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Morning Glory Muffins

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

Morning glory muffins are made with a little bit of everything: whole wheat flour, carrots, apples, raisins, walnuts, orange juice, coconut and wheat germ. 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 food was all the rage. True to their name, they’re a glorious way to start the day.

What you’ll need to make Morning Glory Muffins

Morning glory muffins ingredients

Despite the long list of ingredients, morning glory muffins are easy to make, especially if you use a food processor to shred the carrots and apple. For the flour, I like to use King Arthur white whole wheat flour because it’s 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, try half whole wheat flour/half all-purpose flour).

How to make Morning Glory Muffins

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

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

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!

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. And, true to their name, they’re a glorious way to start the 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 – 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

  • Very good recipe. We are enjoying them and sharing with friends.

    • — Teri on September 30, 2022
    • Reply
  • Excellent recipe. So moist and tasty.

    • — Baz on September 13, 2022
    • Reply
  • These turned out amazing! I got up on a Sunday morning and realized I had everything here to make these for my husband and me, plus extra!
    We had just picked apples, and I added in some pear from our little tree plus 4 heaping spoons of paw paw purée that a friend brought us at our farmers market booth.
    Truly a perfect recipe for a healthy breakfast..thank you!
    Catherine
    Blue Lotus Ranch

    • — Catherine Ferguson on September 4, 2022
    • Reply
  • Jenny,

    I have high cholesterol. Any suggestions for modifying the eggs? Whites only! Egg substitute?
    Thanks!

    Margot

    • — Margot on August 14, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Margot, these should work with an egg substitute. I’ve never baked with just egg whites; I just googled it and it looks like it’s possible. This article provides some more info on getting good results. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on August 16, 2022
      • Reply
  • Can you add pineapple to this recipe? If so, how much and do I need to change anything else?
    Thanks

    • — Judy on May 16, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Judy, I haven’t tried it, but I think you could replace either 1 cup of the carrots or the apple with 1 cup of diced pineapple. Just make sure it’s drained of any juice. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on May 16, 2022
      • Reply
  • I’ve been wanting to try these muffins for a while now, and finally did this past Sunday (Easter 4/17/22). Muffins are one of my favorite things when baking — there are a million ways to make them, tons of different recipes to follow, and ingredients you can use, and they tend to go together pretty quickly and easily. Almost foolproof!
    These reminded me very much of carrot cake, with the exception of the apple. They came out very good — not dry or too dense, still moist, and very tasty. I didn’t find them overly sweet, as some have suggested, possibly because I left out the coconut. I used only the cup of brown sugar, and left out the extra couple of tablespoons, so maybe that made the difference. I didn’t use the walnuts (not a big fan of any kind of nut, so I typically leave them out in whatever recipe calls for them), and used only half of the apple. Didn’t see the need for the wheat germ either. But leaving those things out didn’t seem to change the results at all. Next time, I may leave out the apple, may try some pineapple in lieu of the coconut, and use the pineapple juice in place of the orange.
    They were a bit labor-intensive, but certainly worth the extra bit of work. I baked them at 350, didn’t really time them (I don’t usually, preferring to go by the look, and use a cake tester to check for doneness). Not sure how long they cooked, but they browned up nicely, and were perfectly done when I took them out of the oven. I did use baking cups, and sprayed the insides of them before filling. The cups peeled right off once the muffins were cool — no problem with sticking.
    For me, this recipe made a batch of 12 medium-size muffins. I froze six of them for later use, so we’ll see how they hold up. A good hearty muffin that can be eaten for breakfast, but also make a good lunch with a cup of yogurt, or you could even pair them with a cup of soup.
    All in all, a great recipe, and I will make these again.

    • — Ann Marie Demers on April 21, 2022
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  • Made these low carb – low sugar friendly with King Arthur Keto Wheat Flour and Truvia Brown Sugar. Toasted the walnuts and added some halves to top and they are incredible!

    • — PlainnPretty on April 5, 2022
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  • I’m wondering if I can use whole wheat pastry flour instead of regular whole wheat flour.

    • — Sona on April 2, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure, I think that would work. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on April 4, 2022
      • Reply
  • These were too sweet and the vanilla (which I normally love) is too strong. Will cut down on both if I make these again. It’s interesting that so many of the commenters made (significant) substitutions yet rated this five stars. I can’t do the same.

    • — Cheryl on April 2, 2022
    • Reply
  • Delicious muffins! My husband and I thought there were a bit dry, though, even after baking them for only 23 minutes at 373 degrees. Any suggestions? I love the taste but just wish they were a bit more moist. Thanks, Jen!

    • — Barbara on April 2, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Barbara, Sorry you found these to be a bit dry. Dryness is usually caused by measuring the flour incorrectly. Did you use the spoon and level method to measure the flour? Even a few extra ounces can make a big difference. This article/video explains it nicely.

      • — Jenn on April 2, 2022
      • Reply
      • Thanks, Jenn! I’ll definitely watch the video and learn what I may have done wrong. You are my absolute favorite chef and blogger, hands down!! Thank you for inspiring me to try new recipes and cook with confidence!

        • — Barbara Sunseri on April 3, 2022
        • Reply
  • These are a treat! I used wholemeal flour, reduced the amount of sugar to 130g and the amount of salt to a 1/4 teaspoon, and replaced the raisins with currants and one of the teaspoons of baking soda with baking powder. I will definitely be making these again.

    • — Regan on March 28, 2022
    • Reply
  • Wow! These are delicious muffins. It did not seem like a lot of processed sugar in the recipe, but with all the sugar in the fruit and vegetables it was enough. Because my husband is diabetic I will cut down the brown sugar next time and I’m sure they will be just as delicious 😋
    Thanks

    • — Carol piche on March 16, 2022
    • Reply
  • Love love love! But wondering how to reduce fat content aside from omitting nuts?

    • — Lynn on February 26, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I made these for the first time last week and am in love! No modifications. These are perfect as is!

    • — Katy on February 8, 2022
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    • this recipe is perfect just as it is. i ate two and froze the rest for future breakfasts. the last one was a moist and flavorful as the first two.

      • — mary on February 17, 2022
      • Reply
  • Muffin perfection! Made as directed (with liners)—muffins came out moist, beautiful, and delicious! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • — Pitts HQ, Asheville, NC on February 3, 2022
    • Reply
  • This recipe was terrific. I did make some substitutions. I did a mix of whole wheat and regular flour. I added only 1 cup of the shredded carrots and replaced the coconut with an 8 oz can of crushed pineapple drained. I used the pineapple juice instead of orange juice. I replaced the wheat germ with wheat bran and left out the nuts this time. I also added just 1 cup of the brown sugar but will decease it further to 3/4 cup next time. Once I mixed everything, it looked too wet, so I added 2 more tablespoons of whole wheat flour and crossed my fingers. PERFECTION! So yummy and moist and filling!

    • — Susan on February 2, 2022
    • Reply
  • I really liked this recipe, nice hearty healthy muffin. I made some substitutions that worked out well. I reduced the sugar to 2/3 cup, next time I think I’ll try honey or maple syrup. Instead of shredded coconut put grated zucchini and more apple. Changed raisins to dried cranberries and add the zest of the oranges and a little fresh nutmeg.

    Thanks for all your recipes! I’ve never been disappointed by any recipe I’ve tried here.

    • — Alexis Wlodarczyk on January 28, 2022
    • Reply
  • Nice though a bit too sweet for me! I will reduce the sweetener next time.

    • — Joanna on January 26, 2022
    • Reply
  • Delicious muffins. I didn’t have orange juice so subbed oat milk and subbed ground flax for the wheat germ. The muffins were still sweet and moist.

    • — Michelle on December 4, 2021
    • Reply
  • These are delicious! I used all whole wheat flour and they turned out great, my two-year-old loves them! I got 18 regular muffins.

    • — Anna on September 24, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I plan to try your Morning Glory Muffins recipe. Do you think this batter would make a good quick bread if I bake it in loaf pans rather than muffin tins? Thx, Anne

    • — Anne on September 22, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Anne, I think loaves would work but I’d lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Please LMK how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on September 23, 2021
      • Reply
  • Perfect as written -I wouldn’t change a thing!

    • — Jacquie Miller on September 19, 2021
    • Reply
  • can you sub something for walnuts? we have a tree nut allergy. we usually sub with chocolate chips.. just trying to think of something else 🙂

    • — Iheartmuffins on September 16, 2021
    • Reply
    • You can just omit the nuts or replace them with sunflower or pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 16, 2021
      • Reply
  • Jenn, my husband does not like orange juice in baked goods. What liquid could I substitute for it?

    • — Catherine on September 15, 2021
    • Reply
    • Apple juice would also work nicely here. 🙂

      • — Jenn on September 16, 2021
      • Reply
  • Jen, no need to use line papers this time?

    • — Ana on September 9, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Ana, There’s no need as long as you spray the pan, but you can use liners if you like.

      • — Jenn on September 11, 2021
      • Reply
  • Jen, I was reading the recipe to gather all ingredients and understand the instructions and noticed the recipe doesn’t call for paper liners. When do you use paper liners and when not? I’m afraid the batter will stick to the tin if I do not use them. Thank you!

    • — Ana on September 9, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Ana, It just depends on the recipe and often the add-ins (and whether the ingredients are prone to sticking). You can always use liners if you feel more comfortable.

      • — Jenn on September 11, 2021
      • Reply
  • Jenn these muffins are SO yummy! I made them for my husband who wanted a bran or carrot flavor, and not only did he like them, but my 10yr old boy took one in his lunch every day too. My parents loved them so much they offered to pay me to make them a batch! What?!
    Best Morning Glory muffin recipe I’ve found..Great job!

    • — Sherry on March 10, 2021
    • Reply
  • Thank you for sharing this recipe. It is an excellent tasting muffin.

    • — Hope on March 1, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hello!
      Is it possible to leave out the raisins without modifying the muffins otherwise?

      • — Colette on April 3, 2022
      • Reply
      • Sure – enjoy!

        • — Jenn on April 4, 2022
        • Reply
  • All I can say is….WOW!

    • — Susan Grondin on February 21, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn:

    First of all, thank you for your advice and input regarding all of your recipes. I’m very thankful to have the ability to ask a question(s). Here is my dilemma, I’ve perused though the recipes comments and notes on adding ground flax seed to this recipe.

    However, I’ve only noted the one comment about replacing wheat germ with ground flax seed. I have three questions for you – I want to add it in addition to the wheat germ. That said, how much would be best to use? And, do I need to add more liquid? And if so, what type?

    Thank you in advance,
    Susan

    • — Susan Grondin on February 18, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Susan, always happy to help! I wouldn’t recommend adding ground flaxseed in addition to the wheat germ. If you really want to incorporate flaxseed, I’d use half wheat germ and half ground flaxseed. Hope that helps and that you enjoy the muffins!

      • — Jenn on February 20, 2021
      • Reply
      • If it’s helpful for others to know, I just did this (1/2 each wheat germ and flax meal) and they turned out great!! These muffins are amazing. Such a nice texture, not heavy or dense. My son and I loved making them together too! 😊

        • — Sumi on March 3, 2021
        • Reply
        • 🙂 thx

          • — laurie welsh on January 13, 2022
          • Reply
  • I love these muffins, 5 stars! I was looking for a healthier alternative grab-and-go breakfast to replace sugary cliff bars and these were perfect. They keep me full til my lunch break and taste amazing! Out of personal preference I leave out the walnuts and raisins but I’m sure they’d be even more filling with them. Delicious!

    • — Katie Cockrell on February 2, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is our family’s favorite! It does take a little time to put together, so I usually make two batches of dry ingredients ahead of time and store in a labeled zip-lock bag until I have time to bake. This recipe is also very flexible – I’ve replaced 1/2 cup flour with almond meal, replaced orange juice for pomegranate or pineapple juice, increased volume of carrots and nuts – all these variations bake up great. I usually split the batter between a 12-cup and a mini muffin tins – mini muffins work great for kids’ lunch boxes and take about 18 minutes to bake.
    Thank you, Jenn, for the great collection of recipes and simple yet thorough instructions!

    • — Lana on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
    • My toddler and I love to make these (never had a bad Once Upon a Chef recipe). Saw your comment, so today we made a mix of 8 regular sized muffins and 24 mini muffins. Perfect! Thank you for the time suggestion. Our oven runs hot, so I baked the minis for 16. 👌🏼

      • — Katie on October 11, 2021
      • Reply
  • These dense muffins are definitely breakfast worthy. The carrots, apple, walnuts and coconut really add punch to the texture and taste. I use unsweetened coconut to keep the sugar down. Excellent!

    • — Karen M Miller on January 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • I’ve made this multiple times, and am finally getting around to reviewing it. My family and I love these muffins. They have enough healthy things (coconut, carrots, apple) that I love and they taste great, so they go down well with the kids.

    • — Coleen on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I love these muffins, they have become my ‘go to’ muffin recipe. I don’t like walnuts, so I add in whatever else I might have – cranberries or dates, whatever. They are still delicious, so moist! Thanks for a great muffin recipe!

    • — Donna Deegan-Smith on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Good morning Jenn & everyone:

    I’ll begin by saying “You have to make these muffins!!!!” They taste great and freeze really well. Also, this is a recipe anyone can make it “their own.” In fact I meant to review this recipe a couple months ago and completely forgot. Jenn, I sent you a question a while back asking if I could change out wheat germ for flax instead. You said no problem, and if course you’re correct!😊 And from there I changed a couple of other “things” to…
    So the following are the small changes I’ve made: I use ground flax seed for the wheat germ. I use MANGO purée instead of OJ, and I do not use chopped walnuts, I use walnut pieces (we prefer the texture). This is a truly wonderful recipe to begin any day!
    Thank you so much Jenn for the inspiration that come from your recipes!
    I’m having a great time baking & cooking after a long absence from the kitchen, professionally & at home☺️

    • — Lisa on January 23, 2021
    • Reply

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