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Morning Glory Muffins

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Morning glory muffins are good to eat and good for you. True to their name, they’re a glorious way to start your day.

Halved morning glory muffin with butter.

Morning glory muffins are brimming with wholesome goodness. Packed with nourishing ingredients, like whole wheat flour, carrots, apples, raisins, walnuts, orange juice, coconut and wheat germ, these muffins were created decades ago by Chef Pam McKinstry for her Morning Glory Café on Nantucket Island. They’re a throwback to the 1970’s “back-to-the-land” movement, when wholesome hippie foods were all the rage. True to their name, these muffins are a glorious way to kick-start your day—a true testament to feel-good, homemade baking.

“I’ve been making this recipe for a few years now and it never disappoints! The muffins are moist and delicious. I usually double the recipe and keep some in freezer so we always have them on hand!”

Christina

What You’ll Need To Make Morning Glory Muffins

Morning glory muffins ingredients
  • Raisins: Add natural sweetness and bursts of flavor to the muffins.
  • White Whole Wheat Flour: Provides a nutritious base for the muffins, offering fiber and whole-grain goodness. I recommend King Arthur brand. Measure by spooning it into the measuring cup and leveling it off to ensure accuracy.
  • Brown Sugar: Sweetens the muffins while adding a hint of molasses flavor.
  • Baking Soda: Act as leavening agents helping the muffins rise.
  • Cinnamon and Ginger: Infuse the muffins with warm, aromatic spices.
  • Eggs: Bind the ingredients together and provide structure to the muffins.
  • Vegetable Oil: Adds moisture to the muffins, ensuring they are tender and moist.
  • Orange Juice: Adds a hint of citrus brightness.
  • Vanilla Extract: Adds depth of flavor and enhances the overall taste of the muffins.
  • Shredded Carrots: Provide moisture, natural sweetness, and a pop of color to the muffins.
  • Apple: Adds sweetness, moisture, and a fruity flavor to the muffins. Tart varieties, like Granny Smith, work best.
  • Shredded Coconut: Adds texture and a tropical flavor to the muffins. Either sweetened or unsweetened coconut will work.
  • Chopped Walnuts: Contribute crunch, texture, and nutty flavor to the muffins.
  • Wheat Germ: Adds nuttiness, texture, and nutritional value to the muffins, enriching them with vitamins and minerals.
  • Jump to the printable recipe for precise measurements

Step-By-Step Instructions

Begin by soaking the raisins in hot water. This softens and plumps them up.

Bowl of soaking raisins.

Meanwhile, grate the carrots and apple. I use a food processor but you can also use a box grater.

Grated carrots and apples in a food processor.

If you’re making your own orange juice, juice the orange.

juicing the orange

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt.

flour, brown sugar, spices, and salt in large mixing bowl

Combine, using your fingers to break up any lumps of brown sugar.

combined dry ingredients in mixing bowl

In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, orange juice, and vanilla extract.

whisking the eggs, oil, orange juice and vanilla

Add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture, along with the grated apple, grated carrots, wheat germ, walnuts, coconut, and drained raisins.

adding the carrots, apples, nuts, raisins, wheat germ and wet ingredients to the flour mixture

Mix until evenly moistened and combined. The batter will be very thick.

mixed morning glory muffin batter

Divide the batter into the wells of a greased 12-cup muffin pan. They will be very full.

morning glory muffin batter in pan, ready to bake

Bake for about 25 minutes, until muffins are nicely domed. Cool in the pan for a few minutes, then turn the muffins out onto a rack to cool completely.

baked morning glory muffins cooling on rack

The muffins are best enjoyed fresh, but they will keep nicely for a few days and they also freeze well. Serve with butter and enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is white whole wheat flour?

Like it’s darker cousin, it is 100% whole wheat flour; the difference between the two is the color of the wheat it’s harvested from. White whole wheat is lighter and milder tasting than regular whole wheat flour yet just as nutritious. If you can’t find it, go ahead and use regular whole wheat flour — or, for lighter-tasting muffins, use half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour. (And if you’re wondering what else to do with that bag of whole wheat flour, try my apple muffins, Irish soda bread muffins, or Ovenly’s famous whole wheat banana bread.)

Can I omit or substitute any of the ingredients like raisins, coconut, walnuts or wheat germ in morning gory muffins?

Absolutely! Feel free to customize the recipe to suit your preferences or dietary restrictions. No wheat germ? You can replace it with wheat bran, ground flaxseed, or ground oats. Also, you can omit the raisins, coconut, or walnuts if you don’t like them or substitute them with other ingredients like dried cranberries, chopped dried apricots, chopped pecans, or additional shredded carrots or apples. Just be mindful of maintaining the overall moisture and texture of the batter when making substitutions.

Can morning glory muffins be made ahead?

Sure, they will keep nicely, covered, at room temperature, for several days.

Can I freeze morning glory muffins?

Definitely! The muffins can be frozen in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag for up to 3 months. Thaw for 3 to 4 hours on the countertop before serving. To reheat, wrap individual muffins in aluminum foil and place in a preheated 350°F oven until warm.

Halved morning glory muffin with butter.

My starting point for this recipe was the Morning Glory Muffins on the King Arthur Flour website — a fantastic baking resource. I found their version to be a bit bland, so I increased the spices, raisins, walnuts, and sugar.

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Morning Glory Muffins

Morning glory muffins are good to eat and good for you. True to their name, they’re a glorious way to start your day.

Servings: 12 large muffins
Total Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients

  • ⅔ cup raisins
  • 2 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour (or Whole Wheat Flour), spooned and leveled
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • ⅔ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup orange juice (if making your own, you'll need one orange)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups peeled and shredded carrots (you'll need 4-5 large carrots)
  • 1 large tart apple, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored and shredded
  • ½ cup shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
  • ⅔ cup chopped walnuts
  • ⅓ cup wheat germ

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, cover the raisins with hot water. Set them aside to soak.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
  4. Drain the raisins, squeezing out any excess water with your hands.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, orange juice, and vanilla extract. Add to the flour mixture, along with the drained raisins, carrots, apple, coconut, walnuts, and wheat germ. Mix until the batter is evenly moistened and combined.
  6. Divide the batter among the wells of the prepared pan. They will be very full.
  7. Bake the muffins for about 25 minutes, until they're nicely domed and a cake tester inserted in the center of one of the inner muffins comes out clean.
  8. Remove the muffins from the oven and let cool in the pan on a rack for about 5 minutes. Turn the muffins out onto the rack to cool completely. Cover and store at room temperature for several days.
  9. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The muffins can be frozen in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag for up to 3 months. Thaw for 3 to 4 hours on the countertop before serving. To reheat, wrap individual muffins in aluminum foil and place in a preheated 350°F oven until warm.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Serving size: 1 muffin
  • Calories: 367
  • Fat: 18g
  • Saturated fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 50g
  • Sugar: 29g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 6g
  • Sodium: 346mg
  • Cholesterol: 47mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • I made a batch and froze the muffins for quick, healthy breakfasts. This has a lot of ingredients but so worth the effort. I did exchange 1/3 cup oil for applesauce and cut back on the sugar to 3/4 cup. The fruit, nuts and carrots make the muffins plenty sweet. Soaking the raisins was a useful step – they are still plump after freezing. I will remember that for other recipes! I only have a few left so I will be making them again soon.

    • — Kim on May 21, 2024
    • Reply
  • I’ve read the recipe three times and cannot find the measurement for the raisins…..

    • — tina on April 22, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Tina, You’ll need 2/3 cup. Enjoy the muffins!

      • — Jenn on April 22, 2024
      • Reply
  • These are the best muffins ever. I am celiac and made them with my gluten free cup for cup replacement flour, gluten free oats instead of coconut as was suggested, and of course no wheat germ. They are just perfect…no hockey pucks as so often is the case with gluten free muffins. I could not be happier that they turned out so well. Passed on your site and the recipe to 2 friends. Thank you so much Jenn…this was the flavour I was missing.

    • — Barb on April 4, 2024
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  • These muffins are both delicious and beautiful! I followed the recipe but subbed dried cranberries for raisins and apple juice for orange juice since my oranges were a bit dry. I did use the zest of one large orange. The batter was very thick at first but loosened as it sat for a few minutes, and my muffin cups were indeed very full. I cooked them exactly 25 minutes, and they were perfectly cooked, had a nice dome, and were moist and tasty. I plan to freeze half the muffins to enjoy later. While the muffins take a little more prep work than usual, I appreciated being able to stir them up without having to use my mixer. I’ve saved the recipe to my recipe box and will make them again.

    • — Donna on March 9, 2024
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  • I make these all the time, great for a grab and go breakfast with lots of healthy ingredients.
    This time I didn’t have enough carrots to make the two cups and made up the shortfall with grated sweet potato (figured both root vegetables, both orange) and the muffins came out with no taste difference.
    I make mini muffins, bake at 425 for five minutes and then at 375 for 10 to 12 minutes. They dome nicely considering they are a very dense muffin and I love the crunch of turbinado sugar sprinkled on the muffin tops before baking.
    Great muffins to make when you have all the ingredients on hand.
    My grandson loves these mini muffins.

    • — Marilyn S on February 25, 2024
    • Reply
  • Help please! I made these but they didn’t seem to rise enough, overflowed tins and tops ran into each other making them VERY hard to store. Tasted great. Sprayed non-stick muffin tin with Bakers Joy as I do with any muffin. Any ideas why? Soda too old?

    • — Lostlake on February 19, 2024
    • Reply
    • I’m sorry you had a problem with these! Take a look at your baking soda; if it’s very old or expired, that may have caused the problem. Additionally, did you make any changes or substitutions in the recipe?

      • — Jenn on February 20, 2024
      • Reply
      • Thank you so much for timely reply! I made no changes to the recipe and as said above they were delicious! I will replace baking soda and I do think I may have over filled the tins. Making again tomorrow.

        • — Lostlake on February 20, 2024
        • Reply
        • Hope they come out better today!

          • — Jenn on February 21, 2024
          • Reply
  • Wonderful recipe Jenn!! Now a bit of a story – I have the November 1981 issue of Gourmet Magazine. In their “You Asked For It” section, a reader had asked for the recipe for the Morning Glory Muffins from the Morning Glory Cafe on Nantucket and the magazine provided it. The recipe was for 30 muffins so I reduced the amounts to make 12 but that is the recipe I have been using for decades. No offense meant to the Morning Glory Cafe, but I will now be making your interpretation of the recipe!! If you would like to have a copy of the page from Gourmet, I would be pleased to email it to you.

    • — Patti on February 12, 2024
    • Reply
  • beautiful muffins delicious and nutritious. thank you

    • — marylou bluhm on February 7, 2024
    • Reply
  • Another WONDERFUL and delicious recipe, Jenn! Thank you for always creating and sharing such yummy recipes with us. My 1 year old LOVES these muffins. I decided to cut the sugar in half, omit the coconut (we’re not big coconut fans), add 1/4 c flax seeds, and swap the raisins for cranberries because that’s what I had on hand. I also omitted the wheat germ because I didn’t have it in the pantry and added 1/3 c of wheat flour . I’ve already made these muffins twice in the past week and have shared the recipe with friends! I really liked the taste of the cranberries in these muffins. Since I cut the sugar in half, the sweetness of the cranberries is nice. Definitely try these muffins!! It’s a great way to incorporate healthy food into your children’s diet. They are our new favorite!!

    • — Sally Golson on January 24, 2024
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    • Like all of your recipes.. this one was award winning!
      Was wondering if you think I could try making it into a loaf so that there’s less chance of overbaking and losing moisture?

      • — Rachel on March 29, 2024
      • Reply
      • So glad you liked them! Sure, you can make a loaf instead. I’d lower the temperature to 350 degrees. It may take a little over an hour to bake – likely 65 to 75 minutes, but keep a close eye on it!

        • — Jenn on March 29, 2024
        • Reply
  • Jen,
    Any chance you can help us reduce the sugar in this. It’s 29 grams per muffin!!! My husband is diabetic. No way could he enjoy these with me. I’d be left eating the whole shebang!

    • — Sera on January 16, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Sera, There’s a fair amount of natural sugar in these muffins due to the raisins, orange juice, and apple, but you could reduce the brown sugar by about a quarter cup. You could also reduce the amount of (or omit the) raisins in the recipe. Hope that helps and that you enjoy if you make them!

      • — Jenn on January 16, 2024
      • Reply
  • You know this is a no-fail recipe when you do all kinds of substitutions and baked it at the wrong temp and it’s still amazing! So here’s what I did – no apples on hand but had leftover homemade apple danish filling and used a couple of big spoons of that. No whole-wheat but used a mix of artisan bread flour which has the bran in it still and mixed with AP. Used ground flax instead of wheat germ. No OJ or orange in the fridge but had guava nectar of all things. I used unsweetened coconut and left out the extra 2 tbsp sugar. Ditched the cinnamon because my dad hates it. About the only thing I had true to the recipe was sugar, raisins, carrots. Baked at 350F and wondered why it was still uncooked 25 minutes later but another 10 minutes fixed that. I sprinkled coconut chips on top before baking too. I think bran on top would also look nice. I don’t know if I can call this morning glory anymore, haha.

    • — Karen L on January 15, 2024
    • Reply
  • I just wanted to say that I used chia in place of the wheat germ and it worked great as well.

    • — Kayestes on January 14, 2024
    • Reply
  • Thank you for sharing this recipe. I needed to use up some frozen cherries so I used them instead of the raisins. Due to health issues I used half sugar and half monk fruit and 1/2 canola oil and half extra virgin olive oil. It still came out fabulous. I enjoy many of your recipes and can make the changes we need to make it more healthy for our family.

    • — Kayestes on January 14, 2024
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    These muffins look delicious and I hope to make them soon. Can you tell me what you use to scoop into the tins? I’ve used my ice cream scoop for other muffins unless a certain size measuring cup is better.
    Thanks,
    Chris

    • — Chris on January 14, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Chris, an ice cream scoop is perfect. 😊

      • — Jenn on January 17, 2024
      • Reply
  • I love these muffins and have made them 3 or 4 times since finding your recipe. I gave one to my 5yo granddaughter who happily ate it until she encountered the walnuts and raisins, when she stopped, stating she prefers muffins that contain “only bread and flavor,” lol. I wonder if there’s a recipe you can point me to that’s similar to Morning Glories without the walnuts and raisins, or what the recipe might be like if I just excluded them? She mentioned also that she likes pumpkin muffins, so I’ll look to see if you have a recipe for those.

    • — Alyce Barry on November 25, 2023
    • Reply
    • Only bread and flavor made me laugh! The muffins will be slightly smaller, but it’s fine to omit the nuts and raisins. 😊

      • — Jenn on November 29, 2023
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    Love your site!!! I have tried many recipes on it. I have made 2 batches of these in the past week . Sharing them of course with others! I made a few substitutions – I did not have wheat germ or wheat flour. I used almond meal. I did, 1 1/2 c APF with 1/2 c almond meal. for the wheat flout and did 1/3 c almond meal for the wheat germ. I also did 1/3 c coconut oil and 1/3 c vegetable oil to put some healthy fat in the recipe. Lastly, I didn’t want to waste the orange rind so I zested it and put it in the muffin mix! It made it super yummy and delicious!
    This is something I also do when I make bran muffins. Thanks so much!💐

    • — Dina on October 16, 2023
    • Reply
  • Would using ground flax work the same as wheat germ?

    • — Laurie on September 26, 2023
    • Reply
    • Sure, Laurie, that should be fine. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 26, 2023
      • Reply
  • So in Los Angeles we have a market called Gelson’s. They make my favorite muffin, and this is it! Thank you for posting, I’m making these tomorrow, they look yummy!

    • — Tammy on September 24, 2023
    • Reply

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