjoy cake, like cupcakes, and don’t fuss too much. Just make sure they’re taken care of!

Happy Birthday, Pisces and Hello, Pisces Season! I was inspired to create dreamy, creamy cupcakes in their color: sea green in honor of Pisces season. This cake is vanilla bean which is tried and true and simply delicious with a slightly more imaginative Pistachio buttercream on top. These cupcakes will help you escape reality, if even just for a couple of minutes while you eat one! How can Pisces inspire you right now? Dream more… be more optimistic and accepting… maybe plan your escape for reality whether it’s a vacation or catching up with friends to break up the daily grind, be imaginative and let the creative juices flow!


gluten-free // makes 12 cupcakes


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 egg whites, beaten until frothy (or if vegan, use 2 flax eggs)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 cup almond milk or any non-dairy milk (I used vanilla almond milk!)
  • 1 1/2 cup gluten-free flour (without xanthan gum, I use Cara’s)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  • 2 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature and soft
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup pistachio paste (instructions below)
  • ground pistachios for garnish
  • optional: 2 drops of green food coloring



  1. Pre-heat 350f degrees and line a cupcake tin, set aside.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl (flour, baking powder, salt) and set aside.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar using a stand or hand mixer for approx. 3 minutes.
  4. Separately, beat egg whites until frothy or make flax eggs, add the eggs to the creamed butter/sugar mixture and slow the mixer down a bit.
  5. Add the vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds and continue to mix.
  6. Next, add in half of the flour, then half of the milk. Alternate once more while still mixing. The batter should be pretty fluid.
  7. Scoop batter into the cupcake tins and bake for approx. 15+ minutes until lightly golden, test with a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean. Once finished, cool cupcakes on a rack thoroughly before adding buttercream.


  1. First make the pistachio paste. De-shell each pistachio and add to boiling water on the stove. Boil for approx. 5 minutes, then drain and cool for 2 minutes. Peel remaining ‘skin’ off of pistachios, then add to a food processor and grind until pistachios are very small (photo shown below). Set aside.
  2. Over a double-boiler (one small pot with boiling water and a heat-proof bowl on top of it, not touching the water), beat egg whites and sugar with a hand blender over medium heat (approx. 10 minutes).
  3. Once stiff peaks start to form, remove from the heat, continuously beating and begin to add the softened butter little by little (approx. 5 minutes). Next, add in the vanilla extract.
  4. Once the buttercream is at a smooth consistency, add in the pistachio paste and continue to beat until well combined. (See my resources below should you have issues with the buttercream)*
  5. Spread or pipe the buttercream onto cooled cupcakes, add crushed pistachios and serve!

*If you have any issues with the buttercream… i.e., it’s too runny or becomes curdled.. it’s likely due to temperature issues. This happens all the time… do not fear – watch these videos for each scenario. 

Pistachio Paste


Hope you enjoy!
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  • Traci | VanillaandBeanFebruary 19, 2015 - 5:05 pm

    Beautiful recipe, Alison… look at that crumb! It’s perfection. Paired with the crunch of the pistachio and creaminess of the buttercream, Oh I am certain they are fabulous! So happy to visit your blog. Your photography is inspiring and the recipes, delicious! I’m enjoying how it’s organized too with bits of insight into the signs. Thank you for this, Alison! Looking forward to more!


    • Alison MarrasFebruary 19, 2015 - 5:42 pm

      Traci! You are so sweet, thanks for the kind words. I was just trolling your lovely site and you have gorgeous photos and recipes!! So happy you like! If I haven’t done your sign yet, I hope you stop by to check it out 😉


  • AceMarch 3, 2015 - 2:14 am

    Is the flour measurement the same if using regular flour or cake flour?


    • Alison MarrasMarch 3, 2015 - 6:28 am

      Hi Ace! I haven’t tested it bc I don’t use regular flour, but I believe you can. I would probably just do 1.5tsp baking powder instead of 2 if you would like to try!


hey thereI'm Alison

I believe your healing journey with real food can be a stress-free lifestyle, filled with joy and flavor.