Morning Glory Muffins


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.

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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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27 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. ANNA

    I think the time on the recipe is off. Mini muffins of course I would expect to take less time – they only took 9 minutes. Even the regular sized muffins I made only took 15 minutes though.

    I got 12 mini muffins and 9 regular sized muffins from the recipe.

  2. ANNA

    These have been good every time I’ve made them, even with some substitutions. To use ingredients I already had, I used dried cherries instead of raisins and almonds for the nuts. I also subbed about half of the oil with canned pumpkin puree. :)


  3. bbstx

    I hesitate to review a recipe where I made substitutions, but maybe my subs will help someone else who’s trying to clear the pantry. I used all AP flour. I used coconut oil instead of canola. I added 1 Tblsp Cointreau instead of orange zest. I used part dark brown sugar and part light brown sugar. I omitted the nuts. I used a Honeycrisp apple. Despite all my substitutions, these muffins were delicious! They cooked perfectly in 22 minutes. The muffins do turn a very dark brown, but in no way were they burnt.

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  4. Sarah

    If I don’t have any honey, can I substitute more brown sugar? Thanks!

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  5. Liz

    I’m so sad. Mine burned! I thought they looked a little dark when I spun them at 11 minutes but I poked one and it wasn’t set up at all so I put them in for another 10 and the tops are burned. I’m not sure what went wrong, but I might try baking at 350 next time instead. Disappointed after all that grating, but the insides are delicious.

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