Simple Morning Glory Muffins.

These hearty and simple morning glory muffins taste like spiced apple cake and moist carrot cake… combined… for breakfast!

Sally's Baking Addiction Simple Morning Glory Muffins-- like carrot cake and spiced apple cake... for breakfast!

Happy Easter! Kevin and I went to a little bed and breakfast a couple days ago down in northern Virginia to celebrate our 6 month anniversary. We’d been there 3 years ago and loved it, so it was exciting to be back. They had a little wine tasting shindig at their restaurant which (helloooo, free wine!) turned a great night into an even better night. We enjoyed a lot of great food– including a white chocolate raspberry cheesecake– but one of my favorites was this incredibly moist, flavorful morning glory muffin. It was packed with apple, carrot, brown sugar, pecans, and raisins. I realize compared to WHITE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE… it’s a raisin muffin… but there was just something about all its spice, flavor, and that damn moist texture that made the muffin so memorable.

Sally's Baking Addiction Simple Morning Glory Muffins-- like carrot cake and spiced apple cake... for breakfast!

I’m sharing my little copycat version with ya today. Maybe you still need an Easter Sunday treat? If so, start preheating that oven.

Today’s jam-packed muffins are so simple. They’re a healthier muffin, for sure, but don’t really win first place. There’s a little brown sugar and oil for flavor and texture. To lighten them up, I use a mix of applesauce and oil. This way the muffins keep their moist, rich texture but aren’t weighed down with fat. Sometimes I find that replacing all of the fat in muffin recipes results in a rubbery texture.

Some super power healthy all-stars: whole wheat flour, grated apple and carrots, pecans, and ground flax. These whole wheat muffins get their flavor from apple, carrots, honey, brown sugar, orange zest, cinnamon, and ginger. Sort of like stuffing your face with a piece of carrot cake and spiced apple cake… together… for breakfast. Probably why I love them so much! Two faves. Oh, and if you decide to top them with cream cheese frosting, well we’re soul mates you and I.

Sally's Baking Addiction Simple Morning Glory Muffins-- like carrot cake and spiced apple cake... for breakfast!

Sally's Baking Addiction Simple Morning Glory Muffins-- like carrot cake and spiced apple cake... for breakfast!

In addition, these classic muffins have toasted nuts for texture, raisins because I’m obsessed, and a splash of OJ for even more flavor. As you can see (read!), there is SO much much satisfying, wholesome goodness packed into this muffin batter.

Let’s talk variations! 

I baked 3 batches of these muffins yesterday. My freezer was looking scarce and I had an army of carrots in the crisper drawer. I tested and tweaked the muffins with different add-ins like coconut, shredded zucchini, crushed pineapple, and sunflower seeds. I’m excited to share that this batter is incredibly forgiving and there’s room for lots of playing around based on what you like/despise. Allergic to nuts? Leave them out. Hate raisins? More for me. Want some coconut? Throw it in! Just make sure you don’t crowd the batter with too much stuff. See all my recipe notes below for tasty variations.

Sally's Baking Addiction Simple Morning Glory Muffins-- like carrot cake and spiced apple cake... for breakfast!

Rich in spiced cake flavor, lusciously moist in texture, and satisfyingly hearty. It definitely looks like a million ingredients, but some are optional and some can be swapped. They’re all pretty convenient and easy. So much good stuff here!

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 


Simple Morning Glory Muffins

Yield: 16 muffins

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour (includes cooling)

Print Recipe

These hearty and simple morning glory muffins taste like spiced apple cake and moist carrot cake... combined... for breakfast!


  • 2 cups (260g) whole wheat flour1 (measured correctly)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup (35g) ground flax (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (64g) unsalted chopped pecans, such as Diamond of California 2
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (85g) honey3
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable, canola oil, or melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup (60g) smooth applesauce4
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) orange juice or pineapple juice (I prefer orange)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (75g) raisins, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes5
  • 2 cups (260g) shredded carrots (about 4 large)
  • 1 cup (140g) shredded/grated apple (about 1 apple)6


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C)7. Spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray or use greased/sprayed cupcake liners. This recipe makes 16 muffins, so prepare a second muffin pan in the same manner.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, flax, and pecans together until combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, brown sugar, honey, oil, applesauce, orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla together until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stir a few times, then add the raisins, carrots, and apple. Fold everything together gently just until combined and no flour pockets remain.
  3. Spoon the batter into liners, filling them all the way to the top. Bake for 5 minutes at 425 then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C). Bake for an additional 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The total time these muffins take in the oven is about 23-24 minutes, give or take. Allow the muffins to cool for 10 minutes in the muffin sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool until ready to eat.
  4. Make ahead tip: Muffins stay soft, fresh, and moist at room temperature for up to 5 days. Muffins freeze well for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and heat up (if desired) before enjoying.

Additional Notes:

  1. 2 cups of white whole wheat, whole wheat pastry flour, or all-purpose flour work too.
  2. Instead of pecans, try chopped walnuts or even sunflower seeds. Or leave out completely. If using the nuts, feel free to toast them for 10 minutes at 300°F (148°C).
  3. Instead of honey, you can try agave or maple syrup instead. Or use 1/4 cup more brown sugar.
  4. Instead of applesauce, use an extra 1/3 cup of oil. 1/3 cup mashed banana works instead too, but I found the muffins to be a little dry.
  5. I used a mix of golden raisins and regular. Instead, try dried cranberries or leave them out completely.
  6. Any variety apple works! I use Granny Smith.
  7. Why the initial high temperature? The hot burst of air will spring up the top of the muffin quickly, then the inside of the muffin can bake for the remainder of the time. This helps the muffins rise nice and tall.

More variations: Instead of carrots, use shredded zucchini. Add 1/3 cup of shredded coconut to the batter for a tropical kick. Instead of apple, use 2/3 - 3/4 cup crushed pineapple.

Adapted from Award Winning Zucchini Bread, King Arthur Flour, and My Favorite Carrot Cake

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

These morning glory muffins remind me of Breakfast Cookies.

Breakfast = cookies.

Breakfast Cookies on

Right this way for more muffin recipes!

Sally's Baking Addiction Simple Morning Glory Muffins-- like carrot cake and spiced apple cake... for breakfast!

 I’m working with Diamond of California to bring you this recipe!

Hands down, one of my favorite muffin recipes! Freezer friendly, wholesome, healthy, and EASY morning glory muffins!
This wholesome muffin has it all! The flavor of these morning glory muffins is incredible and they're super moist.

111 Responses to “Simple Morning Glory Muffins.”

  1. #
    Ronaposted April 21, 2015 at 5:46 am

    Made a batch of these yesterday but used a mix of grated carrot & zucchini instead of just carrots– it was a success! A winning recipe.


  2. #
    Yehoshua Paulposted April 27, 2015 at 2:52 am

    I definitely am going to try this sometime soon.
    That said, I think the title is misleading. This recipe is not simple. Not too complicated, but definitely not simple.


  3. #
    lizzyposted May 9, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Would it be possible to leave out the sugar and add more honey instead?


  4. #
    Marceposted May 24, 2015 at 6:55 am

       A wonderful recipe, I taste them in a bakery and right away google the recipe. This was the best, healthy choice. Definitely, it will be a must keeper, and so many variations to work with, that my kids won’t know that it ‘s the same recipe. 
       Thanks for sharing it.


  5. #
    Mirandaposted May 28, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    Thank you for the recipe, these muffins were soo good! I was inspired by all your variations, and I’ve hit upon something the fam really likes. I use the pulp from our juicer after I make carrot apple juice ( After peeling and removing seeds) instead of the grated carrot and apple called for in the recipe. to make up for the lack of moisture, I just add crushed pineapple in 100% juice instead of the applesauce, and don’t drain the fruit. I also used hemp protien powder instead of some of the flour, to up the satisfying density of these treats. This is a great recipe to use the leftovers from our juicer to make something else that is really tasty.


    • Sallyreplied on May 29th, 2015 at 7:54 am

      Sounds delicious, Miranda! Thanks for sharing your version.


  6. #
    katieposted July 20, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    Can I use substitute applesauce for the apple?


  7. #
    Roseposted July 22, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Hi, i would like to turn this recipe into a cake instead of muffins. Could you tell me how i can adjust the baking time and if i need to adjust the temperature as well? Thank you


  8. #
    Marina Carawayposted August 8, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Made these with our garden zucchini in place of carrots and maple syrup instead of honey and they were perfect!  I love having my recipes from your site always turn out just like they should!  This recipe is a keeper.


  9. #
    Tasha Mehneposted August 30, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    These were quite yummy! Mine did turn out a little dry, though. I’m wondering if baking them for the 5 min at the higher temp pushed it over the edge. After the 5 min, I set the clock for an additional 15 (at 350 as instructed) to be safe. I’m glad I didn’t set the time for more than that as they may have really burned. I live at a high elevation and usually bake times can take longer, but in this case, I could have used only an additional 12-13 min. I did add a 1/4 c of coconut and substituted the applesauce with another 1/3 c of Canola oil. Maybe the applesauce gives it some moisture I was missing. I’ll try again and experiment some more! Thanks! 


    • Sallyreplied on August 31st, 2015 at 9:59 am

      Tasha– thanks for reporting back! How about reducing the oven time. I don’t think oil for applesauce was the issue at all!


  10. #
    Monicaposted September 20, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    i made these today and they are AMAZING!! I made 46 mini muffins. My son just started kindergarten and they are the perfect little snack…thanks for the recipe


  11. #
    patienceposted September 21, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Has anybody tried using a gluten free flour when making these muffins?  


    • patiencereplied on September 21st, 2015 at 1:59 pm

      just tried it and they are fantastic!


  12. #
    Heidiposted September 21, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    These are delicious, and this recipe will replace my current one. They came out very moist and cake-like. I used all whole wheat flower and pumpkin seeds instead of the pecans. Next time, I will leave out the honey and replace it with a ripe, mashed banana. They were not overly sweet, but reducing sugar more will not hurt these. Thanks for the recipe!


  13. #
    Judith Barbiauxposted September 30, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    I just made these, used whole wheat flour, agave nectar, 2/3 cup coconut oil, 1/2 cup dried cranberries, 1 cup shredded carrots, 1 cup shredded zucchini, applesauce, half an apple grated, 1/2 cup dried sunflower seeds (goodies), just sensational.  Otherwise followed the recipe exactly.  Many different flavors blending together.  Highly recommend this recipe!  Very versatile.  


  14. #
    Hannahposted October 12, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Does anyone know how these would turn out if you replaced the applesauce with canned pumpkin? 


    • Maryreplied on October 20th, 2015 at 6:30 pm

      Pumpkin puree has less liquid than applesauce.  You will need to add more liquid such as orange juice to compensate.


  15. #
    Shelbieposted October 20, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Can I just say thank you SOO much for noting so many different variations and options. At first i was deterred because I didn’t have some of the ingredients on hand. You made it so easy for me to make these no matter what I have in the pantry!  


    • Sallyreplied on October 20th, 2015 at 3:59 pm

      Glad you find it helpful!


  16. #
    Maryposted October 20, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    I am sorry, but I will not make these again.  The orange was overwhelming, didn’t work well with the other flavors (too many?) and the carrots turn green overnight due to the high baking soda content. 


    • Amaylahreplied on November 15th, 2015 at 6:54 pm

      I agree with you Mary, I experienced the same issues when I made them this weekend.  However I really liked the consistency of the muffins.  I think if I make them again, I will just omit the orange zest.  However I’m not sure what to do about the carrots turning green. That was pretty gross-looking :/


  17. #
    Jenaposted November 4, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    Wow! These are delicious! My step-son loves these for breakfast. I will make them over and over again, I’m sure. Thanks for the recipe


  18. #
    Bellaposted November 24, 2015 at 12:51 am

    Any hope of getting the nutritional info. Doing weight watchers and want to calculate the points based on one version of the recipe.


    • Rebeccareplied on April 19th, 2016 at 11:14 pm

      I just worked out points for these on the new weight watchers “smart points”
      Worked out at about 6points a muffin with the brands I used (I also did 1/2 plain flour 1/2 wholemeal) 


      • Kreplied on September 5th, 2016 at 12:28 pm

        I still use PointsPlus. Can you convert this?

  19. #
    taylor Bposted November 29, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    Hi Sally. 

    Can this batter be put into a loaf pan? Thanks!


    • Sallyreplied on November 29th, 2015 at 5:37 pm

      I can’t see why not! Unsure of the bake time though.


  20. #
    Natalieposted December 7, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    The best muffins I’ve ever made! I’m going on a one day trip to capital tomorrow with my classmates, and since we all agreed on bringing something homemade, I needed something outstanding. At first, I was worried that my classmates would mumble something about the muffins being ‘too healthy’, but then I tasted them. They’re going to love them. I do!
    Thanks for the recipe and everything else, Natalie.


  21. #
    Taylor Bposted December 15, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    Hey Sally!
    Can you replace the 1/3 flax seed with oatmeal?? Thanks!


    • Sallyreplied on December 16th, 2015 at 10:03 am

      You can use 1/3 cup oats instead of the ground flax.


  22. #
    kattyposted December 18, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    Hi there,
    Can I replace the grated apple with well drained crushed pineapple?


    • kattyreplied on December 19th, 2015 at 12:01 am

      Oops I found the answer to my question under “Additional Notes”


  23. #
    Amandaposted January 5, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    These are fantastic! I made them with just 1/2 cup raw honey instead of sugar and a banana instead of the applesauce and they are plenty sweet! My two kids really enjoy them (score), I will be making these again!


  24. #
    Kristinposted January 11, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Made these this weekend. The muffins are really yummy and the recipe seems pretty forgiving! I made them as written, but suspect the batter would be easily customized. The muffins are really moist, but not in the gummy or tacky way muffins can be sometimes. Thank you Sally! 🙂


  25. #
    Jaynieposted January 20, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    You may want to fix the type o’s on the main ingredient list on the pin., it shows 4 cups of honey!!


    • Sallyreplied on January 20th, 2016 at 1:09 pm

      That’s automatically filled through coding, nothing I can do. Clearly, it’s just 1/4 cup! 🙂


      • Jane Nicholsreplied on March 19th, 2016 at 9:33 am

        Why not admit the mistake? It may not be obvious to anyone that 4 equal 1/4. Your answer turned me off from baking these. 

        • Sallyreplied on March 19th, 2016 at 9:50 am

          Pinterest rich pin text coding on a recipe pin is not in my control. It is automated and I am unable to edit it. That is why it is best to follow the recipe on the website, not from Pinterest.

  26. #
    Kayposted January 25, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    These are the only thing my daughter will eat before Kindergarten!! So delicious, I feel like I’m cheating and eating dessert. I subbed out the brown sugar for coconut sugar and it worked great!


    • Sallyreplied on January 25th, 2016 at 8:21 pm

      I just tried these with coconut sugar the other day. SO fantastic, I agree!


      • Johannareplied on March 22nd, 2016 at 3:00 pm

        I have loved these for years and haven’t had them for at least 15 years. I am gluten free so will have to adapt but thank you so much for baking a versitile one that I can play with the flour. I am going to try a commercial GF flour like better crocker or pillsbury as the first attempt since baking is not even my forte! I am ready to tast these

  27. #
    Lindsayposted January 25, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    I made these muffins last night- amazing recipe! Just what I was looking for, something that I could throw a bunch of healthy things into and would still be delicious. I followed the recipe exactly. My only note, and if its even possible, I found them too moist and so I’d put in much less oil next time. 


  28. #
    Norma Fieldcampposted February 26, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Where can I get the nutritionals for these muffins?  Thanks


  29. #
    Karlaposted April 2, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    Love your recipes. I bought your cookbooks.  I wish I could print your recipes from your website! It’s very frustrating!  


    • Sallyreplied on April 3rd, 2016 at 9:26 pm

      You can! There’s a print button in each recipe– beneath the tiny square photo.


  30. #
    Stacyposted April 7, 2016 at 11:45 am

    These muffins were a huge hit. My 11 year old son is so picky, but he loved them. I tweeked things a little, i did 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of oats. Added chia seeds and flax. My daughter, 9, not as picky as her brother, lite up like a Christmas tree when she realized there was chocolate chips inside. Very happy with these and will be making again. I actually got 24 muffins out of this receipt. Thank you for sharing this! 


  31. #
    Patriciaposted April 24, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Little bit late with the comments but you have no idea how awesome it is that you list out substitutes for this recipe! This separates you from many bakers I follow on my RSS feed! Thank you! 


  32. #
    Paigeposted April 24, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    Love these muffins!!!! I made them using a few of your alterations (all brown sugar, all oil instead of the honey and applesauce) and did half golden raisins half dried cranberries. YUM! Also extra orange zest because I got a little excited while zesting my orange and couldn’t bring myself to throw the extra away haha. Can’t believe someone said the orange flavor was over powering though, it’s not a strong favour in mine and like I said I added over twice the amount of zest! 

    I do agree with one other poster though, these aren’t exactly simple. Lots of steps to get to the finished product! Which I’m fine with, the title is just a bit misleading. 

    Overall LOVE!!


  33. #
    Haleyposted April 25, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Will it taste alright if mango or mango juice is added?


    • Sallyreplied on April 25th, 2016 at 6:15 pm

      I’m sure they will. I would chop up the mango nice and fine and use it instead of the apple. And the juice instead of the orange juice.


  34. #
    Kristieposted May 16, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    These look delicious and I’m planning on making them later in the week. If I were to use zucchini not instead of carrots would you suggest draining the excess liquid from the zucchini or leaving them as is?


    • Sallyreplied on May 16th, 2016 at 7:10 pm

      I’d maybe drain *some* of the liquid before adding to the batter. Let me know how you like them.


  35. #
    Alanaposted August 18, 2016 at 9:36 am

    These were definitely not simple, but I was  hoping it would be well worth the effort! I love all of the ingredients, so I was excited to try it,  but was so disappointed when they came out pretty dry 🙁
    I added 1/3 c. Shredded coconut and 1T. Chopped candied ginger but otherwise followed exactly. 
    Maybe the baking time was too long? I’d love to try again because the thought of carrot spice cake is just delightful, but as time consuming as this recipe was, it kind of missed the mark for me. 


  36. #
    Cheri Masseposted August 25, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    Two friends and I made these muffins following the given recipe. Only substitution we made was cranberries for raisins. They turned out fabulous. They are wonderfully moist and have a great smell. Our muffin tops were all smooth and even, not raised and bumpy like author’s photos. Anyone have any hints why our tops were smooth? This is a great recipe.


  37. #
    Tamaraposted September 28, 2016 at 1:45 am

    How can i make applesauce for these muffins?


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