These bakery-style pistachio muffins make a great grab-and-go breakfast or tasty afternoon snack. Covered with a delicious glaze and delicate crunch from chopped pistachios, the easy muffin recipe is ready in less than 30 minutes!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. Learn more
Bakery style pistachio muffins
My pistachio muffins recipe is tender and moist without being overly sweet. They are absolutely loaded with flavor from both pistachio pudding mix, as well as chopped pistachios mixed into the batter and sprinkled on top.
These pistachio muffins have a wonderfully unique flavor that is such a lovely change from traditional muffin recipes. They are perfect for breakfast or brunch, and leftovers store really well, so you have a delicious treat throughout the week.
Pistachio muffins ingredients
Let’s talk about the ingredients you need to whip up a batch of pistachio muffins:
- Pistachio pudding mix: To get the best pistachio flavor in your muffins, use both pistachio instant pudding as well as real pistachios. The pudding mix also creates a lovely green color. I’ll share options for muffins without pudding mix further down below.
- Pistachios: The subtle crunch from chopped pistachios gives the muffins such a delectable texture. I used extra green peeled pistachios, but regular unsalted shelled pistachios will be just as fine.
- Sour cream keeps the muffins moist and adds richness and tang to the batter. You can swap buttermilk or Greek yogurt for the sour cream if preferred.
- Eggs are used to help bind the muffin batter together.
- Vegetable oil provides extra moisture and makes the muffins soft and bouncy. I used avocado oil, but you can opt for any neutral-tasting oil or use melted butter if that’s what you have on hand.
- Vanilla extract: Even though pistachio is the prevailing aroma, vanilla balances out the flavor. Use almond extract if you want a more pronounced pistachio flavor.
- Light brown sugar gives the muffins enough sweetness, without being too sweet. Sugar also keeps the muffins moist.
- All-purpose (plain) flour makes the bulk of the muffin batter.
- Baking powder is crucial in contributing to the rise of the muffins and making them tall. Be sure to use fresh baking powder.
How to make pistachio muffins
This healthy pistachio muffins recipe comes together in just 10 minutes! Let me walk you through the steps:
Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with paper liners or grease with oil or non-stick baking spray.
#2: Stir in dry ingredients
Add the flour, pistachio pudding mix, sugar, baking powder, and chopped pistachios into a large mixing bowl. Stir by hand to combine the ingredients. Set aside.
#3: Mix wet ingredients
Start by whisking together the sour cream and eggs. Add the oil and vanilla extract and mix well.
#4: Make muffin batter
Pour the liquid mix over the dry ingredients. Stir by hand just until combined. Be careful not to overmix, which can make the muffins tough and dense.
#5: Fill pan
Divide the batter evenly into the prepared muffin pan (tin). Either use an ice cream scoop or a large spoon, and be sure to fill the cups all the way to the top.
Bake the pistachio muffins for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly golden on top. To check the doneness, insert a cake tester or skewer into the center of a muffin. If it comes out clean, the muffins are done. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
#7: Glaze + decorate
After the muffins have cooled, whisk the powdered sugar, water, and pistachio extract together. Dunk the top of each muffin in the glaze or use a spoon to spoon it on top of each muffin. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios. Don’t glaze the muffins if you plan on freezing them.
Here are some tips and tricks to make the best pistachio muffins from scratch:
- Pistachio pudding mix: Don’t prepare the instant pudding but add it dry to the other dry ingredients. The batter turns green when you add the liquids.
- Chopping pistachios: Real pistachios make all the difference for flavor and texture. First, shell the nuts if necessary. I also like to rub off most of the skin. Then lay the pistachio in a single layer on a cutting board and move the knife up and down to finely chop the nuts. A chef’s knife is perfect for chopping pistachios. Alternatively, use a food processor to chop the pistachio kernels.
- Prep the muffin pan (tin): Line the muffin pan with paper liners or cupcake cases. Alternatively, spray the wells with baking spray, so the muffins won’t stick.
- Fill to the top: Fill the muffin cups all the way to the top to get tall, high domed muffins.
- Cool the muffins: To avoid soggy muffins, cool the muffins in the pan (tin) only for 15 to 20 minutes, then move them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Variations & mix-ins
While this is a fantastic pistachio muffin recipe as written, you can easily make delicious healthy pistachio muffin variations. Here are a few fun ideas if you want to change things up:
- Lemon pistachio muffins: Add the lemon zest of 2 organic lemons and 1/4 cup / 60 ml / 2 fl oz lemon juice to make pistachio lemon muffins.
- Pistachio chocolate chip muffins: Add 1 1/2 cup / 240 g / 8.5 oz chocolate chips or chopped chocolate. White chocolate, milk chocolate, and semisweet chocolate would all be tasty options. And don’t forget to sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the tops of the muffins.
- Banana pistachio muffins: Stir 2 chopped bananas into the batter to make pistachio banana muffins. I don’t recommend mashing the bananas, as mashed bananas will change the texture.
- Pistachio walnut muffins: Use 1 cup / 150 g / 5.3 oz chopped walnuts in the muffin batter.
- Pistachio chai muffins: Season the muffins with 1 tablespoon chia spice mix, pumpkin pie spice, or a 1/2 teaspoon cardamom. Perfect fall muffins!
- Cranberry pistachio muffins: Stir in 1 1/2 cups / 200 g / 7 oz of dried cranberries for pistachio cranberry muffins.
- Pistachio blueberry muffins: Fold 1 1/2 cups / 300 g / 10.5 oz fresh or frozen blueberries into the pistachio muffin batter.
- Gluten-free pistachio muffins: I haven’t tested this pistachio muffin recipe with a gluten-free flour blend, but have had good success with gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour in the past with other recipes. Almond flour will not work in this recipe, sorry.
How many muffins does the recipe make?
The recipe yields:
- 12 regular size pistachio muffins (this is the size you see in the pictures)
- 6 jumbo pistachio muffins
- 24 mini pistachio muffins
- 1 pistachio loaf
The baking times for the different muffin sizes are:
- Regular size: 20-25 minutes
- Jumbo/Texas-sized: 28-33 minutes
- Mini: 8-10 minutes
- Loaf pan: 50-60 minutes
To check the doneness, insert a cake tester or skewer into the center of a muffin. If it comes out clean, the muffins are done.
How are pudding mix muffins different?
Muffins with pudding mix have a softer, more tender texture than muffins made with 100% flour. Instant pudding mixes (like this pistachio pudding mix) will also thicken the batter.
Pistachio muffins without pudding mix
After making pudding brownies, I wanted to make a muffin recipe with pudding mix. However, you can also make pistachio muffins without pistachio pudding. Try these options:
- Pistachio extract: Use 2 1/8 cups / 310 g / 11 oz all purposes (plain) flour and 2 teaspoons pistachio extract. Tint the batter with food color if you want green pistachio muffins.
- Pistachio paste: Prepare the batter with 2 1/8 cups / 310 g / 11 oz flour and add 1/4 cup / 70 g / 2.5 oz pistachio paste to the recipe.
- Pistachio butter: Replace the oil with 1/2 cup / 115 g / 4 oz pistachio butter and use 2 1/8 cups / 310 g / 11 oz ap flour.
The green color can be achieved with green food coloring or matcha powder.
Can I use another pudding mix?
I guess you can go ahead and bake muffins with other types of pudding mix. Just be sure to stick to the same ingredient ratios.
How to make high domed muffins
Using baking powder instead of baking soda is key to achieving tall muffin tops. You’ll need 2 1/2 teaspoons for this recipe. Another tip is to preheat the oven for at least 15 minutes. The muffins puff up only if the temperature is high enough.
Pistachio muffins calories
Each regular-sized, unglazed muffin has 152 calories (24 g carbs, 10 g sugar, 5 g fat, 3 g protein). Glazed pistachio muffins have 209 calories per piece. The full nutrition stats can be found in the recipe card below.
Pistachio pudding muffins are a great make-ahead breakfast recipe and are super easy to store. Here are some helpful tips for storing pistachio muffins:
- At room temperature: Allow the pistachio muffins to cool completely and store them in an airtight container or on a plate covered with plastic wrap/cling film for up to 3 days.
- Refrigerate: Keep the cooled muffins in an airtight container or ziptop bag and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Let the muffins come to room temperature before enjoying. If you need to store the pudding muffins recipe longer than that, move them to the freezer.
- Freeze: Pudding muffins freeze well for up to 3 months. I prefer freezing my muffins without a glaze, but even glazed muffins will hold up alright. Keep the whole batch in freezer-safe bags or wrap individual muffins in a couple of plastic wrap/cling film layers to protect them from freezer burn.
- Defrost: Thaw frozen muffins on the counter or reheat in the microwave.
More easy muffin recipes you’ll love
If you love muffins and much as I do, then you may want to try these recipes, too:
- Blueberry Muffins
- Pumpkin Muffins
- Blackberry Muffins
- Vanilla Muffins
- Brown Sugar Muffins
- Bisquick Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Almond Flour Blueberry Muffins from Becca Ink
- Coconut Mango Chocolate Muffins by Crumb Top Baking
This post was first published in May 2021 and has been updated with new content in August 2022.