Food Review

Semolina Turmeric Muffins with Apricots and Pistachios


These vibrant yellow semolina cupcakes were inspired by many traditional cakes served throughout the Middle East. While studded with chopped apricots and pistachios, they aren’t overly sweet and are a nice morning or afternoon offering with a cup of coffee or tea. The batter includes coconut milk, so they are dairy free. (You can also use regular milk.) The coconut flavor dissipates in cooking unless you add a few drops of coconut extract to the batter.

See other related recipes in Turmeric—A Golden Opportunity  

Yield: 12 muffins

Prep time (including baking): about 45 minutes

Shelf life: at least 3 days 


12 paper muffin liners

10 ounces semolina flour

2 ½ ounces all-purpose flour, plus a little to sprinkle on apricots and pistachios

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric

1 teaspoon ground star anise

¼ teaspoon salt

Grated zest of 1 orange, 1 tablespoon juice reserved for glaze

8 ounces coconut milk, or regular milk

7 ounces granulated sugar

5 ounces vegetable oil

1 ½ ounces finely chopped apricots

1 ½ ounces chopped pistachios, plus a few for garnish, if desired

3 ounces apricot preserves


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a bowl, stir together the semolina and all-purpose flours, baking powder, turmeric, star anise, salt, and orange zest together.
  3. Using a handheld mixer, in a large bowl, stir the sugar into the milk to dissolve. Add the dry ingredients and oil and beat on medium for 5 minutes. 
  4. Toss the apricots and pistachios with a little flour to coat, then gently fold into the batter. Fill the muffin cups and bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Remove and let cool while preparing the glaze.
  5. In a small saucepan, melt the apricot preserves over medium heat. Strain to remove the fruit solids, stir in 1 tablespoon of the reserved orange juice, and cool. Brush over the cupcakes, drizzle a pinch of chopped pistachios in the center, and serve. 

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