Morning Glory Muffins

Breakfast and BrunchBakingMuffin

Morning Glory Muffins are like carrot cake for breakfast! They are made with shredded carrots, apples, raisins, and whole wheat flour.

Photography Credit: Sheryl Julian

Everyone needs one great muffin recipe. This is mine.

These Morning Glory muffins are like carrot cake cupcakes, though not as sweet and at least somewhat more nutritious. They’re mixed with grated carrots and apple, along with raisins, walnuts, and spices.

Curious about where Morning Glory muffins first originated?

Most bakers attribute them to the Morning Glory Cafe on Nantucket, an island off the coast of Massachusetts. That was in the 1970s when bakers were first starting to experiment with adding vegetables such as grated carrots and zucchini to their baked goods.

This wasn’t an entirely new phenomenon: during World War II, bakers used grated beets as a cheap way to intensify chocolate cakes.

In these muffins, carrots add moisture and color, and when you bite into one, the familiar taste of carrot cake will please and delight you.

Morning Glory Muffins

Morning Glory Muffins Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12 muffins


  • 3/4 cup (90g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (85g) whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 packed cup (160g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (149g) canola oil
  • 1/4 cup (85g) honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 medium carrots, grated (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 small apple, peeled, cored, and grated (about 1/2 cup)
  • Zest from one medium orange
  • 1/2 cup golden or dark raisins
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Special equipment:


1 Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper cups or grease with butter.

2 Combine the dry ingredients: In a bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice to combine. Use a spoon to smash apart any remaining brown sugar lumps. (If you shake the bowl, any lumps will rise to the surface.)

Morning Glory Muffins

3 Make the batter: In a large bowl, stir the eggs to break them up. Add the canola oil, honey, vanilla, carrots, apple, orange rind, raisins, and walnuts. Stir thoroughly. Stir in the dry ingredients until well blended.

Morning Glory Muffins

Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling them almost to the top. Tap the muffin pan once, hard, on the counter to settle any air pockets.

Morning Glory Muffins

4 Bake the muffins for 22 to 25 minutes, or until they are firm and a toothpick inserted into the middle emerges clean. Set the muffins on a wire rack to cool. Muffins keep well for several days stored in an airtight container.

Morning Glory Muffins

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Sheryl Julian

Sheryl Julian is an award-winning writer, editor, and food stylist. She is the former food editor of The Boston Globe, co-author of The Way We Cook, and editor of The New Boston Globe Cookbook. Her food sections won Best Newspaper Food Coverage from the Association of Food Journalists in 2015.

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19 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. PShaffer

    The original recipe from the Morning Glory Cafe in Nantucket also included crushed pineapple. I substitute dried cranberries for raisins.

  2. Chantel

    What could I substitute instead of honey?

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Bree

    I enjoyed these. I added a bit of zucchini because it had to be used up. Has anyone made these with butter instead of oil? I found them a bit oily for my liking, but otherwise very tasty! I would make them again regardless, but would be interested in knowing if they can be less oily.


  4. Caria

    Made my first batch this morning. They came out great. Definitely would make them again.


  5. Oralea

    Love these! They didn’t have the nice rounded muffin top like the photos but I think I overfilled the cups. Oh well… they were delicious! I got a bunch of small carrots in my Imperfect Produce box and this was an excellent way to use them up. Thanks!


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