Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

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

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

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

  3. 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!

  4. 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! 🙂

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

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

      • 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. 

      • 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.

  6. 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!

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

      • 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

  7. 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. 

  8. Where can I get the nutritionals for these muffins?  Thanks

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

  10. 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! 

  11. 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! 

  12. 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!!

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

    • 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.

  14. 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?

  15. 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. 

  16. 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.

  17. How can i make applesauce for these muffins?

  18. These are delicious! I made them with 1/3 cup of mashed banana as a substitute for the oil and they are still moist and not rubbery at all! I didn’t have apple or crushed pineapple, so I made these with 1 1/2 cups of grated carrot and 1/2 cup of frozen unthawed blueberries. I also used aluminium foil cupcake liners to avoid sticking. We can’t stop eating them!! 

  19. Are they supposed to have 2 whole tablespoons of baking soda?

  20. I made these delicious muffins two days ago and stored them in an air-tight container. I used shredded carrots and the carrots are dark in color. The muffins are still moist & taste delicious. Has anyone else noticed the carrots being dark.

  21. I’m about to try this recipe, it sounds amazing! How do you recommend we do the oven heat and timing if I were to make mini muffins instead? Thanks!

  22. I made just made these. I only had a cup of whole wheat flour left, and of course was feeling lazy about running to the store, so I used some of the pamela’s gluten free pancake mix (essentially a mix of rice flour, almond meal and potato starch). I otherwise followed the recipe, oven timing and all. These still came out super tasty.

    Thanks Sally for sharing. I’m looking forward to making these 100% the right way 🙂

  23. Made these puppies today.  Followed the recipe to the “T” as I do whenever embarking on a muffin journey.  I baked them in a large format six muffin pan with liners.  I went with with the Flax meal, orange juice and coconut oil which the author provided for choice.  I baked according to instructions, but went with 7 minutes at 425degrees before bumping down to 350 due to the large format.  Also needed about 26 minutes at the 350 temp to achieve al dente (ha ha).  Suffice to say they were delicious.  This is an excellent recipe for a healthy morning muffin.  I had one with freshly brewed pour over French roast.  As Phil Rizutto used to say, “Holy cow!” 

  24. Can I replace the juice with milk? I don’t have juice at home. Thanks in advance 🙂

  25. Sally, help! Due to the fact that I have two toddlers in my kitchen with me, I forgot to turn my muffins from 425 to 350, and so they spent 21 total minutes instead of five at 425! I tried one, and the inside still seems moist and flavorful, but the outside is a little crispy.  Do you think I can remedy this with some of your cream cheese frosting?  

  26. These are fabulous! The only alterations I made was adding chopped dried apricots instead of raisins (was out) , but threw. In some cranberries as well ! Delicious! Yea for cream cheese frosting too! Thanks Sally , love your recipes!

  27. I just made these and followed the recipe as is except I had to sub apple juice for the orange or pineapple juice because that’s all I had. I made 12 regular sized and 12 mini muffins with this recipe and they came out great! My 2 year old loves them!!! He’s had like 3 today which is probably more vegetables than he eats in a week lol. If anyone is curious I baked the mini muffins for 5 min at 425 then they took 10 more minutes at 350. 

  28. What a wonderful recipe! I’ve just made these little guys with additional banana and chia and they turned out light and fluffy and smell divine! Thank you for another great recipe Sally. This is the third recipe l’ve followed from you and your measurements, baking temperatures and baking times are always accurate. Thank you for your reliability and attention to details. Greetings from Cologne, Germany

  29. I used to go to the Nestle Toll House website, but since I discovered Sally, that’s my main website to go to now. Your recipes are simply stunning! Thank you!

  30. Great easy recipe!
    I am a muffin maker and this is now my go to recipe for Morning Glory muffins. I did make a few changes, and they are still delish.
    First of all, I used cup 4 cup gluten free “flour.” I substituted mashed banana for applesauce, added shredded coconut, crushed pineapple and pineapple juice instead of orange juice, added a little extra ground ginger….did 6 minutes on 400, and 15 on 350 and they were perfect!!!!

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