Ohhhh boy, these muffins. Such a great flavor combination – the brightness from the citrus and the rich saltiness of the pistachios. My abuse of the word “light” is ridiculous at this point, but these muffins really are insanely light and tender. The topping is really the star with these muffins. You might think you’ve made too much, but be generous and pile it on – you won’t regret it.

Pistachio Citrus Muffins

Look at that topping!

Pistachio Citrus Muffins (2 of 750)

Originally made 6/25/12

From 750 Best Muffin Recipes by Camilla Saulsbury

Makes 12 muffins (48 minis)


  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted


  • 1 can (15 oz) mandarin oranges
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. To make the topping: in a small bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, lemon zest, pistachios, and butter until blended. Refrigerate until ready to use. (The mixture will get very firm and crumbly.)
  3. Pat the mandarin oranges dry between paper towels. Transfer to a cutting board and coarsely chop.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together granulated sugar, eggs, oil, and lemon zest until well blended. Whisk in milk and lemon juice until blended.
  6. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Gently fold in mandarin oranges.
  7. Divide patter equally among prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with topping and press lightly into batter.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in a pan on a wire rack for 3 minutes, then transfer to the rack to cool.