Bakery Style Pistachio Muffins

12 muffins
30 min

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, J umbo Blueberry Muffins, or Double Chocolate Banana Muffins!

Otherwise, let's dive into the Pistachio Nut Muffins!

Ingredient Notes

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.

Whisk together the dry ingredients.
Whisk the sugar, eggs, oil, butter, and extracts.
Add in the sour cream and milk.
Whisk to combine.

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.

Pour the dry ingredients into the wet.
Fold gently, scraping to the bottom each time.
Fill each muffin opening to the top.
Sprinkle on crushed pistachios and coarse sugar.

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.


How can I make muffins lighter and fluffy?

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!

How to make high muffin tops?

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.

Why are pistachio muffins green?

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!

What does a pistachio muffin taste like?

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!

What kind of pistachios should be used?

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.

Do I have to use muffin or cupcake liners?

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
Recipe details
  • 12  muffins
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 15 Minutes Total time: 30 min
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  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 240g
  • 1 pack instant pistachio pudding mix 3.4oz
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup full-fat sour cream room temperature (114g)
  • 1/3 cup whole milk room temperature (80ml)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar 150g
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil 80ml
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted (57g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract optional
  • Turbinado sugar optional
  • 1/4- 1/2 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.
  • Store the muffins, lightly covered, at room temperature for 3-4 days. They are best reheated in a 350 oven for ~5 minutes to re-crisp the tops.
  • Be sure the oven is fully preheated and ripping hot before adding the muffins. This aids in achieving a high muffin top.
  • If adding pistachios to the batter, use ½ cup in the batter and ¼ cup to sprinkle over the tops.
  • 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.
The Cozy Plum | Callan
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