Baked Pistachio Pudding Donuts

I am coming to you for help. I need a donut intervention, and I am willing to cooperate—as long as our first session includes Baked Pistachio Pudding Donuts.
Baked Pistachio Donuts
My donut problem began a few weeks ago. I’m not wild about calling it a “problem,” because I feel morally uncomfortable listing the words “donut” and “problem” directly beside one another. My donut addiction? (too clinical. My donut fetish? (ew.) My donut dependency? Sounds about right.

One of my girlfriends works at a donut shop on Sunday mornings, so I decided to swing by for a casual visit. Before we continue with my fried dough saga, you must know: this is not any donut shop. This is THE donut shop. Greenbush Bakery is universally hailed as the donut Mecca of Madison, and I would proclaim it the donut Mecca of the free world. Forget hiding beneath tacky toppings—Greenbush dishes up the classics, perfected. Toddler-sized apple fritter oozing cinnamon nectar? Done. Blueberry old fashioned that cracks just so, allowing me to pick the tasty little edges off one by one? No question. Ethereally fluffy maple bar that springs back with every bite? What else were you expecting.

I ordered three donuts from my friend, with the hope that she’d sneak in the extra coconut cake one I’d been eyeing in what I hoped was an obvious manner. I did not, however, anticipate this, which inevitably lead to this. All damage completed by Ben and me, in less than 20 minutes. While watching figure skating. I’m sure Ben appreciates my sharing that detail. Baked Pistachio Donuts. Pudding mix makes these so soft!

Pistachio Pudding Donuts from Well Plated by Erin, perfect for St. Patrick's Day!

An ordinary person would enjoy her 4.5 donuts, then decide to lay off for a few weeks. What happened very next week? This. (Not pictured: the three donuts that wouldn’t fit on the plate.)

The third Sunday, Ben forbade me from returning to Greenbush, but I could not kick my donut craving. I tried to fight it with a handful of chocolate chips (maybe I just needed sugar?) No luck. Peanut butter? Not happening. Graham cracker dipped in leftover bourbon cream cheese filling? Close, but still not the same. I learned a deep and lasting life lesson that morning: the only remedy for a profound donut hankering is…donuts. Baked Pistachio Pudding Donuts to be precise.
Baked Pistachio Pudding Donuts with Honey Glaze
Though I love me some deep-fried dough, when making donuts at home, I stick to baked. Baked donuts are easier to make and clean up, less guilt-inducing, and leave my apartment smelling like a heavenly bakery instead of a Long John Silver’s.

My inspiration for Baked Pistachio Pudding Donuts originated with a pistachio cake donut I tried at Doughnut Plant in New York City. This donut had big, bold pistachio flavor and was so moist, it practically melted on my tongue. Though I adore baked donuts, I often find them lacking the indulgent sensation that comes with a perfectly fried cake donut. My sneaky solution: instant pudding mix.

Not only does instant pudding mix give these Baked Pistachio Pudding Donuts a lovely green hue and primo pistachio flavor, it also makes them insanely moist and decadent. To create an even more tender donut, I also used buttermilk, which balances the pudding’s sweetness and adds a little extra density. It took me three rounds of playing with the ratio of flour-to pudding-to buttermilk to produce a baked donut that gave me the texture I was seeking: super soft and moist, without being wet; tender and fluffy, but neither as dense as a banana bread, nor airy as a cake.

We ate a lot of green baked goods that day.

I’ll also be springing for the preshelled pistachios the next time. If shelling an entire bag of pistachios in a single day builds character, I’m fine living up to a lower moral standard.

Another lesson: Do not be tempted to add food coloring to the batter for extra green oomph. Your Baked Pistachio Pudding Donuts will appear radioactive. Not that I would know. The pudding mix will give you all the color you need. (I do recommend using the Jell-o brand. It produces a brighter green than the store brand.)
Baked Pistachio Donuts Recipe
OK, let’s finish this! For true pistachio panache, fold chopped pistachios into the batter for crunch, dunk the donuts in honey glaze, then shower oodles of chopped pistachios all over the top. Salty pistachios + sweet honey = tasty math.

If you don’t have a donut pan, I highly recommend that you treat yourself to this $8 Wilton donut pan for St. Patrick’s Day. It’s worth every penny, and then some! Once you own it, you will find yourself finding many an excuse to bake up a tasty pan of donuts.

  • Excuse #1: St. Patrick’s Day is approaching, and what could be more festive than green and glorious than Baked Pistachio Pudding Donuts?
  • Excuse #2: It’s Friday. You deserve it.
  • Excuse #3: Donuts need no justification.

Baked Pistachio Donuts with Honey Glaze Recipe
Sunday donuts every week for life! Donut “problem” solved.

Baked Pistachio Pudding Donuts

Baked donuts that are super soft and moist, thanks to secret ingredient pistachio pudding mix. Topped with sweet glaze and salty chopped pistachios.

Yield: 6 donuts

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes


For the Donuts

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces – 4 serving size) instant pistachio pudding mix (do not use sugar-free)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pistachios

For the Honey Glaze

  • 1 cup sifted powder sugar
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon milk, plus 1-2 teaspoons additional as needed
  • 3/4 cup roughly chopped pistachios, for garnish


More donut (doughnut?) delights:

About Erin Clarke

I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, lover of bourbon, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN...


  1. I love pistachios and now having them on baked donuts, YUMMY!! All I can imagine is biting into the donuts and getting a load of those pistachios :D

  2. I die over pistachios. Especially the fact that they are crunchy crunchy crunchy on top of a soft, baked! donut. This is incr-edible.
    Lame? Yep. Judge away.
    Have you ever been to Voo Doo Donuts in Portland, OR?
    We had a Butterfinger covered and a chocolate peanut butter Oreo donut there. Life changing.

  3. Yum! Yeah, having friends work in places that serve tempting things can be a bad thing. In college, one of my friends worked at Baskin Robbins, back in their heyday. Anyway, we would walk there, and justify having a triple scoop, just because of our “exercise”. Sigh. Problem was, even after Beth graduated, we were addicted, and would use any excuse to go there. Oh, my. Meanwhile, I have one of those handy-dandy pans and need to make these. Pistachios have lots of protein, so that makes these healthy. Right? :)

    • Julie, if I had a friend that worked in an ice cream shop, I think that I would buy the apartment up stairs. Ice cream is my sweet downfall (and I have no intention of controlling it, by the way.) Love your logic with the pistachio protein. I mean, with the nuts + the fact that these are baked vs. fried, they are practically a health food!

  4. Doughnut plant is amazing. In my entire 6 years of living in NYC I have been there twice.. not because I don’t love it but because when i go there i stuff my face! Pinning this for a girls brunch!

  5. I love anything pistachios! I’m not the biggest donut fan, but if they’re home made then it’s something of a whole new level!

    {Teffy’s Perks} X

  6. Oh how I wish I had one of those to go with my cappuccino right about NOW.

  7. Oh My Word!! I love love pistachios and donuts.. now you go and give me both.. It’s official I love you..

  8. Yum!! donuts and pistachios sound delicious!

  9. And now I am craving donuts like mad…my pants are going to blame you for this ;-) These are amazing looking donuts girl. Love the pistachio flavor! Time to dust off my donut pan for sure!!!

  10. Oh my goodness! These would be gone without a moments notice in my house! Pinned!

  11. Baked Pistachio Pudding Doughnuts? Yes, please! I love pistachios!

  12. What a great idea to add pudding mix to donuts! And now I want a few. . .

  13. I loveeee pistachios. And their gorgeous color when chopped up! They get me every time! I’m not the biggest donut person but these … these I have a feeling I would love!

  14. Amazing!! I’m pretty sure these donuts are my spirit food!!! I’m looooove pistachios (and donuts!) like there is no tomorrow!

  15. Pistachios!!!! One of my all-time favorite flavors in desserts. I too, find that baked donuts lack a certain something when I make them at home, so I’m definitely going to be trying your little pudding trick. In fact, I think I might this weekend….

  16. OMG – these look delicious – pistachios & doughnuts -my two favorite food items! Wish I had one right now with my latte!

  17. Well Erin you’ve done it now! You’ve taken two things I love (pistachio pudding and donuts) and made them in to one. My husband and I also have a slight donut issue and find ourselves feasting on them at least every other Sunday. Next time the craving hits us I’ll be making these beauties!

  18. You officially did me in with this donut! I love donuts, I love pistachios, I LOVE this donut! I could probably eat 5! Awesome recipe Erin!

  19. I need to try out this bakery! I live in Madison so it’s only logical that I would go and try them out.

    • WHAT? Kara, Greenbush needs to be in your life ASAP. Don’t miss the maple glazed blueberry cake donut, the chocolate old-fashioned, the cherry old-fashioned if they have it, and the raspberry filled yeast. Apple fritter is outstanding too! Really, you can’t go wrong :-)

  20. Your doughnut eating habits make me proud. And now I’d like to catch up to you by eating all of these pistachio doughnuts, kthanksbye.

  21. Doughnuts and weekends just go together, I think. Totally making these for St. Patrick’s Day!

  22. “leave my apartment smelling like a heavenly bakery instead of a Long John Silver’s” yes, YES! I think I need to come visit you so that I can try these ethereal maple bars. mmm. Love your pistachio version! Way to fight the craving! Oh wait… :)

  23. Gah, I miss Greenbush. I’ll be in Madison this September, and a late-night Greenbush run is on the agenda…at least twice!

  24. Ahhh, perfection! Four years ago I ate at a restaurant that filled their bread basket with a fantastic pistachio yeast bread that I’m still dreaming about it. Since then, breads with pistachios have held a special place in my heart. These donuts are the breakfast version of the bread of my dreams – can’t wait to make these!!

  25. These look delicious and they’re baked! Definitely need to make these asap :)

  26. Every time I see a recipe for baked donuts I feel like I just HAVE to get a donut pan right NOW but when I go a-hunting I can never seem to find one. That’s Europe for you! I think I’m going to have to take the search online! These look absolutely incredible and would definitely satisfy the pistachio obsession I’ve had recently. So glad these donuts are ‘green’ without being too green!

  27. Um, hello donut happiness! My donut pan is on its way – this is on my to bake list for sure!

  28. Oh.My.Gahhhh! These photos are absolutely gorgeous!!! And the doughnuts sound absolutely amazing, I have never tried making doughnuts but this one may be my first!

  29. Wowowow, these are gorgeous! And pudding mix?? So so smart. I need to make these beauties. And seriously, donuts are so addicting. Taking the knife to them is the only way to go. I approve, wholeheartedly!

  30. Holy moly, these are amazing looking donuts girl.The pudding mix in here is genius! I love pistachios. I love baked donuts so it’s clearly time to dust off my donut pan and go and make these :)

  31. I have a major donut obsession. They’re my downfall. Eating one leads to power eating donuts. They’re the only dessert (breakfast food?) that has that kind of affect on me. These look amazing. Pinned.

  32. You are seriously creative! I love pistachios, but never would have thought to add them to doughnuts! What a delicious idea Erin!

  33. It’s very hard to get good donuts where I live, which actually works to my advantage on a lot of levels (either I bake ’em myself or I go without). But now you’ve provided me with a pistachio donut recipe… noooooooo! I’m doomed. I know it. Plus, my favourite colour is green so that’s even more persuasion. Hahaaaa…. I love that mental image of you and Ben watching figure skating whilst eating donuts. Aaron would’ve KILLED me for sharing that detail on the internet. But then, I’d give him one of these donuts and all would be forgiven ;p

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  35. I’ll just add this to the ever-growing list of why you’re my favorite.

  36. These are perfect for St. Patty’s Day! Gorgeous!

  37. i could TOTALLY get into these! yum!

  38. This looks so yummy!! I would love for you to come link it up at Lovely Ladies Linky! We would love to see what other deliciousness you have to share :)

  39. I love pistachio pudding! And I just recently started making baked donuts and I am hooked. Pinned and shared!

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  47. The pan is now $10.34, I purchased it before and use it often, Yes the pistachio pudding adds all sorts of goodness to baked goodies cakes, bundts, shortbreads, cupcakes, oh my….on and on. Great recipe, on list to try.

    • Teresa, these pans must be soaring in popularity! I’m glad you already have one on hand and use it regularly. Aren’t homemade donuts addictive?? Thanks so much for your comment and hope you love these donuts too!

  48. I love baked doughnuts so much more than fried! Way less dangerous! I love to add pudding mix to my cookies it makes for puffy and light cookies so I can only imagine what it does to doughnuts!

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  53. Whoa, whoa, whoa.  I’m super behind (like a year!) but these look a-MAZE-ing. Donuts & pistachios? Please and thank you! 

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  55. I really miss Greenbush too! And having read the post makes me want Greenbush. It IS THE BEST EVER :)
    For now will try this, and if it comes from a Greenbush certified lover, I buy into the recipe :)
    Thanks for posting!

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