Pistachio Muffins | The Picky Eater

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If you’re a lover of all things pistachio, this homemade pistachio muffins recipe is for you! Made with real pistachios, this easy muffin recipe results in a light and fluffy texture with a crunchy muffin top. The whole family will love these muffins for a quick grab-and-go breakfast!

I absolutely love muffins – they’re moist, sweet, and can be the perfect breakfast for those busy mornings when you are short on time. But a classic bakery-style muffin is loaded with sugar and unnecessary ingredients, and is really more like a cake than a healthy breakfast option! So I decided to recreate one of my favorite bakery style muffins in a healthier way.

There are many options for a pistachio muffin that use natural or artificial flavors, instead of the real thing. As a pistachio lover, I knew I had to try making some homemade muffins with real pistachios and natural ingredients! I promise, these will quickly become your favorite muffins!

Add these muffins to your list of favorite pistachio recipes! They have that classic nutty flavor that you know and love, plus notes of almond and vanilla. These healthy pistachio muffins will ignite your taste buds!

The best part? This bakery style muffin recipe can easily be made into a gluten-free or vegan version with a few simple swaps. They are also kid-friendly and easy to grab, making them a great on-the-go option for school days.

Prep these delicious pistachio muffins the night before, and you can enjoy an easy breakfast for an entire week! You can even alternate them with some of my other grab-and-go breakfast ideas, like these Banana Breakfast Cookies or my Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats.

👩🏽‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • Delicious pistachio flavor
  • Grab and go breakfast
  • Can easily be made gluten-free
  • Kid-friendly
  • Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day, or any time of year!
  • Can be made vegan
  • Easy meal prep recipe
  • Best pistachio muffins recipe ever!

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🥘 Ingredients

These easy pistachio muffins from scratch are made with real pistachios and simple ingredients. You can find everything you need for this recipe at your local grocery store. 

Ingredients for pistachio muffins recipe on a white background.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Flour serves as the base for this pistachio muffin recipe. You can test out other flour variations like oat flour or all-purpose gluten free flour, but the texture of the muffins may not be as fluffy.
  • Baking Powder, Salt & Sugar: Baking powder will help your muffins rise while cooking in the oven, and salt and sugar are common ingredients for most baking recipes. Just a small amount of salt can boost the delicious flavors, while sugar gives these muffins the perfect sweetness. You can use regular granulated white sugar, raw cane sugar, light brown sugar, or even coconut sugar.
  • Eggs: Large eggs are the glue for these muffins. For a vegan option, swap the eggs for flax eggs or unsweetened applesauce.
  • Butter: Unsalted butter will give these muffins a tender texture. Swap with plant-based butter or coconut oil, if desired.
  • Sour Cream: Sour cream will make these muffins more moist and rich. You can substitute this for plain yogurt or vegan sour cream, too. 
  • Milk: Milk adds moisture to these muffins. You can use whole milk, almond milk, or any plant based milk if you’d like.
  • Almond Extract & Pure Vanilla Extract: I love using extracts in baked goods because they help bring out the sweetness in baked recipes without needing extra sugar. A little bit of almond extract goes a long way in this recipe. It is used to enhance the pistachio flavor but also provides its own great flavor and aroma! The vanilla flavor also compliments pistachios perfectly.
  • Pistachios: For best results, use real, unshelled pistachios. The chopped nuts add the perfect contrast to the moist and tender muffins. Be sure to use unsalted pistachios as this recipe already calls for ½ tsp of salt in the batter.

🔪 Instructions

Making homemade muffins from scratch might seem overwhelming, but if you follow these easy steps it will be a breeze! Grab your muffin tin and let’s get baking. Here is how to make pistachio muffins with real pistachios:

Preheat Oven, Prepare Muffin Tray, Mix Dry Ingredients: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200C). Line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper muffin liners. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar to a large mixing bowl. Whisk until combined. You can also use a hand mixer if you prefer.

Dry ingredients for muffins mixed in a bowl.

Mix Wet Ingredients: In a separate bowl add the eggs, sour cream, milk, melted butter, almond extract and vanilla extract, whisk until smooth.

Wet ingredients for muffins combined in a mixing bowl.

Add Pistachio Nuts: Reserve 3 tbsp of chopped pistachio nuts in a small bowl. Add the remaining chopped nuts to the flour mixture. Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

Wet and dry ingredients for muffins combined in a mixing bowl.

Combine Wet And Dry Ingredients: Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix to form a batter. Do not over mix the batter.

Muffin batter being mixed in a mixing bowl.

Divide Batter: Evenly divide the muffin batter amongst the prepared paper liners. Sprinkle the tops with the reserved chopped pistachios.

Muffin batter being added to muffin tins.

Bake: Bake muffins in the preheated oven for 5 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F / 180 C and continue to cook for another 15 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Bakery style pistachio muffins in a muffin tin, fresh out of the oven.

Cool And Serve: Remove from the oven and allow the muffins to cool completely on a cooling rack.

Easy pistachio muffins cooling on a wire rack.

💭 Expert Tips

  • Do not overmix: Overmixing will cause the muffins to be tough and chewy.
  • Make them green muffins: Add 2 drops of green food coloring to the batter before mixing for a slightly green inside. Make sure to use food coloring made with natural colors, not artificial colors.
  • Get perfect mounded muffin tops: To make high muffin tops, cook the muffins for the first 5 minutes at a higher temperature (about 400 degrees F) before lowering to 350 degrees. The higher heat activates the baking powder faster, which gives you those perfectly high muffin tops!
  • Leave the oven door closed: Wait until the muffins have finished cooking before opening the oven door. You can use the oven light to peek at their progress.
  • Use shelled and unsalted pistachios in this recipe to avoid overly salty muffins.
  • Use an ice cream scoop: For even muffins use an ice cream scoop to scoop the batter into each muffin cup.
  • If you do not have cupcake liners you can use a paper towel and vegetable oil or cooking spray to coat the muffin tin.

📖 Variations

  • Gluten Free Pistachio Muffins: To make this recipe for pistachio muffins gluten free, substitute the all-purpose flour for gluten free flour. Make sure to use a gluten free flour that includes xanthan gum and is meant for baking. Almond flour or almond meal might make the muffins too dense.
  • Vegan Pistachio Nut Muffins: To make this recipe vegan, swap the milk for plant-based milk, the eggs for flax eggs, the butter for vegan butter, and the sour cream for vegan sour cream.
  • Pistachio Banana Muffins: Try adding fruit like bananas to your muffin mix for extra sweetness and flavor. Use ¼ cup mashed bananas for the perfect ratio with the original recipe.
  • Make It Sugar Free: Reduce the calories and eliminate the sugar by using monk fruit or stevia to sweeten this recipe.
  • Pistachio Pudding Muffins: To make these muffins with pudding mix, you can replace the whole pistachios with one package of instant pistachio pudding mix. It’s a good substitute if you can’t find whole pistachios, as it will still give a good pistachio punch to these muffins. Instant pudding mix is the perfect secret ingredient for moist, rich muffins.
  • Pistachio Walnut Muffins & Other Mix Ins: You can make a variation of pistachio nut muffins using walnuts, pecans, or sliced almonds. Just mix a quarter cup into the batter! Feel free to try other mix-ins based on your personal preference like dried cranberries, chocolate chips, lemon zest, white chocolate chunks, or a pinch of cinnamon. You can also sprinkle some coarse sugar on top of the muffins along with the chopped pistachios.

❓Recipe FAQs

How many calories in a large pistachio muffin?

Most bakery style pistachio muffins have close to 500 calories. These pistachio muffins without pudding mix have only 300 calories each, making them a healthier option. The amount of calories might vary if you use substitutions.

What temperature is best to bake muffins?

The best and most common temperature for baking muffins is 350 degree Fahrenheit. Baking muffins at a higher temperature of 400 degrees F for the first 5 minutes will give the tops of the muffins a taller, domed appearance.

Why aren’t my muffins fluffy?

The most common reasons that your muffins aren’t fluffy is that the batter was over-mixed or the incorrect amount of baking powder was used. It is also important to check the expiration date on any leavening agents to make sure they are fresh and effective.

Why are pistachio muffins green?

Pistachio nut muffins may have a subtle green color from the nut itself but most likely your muffins will not be green naturally. The super green muffins you might see at a bakery have food coloring added, or are made with instant pudding mix instead of real pistachios. If you want your muffins to be green, you can add food coloring to the batter, just make sure to use a natural food coloring and not one made with artificial colors!

How do you store pistachio nut muffins?

You can store these tasty muffins in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days!

If you want to freeze these muffins, allow them to cool to room temperature. Wrap each muffin in plastic wrap and place in a zip-top freezer bag, getting as much air out of the bag as possible before sealing. They will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To defrost from frozen, thaw in the fridge overnight, then warm for a few seconds in the microwave until just heated through. You can also warm them in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes (which I prefer because then the top gets a little crispy again!)

Pistachio nut muffins on a wooden cutting board.

🧁 More Tasty Muffin Recipes!

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📋 Recipe Card

Pistachio Muffins

If you’re a lover of all things pistachio, these homemade pistachio muffins are for you! Made with real pistachios, this easy muffin recipe results in a light and fluffy texture with a crunchy muffin top. The whole family will love these muffins for a quick grab-and-go breakfast!

Prep Time10 mins

Cook Time20 mins

Total Time30 mins

Course: Baking, Breakfast, Brunch, Snack

Cuisine: American

Diet: Vegetarian

Servings: 12 muffins

Calories: 324kcal

  • Do not over mix the batter as this will cause the muffins to be tough and chewy.
  • 2 drops of green food dye can be added to the batter before mixing if you’d prefer your muffins to be slightly green on the inside. Make sure to use natural food coloring with no artificial dyes. 
  • Cooking the muffins for the first 5 minutes at a higher temperature produces a lovely mounded muffin.
  • Do not open the oven door before the muffins have finished cooking.
  • To make these muffins gluten free, substitute the all-purpose flour for gluten free flour.
  • Almond extract is used to enhance the pistachio flavor.
  • Use shelled and unsalted pistachios in this recipe.

Serving: 1large muffin | Calories: 324kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Sodium: 179mg | Potassium: 247mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g

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