These Pistachio Muffins are just like the kind you see in the bakery! Topped with a sugar crust and real pistachios, they've got a crunchy muffin top with a totally moist, fluffy insides.
First, allow me to entice you with the tidbit that this is a 30-minute bake start to finish. I love that for us! Second, did you also grow up eating these from the grocery store bakery? It's total nostalgia - I feel like I ate so many of them in high school especially.
These bakery style pistachio muffins are made from scratch and packed with pistachio and almond flavor. Super moist and fluffy on the insides, the contrasting tall, craggily muffin tops are sprinkled with a sugar crust and chopped pistachios. It's all about the textures!
While this version does use a pack of instant pistachio pudding mix in the batter for flavor and color, there are instructions on how to make the muffins by omitting the mix!
If you're just here because you love muffins (like me), you can also try my Banana Nut Muffins, Pumpkin Muffins, Apple Streusel Muffins, Jumbo Blueberry Muffins, or Double Chocolate Banana Muffins!
Otherwise, let's dive into the Pistachio Nut Muffins!
Most ingredients are household staples, though I want to highlight a few particulars.
- Pistachio instant pudding mix. This is what provides the expected color and flavor, and also helps to thicken the batter and keeps them super moist from the milk powder! Instructions are included to omit this ingredient.
- Dairy. Sour cream and whole milk are needed and should be at room temperature for best results. Use full-fat versions of both.
- Coarse sugar. Turbinado or Demerara sugar will work. This addition is crucial to recreating the bakery style version.
- Pistachios. They can be salted or unsalted, and given a rough chop.
- Almond extract & green food coloring. This will only required if you choose to NOT use the pistachio pudding mix. Keep reading to see how to make the switch!
How to make Bakery Style Pistachio Muffins
STEP 1: Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, pudding mix, baking powder and salt) and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the room temperature sour cream and whole milk.
STEP 2: In a large bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (sugar, eggs, oil, melted butter, extracts) until combined. Then, carefully whisk in the sour cream and whole milk.
STEP 3: Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and use a rubber spatula to fold until just combined. If also adding chopped pistachios to the batter, fold them in now.
STEP 4: Add the batter to a muffin tin (either greased or with cupcake liners) until evenly dispersed and at least ¾ full. Sprinkle on the coarse sugar and chopped pistachios.
Pro tip: use a large cookie or ice cream scoop to easily and cleanly add the batter to the muffin tin!
STEP 5: Bake for 5 minutes in a fully preheated 425℉ oven, then reduce the temperature to 375℉ and finish baking for another 13-15 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out with a few moist crumbs, but no wet batter.
STEP 6: Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer each of them to a wire rack so the bottoms don't get soggy. Eat warm or at room temperature (a pat of salted butter is also a great decision).
To make the pistachio muffins without the pudding mix, simply omit the mix and add an extra two tablespoons of flour. Additionally, add 1-1.5 teaspoons of almond extract, as well as a couple drops of green food coloring if you'd like them to be a light green color.
Other additions include:
- Dried mix ins (pistachios, sliced almond, dried cranberries or dried cherries) - include ⅓ cup chopped into the batter.
- Chocolate or white chocolate - either chips, chunks, or chopped, add ⅓ cup to the batter.
- Chai flavor - include 1 teaspoon of chai masala.
Storing and Freezing
Store the muffins lightly covered at room temperature for two days. Transfer to the fridge in a sealed container to store for up to 5 days.
To freeze the muffins, allow them to cool fully then wrap in muffin in plastic wrap and place in a zip top bag and remove all the air. Freeze the muffins for up to two months. Allow the muffins to thaw at room temperature completely uncovered and unwrapped.
To reheat the muffins, add to the microwave for 20-30 seconds or to a 350℉/177℃ oven for about 5 minutes. I prefer the oven method to re-crisp the top.
The key to this is to fold the batter just until the flour is barely combined (don't whisk!). Over mixing the batter can lead to dense muffins. Additionally, using the correct amount of leavening agent is important, but I've already taken care of that part for you!
This in achieved in two ways. One, using the correct amount of learning agent - in this case, baking powder.
The second way is with the double heat method. Start out with an extreme heat to quickly activate the baking powder and get a quick rise, then reduce the oven temperature to finish baking.
This is due to the added color in the pistachio pudding mix. If you're not using the mix, you can just add a touch of green food coloring, though it's totally optional!
Pistachio muffins are actually flavored like almonds. Most commercial pistachio items actually contain almond flavoring over pistachio flavoring, which is why most pistachio ice creams taste like almond!
Either raw or roasted pistachios can be used. There are also salted and unsalted versions, but there's not too much salt on them, so use whatever you can find!
Just be sure to make sure they're shelled, or you shell them yourself.
Nope! You can simply grease the muffin wells with nonstick spray. However, I like to use liners for ease of cleaning, they protect the muffin from drying out, and they help keep the structure during any transporting.
More breakfast recipes
- Lemon Filled Donuts (with Meringue Topping)
- Coffee Toffee Baked Donuts
- Chocolate Espresso Babka
- Earl Grey Scones with Lemon Glaze
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Bakery Style Pistachio Muffins
- Rubber spatula
- Standard muffin tin
- Cupcake liners optional
- 2 cups all-purpose flour 240g
- 1 pack instant pistachio pudding mix 3.4oz
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ cup full-fat sour cream room temperature (114g)
- ⅓ cup whole milk room temperature (80ml)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar 150g
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil 80ml
- ¼ cup unsalted butter melted (57g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract optional
- Turbinado sugar optional
- ¼-½ cup Pistachios shelled and roughly chopped (30g)
- Preheat the oven to 425℉/218℃ and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners (or lightly grease the openings).
- Whisk together the flour, pistachio pudding, salt, and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.
- In a liquid measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the sour cream and whole milk until combined.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, butter and extracts until combined. Then, whisk in the dairy mixture.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and use a rubber spatula to slowly mix and fold the batter together. Be sure to scrape down to the bottom to get any flour that has sunk.
- Scoop the batter evenly between the liners and top with coarse sugar and chopped pistachios.
- Bake at 425℉/218℃ for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375℉/190℃ and bake for an additional 13-15 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center with come out with moist crumbs, but no wet batter.
- Transfer the tin to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins from the tin to finish cooling.
These muffins are great! I just made a double batch so I can freeze them. I cut back on the sugar just a little, and skipped the Turbinado sugar on top. These are a favorite!!
Great idea on the freezing! Glad the reduction didn't change the deliciousness for you!
Easy to make, moist, definitely got that bakery style look and delicious! I'm excited for my kids to try this!
Yay! So happy to hear this. I hope the kids enjoyed.
I want to make these with almond flour, what would the ratio be compared to regular flour? i tried 1:1 and they didn’t hold together, or cook well. it was like soup.
Hi Kristen, almond flour is a tricky ingredient since it doesn't actually have any gluten structure and cannot be substituted 1-1 with AP flour. Unfortunately, I have not tested this method, so I can't recommend how this would work. If this is an issue of the muffins needing to be gluten-free, I always suggest using Bob's Red Mill 1-1 Gluten Free Baking Flour as an equal flour substitute. I've found it works great as an equal swap in quantities up to 3 cups!
Greetings! Could you share instructions on how to convert this recipe to make it in jumbo muffin pans, as often sold at a bakery, please? I just got new jumbo muffin pans and liners. Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful recipes!
Hi Deborah! So sorry I'm just getting back to you here. You'll want to bake for 5 minutes at 425℉, then reduce the oven temperature to 400℉ and bake for an additional 15 minutes or so, give or take a few minutes. I'd give them a peek at the 13-minute mark to see how they're doing. The batter will make 6 jumbo muffins!
I made this recipe at the request of my daughter wanting Pistachio Muffins. 2 ingredients I did not have Whole Milk and Turbinado Sugar. I think the muffins could be sweeter. Turbinado may have helped that. They are moist but I wanted more. I used 2%. Can I use buttermilk? I am going to make these again. Next time Light brown sugar, buttermilk and I will have the Turbinado for the tops. Overall it is a good recipe. I think it can be better. I might even invest in a NEW cupcake pan. I baked them in my convection oven, using the same temps recommended.
The Cozy Plum
Hi June, Thanks for trying these. I can't guarantee results if the recipe is not made as written. Whole milk in the recipe is used to aid with moisture - buttermilk is typically used as a substitute for sour cream, and would likely make the recipe less sweet since there is already sour cream in the recipe. Buttermilk also has less fat than whole milk. If you have a kitchen scale, make sure to use that to measure the flour (or use a spoon to stir the flour and scoop it into the measuring cup if you don't have one) to be sure there isn't too much in there!
I'd suggest trying it as written (though you definitely could use the brown sugar in place of the granulated sugar if you want to try that) and adding the Turbinado sugar to see if that helps! I find the muffins are sweet enough, but sweetness is always a personal preference and can be different for everyone! Let me know if you try again!
YES. Just yes. These were just so moist and delightful. The crunchy topping is a must - don't skimp on the sugar! Will make again soon!
These were amazing! Will have to remember next time to push the nuts into the batter a little after sprinkling them on top.
The Cozy Plum
So glad you enjoyed them! Good tip on the nuts on top!
Any suggestions if I were to use sugar free pudding?
Hi Anne, while I haven't tried this, my guess is that the sugar-free pudding replacement would still work in the recipe, but it may be slightly less sweet overall. I would not suggest adjusting any other amounts of sugar, as this is necessary for the structure and moisture in the recipe. Let me know if you try it!
Ok. Soooo, they just came out of the oven! Being diabetic, I used sugar free pudding and stevia. Of course I didn't add the yummy, crunchy, sugar topping, which is of course the best part in my book! I didn't have pistachios on hand, but I did have a small handful of slivered almonds that I broke up an added. Which I'm glad I did. All in all, they really weren't too bad! None of that fake sugar taste when eating them, but a slight aftertaste when you were done ( I just ate a warm one!). I will make them again, but next time will definitely add the pistachios and almond extract. Maybe a little of the green food color. Oh, and the batter was extremely thick, more like cookie dough. This is a love/hate relationship! I love the fact that they were good and actually eatable being converted to sugar free. I hate the fact that they ARE sugar free and I don't get the good crunchy topping! Especially since I can't have the yummy stuff anymore, and I made my living when I was younger baking cakes, cookies, dessert breads, candies, pies......😭
I'm glad the sugar substitutes worked for you, but I do recommend the crunch sugar, nuts, and almond extract as it really adds to the experience!