These tasty Pistachio Muffins are packed with chopped pistachios…but don’t forget about the brown sugar streusel on top!
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The idea for these Pistachio Muffins came from one of our local grocery stores. Several years ago, they made Pistachio Muffins around St. Patrick’s Day as a way of getting into the festive spirit. I was intrigued, so I bought a pack of 4 muffins. I was sorely disappointed. However, I did like the concept, so I decided to revisit the idea and come up with a much tastier recipe. This recipe is kid, wife and me approved – so I think that means it gets 3 thumbs up!
Before we circle back to the muffin recipe, let’s chat about another popular St. Patrick’s Day icon – the shamrock. Did you know that a shamrock is not the same as a 4-leaf clover? A shamrock only refers to the much more common 3-leaf version.
The thought that a 4-leaf clover brings good luck goes all the way back to Celtic Druids in Ireland during the 1600’s. They believed that carrying a 4-leaf clover would allow them to see evil spirits and escape before the spirits could harm them. There is also evidence that the Druids used both shamrocks and 4-leaf clovers for healing rituals.
My mother has always had a strange ability to find 4-leaf clovers. She can just walk through a clover patch and find at least one or two. Apparently that ability runs in the family as I’ve had quite a bit of luck finding 4-leaf clovers in our backyard (well, when it’s not covered in snow). In fact, Robbie loves to go out hunting 4-leaf clovers with me!
Circling back to today’s recipe, these Pistachio Muffins are a fantastic way to start the day! There’s no particular relationship between St. Patrick’s Day and Pistachio Muffins other than the fact that these muffins are slightly green in color. Nevertheless, St. Patrick’s Day is as good a time as any to bake up a batch of muffins, right?
Last year, I made this Lemon Pistachio Cake, and it was a huge hit. (Laura still says that’s one of her all-time favorite desserts. That says quite a bit as I make a LOT of desserts!) For that cake, the secret ingredient was a box of pistachio flavor instant pudding mix. I used that same thought for these muffins, and that pistachio pudding helps add a boost of flavor to these muffins.
There’s also a bunch of chopped pistachios in there, and I like the crunch (and taste!) that they add both to the muffin and the streusel topping. For me, the streusel topping with the pistachios takes these muffins from ‘homemade pistachio muffins’ to ‘bakery style pistachio muffins.’
One quick note about pistachios – I picked up a bag of shelled pistachios to use for this recipe, but I made a mistake and got salted pistachios. At first I was worried that I ruined the muffins, but it turns out the salted seeds (that’s right…pistachios are technically seeds, not nuts) led to a fun combination of sweet and salty. No matter whether you go salted or unsalted, I can say that these Pistachio Muffins will be a tasty and fun breakfast treat! Enjoy!
Did you bake up a batch of these Pistachio Muffins? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog). Happy baking!
For the Streusel
For the Muffins
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 3.4-oz. package instant pistachio pudding mix
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 3 oz. 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 large eggs
- ⅔ cup hot water
- ½ cup milk
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 1½ cups chopped shelled pistachios, divided
For the Streusel
- Using a medium bowl, add sugars and cinnamon; stir until well combined.
- Add the melted butter; stir until well combined.
- Add the flour; stir until well combined. Set streusel aside.
For the Muffins
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Lightly spray (2) 12-cup muffin pans with nonstick cooking spray, or line muffin pans with paper liners.
- Using a large mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder and pudding mix; stir until well combined. Set mixture aside.
- Using an electric mixer, cream together sugar, butter and salt until light and fluffy (~3-4 minutes on medium speed).
- Using a medium mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, hot water, milk, oil, vanilla and almond extracts. Pour wet ingredients into bowl of mixer in 2 additions, mixing well after each addition.
- Add dry ingredients and mix on low until well combined.
- Fold in half of the chopped pistachios.
- Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin tins.
- Crumble the streusel mixture evenly on top of the muffins. Sprinkle remaining chopped pistachios on top of streusel, pressing in gently with the palm of your hand.
- Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean. Let muffins cool in pan for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Looking for more fun St. Patrick’s Day recipes? Check out these other favorites, too: