Morning Glory Muffins

DF VG

Packed with fruit, carrots, walnuts and rolled oats, these morning glory muffins are hearty, filling and perfect way to start the day! Based on the original recipe from Nantucket.

If you’re looking for a hearty, nutrient dense muffin, these morning glory muffins are for you! They’re packed with healthy fats, protein and nutrients thanks to rolled oats and variety of mix-ins including carrots and walnuts. Each bite has a ton of texture and they’re a great way to start your day.

Two muffins stacked on top of each other.

What is a Morning Glory Muffin?

The original recipe for morning glory muffins came in 1978 from Pam McKinstry, the owner of the “Morning Glory Cafe” in Nantucket. The recipe was first published in Gourmet magazine in 1981 and it was chosen as one of the magazine’s 25 best recipes from the past 50 years in 1991.

Since the first recipe came out there have been so many different variations of these muffins, but the original morning glory muffin recipe is made with all-purpose flour, white sugar, vegetable oil, shredded coconut, raisins, apple, pineapple, carrots, and nuts.

Morning glory muffins wrapped in paper liners.

Are Morning Glory Muffins Healthy?

While morning glory muffins do contain healthier ingredients like fruit, vegetables and nuts the original recipe is made with all-purpose flour, 1 cup vegetable oil and white sugar. In true EBF fashion I decided to make an upgraded version with some better-for-you ingredients.

Instead of white sugar we’re using coconut sugar (and reducing the amount substantially). In addition, we’re swapping all-purpose flour for whole wheat pastry flour and using applesauce to replace some of the oil. And for the rest of the oil we’re using avocado oil which is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and lower in saturated fat compared to other common baking oils.

Ingredients measured out to make morning glory muffins: applesauce, vanilla, ginger, baking powder, sea salt, apple, cinnamon, baking soda, raisins, walnuts, carrots, avocado oil, whole wheat pastry flour, eggs, coconut sugar, coconut and oats.

What You’ll Need

  • whole wheat pastry flour – I like using whole wheat pastry flour instead of white flour for the added nutrition benefits. It also keeps the texture of baked goods lighter! My go-to brand is Bob’s Red Mill whole wheat pastry flour.
  • rolled oats make sure you grab gluten-free oats if needed. My favorite brand is Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free rolled oats
  • baking powder and baking soda – to help the muffins rise.
  • sea salt – balances the flavors of the muffins.
  • cinnamon and ginger – nice warming spices for these muffins.
  • eggs – helps bind the ingredients together and provide structure.
  • coconut sugar – I love using coconut sugar because it’s a natural sugar with a bit more nutrition.
  • unsweetened applesauce – helps reduce the amount of oil you need while still keeping the muffins super moist. Make homemade applesauce or use store-bought unsweetened applesauce.
  • avocado oil – helps make the muffins moist and fluffy! The oil also helps prevent the muffins from sticking to the liners. I like using avocado oil because it has a neutral flavor and is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which has been linked to lowering cholesterol. It’s also lower in saturated fat compared to other common baking oils like coconut oil. 1 Tablespoon of avocado oil has only 2 grams of saturated fat while coconut oil contains 11 grams!
  • vanilla extract – a flavor enhancer.
  • apple  I prefer using a crisp red apple like pink lady or honey crisp.
  • carrots for added texture, flavor and nutrition! Veggies in muffins? Yes, please!
  • raisins the raisins add a nice sweetness to these muffins.
  • unsweetened shredded coconut look for longer strands of unsweetened shredded coconut, not coconut chips.
  • toasted walnuts I love the texture, flavor and the healthy fats that toasted walnuts add to these muffins.
Collage of 6 photos showing the steps to make morning glory muffins: from mixing the batter to baking the muffins.

How to Make Glory Morning Muffins

Step 1: Start by toasting the walnuts. Add to a baking sheet and place them in your preheated oven at 350°F. Stir walnuts after 5 minutes. Allow to toast about 5 minutes longer or until the walnuts are golden and fragrant. Remove from oven and allow walnuts to cool. Once cool, chop walnuts and set aside.

Step 2: In a medium mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, rolled oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and ground ginger.

Step 3: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together wet ingredients: eggs, coconut sugar, applesauce, avocado oil, vanilla extract, shredded apples and shredded carrots. Pour the dry mixture into the bowl with the wet ingredients and stir until mixture is just combined. Don’t over-mix, otherwise, your muffins could turn out dry and dense!

Step 4: Gently fold in raisins, shredded coconut and walnuts.

Step 5: Pour the batter evenly between 12 muffin tins that are lined with paper or silicone liners. Bake for 25-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean. Let muffins cool in the tin for about 5 minutes, then remove them and let them cool completely on a wire rack. Don’t leave the muffins in the muffin tin for too long because they’ll continue to bake and could dry out!

pro tip!
I highly recommend using silicone muffin liners or parchment baking cups for the best results and to prevent the muffins from sticking.
A morning glory muffin with a bite taken out of it.

Notes & Substitutions

  • Flour: If you can’t find whole wheat pastry flour you can also use white whole wheat flour, a blend of all-purpose and regular whole wheat flour or just regular all-purpose flour. If you need these muffins to be gluten-free I would suggest using a gluten-free all-purpose 1:1 flour mix.
  • Eggs: I haven’t tried a vegan substitute for this recipe, but I bet flax seed eggs would work just fine. Let me know if you try it in the comments below!
  • Coconut sugar: You should be able to swap the coconut sugar for regular cane sugar or brown sugar if needed.
  • Applesauce: Melted butter, more oil, mashed banana or even pumpkin puree would all be good substitutes.
  • Avocado oil: Coconut oil, olive oil or melted butter would work in place of the avocado oil.
  • Apple: More carrots or (drained) canned crushed pineapple could be subbed for the apple.
  • Carrots: Instead of carrots you could add more apple or shredded zucchini. If you do use shredded zucchini make sure to squeeze all the excess liquid out before adding it to the batter!
  • Raisins: Dried cranberries, dates, or another dried fruit could all work here.
  • Shredded coconut: Don’t love coconut or have an allergy? Skip the coconut or use more nuts/seeds or raisins instead of the coconut.
  • Walnuts: Omit or swap the walnuts for another nut or seed of choice. Almonds, pecans, or sunflower seeds would all be delicious.
A morning glory muffin wrapped in a paper liner.

How to Serve

These muffins are great for a portable and easy breakfast on the go. My favorite way to enjoy them is toasted with a spread of nut butter on them.

For a complete breakfast with protein, carbs and healthy fat you can pair one with a hard boiled egg, baked egg muffin, egg white bites or a yogurt bowl.

How to Store Morning Glory Muffins

After allowing the muffins to cool completely, store them in an airtight container for 3-4 days at room temperature or for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. For longer storage, you can freeze these muffins for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container or bag. I like to use my Stasher bags for easy storage. To defrost, place muffins in the fridge overnight, at room temperature or defrost in the microwave.

These muffins are great for meal prep! I love making a batch over the weekend so I have a healthy breakfast or snack option ready to go all week long.

More Muffin Recipes to Try

Be sure to check out all of my muffin recipes and the full collection of breakfast recipes here on EBF!

Morning Glory Muffins

5 from 18 votes
Packed with fruit, carrots, walnuts and rolled oats, these morning glory muffins are hearty, filling and perfect way to start the day!
Two muffins stacked on top of each other.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 medium crisp sweet apple, peeled and grated (I prefer pink lady or honeycrisp)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Place 12 paper or silicone muffin cups in your muffin tin.
  • Add walnuts to a baking sheet and place in oven to toast. Stir walnuts after 5 minutes. Allow to toast about 5 minutes longer or until the walnuts are golden and fragrant. Remove from oven and allow walnuts to cool. Once cool, chop walnuts and set aside.
    Chopping toasted walnuts.
  • In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, rolled oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and ground ginger.
    A mixing bowl containing flour, rolled oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and ground ginger.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut sugar, applesauce, avocado oil, vanilla extract, shredded apples and shredded carrots.
    A mixing bowl containing eggs, coconut sugar, applesauce, avocado oil, vanilla extract, grated apples and grated carrots.
  • Pour the flour mixture into the bowl with the wet ingredients and stir until mixture is just combined. Don’t over-mix!
    Dry and wet ingredients combined.
  • Gently fold in raisins, shredded coconut and walnuts.
    Raisins, shredded coconut and walnuts added to muffin batter.
  • Spoon the batter evenly into 12 muffin tins.
    Muffins batter added to 6 paper lined muffin tin.
  • Bake for 25-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.
    Six baked morning glory muffins in a muffin tin.
  • Let muffins cool in the tin for about 5 minutes, then remove them and let them cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Store at room temperature for 3-4 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week in an airtight container. You can also freeze for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container.

Notes

  • Flour: If you can’t find whole wheat pastry flour you can also use white whole wheat flour, a blend of all-purpose and regular whole wheat flour or just regular all-purpose flour. If you need these muffins to be gluten-free I would suggest using a gluten-free all-purpose 1:1 flour mix.
  • Eggs: I haven’t tried a vegan substitute for this recipe, but I bet flax eggs would work just fine. Let me know if you try it in the comments below!
  • Coconut sugar: You should be able to swap the coconut sugar for regular cane sugar or brown sugar if needed.
  • Applesauce: Melted butter, more oil, mashed banana or even pumpkin puree would all be good substitutes.
  • Avocado oil: Coconut oil, olive oil or melted butter would work in place of the avocado oil.
  • Apple: More carrots or canned crushed pineapple could be subbed for the apple.
  • Carrots: Instead of carrots you could add more apple or shredded zucchini. If you do use shredded zucchini make sure to squeeze all the excess liquid out before adding it to the batter!
  • Raisins: Dried cranberries, dates, or another dried fruit could all work here.
  • Shredded coconut: Skip the coconut or use more nuts/seeds or raisins instead of the coconut.
  • Walnuts: Omit or swap the walnuts for another nut or seed of choice. Almonds, pecans, or sunflower seeds would all be delicious.
Recipe adapted from Chef Pam McKinstry.

Nutrition

Serving: 1muffin Calories: 298kcal Carbohydrates: 49g Protein: 6g Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 3g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 31mg Sodium: 225mg Potassium: 288mg Fiber: 7g Sugar: 20g
Course: Breakast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: morning glory muffins

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




    24 comments
    1. Katharine
      August 16, 2022 AT 5:06 pm

      5 stars
      These are so moist and so flavorful! I followed the directions exactly with the exception of a couple of the suggested substitutions. I subbed the apple with crushed pineapple and the apple sauce with pumpkin puree. Devine recipe!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 17, 2022 AT 11:57 am

        Yum!! I am excited to hear that you are loving this recipe, Katharine. Thank you for sharing your substitutions, they sound delicious. Thank you for your review + start rating, I so appreciate you being here!

    2. Caitlyn
      April 11, 2022 AT 10:14 am

      5 stars
      I made these muffins over the weekend and they turned out fantastic! I subbed crushed pineapple for the applesauce, but otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. I’ve made a different Morning Glory recipe in the past and those turned out too moist and just fell apart, but these were the perfect amount of crunch on the outside but soft on the inside. And the combination of cinnamon and ginger was spot on 🙂

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 12, 2022 AT 8:11 am

        Woo! So glad to hear that, Caitlyn! I love the pineapple and applesauce swap, great idea! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    3. Liss
      April 9, 2022 AT 7:45 pm

      5 stars
      I made it with Gluten free flour. It is officially my new favorite muffin recipe!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 10, 2022 AT 8:36 am

        Hi, Liss! I’m so glad the swap worked well and you loved the muffins. Thank you so much for your review, it means so much to me.

    4. Eva
      April 9, 2022 AT 1:03 pm

      Hi Brittany, this recipe sounds great! Do you think the coconut sugar could be swapped for 1/4 Cup of honey or maple syrup – or would that mess up the consistency?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        April 10, 2022 AT 8:36 am

        Hi, Eva. I haven’t tried it and switching to a liquid sweetener could change the consistency… You might need a bit more flour, I’d start with a teaspoon at a time. If you try it, let me know how they turn out!

        1. Eva
          April 14, 2022 AT 6:04 pm

          5 stars
          Reporting back, muffins came out great! Used a 1/4 Cup of honey, 1cup regular whole wheat, 1/2 cup all purpose, no walnuts (didn’t have them on hand).Baked for 25 min. Subtle sweetness, perfect for a breakfast muffin. Spread some natural peanut butter on top – winner!

          1. Brittany Mullins
            April 15, 2022 AT 8:02 am

            Yay! I’m so happy to hear that, Eva! Thank you for sharing, I really appreciate it 🙂

    5. SK
      March 28, 2022 AT 10:09 am

      These look fabulous but 49 carbs is way to high for one muffin for me . That is my 2 day total allowed. Any substitutes to lower that? Would almond flour work?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 28, 2022 AT 12:26 pm

        Hi, SK. The high carb count is likely the culprit of both the whole wheat pastry flour as well as the oats. I haven’t tried subbing with almond flour, but you could certainly try. I do make note that your best bet is to switch to regular all purpose or even a gluten free 1-to-1 flour. Let me know if you try it and how it turns out for you! You could alternatively try these Almond Flour Muffins.

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.

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