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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, 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 these apple muffins or the Ovenly’s famous whole wheat banana bread.)

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.


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


  • 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


  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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  • These are amazing! Hearty and delicious without being overly sweet. They’re best warm from the oven with a nice smear of Kerrygold.

    • — Morgan on January 11, 2021
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Love love love your recipes! I feel like our families have the same taste buds. I want to try this recipe out. 1. My husband can eat nuts lately. I wanted to make half the batch without nuts, but should I substitute anything in the meantime, or is a plain omission okay? 2. We are gluten free, and typically I just substitute 1:1 GF flour for the all-purpose and it works out fine (I’ll never know how much better it could’ve been!). From other comments, it looks like that might work here for the whole wheat flour and I should use ground flax seed for the wheat germ?
    BTW, I made your lemon bars last night—yum! And I love your arugula salad recipe— I eat it with breakfast, lunch, and dinner every time I have a batch!

    • — Patricia on December 30, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Patricia, so glad you like the recipes! Yes, it’s fine to omit the nuts without any other modifications. Gluten-free flour, should work just fine, and ground flaxseed would make a good substitute for the wheat germ. Hope that helps and that you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 30, 2020
      • Reply

    Hi Jenn:
    First off – so grateful to have discovered your website & will be purchasing your cookbook!

    Ok …question
    I’m having trouble locating wheat germ ( and I know what it is ). Can I leave it out, or would the muffins turn out dry?

    Thank you again for sharing your gift.


    • — Lisa D’Abramo on December 15, 2020
    • Reply
    • Glad you came upon the blog and thanks in advance for purchasing the cookbook! 🙂
      You can easily replace the wheat germ with wheat bran, ground flaxseed, or ground oats. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on December 16, 2020
      • Reply
      • Thank you !
        I have a lot of flaxseed, and like the suggestion.

        Will be making these this morning.

        Thank you!

        • — Lisa D’y on December 17, 2020
        • Reply
  • I love these muffins so much! The first time I made them with the full amount of sugar and sweetened coconut and the second time I didn’t pack the sugar and I used unsweetened coconut. Both were delicious. My husband and 1 year old like them too. I’m thinking about trying different variations like dried cherries or blueberries next time.

  • I made this recipe , no substutions. It was delicious. Compliments all around…

  • For some reason my muffins didn’t raise very much. Instead they just spread quite a bit over the muffin pan. I used a standard muffin pan. Tasted very good but wondering what I did wrong. I followed the recipe exactly but couldn’t find white wheat flour and instead used whole wheat. Could that have affected the outcome? Can you use regular King Arthur flour instead of wheat? Will try again but will make more muffins so they don’t overflow.

    • Hi Deb, sorry you had a problem with these! It’s fine that you used regular whole wheat flour and, yes, King Arthur all-purpose flour would work here as well. Is there any chance you made a measuring error? Or is your baking soda very old?

  • I love this recipe! Whenever I make them for friends, they always ask for the recipe. Though the original recipe is excellent, I also have substituted one cup of Monkfruit, plus two teaspoons of molasses for the sugar to reduce the calories and make it healthier and they still tasted great.

  • Instead of muffins, can I bake this as a loaf? If so, for how long?

    • Sure, I’d lower the temperature to 350 degrees. It may take a little over an hour in the oven – likely 65 to 75 minutes, but keep a close eye on it!

  • I have everything but the wheatgerm. Can I leave it out?

    • Hi Jeanne, You can omit the wheat germ, but you’ll need to keep the ratio of wet to dry ingredients the same, so you could replace it with wheat bran, ground flaxseed, or ground oats. Hope you enjoy!

  • Jenn, can I incorporate ripe bananas into this recipe? I have a couple I need to use up. Thanks!!

    • Hi Carolyn, These muffins are quite moist as is, so I wouldn’t recommend adding more moisture to them with the banana. One reader commented that used one ripe banana in place of the grated apples, so you could give that a try (please keep in mind I haven’t tried it myself). I’d love to hear how they turn out if you try it! 🙂

  • Jenn, I love your recipes. So far only have been working through the Breakfast items. Pancakes, Waffles, Spiced Apple Muffins, Baked Apple French toast, etc. I also love the details you give for each recipe. Can I make the Morning Glory Muffin without the coconut? Tks

    • — Shamini Joseph
    • Reply
    • So glad you like the recipes, Shamini! Yes, I think you can omit the coconut – I’d just replace it with more carrots. Hope you enjoy!

  • I added double the carrots, used flaxseed meal instead of wheat germ. They turned out amazing. I made 20 large, moist and tasty muffins. Thanks for the great recipe.

  • These muffins are fantastic. I have made them so many times…exactly as written they turn out fantastic, but this recipe also allows for easy modifications and substitutions as well. I added a grated zucchini and doubled the coconut today (and I never seem to have wheat germ on hand) still fabulous. I like to use a muffin scoop and make more than a dozen, baking for 18 minutes…I added anough bulk that today it was 2 dozen. Thank you for another fabulous recipe!

  • Made these last week. Terrific recipe, muffins are moist and very tasty. Would recommend the recipe to anyone.

  • Make these!
    They are so nice for breakfast!
    I carefully halved the recipe since it’s just me and my husband (used 2 “normal-sized eggs) and it made 8 muffins from my standard 12-muffin pan. I’ll be freezing 4 -fingers crossed that works.
    I used light OJ and they were fine! Can’t imagine how good fresh squeezed would make them. Bright, moist and lightly sweet yet also hearty. So good with coffee!

  • Can I use almond flour instead of King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour (or Whole Wheat Flour)?
    Last time I made I used whole wheat flour.

    • Hi Zeina, I wouldn’t recommend almond flour here, but it’s fine to use regular whole wheat. 🙂

  • These are really good muffins. They were so delicious. They’re denser than other muffins, but they taste great with butter.

  • Hi Jen, I’m wondering if I follow the same method you use for the carrot cake and use a food processor for the carrots in this recipe. Would that make a difference in the moisture?

    • Hi Carolyn, It’s perfectly fine to use a food processor to grate the carrots. Hope you enjoy!

      • Hi Jenn,
        I don’t have an apple but I’d still love to make these. Should I increase the carrots for moisture or what would recommend?

        • Sure, Nichole, increasing the carrots should work as they too will add moisture. Please LMK how they turn out this way!

  • I had my doubts about all the 5-stars on this recipe. Often “healthy” muffins are healthy, but not very tasty, and regular muffins are just mini-cakes with lots of sugar and butter. This recipe proved me wrong. These were truly were the best muffins I have ever eaten. Light, great texture, just the right amount of sweetness, and I didn’t feel guilty eating them. The only changes I made was to use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil, and flax seed meal instead of wheat germ and I did go half whole wheat flour and half white and they were amazing. Jen, I shouldn’t have doubted you. Your recipes never disappoint!

  • Made these this morning. They were fantastic! Once again, another great recipe.

  • I’ve had great reactions to my morning glory muffins. They taste like carrot cake. Thank you for a healthy morning muffin

  • I made these with whole wheat flour and regular raisins. They are outstanding! Not sure about healthy at 367 calories 29g sugar. Great for on the go breakfast, they are delicious!

  • Hi Jenn,

    Do you think the results would be the same using Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour?

    • Hi Rosie, while I’ve never made these with gluten-free flour, I suspect you will get good results. One brand that readers have commented they’ve had excellent luck with is King Arthur. Please LMK know how the muffins turn out if you make them gluten-free!

  • Wonderful recipes. My question is…grated carrots. The photo looks like shredded carrots and apples. when I grated the carrot it was so small and pulpy, (and the apple just turned to mush), I switched to the fine shred disc and still seemed really small. Should these have been shredded and not grated? If so what disc did you use for this recipe? BTW- the muffins still turned out really tasty but lacking any texture outside of the nuts. Thanks for clarifying! I LOVE your site and haven’t had a bad recipe yet!

    • Hi Mary, You are correct; they should be shredded. Sorry about that and thank you for bringing it to my attention. The recipe has been updated. 🙂

  • Before I make this recipe, could you please verify the weight of the 2 cups of whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour as you show 170 grams and the King Arthur site shows 227 grams?

    • Thank you for catching that, Ruby. It should be 230 g. Sorry for the confusion!

  • Hi Jenn, just wanted to know if i could use pecan instead of walnts? Family preference!!!!

    • — Arlene A Nelson
    • Reply
    • Sure, Arlene – that’s fine!

  • Hi, Jenn!

    I am making the Morning Glory Muffins this morning. When I attempted to convert to Metric measurements, it did not work. Just a FYI …

    Love your blog! Love your cookbook! Thank you for sharing your delicious recipes.

    • Sorry about that Diane — I just fixed it, so you should be able to see all the conversions now. Glad you like the blog/cookbook; hope you like the muffins too! 🙂

  • If you’re going to try these muffins (and I suggest you do) please follow the directions to the letter and don’t substitute anything. I tried them yesterday and made the mistake of subbing almond flour for the white whole wheat. Huge mistake!
    The batch I made today turned out perfect. Thanks Jenn for the awesome recipe!

    • Glad the second batch fared better! 🙂

  • I would like to try and make a Morning Glory loaf. Would these quantities work for a normal 9 X 5 loaf pan? And would I lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 1 hour as with most sweet loaves? Thank you

    • Hi Lynda, that all sounds right. May take a little over an hour in the oven — more like 65 to 75 minutes, but keep a close eye on it!

  • Jenn, these are amazing and keep well for days. I am not a carrot cake person but I do love these.

  • Hi, if I am going to double or triple this recipe, is it better to bake just 12 at a time, or could I bake more than 12 at a time, and cook for longer? If so, how much longer would you suggest?

    • Hi Heather, while you could make two pans of these at the same time and get away with it, for the most predictable results, baking 12 at a time would be optimal. Hope that helps and that you enjoyed the muffins!

      • Thank you

  • Everyone in our family adores these muffins. Perfect for school snack. Thank you!

  • Hi Jenn,

    I have made your cornmeal muffins before that they were fantastic! So I am going to try these ones.

    Question…Do you think mini muffins would work as an alternative? If so, what would you suggest for baking time?


    • Sure, Jackie, mini muffins will work here. I’d start checking them at 10 – 12 minutes. Hope you enjoy!

  • 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!

  • These are delicious! I didn’t have orange juice on hand so I threw a whole orange into the food processor with the oil, eggs and vanilla. Added great flavor to the muffins! A must try.

    • I wondered about adding some orange zest. I bet that was so good!

  • As with many other recipes on this site, these muffins are great! I’ve made them a couple of times now and feel like 2/3 c. brown sugar is enough to keep them sweet. And I clearly make smaller muffins–today this recipe made 21 “regular” size muffins for me.

  • Hi There:

    Can I drop the wheat germ? What will happen if I omit it?

    • Hi Mary, You can omit the wheat germ, but you’ll want to keep the ratio of wet to dry ingredients the same, so you could replace it with wheat bran, ground flax seed, or ground oats. Hope you enjoy!

      • \oops I asked this same question before reading other reviews. Glad to know i can use flax seed!!

      • I made these this morning as I love morning glory muffins! I was missing some ingredients and didn’t want to go to the store so I had to swap some things. I added no raisins. I used whole grain spelt flour and used almond flour in place of the wheat germ. I used coconut oil. And I shredded small apples with their peel on. I was out of vanilla so skipped that too.

        Still really delicious beautiful morning glory muffins. 😊

        I hope to make them again with the raisins and vanilla as I think this will help with flavor and sweetness. But spelt flour and coconut oil did great!

        Thanks so much for your recipes Jenn.

  • I have a serious confession to make…. these are the VERY BEST muffins I’ve ever ever tasted and so easy to make. I did not have walnuts, so I added dates instead. Also, I used pure pineapple juice instead of the orange. Thank you…and thanks again.

  • Could brown sugar be substitute with maple syrup and melasse

    • Hi Mona, for the best results, I’d stick with the brown sugar – sorry!

  • sorry one more question! In the UK we have Plain Wholemeal Flour and Self Raising Wholemeal flour, which one should I use? thanks

    • Hi Kat, Wholemeal flour is the one you want. Enjoy the muffins!

  • My son is allergic to nuts and I do not like raisins. However this recipe still looks so good. Is it still worth making if I omit the raisins and walnuts?

    • Sure, Anisha, it should be fine – due to less volume, you may get one less muffin from the batter. Hope you enjoy!

  • When you say “lightly grease”, what is your preferred method – that which will impact the taste of the muffins the least, yet do the job? Shortening (Crisco), spray (Pam), melted butter?

    • Hi Patty, you can coat the muffin wells with butter and then a dusting of flour or use a baking spray with flour like this one by Baker’s Joy. Hope that helps!

  • Hi Jenn,
    What would you recommend as a substitute for orange juice? Would I be better off using water, milk, almond milk, or applesauce?
    Thank you!

    • I think any would work, but applesauce may be nice as it will add a bit of sweetness similar to the orange juice. Hope you enjoy!

  • Hello, I was interested in making this as a loaf (instead of as muffins). Would suggest any changes to baking temp or time? Thank you!

    • Stephanie, I’d reduce the oven temp to 350°F and bake for 65 – 75 minutes – just keep an eye on it. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

  • Can I refrigerate the batter overnight and cook the next morning?

    • Hi Marie, I wouldn’t recommend refrigerating the batter overnight; they won’t rise as well when you bake them. If you’d like you can bake them a day ahead and serve the next day.

    • If I am correct, the reason they won’t rise as well is that the active ingredients (baking soda and salt), once combined with the wet ingredients, begin to lose their effect. So if you want to save time in the morning, assemble all the wet ingredients the night before and refrigerate. Then assemble the dry ingredients and leave out overnight, covered. When you are ready to make the muffins in the morning, combine the wet with the dry and bake.

  • The Morning Muffins recipe got me hooked on your site! Easy to follow, I love the photos included for reference!
    The many different flavors blend very well together. Moist, and not too sweet. These muffins are always a hit, and one of my favorite recipes to share.

  • These were so good! Trying to find things to feed my suddenly picky 12 year old granddaughter and she loved them 🙂
    I did leave out the raisins, but otherwise followed the recipe. Hearty and healthy without being too heavy. Love the subtle bit of orange with the apple and carrots. Trying the pumpkin next. Thanks Jen!

    • — kerry hampstead
    • Reply
  • After making this recipe the first time, my wife was Adamant that I make it again. She Loved it. So now after making it for the 3rd time, I can easily say it’s going to be a household favorite for a long time to come. My last endeavor into making this, I wanted to “test”? the recipe with a difference or two. Meaning I changed a specific ingredient to see how it affected the moistness and taste. This time around I used a full cup of raisens versus 3/4 cup. Still Perfect. Next I’ll try juicy red apples versus the granny smiths. For the most part I’m thinking that will be a dumb move on my part, but ehh, that’s what cooks do quite often to perfect a new dish don’t they? Then again, to “change” an ingredient to an already Perfect dish, is pretty stupid I know. But I gotta lol.

  • I am struggling to find wheat germ, what is a good substitute? )UK based!)

    • Hi Kat, You can use wheat bran or ground flax seed. Hope that helps!

  • I just made these and they are probably one of the best muffin I’ve ever had. Well done on the recipe! They are healthy yet not too dense, and mine were super moist. Absolutely delicious!

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