Recipe: Pistachio Raspberry Muffins with a hint of Roses (and Zucchini)

You know how I spent about a month obsessively baking recipe after recipe after recipe from Red Velvet, Chocolate Heartache?  Well, I’m pleased to say that I seem to have internalised the book thoroughly enough that I can now create my own goodies along those lines.  And will undoubtedly start doing so obsessively at the next practical moment…

I really love these muffins.  They came out light and fluffy and nicely rose-flavoured, with a lovely pale green crumb from the pistachios and the zucchini.  The pistachio flavour is fairly subtle, but the raspberries and roses are definitely having a happy, muffiny party in your mouth.

Definitely one of my better efforts.

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40 g pistachios
90 g almond meal
100 g rice flour
2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
2 eggs
160 g caster sugar
2 medium zucchini (you need to wind up with 220g once you have peeled them, topped and tailed them, and finely grated them)2 tsp rosewater
150 g raspberries (frozen actually work better here)


Now what will you do with it?

Blitz the pistachios in the food processor with the almond meal, until everything has the consistency of almond meal.  Add the rice flour, baking powder and salt, stir, and set aside.


Preheat your oven to 180°C, and line a muffin tray with paper cases.

Peel, top and tail and grate your zucchini.


In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar with an electric beater for five minutes – you want the mixture to be really pale and fluffy and thick, because you get half your rise out of this.

Beat in the rosewater and zucchini until well combined, then beat in the dry ingredients.

Fold in the raspberries.

Quickly divide the mixture between the paper cases, and put in the oven.  I did this so quickly that I forgot to take any photographs, sorry.

Bake for 25 minutes or so – you don’t want them to feel gooey inside when you press on them lightly with your finger, but they can be rather on the soft side – I found that they were cooked through at this point.


Let cool in their tin for a few minutes, then remove to cool completely on a wire rack.

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These muffins are gluten- and dairy-free, but contain nuts and eggs, and I’m afraid I can’t help with that.  They are not especially low GI, and while their fructose load is not terrible, the pistachios should probably be swapped out for a less inflammatory nut.

Beware of using too much rose water.  Really, do not use more than two teaspoons until you’ve made this recipe once and determined that there really isn’t enough rose flavour in it.  Trust me – there is a fine line between ‘pleasantly rosy’ and ‘I just drank a bottle of perfume, and I’m not even in a Gabriel García Márquez novel’) (apparently in my world, too much rosewater leads to magical realism. Which sounds like something a magical realist would come up with.  Beware the insidiousness of magical realism.)

You could add a pinch of cardamom to this and it would be lovely.  You might also make a version with orange flower water and reconstituted dried apricots instead of the raspberries – I think that would be lovely.  You could also up the pistachio to almond meal ratio – I just didn’t have many pistachios in the house when I made this.  Now, of course, I have even fewer.  It’s the cycle of life.

Jetlag calls – goodnight!

PS: Don’t read books which contain magical realism.  They will almost certainly prevent your muffins from rising.

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PPS – I am submitting this to BakeFest for September, hosted this month by Nalini’s Kitchen.  Pop on over and investigate all the other delicious goodies!

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