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Start your day with Morning Glory muffins! This recipe is packed with goodness: carrots, raisins, nuts, and warm spices.

Morning Glory Muffins
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Looking for a cozy breakfast or snack? Try these Morning Glory Muffins! This 1970’s muffin recipe is everything it’s cracked up to be. Each one is moist and warm-spiced, studded with carrots, pineapple, raisins and pecans. There’s a bit of whole wheat flour for nutty body and a hint of coconut sprinkles as a topping. It’s like a combination of carrot cake and applesauce cake, in muffin form! Here’s how to whip up a batch.

Why are they called Morning Glory muffins?

Turns out, this famous flavor was born in the 1970’s in Nantucket. Chef Pam McKinstry created the muffin recipe for her restaurant, the Morning Glory Café, in 1978. They quickly became popular and the recipe was published in Gourmet Magazine in 1981.

The original Morning Glory muffins recipe was a straightforward muffin. The batter featured all-purpose flour and cinnamon, and it was stuffed with raisins, carrots, apple, pineapple, pecans, and coconut.

Many riffs on the original have popped up in restaurants around the country, and the muffin started to take on a vaguely “health food” vibe, sometimes including either bran or whole wheat flour.

Morning Glory muffin recipe

Ingredients in Morning Glory muffins

For this Morning Glory muffins recipe, we wanted to stay true to the original character of the muffins while also celebrating its vaguely “healthy” history. We took inspiration from this Epicurious source and former head of Tartine Bakery, who likes to add whole wheat flour and brown sugar to the mix to add that signature “brown” muffin texture. Here’s what you’ll need for this Morning Glory muffins recipe:

  • All-purpose and whole wheat flour
  • Granulated and light brown sugar
  • Cinnamon and allspice
  • Baking powder and salt
  • Canned pineapple
  • Grated carrots
  • Raisins
  • Pecans
  • Eggs
  • Applesauce
  • Vegetable oil
  • Milk
  • Vanilla extract

Mix-ins and variations

Morning Glory muffins have a variety of mix-in options, depending on the chef. If you’re used to this type of muffin, you may want to add one of the following:

  • Walnuts: use chopped walnuts instead of pecans
  • Coconut: add ¼ to ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • Apples: add ½ cup peeled and diced apples
  • Orange zest: add 1 teaspoon orange zest for a beautifully zingy flavor
Morning Glory Muffins

Tips for these Morning Glory Muffins

This Morning Glory muffin recipe comes together quickly and simply: just mix the dry ingredients, mix the wet ingredients, and combine! Here are a few tips to making these muffins a success:

  • Resist the urge to overmix. Overmixing muffin batter can cause holes in the crumb and a denser texture. Mix just until the streaks of flour disappear.
  • Chop the pineapple finely. You don’t want huge chunks of pineapple here.
  • The muffin cups will be full to the brim. This is intentional: it makes for a hefty muffin with a generous muffin top.
  • Baking at 400°F makes a taller muffin. This temperature makes a taller muffin and it’s quicker to bake, versus 350°F which is standard.

Storage info

These Morning Glory muffins are even better the next day! Store them at room temperature overnight, and they become even more moist and delicious. Here are a few pointers:

  • Store up to 4 days at room temperature. Store in a sealed container and they become even more moist over time.
  • Store refrigerated for 1 week or more. Store refrigerated up to 1 week or more. Make sure to allow to come to room temperature before serving, otherwise they are very dense.
  • Frozen: Freeze the muffins in a sealed container for up to 3 months.

And that’s it! Let us know if you try these Morning Glory muffins and what you think.

Morning Glory Muffins

More muffin recipes

Want to try more classic muffin flavors? Here are a few to try?

This Morning Glory muffins recipe is…

Vegetarian.

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Morning Glory Muffins

Morning Glory Muffins


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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x

Description

Start your day with Morning Glory muffins! This recipe is packed with goodness: carrots, raisins, nuts, and warm spices.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup [140 g] all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup [140 g] whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup [100 g] granulated sugar
  • ½ cup [100 g] light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup canned pineapple (in juice), drained and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 cup peeled and grated carrots (2 medium)
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup chopped pecans, plus more for topping
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup milk (or orange juice*)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional: Coconut flakes, for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a standard 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or add muffin cup papers.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, baking powder, and kosher salt. Stir in the pineapple, carrots, raisins and chopped pecans.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the applesauce, vegetable oil, milk and vanilla extract until smooth. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a spatula until a thick, smooth batter forms.
  4. Scoop the batter evenly into the muffin cups: the cups will be full to the top. Sprinkle the tops with more chopped pecans and if desired, coconut flakes.
  5. Bake the muffins for 20 to 23 minutes, until puffed and golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a rack to cool fully, about 1 hour. Eat immediately or they taste even better the next day after storage in a sealed container at room temperature. Store up to 4 days in a sealed container at room temperature, refrigerated up to 1 week or more (allow to come to room temperature before serving), or frozen up to 3 months.

Notes

*Adding 1 teaspoon orange zest also brightens the flavor! Other mix in ideas: add ½ cup shredded coconut, use walnuts instead of pecans, or golden raisins instead of raisins.

  • Category: Muffin
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Breakfast
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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4 Comments

  1. Julie says:

    Delicious! I used golden raisins and topped with shredded coconut. Perfect right out of the oven






  2. claire says:

    There’s ginger in the instructions but not in the ingredients list.

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      That should have been allspice! Thank you so much – typo corrected.

  3. Emi says:

    How big is a can of pineapple?