Pistachio Pudding Muffins

12 muffins
28 min

These easy pistachio muffins are made with instant pudding mix, making them irresistibly moist. With their signature green color, a hint of almond flavor and real pistachios on top, this muffin recipe will bring the bakery right into your kitchen!

Pistachio muffins stacked on wire rack with a glass of milk and a bowl of pistachios in background

Whether I'm at a bakery or the grocery store, pistachio muffins always seem to catch my eye. Their green color stands out among the other muffins and their flavor is both unique and delicious. When I worked at a corporate café, we couldn't keep enough pistachio muffins out during the breakfast rush. They were always the first to go!

Love pistachios? Check out this Pistachio Bread recipe that I love to make during the holidays!

Why You'll Love This Recipe

  • They are great for breakfast, brunch, a quick snack, or even dessert!
  • Loaded with flavor - These muffins get their unique pistachio flavor from the use of pistachio pudding mix as well as real pistachios. The almond extract sends the flavor of these muffins over the top!
  • Bakery-style at home - These muffins are moist, high-domed and have that signature crunchy top that will rival any bake shop.

Ingredient Notes

Here are some tips & tricks for the ingredients needed for this recipe. Find exact measurements in the recipe card below!

  • Instant pistachio pudding - This gives the muffins their subtle green color and unique pistachio flavor along with making the muffins extra moist. A drop or two of green food coloring could be added if you want a more prominent green color.
  • Butter - Melted salted butter gives the muffins added flavor and richness. It also makes the muffins more dense when they cool versus a light and fluffy crumb you'd find in cupcakes.
  • Buttermilk - Adds a slight tang to the batter. The acid in the buttermilk will also react with baking soda to give the muffins their "lift" and create that ideal domed top.
  • Almond extract - I love the combo of pistachio and almond. The almond extract works to bring out more of the pistachio flavor and complements it beautifully!
  • Coarse sugar - Gives the muffin tops a slight crunch that mimics a bakery-style muffin. Coarse cane sugar or raw "Turbinado" sugar work great.
  • Chopped pistachios - Adding some chopped nuts to the top of the muffins gives them a nice amount of crunch. I like to use the lightly salted, roasted pistachios as they provide another depth of flavor compared to raw.
Overhead shot of muffin ingredients laid out on marble countertop
Step-by-Step Instructions

This recipe requires no creaming and comes together in a flash! No mixer needed! Here how to make them:

Step 1 - In a large mixing bowl combine melted butter, eggs, buttermilk and almond extract. Whisk until well combined.

Step 2 - In a small mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients, including the pudding mix.

Step 3 - Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Do NOT over mix the batter! Just mix until there are no streaks of flour remaining.

Raw batter in a glass bowl with a tan rubber scraper

Step 4 - Using a cookie scoop or spoon, fill each muffin tin lined with cupcake liners all the way to the top. Sprinkle tops with course sugar and chopped pistachios.

Metal and black cookie scoop resting in a filled muffin tin with batter
Close up of raw muffin in tin with coarse sugar and chopped pistachios on top

Step 5 - Bake muffins 18-20 minutes until light golden and the tops bounce back when pressed. You could also test the middle with a toothpick. Allow muffins to cool 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Expert Tips

  • Take the buttermilk and eggs out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before starting. This ensures everything combines nicely into a smooth and thick batter.
  • Be sure to allow the butter to cool to room temperature before adding it to the batter. Adding hot butter can also make the batter lumpy. It works well to melt the butter at the same time you take out your other cold ingredients, then both will be ready at the same time!
  • Be sure to fill the muffin tins all the way to the top. Forget what you've heard about only filling them ⅔ to ¾ full. This along with the high temperature will give you those perfectly domed tops.
Muffins on a black wire rack with one open-faced in the top right corner
Storage Tips

  • When kept in an airtight container at room temperature, the muffins will keep fresh for 3-4 days.
  • To extend their time to about a week, keep the muffins in the refrigerator.
  • To freeze, place cooled muffins in a freezer bag. They will store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Take a few out at a time or thaw the whole bag at room temperature before serving. You could also pop a couple in the microwave to quickly thaw them.
Pistachio pudding muffins on black wire rack with a bite taken out of front muffin. Roasted pistachios are scattered on counter in front.

Do I have to use cupcake liners?

I prefer using liners for their ease of use and how the muffins look displayed in them. The liners also help keep the sides and bottom of the muffins soft and not too dark. If you don't have any liners on hand you can spray the tins well with non-stick spray before filling, it's just not my preference.

How do you achieve nicely domed muffin tops?

I've found baking at a higher temperature of 400 puts the leavening agents to work right away and helps the muffins "puff up". I also fill the muffin tins all the way to the top so they have no choice but to come up over the liner!

Can I make mini muffins?

This recipe should make 24 mini muffins. If you don't have mini liners, be sure to spray your mini muffin tin with non-stick spray. The baking time will also decrease, so start checking the muffins after about 10 minutes.

Can you use regular milk instead of buttermilk in muffins?

The acidity of buttermilk provides flavor as well as helps the muffins rise by reacting with the baking soda. Regular milk will not allow the same reaction to take place. Don't have buttermilk on hand? Add 1 tbsp. lemon juice or white vinegar to a measuring cup and fill with regular milk to make 1 cup. Allow to sit for 10 minutes and the milk will slightly curdle.

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Pistachio Pudding Muffins
Recipe details
  • 12  muffins
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 18 Minutes Total time: 28 min
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Pistachio Muffins
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter melted & cooled to room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 3.4 oz. box instant pistachio pudding
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. coarse cane sugar or Turbinado sugar
  • 1/3 cup shelled pistachios* chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line muffin tins with muffin liners.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter, eggs, buttermilk and almond extract.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, soda, powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until just combined.
Use a cookie scoop or spoon to fill each muffin tin to the top. Sprinkle tops coarse sugar and chopped pistachios.
Bake muffins 15-18 minutes until light golden and the tops bounce back when pressed. Allow muffins to cool 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
  • I prefer using roasted pistachios to top the muffins with as they provide another layer of flavor compared to raw.
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