Morning Glory Muffins

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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!

4.87 from 23 votes

Morning Glory Muffins

Packed with fruit, carrots, walnuts and rolled oats, these morning glory muffins are hearty, filling and perfect way to start the day!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 12 muffins

Ingredients  

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

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Breakast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: morning glory muffins
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

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Recipe Rating




30 Comments

  1. 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. 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. 5 stars
    My 5 yo and 2 yo loved these! We used chopped dates in place of raisins, subbed 1/2 the sugar with brown sugar, and topped it with a few chocolate chips instead of coconut. Thanks for a healthy breakfast idea!

    1. Yay! So glad these muffins were a hit! Thanks for making the recipe and for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!

  3. 5 stars
    These were delicious! I made them for a potluck and got so many comments. Made them with gluten-free flour. The recipe made 20 muffins for me!

    1. YUM! I am so excited to hear that these muffins were a hit, Melinda. Thank you for coming back and sharing your review + star rating, I really appreciate it!

  4. 5 stars
    These are fantastic! My two year old and I loved them fresh from the oven and will love them in a few weeks after we have our second baby. I’m trying to stock my freezer with healthy finger foods for the toddler and I. Love that these have veggies and nuts, but taste sweet enough to be cupcakes. I made them just as the recipe called for but omitted the coconut flakes.

    1. YUM! This is amazing, Cassandra. I am so glad these turned out great for you and your little one. Thank you for your review + star rating, I really appreciate it!

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