Pistachio Cranberry Coconut Muffins

Pistachio Cranberry Coconut Muffins

My mother lives in a senior community.  Whatever stereotypes you may conjure up when seeing that particular label, my mother doesn’t fit any of them.  Quite a few of the other residents fit the bill, however.  One of the great features of living in this particular senior community is the ability to have your very own garden plot, and since my mother has an abundance of green thumbs she figured out very quickly how to get one of those plots.  Not only did she get her own garden plot, but she met her Romeo in the process since he had a garden of his own as well.  I can just see them meeting over the Swiss Chard — or maybe it was that he left her a little note under a rock where she would find it while pulling weeds.

Regardless, the romance is months and months new now, and the couple not only has two small gardens, but the largest corner garden in the community which is sure to have a few folks grumbling over the unfairness of it all.  Although many of those who have a garden plot don’t seem to take very good care of them, my mother’s garden is quickly taking shape with a pebbled path made from hand-picked beach pebbles and Objes d’Art sitting here and there.

I’m not always the best of daughters so it’s taken me a while to get in my car and drive the whopping 15 minutes to go and see what will soon be an amazingly beautiful oasis if I know my mother.  To make sure she didn’t smack me around to hard for taking so long to visit, I decided to butter her up with some muffins.

She likes my food, and evidently, so does her Romeo.

Pistachio Cranberry Coconut Muffins
Makes 12 big top muffins

3-1/2 c. all purpose flour
1-1/3 c. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
10 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 c. whole milk at room temp
1 c. sour cream at room temp
2 lg. eggs at room temp
1 lg. egg yolk at room temp.
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. orange zest
3/4 c. dried cranberries
3/4 c. coconut
3/4 c. pistachios

Muffin Ingredients

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl and set aside.  In another bowl, combine sugar, melted butter, milk, sour cream, and eggs.  Add this wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix gently until nearly all the dry ingredients are moist and the batter is still lumpy.

Gently mix the additional ingredients into the batter being careful not to over mix.  Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper cups, and spray over the top of the muffin pan lightly.  Divide the batter evenly among the 12 cups, mounding it.  Bake in the center of the oven about 30 to 35 minutes or until tops are golden brown and centers set.

Cool muffins in the pan placed on a baking rack for about 20 minutes before removing them to a platter.

A printable recipe can be found here.

Muffins Hot from the Oven


  • This is the recipe I seem to rely upon the most since it turns out amazing muffins.  The master recipe can be found in a previous post here. But the first time I made them was here.
  • I didn’t use wrappers this time because I normally don’t if that makes any sense.  If you rub a bit of extra virgin olive oil in and around the top of the muffin pans, they come right out.  Spray works, too, but make sure you wipe out the excess.
  • The muffins need to cool in the pan a bit or they’ll fall apart.  So if you’re a delinquent daughter like I am, you wrap the entire pan, carry it to the car, drive to see your mom, and then pop them out of the tin after you arrive.  You share, of course and leave a couple of extras for later.
  • Then you walk through the garden plots and cluck your tongue at the ones that aren’t being cared for when there’s a waiting list to get a garden plot.
  • Chide your mother for having three gardens when there’s a waiting list.
  • Eat a muffin while you’re telling your mother this.

Muffins and Tea

Spring Blossoms Garden Objes d'art

15 thoughts on “Pistachio Cranberry Coconut Muffins

  1. This is the second pistachio recipe I come across today–someone must be trying to tell me something. Like make something with pistachios! I love the muffins, as much as I love the story about your mom and her new love. And their pretty garden.

  2. Mmm. What a cute love story… and how perfect that it be met with such delicious looking muffins.

    You’ve got me craving ‘stachios!!

  3. Time to break out the ole muffin top pan!!!!! Pistachio and cranberry and coconut….oh my!!!!
    And as for “not always being the best of daughters”…feh!!! You must be a wonderful one or else you would not have shared the muffins!!!


  4. Those look so good. I really need to get that recipe together and try it out! I love all the flavor combinations that you make with it!

  5. Oh boy do these look fabulous! Whenever I make muffins, I’m always disappointed that the tops of mine come out so wimpy looking. These are the kind of tops that I’ve always wanted to make.

    I’m happy for your mom for finding her Romeo. It’s such a sweet little story. Please be sure to post photos of their gardens — if nothing else that would encourage you to visit her more!

    1. THANKS! I had actually left it out of a previous recipe as well and have corrected it. I really appreciate that you noticed and let me know. Muffins without a ton of oil are fine by me, but no sugar? Um. No.

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