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Paleo Pistachio Muffins – Gluten Free, Grain Free, Dairy Free Muffin Recipe

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Let’s be honest; most Paleo muffins are things you eat because your friend brought them to the gym and you want to be nice. Plus, they’re Paleo and you want a muffin, even if it more closely resembles a briquette than a flour, sugar, and dairy filled muffin. I’ve both baked and eaten my share of very dry, crumbling, somewhat tasteless, occasionally hard Paleo muffins!

Last week I decided to figure out how to make fluffier Paleo & gluten free muffins without resorting to tons of weird additive ingredients. I was so delighted when I finally created a recipe that produced fluffy Paleo/gluten free muffins! Okay, so they still aren’t exactly the same as a “normal” muffin but, to tell the truth, I can’t really deal with most “traditional” baked goods any more. They taste so sweet they practically hurt my teeth and I can’t even taste any other flavors!

These gluten free pistachio muffins actually rise a bit in the oven (!), are moist (!!), and don’t crumble into tiny pieces like old mortar when you bite into them (!!!). Plus, they have pistachios, so that makes them almost a St. Patrick’s Day recipe, right?

Fluffy Paleo Pistachio Muffins

Gluten free pistachio muffins

Do you see those air pockets?! If you’ve ever tried to make gluten free/flour free baked goods, I’m sure you understand exactly why I’m so excited. Even though I only filled the muffin liners a little more than half way, most of them still rose up above the edge of the liner a bit. Wahoo!

Paleo pistachio muffinsYou could, of course, use regular paper liners, but I enjoy using silicone baking cups. I like that you don’t need to grease them and they don’t rip and stick to the muffin. Plus, they’re reusable, which makes them a more economical choice over time, and I use them when I pack Papi Chulo’s lunch. {{{This particular set of silicone baking cups has a very interesting history. For anyone who remembers the crazy Amazon mixup that resulted in me having three kid’s Kindles last fall, these muffin pan liners are what I actually ordered.}}}

AmazonBasics Reusable Silicone Baking Cups, Pack of 12
  • 12-pack of reusable baking cups; made of food-grade silicone; ideal for baking, lunch/snack cups, and more
  • Cost-saving alternative to disposable paper cups; works with any standard muffin pan
  • Effortless food release-no greasing or cooking spray needed; stain and odor resistant

For this recipe, I used DoTerra’s Wild Orange essential oil, but you could use a different culinary orange oil or the zest from one orange, instead. The Wild Orange eo was most convenient for me, though, because I already had it on hand and it’s DoTerra’s oil of the month for March, which made it seem a timely choice. Plus it’s pretty much the most amazing smelling thing ever.

wild orange essential oil muffinsThis recipe makes 10-12 muffins. It really depends on how far you fill each muffin cavity and how big your muffin pan is. You might want to make a second batch if you’re hoping to take them to a get together, though, because I know you’ll want to taste test a couple before you head out the door!

Pistachio muffin recipe

5.0 from 2 reviews
Fluffy Paleo Muffins with Pistachios and Orange Essential Oil - Grain Free, Dairy Free Muffin Recipe
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Paleo
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
  • 1 cup of almond meal
  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 10-12 drops of Wild Orange, or other culinary orange oil, to taste
  • ½ cup pistachios, chopped, divided into two ¼ cups
  1. Preheat oven to 375º Farenheit and prepare your muffin pan.
  2. Combine the almond meal, baking soda, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
  3. Beat the room temperature eggs in the bowl of a standing mixer with the whisk attachment on medium until they're bubbling and frothy, about a minute and a half. Alternatively, you can use a hand mixer, but it will probably take a little bit longer!
  4. Turn the mixer to low and add the applesauce, then the vanilla, coconut oil, lemon juice, and Wild Orange. Mix until just combined.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined.
  6. Fold in ¼ cup of chopped pistachios.
  7. Pour, scoop, spoon, or ladle the batter into the prepared muffin pan. You should be able to fill about 10 cavities ¾ of the way, or all 12 with a little less in each spot.
  8. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of pistachios across the muffin batter.
  9. Bake on the middle rack of the oven until the top is light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out mostly clean. This usually takes 15-20 minutes, but ovens and pans to vary, so go based on you results and instincts, not the clock.
  10. Remove the muffins from the oven and allow them to cool at least long enough that you won't burn yourself before digging in. =)


How to make your own blanched almond flour

There’s no need to shell out for commercially made almond flour for your gluten free baking! It’s super easy to make your own – learn how to make blanched almond flour in this post!

how to make your own blanched almond flour

I really hope you’ve enjoyed this gluten free pistachio muffin recipe!

If you are Paleo or gluten free, you’ll enjoy other recipes here on The Artisan Life like these almond banana breakfast cookies:

Paleo Almond Banana Breakfast Cookies

These chocolate pistachio date rolls are another delicious, gluten free, pistachio filled treat!

Paleo Chocolate Pistachio Date Rolls

I hope to see you again soon here on The Artisan Life! I love sharing healthy versions of dessert recipes. 🙂

Fluffy Paleo Pistachio Muffins with OrangeNatasha of The Artisan Life logo

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{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Marieken March 14, 2015, 09:37

    I’ve never had pistachio date rolls, but I love to hear more about them! I love dates, maybe you can make a post with the recipe 🙂

    • Natashalh March 14, 2015, 11:05

      I hope to! I was thinking about making them this weekend and posting next week, but I didn’t know if that would be too many pistachio and date recipes in a row. We’ll see what happens.

  • Judy Nolan March 12, 2015, 18:35

    I’m not a very creative cook, to tell you the truth, so I appreciate everyone who is. Your muffins look delicious–how can you miss with nuts?! Does the orange essential oil add orange flavoring? I have no experience at all with essential oils, although I’m pretty sure our grocery store (a big one that carries all kinds of unexpected exotic selections) carries them.

    • Natashalh March 13, 2015, 06:11

      It adds a slight orange flavor and aroma. With the quantity of the oil I used, it isn’t overpowering, just a sort of accent. Heat actually breaks essential oils down, so the muffins aren’t as powerfully orange-y as you might expect by the time they come out of the oven.

  • Linda March 12, 2015, 17:53

    Wow. These are so healthy looking. Best wishes, Linda Crafts a la Mode

    • Natashalh March 13, 2015, 06:11

      Healthy and delicious – a rare combination! 😉

      Thank you!

  • Marieken March 11, 2015, 09:00

    These look amazing, and I am a big fan of stuff containing pistachios! If your workout friends read your blog, I think they will be very disappointed to read that their treats didn’t make it to the gym 🙂

    • Natashalh March 11, 2015, 11:30

      I don’t know that any of them do ever look at my blog, but I know 1 or 2 have looked at my store. I’m going to try again next week! Let’s see if I get around to making more. I actually kind of want to use the pistachios to make pistachio date rolls, instead. Have you ever had those? They’re so good!

  • Paige March 11, 2015, 03:50

    I’m laughing so hard at the first sentence. I’m not Paleo, and I don’t think anybody at my gym is either, but people sometimes bring in healthy “treats” for us that look like blobs. And then we have to eat them to be nice. They’re usually pretty good, but man do they look unappetizing. Haha.

    Anyway, these sound tasty! I’ve had trouble with baked goods, too. I’d rather cook than bake any day.

    • Natashalh March 11, 2015, 07:25

      I’m pretty sure no one I know is truly “strict Paleo,” myself included! They do these nutrition challenges a couple times a year, though, and then we have parties at the gym with food that meets the challenge guidelines. I have seen many, many things where I’m like, oh, you’re watching…guess I’ll have one of these! I know exactly what you mean. =)

      Baking really is a beast sometimes.

  • Lana March 11, 2015, 01:36

    Gorgeous pictures… I bet it is so yummy and healthy! I’m using almond milk (and not-diary creamer) because of the lactose intolerant… and never feel a difference 🙂

    • Natashalh March 11, 2015, 07:21

      I think almond milk is so much tastier than cow milk! I haven’t used cow milk much in well over a decade and I actually think it’s pretty gross when I get a taste of it now.

  • Duni March 10, 2015, 08:20

    Oh, these are perfect since I’m lactose intolerant! I like that these have apple sauce in them 🙂 I have a stack of those silicone liners too – very practical indeed!
    My meals usually turn out great the first time, but baking is a different story…

    • Natashalh March 10, 2015, 12:06

      Baking really is something else, isn’t it? It seems so much harder than “regular” cooking.
      Lactose intolerant is a totally normal way to be. =) As I’m sure you know, most adult mammals of all varieties typically can’t tolerate milk. We almost never have dairy milk in our fridge.

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