Chocolate Pistachio Marbled Cupcakes

Chocolate Pistachio Marbled Cupcakes on a cooling rack

April 1, 2021

This week I reimagined another family cookbook favorite, transforming a bundt cake into festive Easter cupcakes. This is one of those old-fashioned recipes that many families, including ours, shared through the years. And with some small differences, the recipe has shown up in countless church cookbooks and on many potluck tables. I have nothing against bundt cakes, but for Easter I wanted something fun that gave everyone their own individual treat.

Chocolate Pistachio Marbled Cupcakes on tiered stand

The recipe comes together quickly thanks to a few shortcuts – a box of yellow cake mix, a box of instant pistachio pudding, and bottled chocolate syrup. Who doesn’t love a shortcut? And this recipe gives you three! Instead of measuring multiple ingredients, you can spend the time making pretty marble swirls and decorating your cupcakes.

The bundt cake is often served plain or with a dusting of powdered sugar. But a cupcake deserves a bit more embellishment. I contemplated different frostings but, in the end, I chose a simple ganache. I also experimented with pouring and drizzling before deciding on dipping the cupcake tops into the ganache. Some finely chopped pistachios and candy-shelled chocolate eggs were all the cupcakes needed for decorations. These are optional of course – just go with what you feel.

Chocolate Pistachio Marbled Cupcakes

And if you don’t feel like making cupcakes, you can always go with the classic bundt cake – there’s a reason why it’s a classic. See the notes section for timing and adjustments.

Happy Easter!

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Chocolate Pistachio Marbled Cupcakes on a cooling rack

Chocolate Pistachio Marbled Cupcakes

  • Author: She’s Almost Always Hungry
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Yield: 18 1x


These cupcakes are a new take on a classic bundt cake.



For the cupcakes

1 box (15.25 ounces) yellow cake mix

1 box (3.4 ounces) instant pistachio pudding mix

4 large eggs

1 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/4 cup chocolate syrup

For the ganache

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

For decoration

4 tablespoons finely chopped pistachios

1 tablespoon sprinkles

4 tablespoons candies


For the cupcakes

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water, vegetable oil, and almond extract. Mix for 2 minutes on medium-low speed. This can also be done with a hand mixer.

Remove about 1 cup of the batter to a small bowl and add the chocolate syrup. Mix well to combine.

Fill each cupcake liner about halfway with the pistachio cake batter. Spoon 2 teaspoons of chocolate batter on top of the pistachio batter. Using a butter knife, gently swirl the two batters to create a marbled pattern.

Bake the cupcakes for 14-17 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.

Place muffin pan on a rack and cool cupcakes completely.

For the ganache

Place the chocolate chips into a heatproof bowl.

In a small pan, gently warm the heavy cream, just until tiny bubbles form around the edge of the pan.

Pour the heavy cream over the chocolate chips and let sit for 2 minutes. Stir the cream and chocolate until smooth and shiny.

To assemble

Gently dip the top of each cupcake in the ganache. Let excess drip off before turning right-side up on a rack.

Decorate each cupcake with chopped pistachios, sprinkles, or candies.


To make this as a bundt cake

  • Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  • Generously grease and flour a bundt pan. Place half of the pistachio batter in the pan, then layer all of the chocolate batter, and then top with the remaining pistachio batter. Use a butter knife or spatula to gently swirl the batters to create the marbled effect.
  • Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes before inverting and removing the cake from the pan to finish cooling.
  • Omit the ganache and serve with a dusting of powdered sugar.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Inactive Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Cakes, Cupcakes
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 cupcake
  • Calories: 260.91
  • Sugar: 19.57 g.
  • Sodium: 250.46 mg.
  • Fat: 13.28 g.
  • Saturated Fat: 3.85 g.
  • Carbohydrates: 33.04 g.
  • Fiber: 0.93 g.
  • Protein: 3.43 g.
  • Cholesterol: 48.87 g.

Keywords: chocolate, cake mix, pudding mix

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