photo of three pistachio pudding muffins on a marble tabletop

About These Pistachio Pudding Muffins

These pistachio pudding muffins are incredibly moist and flavorful thanks to pistachio pudding mix! The pistachio pudding mix makes the muffin tops’ incredibly crispy, all while keeping the crumb incredibly soft and pillowy, with a picturesque pale green color. The recipe also makes bakery style muffins, with huge, sky-high, and incredibly domed muffin tops!

For even more bakery-style muffin recipes with beautiful muffin tops, check out these Banana Cinnamon Muffins and this Small Batch Blueberry Muffin Recipe!

@hummingbirdhigh ok you got me it’s pistachio pudding jello mix 🫣 #bakingrecipe #bakingtiktok ♬ original sound – hummingbirdhigh

Why You Should Make The Recipe

Here are all the reasons to make these bakery-style pistachio pudding muffins:

The recipe uses instant pudding mix, an underrated baking ingredient that makes baked goods incredibly moist, soft, and tender.

I recently read this New York Times article where famous chefs credited instant pudding mix as the secret ingredient to their beloved baked goods. It reminded me of the time when, after trying to reverse-engineer the pistachio muffin recipe at New York bagel shop Tompkins Square Bagel, one of their bakers conspiratorially admitted that the ingredient I was missing was pistachio pudding mix.

Being somewhat of a snob, I refused to believe him. I instead developed a pistachio muffin recipe without the pudding mix, using matcha and pistachio extract in its place (you can see the recipe in my cookbook, Weeknight Baking). But I’m not going to lie—although my pistachio muffin recipe was good, it wasn’t as moist and soft as their muffins with the pistachio pudding mix.

Ever since that conversation and trying famous recipes like this pistachio bundt cake and Magnolia Bakery’s banana pudding recipe (both of which use instant pudding mix), I’ve since come around to the ingredient. It really is the secret to extra flavorful and delicious desserts!

The pistachio pudding muffins store well and stay fresh for days.

Because this pistachio pudding muffin recipe contains instant pistachio pudding mix, the recipe stays incredibly soft and moist for days! Although you do lose the crispiness of the muffin top, I still find that the pistachio flavors intensify when the muffins sit overnight.

Finally, the recipe is fun to make if you’re a beginner baker looking to learn more advanced (but still attainable!) baking techniques.

I can already see the salty commenters complaining about how this recipe takes too long, and how the amount of work it requires you is too much. And I’m not going to lie—there are definitely quicker and easier muffin recipes on the internet. Especially since this recipe instructs you measure out 10 egg whites, then whip them for almost 10 minutes!

But I promise that the techniques are totally worth the payoff. The recipe uses techniques you would find at any professional bakery, and are the next step to elevating your baked goods from “homemade” to “bakery-style”.

photo of a hand reaching for a pistachio pudding muffin

Ingredients and Substitutions

Now that I’ve convinced you to make these pistachio pudding muffins, here’s everything you need to make the recipe:

Shopping List For Pistachio Pudding Muffin Recipe

  • all-purpose flour
  • instant pistachio pudding mix
  • baking powder
  • kosher salt
  • buttermilk
  • pistachio extract
  • large eggs
  • granulated sugar
  • canola oil

And let’s talk about some key ingredients and potential substitutions:

Here are common substitutions for the ingredients in the recipe:

Common Ingredient Sources and Substitutions For Ingredients In This Pistachio Pudding Muffin Recipe

  • Instant Pistachio Pudding Mix. I recommend using Jell-O Instant Pistachio Pudding & Pie Filling for this recipe for the best and strongest pistachio flavor. However, I also used Kroger’s generic version during my recipe testing and the muffins came out fine.

  • Kosher Salt. You can replace the kosher salt in the recipe with table salt. Just use half the amount listed in the recipe when you do!

  • Buttermilk. Check out my post on how you can use other ingredients like yogurt and lemons in place of buttermilk!

  • Pistachio Extract. You can typically buy pistachio extract in specialty baking stores or online. I recommend LorAnn Oils Pistachio Extract. In a pinch, you can skip the pistachio extract or use pure vanilla extract instead… but your muffins won’t taste as pistachio-y. It truly is important ti use it in this recipe!

  • Large Eggs. You need a whopping 10 large egg whites to make these muffins. If you want to make life easy, you can just buy egg whites in a carton (similar to this generic version by Safeway). Check out the FAQ for more information on how to use them!

  • Canola Oil. In a pinch, you can replace the canola oil with other neutral flavored oil like grapeseed, vegetable, and more. If you want to splurge and make these muffins EXTRA fancy, use pistachio oil!
close up photo of pistachio pudding muffin showing their domed muffin tops

How To Make Pistachio Pudding Muffins

Here are the basic steps to make these soft and moist pistachio pudding muffins from scratch:

  1. Prep the ingredients for the pistachio pudding muffins and muffin pan. (Prep Time: 10 minutes)

  2. Make the pistachio pudding muffin batter. (Work Time: 15 minutes)
    The recipe instructs you make the batter by whipping the egg whites for 8 minutes, or until tripled in volume with a marshmallow meringue texture. Check out the photo below to see the texture you’re aiming for!

  3. Portion the batter into the muffin pan. (Work Time: 10 minutes)
    This recipe instructs you to fill your muffin pan with a generous portion of batter (6 Tablespoons per cavity). Use a 1-Tablespoon cookie dough scoop to fill each cavity evenly and efficiently with the right amount of batter. Check out the photo below to see how much you need to fill each cavity—each paper liner should be full to the brim with batter. This is the secret to sky-high domes!

  4. Bake the muffins. (Bake Time: 20 minutes)

Reference Photos

When making the muffin batter, the recipe instructs you to whisk the egg whites with sugar in medium-high speed for 8 minutes, or until thick, marshmallowy, and tripled in volume. See the end result below:

photo showing the egg white whisking process of making pistachio pudding muffins

After adding the wet ingredients and dry ingredients to the egg white mixture, the batter should still be thick and fluffy. However, it will be a little looser:

photo showing the final mixed batter of the pistachio pudding muffins

Finally, the recipe instructs you to fill each muffin cavity with 6 Tablespoons of batter. This amount is typically more than what most recipes instruct you to use. As a result, the muffin batter will fill each cavity almost all the way to the top of each paper liner/muffin cavity:

photo showing a muffin pan filled with pistachio pudding muffin batter before being baked

Recipe Troubleshooting and FAQ

Do I really need to use egg whites in this recipe? Can I use whole eggs instead?

Yes, I get it. Egg prices are out of control and this recipe instructs you to use a whopping 10 egg whites.

I wish I could tell you to replace the egg whites with whole eggs (you’d need around 3 large egg whites to make up for the 10 egg whites). But every time I did, the muffins came out overly brown, with flat tops that were sunken in the middle. They still tasted okay, but I can’t whole heartedly recommend it!

How do I use egg whites from a carton in the recipe?

In the Ingredients and Substitutions section above, I say that you can use egg whites from a carton instead of fresh eggs. To do so, measure out 1⅓ cups (11.35 ounces or 322 grams) of egg whites from the carton. Use as instructed in the recipe below.

What can I do with my leftover egg yolks?

Make Filipino Leche Flan—the recipe uses 12 egg yolks! You can also make these Egg Yolk Chocolate Chip Cookies or this Vietnamese Egg Coffee Recipe!

How To Store The Pistachio Pudding Muffins

The pistachio pudding muffins are best the day they are made—that way, you get a crispy top! However, they can be wrapped individually in plastic wrap, or stored in an airtight container or under a cake dome, at room temperature for up to 2 days. Just note that their muffin tops will soften significantly.

Can you freeze pistachio pudding muffins?

Yes, but if you do, the tops will lose their crispiness. That is, the muffins will still be tasty and soft, with no crunch or crisp from their muffin tops.

To do so, follow the recipe instructions to bake the muffins. Once you’ve turned them out of the muffin pan, cool them completely to room temperature. Once cool, individually wrap each muffin in two layers of plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 3 months.

When ready to serve, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Rewarm by placing the muffins on a parchment-lined sheet pan, and bake at 350°F for 10 minutes.

Get the Recipe: Pistachio Pudding Muffins Recipe

These pistachio pudding muffins have a secret ingredient to make them extra fluffy and moist: instant pistachio pudding mix! When fresh the muffins have a large crispy top that make them look like they come from a professional bakery.
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Ingredients

  • 2 ¾ cups (12.35 ounces or 350 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 (3.4-ounce) box instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups (12 ounces or 340 grams) buttermilk
  • 1 ¼ cups (10 ounces or 283 grams) canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon pistachio extract
  • 10 large egg whites
  • 2 ½ cups (17.5 ounces or 496 grams) granulated sugar

Equipment

  • muffin pan
  • 1-Tablespoon cookie dough scoop

Instructions
 

  • Prep the oven and pans. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 425°F. Line two muffin pans with paper liners.
  • Mix the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, instant pistachio pudding mix, baking powder, and salt.
  • Mix the wet ingredients. In another medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, and pistachio extract.
  • Whisk the egg whites and sugar. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites. Whisk on low speed for 1 minute, then add the sugar.
    Turn the mixer up to medium-high and whisk for 8 minutes, or until thick, marshmallowy, and tripled in volume.
  • Mix the wet ingredients, followed by the dry ingredients, into the egg mixture. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl, and swap the whisk attachment with the paddle attachment.
    With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the wet ingredients, and beat until just combined.
    Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl, then gradually add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined.
  • Assemble the muffins. Use a cookie dough scoop to fill each cavity with 6 Tablespoons (around 3 to 3.15 ounces) of the batter. Pour warm water into the empty cavities of the muffin pan, filling them at least ⅔-rds of the way up.
  • Bake the muffins. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the muffins are domed and a skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out with a few crumbs attached. Cool in the muffin pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then turn the muffins out onto the rack to cool slightly.
  • Serve and store. Serve warm or at room temperature. The muffins can be wrapped individually in plastic wrap or stored in an airtight container or under a cake dome at room temperature for up to 2 days.
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Weeknight Baking:
Recipes to Fit your Schedule

Over the past several years of running Hummingbird High, I kept a crucial aspect of my life hidden from my readers: I had a full-time, extremely demanding job in the tech world. In my debut cookbook, Weeknight Baking, I finally reveal the secrets to baking delicious desserts on a tight schedule.