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Bitten morning glory muffin on top of stack of muffins in paper liners. White background with greenery.

Easy Morning Glory Muffins

These hearty muffins are almost a perfect breakfast, full of carrots, apples, raisins, and nuts. Incredibly moist, soft, delicious, and easy to prepare! You can make the classic recipe or adapt a few ingredients for healthy morning glory muffins. A wonderful recipe that keeps well and can be frozen. 

  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 18 medium

Ingredients

Units

For classic muffins:

  • 1 cup sunflower oil
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

For healthy muffins:

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup coconut sugar or fine muscovado sugar
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (very finely ground)
  • 1 cup white whole-wheat flour

For both versions:

  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Several gratings of nutmeg, optional
  • 2 cups grated carrots (about 2 medium)
  • 2 cups coarsely grated apples (about 2 medium)
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (for toasting them, see Notes below)
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened (optional)
  • 1/2 cup seedless raisins, light or dark

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C
  2. Line with paper cups (or butter/spray) 18 muffin pans.
  3. In a large bowl, beat oil, sugar, and eggs until very well blended and a little foamy. I use a whisk and beat for a minute, but you can use an electric mixer. 
  4. Add sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in 2 parts and mix. I have it all measured and sift it directly over the oil mixture. But you can sift it separately in a medium bowl if that's easier for you.
  5. Add the shredded carrots and apples and mix well with a spatula. 
  6. Add the chopped walnuts, shredded coconut (if using), and raisins. Mix well until all is moistened. The batter will be thick. 
  7. Divide evenly among the prepared muffin pans. If your oven can't hold all the pans together, bake them in two batches. It's fine to make the second batch wait at room temperature.
  8. Bake for about 25-30 minutes until golden and dry, and a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. 
  9. Let cool on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes, remove the muffins from the pan and let cool completely on the cooling rack. 
  10. Keep for a day at room temperature or in the fridge for 3-4 days, well covered or in an airtight container.
  11. You can freeze leftovers well covered.
  12. In both cases, warm slightly in a medium-temperature oven (about 10 minutes at 325°F/160°C) before eating. 

Notes

  • Organization: read the recipe first and ensure you have ingredients at the correct temperature, equipment, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier.
  • Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer(like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust. 
  • Chopping: I grate carrots and apples with their skin (yes, also the apple) with a large-holed or coarse grater, and it renders a wonderful and very moist texture. But you can finely chop them.
  • Toasting: though you can omit this step, lightly toasting nuts and coconut before adding them to the batter adds flavor to these muffins. Spread them separately on baking sheets and toast in a medium/low oven (300°F/150°C) for about 10 minutes, depending on the amount. Be careful with the coconut, as it burns in seconds! Watch it closely and stir it once or twice as it bakes so it toasts more evenly. 
  • Vegetable oil: you can use others, like canola oil. I've even used light olive oil a couple of times (and loved it).
  • Raisins: make sure they are seedless, it's quite annoying biting into seeds. Make sure they're soft. 
  • Sweetness: coconut sugar and finely ground muscovado sugar sweetens less than light brown sugar. A tablespoon of honey can be added to the batter (together with the sugar) for flavor and moistness.
  • Coconut: it is optional and it adds a very particular flavor. If you like a more traditional carrot cake flavor I would omit it. I like it and use it, but only if I have it. I would never not make these muffins because I didn't have shredded coconut in my pantry. 
  • Pans: besides regular muffin pans, you can make this recipe into a sheet cake using a 9x13-inch rectangular pan
  • Other add-ins: omit half the grated apple amount and add crushed pineapple (drained) or unsweetened applesauce. Craisins or cranberries can be used instead of raisins or a mix.
  • Flavorings: besides the cinnamon, I use nutmeg and sometimes added a pinch of ginger and allspice to the batter. These muffins mix carrot cake and apple cake with raisins, so start with the spices you use for those bakes and adjust to your palate. Orange zest (1/2 teaspoon or so) works very well with the rest of the ingredients. 
  • Overmixing the batter can cause the muffins to become tough and dense. Simply combine the ingredients; don't beat or overmix. 
  • Using cold ingredients can cause the batter to not mix well and be lumpy. Using ingredients at room temperature is important unless otherwise specified in the recipe.
  • Not greasing the muffin tin properly can cause the muffins to stick to the pan and be difficult to remove. Use baking spray or soft butter.
  • Overbaking the muffins can cause them to become dry and hard. Check the muffins a few minutes before the end of the suggested baking time with a cake tester or toothpick, and remove them from the oven as soon as they are cooked through.
  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooling time:
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Muffins
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/18
  • Calories: 252
  • Sugar: 15.8 g
  • Sodium: 157.6 mg
  • Fat: 14.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 28.6 g
  • Fiber: 2.7 g
  • Protein: 3.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 20.7 mg

Keywords: morning glory muffins