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These easy Morning Glory Muffins are the perfect way to start your day! Loaded with carrots, raisins, apples, nuts and spices, they’re full of healthy, flavorful ingredients that satisfy hungry kids and adults. Make them ahead for busy mornings or easy snacks — they just get better as they sit!

Front shot of the best morning glory muffins on a plate with orange juice in the background

Do you love muffins as much as we do? They are a staple in our kitchen because they freeze so well and are a great morning option (or afternoon snack) when I don’t want to cook. A few seconds in the microwave and they’re warm, fresh, moist and tender. Perfect for hungry little boys who need food fast!

Original Morning Glory Muffins

These particular muffins are near and dear to my heart, since they are modified from the original Morning Glory Muffins that I grew up enjoying each summer from my favorite farm stand and bakery on Martha’s Vineyard, Morning Glory Farm. The Morning Glory Farm cookbook is one of my favorite cookbooks of all time, and it’s one that I use over and over again. I’ve made batch after batch of these muffins over the years, and I’ve gradually tweaked the recipe to suit our preferences.

Morning glory muffin on a blue and white plate sliced in half.

The original muffins were created in 1978 by chef Pam McKinstry for her restaurant on Nantucket. The recipe was first published in Gourmet Magazine in 1981, and in 1991 it was chosen as one of the magazine’s 25 favorite recipes from the past 50 years. With one bite, you’ll soon discover why these muffins have exploded in popularity over the past 40 years. They’re nutritious, satisfying, flavorful and easy!

Stack of easy morning glory muffins on a serving tray.

Ingredients

This recipe is very close to the original Morning Glory Muffins, with the exception of pineapple and shredded coconut. I’ve left those ingredients out, but you can certainly toss them back in if you’d prefer (see my notes below).

  • Brown sugar
  • Eggs
  • Oil
  • Butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder and baking soda
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Grated carrots
  • Grated apple
  • Raisins
  • Pecans

Ingredients for the best morning glory muffin recipe in a large mixing bowl

How to Make Morning Glory Muffins

  1. Whisk together the wet ingredients.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir just until combined. Do not over-mix.
  4. Fold in the carrots, apples, raisins and pecans.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among 14 muffin cups. Sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.
  6. Bake in a 400° F oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350° F and continue baking for about 10 more minutes. The muffins are done when a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Process shot showing how to make morning glory muffins from scratch

Serving Suggestions

Offer the muffins for a quick grab-and-go breakfast on busy mornings (just pull one from the freezer and reheat it in seconds); pile some in a basket as a part of a special brunch buffet; set out a few with a glass of milk for an afternoon snack; or even enjoy them as a side dish with dinner.

Morning Glory Muffins are delicious at room temperature, or even better when served warm. They’re best with a smear of soft butter, a dollop of jam or homemade honey butter, or even spread with almond butter or peanut butter. Don’t forget a cup of coffee or a refreshing glass of orange juice!

Sliced morning glory muffin on a blue and white plate.

Storage

These easy Morning Glory Muffins are a perfect make-ahead breakfast or snack because they just get better as they sit overnight and the flavors come together. The moisture from the carrots and apples keeps the muffins incredibly moist. Allow the muffins to cool completely, then store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Thaw frozen muffins on the counter overnight or in the microwave for 20-30 seconds, just until warmed through.

Morning Glory Muffin Recipe Variations

  • Omit the pecans if you don’t want nuts in your muffins. You can also swap out the pecans and use walnuts or almonds instead.
  • Replace 1 cup of the all-purpose flour with 1 cup of whole wheat flour for added wholegrains.
  • Add ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut to the muffin batter.
  • Add 1 (8-ounce) can of crushed pineapple to the muffin batter. Just make sure that you drain the pineapple really well, squeezing out most of the liquid, before stirring the pineapple into the muffins.
  • Include extra warm spices along with the cinnamon. For instance, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice would each be delicious.
  • I used golden raisins here, but you can substitute with regular raisins, dried currants or even sweetened dried cranberries.

Side shot of healthy morning glory muffins on a breakfast table with orange juice

Tips for the Best Morning Glory Muffins

  • The key to a perfect muffin is just barely mixing the ingredients. You want them to come together, but a few lumps are fine. This way they’ll stay moist and tender!
  • Fill the muffin cups to the top for big muffins with a higher rise.
  • Start the oven at 400° F to help the tops puff up and rise, then (without opening the oven) reduce the temperature to 350° F to give the muffins a chance to cook through without burning.
  • A sprinkling of coarse sugar on top is totally optional, but highly recommended (I love this brand). It gives the muffin tops a bakery-style, sparkly, crisp finish that truly sends these over the top!
  • To check if the muffins are done, insert a toothpick into the center and make sure that it comes out clean. Don’t cook them for too long, or they can dry out.

Front shot of homemade morning glory muffins on a green cake stand.

More Easy Muffin Recipes to Try

Front shot of the best morning glory muffins on a plate with orange juice in the background

Morning Glory Muffins

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
0 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings 14 servings
Calories 291 kcal
These easy morning glory muffins are a satisfying, nourishing, make-ahead breakfast or snack that's just bursting with fresh flavor!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup (½ of a stick) salted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups peeled and grated carrots
  • 1 cup peeled and grated apple (about 1 large)
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • Optional: coarse sugar for topping

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400° F. Line 14 standard-size muffin cups with paper liners. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, eggs, oil, butter and vanilla until completely combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir just until combined (do not over-mix).
  • Fold in carrots, raisins, apples and pecans.
  • Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups, filling the muffin cups to the top. Sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.
  • Bake at 400° F for 10 minutes. Then, keep the muffins in the oven, but lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for about 5-10 minutes; transfer to a wire rack.

Notes

  • Omit the pecans if you don't want nuts in your muffins. You can also swap out the pecans and use walnuts or almonds instead.
  • Replace 1 cup of the all-purpose flour with 1 cup of whole wheat flour for added wholegrains.
  • Add ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut to the muffin batter.
  • Add 1 (8-ounce) can of crushed pineapple to the muffin batter. Just make sure that you drain the pineapple really well, squeezing out most of the liquid, before stirring the pineapple into the muffins.
  • Include extra warm spices along with the cinnamon. For instance, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice would each be delicious.
  • I used golden raisins here, but you can substitute with regular raisins, dried currants or even sweetened dried cranberries.

Nutrition

Serving: 1muffinCalories: 291kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 4gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 341mgPotassium: 266mgFiber: 2gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 3212IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 73mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: easy, morning glory muffins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in January, 2016. It was updated in December, 2020.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. I love making muffins because they make a delicious breakfast or dessert and freeze so well! But I agree, sometimes they can be full of calories and no-so-good ingreidnets. These morning glory cuties sound delicious, Blair! I would happily devour this entire batch in no time!

  2. These muffins look so moist and delectable ! I have never tried making muffins with whole wheat flour thinking it might turn dense , but these look soft. Thanks for sharing Blair 🙂

  3. I have yet to make morning glory muffins. It’s been forever on my to-do list. These look amazing!

  4. Muffins are my favorite thing to bake! I pretty much always have some in my freezer, and I love healthier options like these!

  5. These look so delicious! Would you believe that I worked at Morning Glory Farm for a summer in college? MV holds such a special place in my heart. Anyway, I really love your blog, and as a relative newbie blogger, really look up to it 🙂

    1. No way, Lucy!!!?! That’s awesome! If you worked in the shop, I probably saw you there. It’s definitely been my favorite farm stand for about 25 years now (or however long it’s been open). You obviously know how good these muffins are, too! 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    I was a bit sceptical because I’ve often tried ‘healthier’ muffins but they tasted like crap but these are delicious and approved by my picky two year old (who only goes by blueberry muffins). So awesome to have found a delicious easy snack for my kids, and my husband. I added two tsp of flaxseed as well to make me feel even better eating it and I did them in mini cups(better for small hands and for me when I don’t wanna have a whole muffin). LOL!
    Moist, easy, cheap. Perfect.

    1. Wonderful! I’m so glad to hear that your family approves of these muffins, Kim! I was just thinking about them yesterday and craving another batch. 🙂 Time for me to get baking!