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?

Baked Pistachio Donuts. Pudding mix makes these so soft!

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.

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

How to Make Baked Donuts from Scratch

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, but 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.

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.

Baked Pistachio Donuts Recipe

Baked Pistachio Donuts Tips

  • Use Preshelled Pistachios. 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.
  • Don’t Use Food Coloring. 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.)

More Delicious Baked Treats

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

Baked Pistachio Pudding Donuts with Honey Glaze

Baked Pistachio Pudding Donuts

5 from 2 votes
Baked donuts that are super soft and moist, thanks to secret ingredient pistachio pudding mix. Topped with sweet glaze and salty chopped pistachios.

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 40 mins

Servings: 6 donuts


For the Donuts:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 package instant pistachio pudding mix (3.4 ounces – 4 serving size) do not use sugar-free
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk plus 2 tablespoons
  • 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 powder sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon honey plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1 tablespoon milk plus 1-2 teaspoons additional as needed
  • 3/4 cup roughly chopped pistachios for garnish

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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    1. Thanks so much Jill! I’m glad these donuts have your eye :) Just wait till you try them–they stole my heart!

  1. 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.

    1. 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!

  2. 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!

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

  4. 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!

    1. Hi! The only comments are the ones you see here, but many people do make a recipe without commenting. I also made them several times and we loved them!

  5. Hi Ms. Erin! Thanx much for responding back. I am sure I made this before (like 2013 or 2014) but I had a teeny slight problem with it esp the outcome of the cake doughnuts. Was this recipe featured in a sugarcane company website? I am sure i got this recipe from that site. I am just remembering the pictures here was in their website. Tell me I am right? I made your (if this was really it) batter recipe to make Blue Star Donut bakery’s (Portland, OR) “Pistachio cake doughnuts with Hibiscus-Raspberry glaze”. I will this again but will tweak to make it a more denser batter as this was just a BIT cake-y. (Sorry! :( ) Will keep you posted soon!. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes, this did at one point appear on a sugar company website with this photo. I created the recipe for them :) I hope it goes well this time around too!

  6. These are SO good. We are gluten free at our house and I substituted Bob’s Gluten Free 1-1 Baking Flour here. They may have been a bit moister than the original recipe (gluten free flours can do that sometimes), but they were a huge hit at my house. Definitely would make these again! 6 is not enough. Great job, Erin!5 stars

  7. Very weird question for you: I have a coworker who is moving away and we’re throwing him a going away party. Pistachio donuts are his absolute favorite, so we thought it would be fun to bake him a very large pistachio donut “cake” in addition to the regular size guys. I have a 10″ bundt pan, would this recipe work in a large format like that? Obviously baking time and temp would change, but would anything else need to be adjusted? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Stacy, what a fun idea! I’ve never tried the recipe this way, so I’m afraid I don’t have any specific advice to offer. If you decide to experiment with it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

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