Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

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. 


Morning Glory Muffins

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.

Recipe 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

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© 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.


  1. Sally, would I be able to cook this in a texas size muffin pan? thanks

  2. Love this recipe. Love all your alternate suggestions. In the oven now…can’t wait to enjoy with my toddler as soon as they come out! Thank you.

  3. Are these temperatures valid for a convection oven? My muffins came out a bit darker than I wanted and did not look like your photos.

  4. Loved the texture and moistness of how these turned out. Hoping the flavor will develop more after it cools, mine were rather bland tasting. Next time I’ll add more cinnamon, maybe nutmeg, and a little dash of cloves to give me a more carrot cake taste I was wanting. (But they were still very addicting;) 

    • mine are bland too, but ate them too quickly since I couldn’t wait to taste.  But I still think they could benefit from more sweetness.

  5. We found these to be too eggie and not sweet enough. 

  6. I am going to make these right now! I am so excited to find a recipe with such great ingredients, and with everything I have on hand! Especially with whole wheat flour!

  7. Can I leave out the ground flax or substitute something else for it like bran or do I need more flour?

  8. Everyone I’ve made these for raves about them.  They are so moist and delish, packed with flavor.  I have to admit they do rank in my top five, but nothing beats your banana nut muffin recipe!

  9. Can I use spelt flour?

  10. These muffins are so delicious. They are moist, hearty, full of flavor, I could go on and on. These are perfect for a on the go breakfast. These also have really healthy ingredients which I like:)

  11. Can I use coconut flour to substitute the whole wheat flour?

  12. Hi! I was wondering if it is possible to replace the brown sugar with coconut sugar?

  13. These were average. Not as moist as I’d hoped and lacked flavor. I would love if you could do an updated morning glory muffin recipe that are lighter, moister and less bland. Overall not a bad product 🙂

  14. These muffins are soooo yummy! I used oat flour instead of regular and all coconut oil (didn’t have apple sauce) and they are so moist and delicious! Thank you!!

  15. Hi there! Would I be able to use Bisquick in this recipe? If so, how would I make the substitution?

  16. Could you use oatmeal in there in place of some of the flour?

  17. I just baked these and they are wonderful! Delicious and moist!  I added a bit of coconut as well. It made a dozen muffins and a dozen mini muffins. Will bake these again and again! Thanks for a lovely recipe!

  18. These were great!
    I used 1/2 oat flour (ground my own oats) and 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour. Skipped the flax, swapped agave for the honey and cut the brown sugar down to 1/3 cup. Used coconut oil for the oil. Golden raisins and toasted sunflower seeds were what I had on hand. They were plenty sweet for me. The only change I’ll make next time is to cut down on the orange zest as this flavor slightly overpowered the muffin but it’s still yummy. I may even omit the brown sugar altogether and increase the agave or add some maple syrup instead so that I can less guiltily share with my 10-month olds.
    Mini muffins were done in just 10 minutes, the regular size took closer to 18.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  19. Hi Sally, they look spectacular 🙂 Would it work if I were to use Greek yoghurt instead of the applesauce? If not then I’ll just use mashed banana and maybe a bit more oil to make up for the dryness you mentioned. Looking forward to making these so that I can satisfy my sweet tooth while not feeling too guilty about it haha. Thanks in advance!

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