Morning Glory Muffins.

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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. Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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;) 

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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:)

  7. I just made these and they are delicious! I left out the flax and nuts and probably should have bumped up the raisins because I love them in baked goods. Amazing rise on these muffins they look like they’re from a bakery! Just sweet enough and super flavorful!

  8. Amazing! I used sweet potato instead of carrots, walnuts, maple syrup instead of honey and coconut oil. Packed full of goodness! My daughter won’t even know she’s eating veggies!

  9. I”m obsessed with these muffins!! I made them yesterday and can’t stop eating them. How could you adapt this recipe for a 2 or 3 layer cake with cream cheese frosting? This would be a great fall cake. Thanks Sally!

  10. This recipe is awesome! I wanted to take some to work with me for my coworkers and decided a loaf or ring would be easier to transport. Turns out with a little extra time in the oven the batter makes a very pretty bundt cake, too!

  11. I made the recipe and loved it. Thank you so much! I am on a diet and trying to count calories. Do you happen to have nutritional information for this recipe?

  12. These muffins sound delicious! Our mornings have been getting busier, so having something quick to just grab-and-go would be perfect. Especially a breakfast that contains all these veggies !

  13. Sneaky! I did this same trick when my kids were little … they sometimes turned up their noses at vegetables, but never at muffins!!
    My son was a great muffin baker when he was 3-5 years old … we’d sing “Do you know the Muffin Man?” and mix up batter.

  14. I just made these using oat flour as a substitute because I am gluten free and I have been using oat flour a lot recently. (GF oat flour crepes! Yum!). They came out perfectly done using the rest of your recipe exactly. It made 12 muffins and a small loaf pan filled 1/4 of the way.
    I only recently found your site and I am so happy I did!
    Thank you!
    Ps: if you ever need a gf recipe tester, let me know. I’d love to do it!

  15. Hi Sally. Have you done a compilation of muffin recipes?
    I’m on a kick, thanks to you, and would love the recipes in one place.

  16. Do you think I could replace the apple sauce with pumpkin? I also want to replace the pineapple juice with crushed pineapple

  17. Love this recipe. Things I did different: I used half plain flour half wholemeal flour, left out the flax seed (didn’t have any) and used sultanas instead of raisins. They’re so hearty, just like a muffin should be. I find the ‘modern’ muffin to be too much like an oversized cupcake.
    This weekend I plan on making at least a double batch of the base mix and then dividing the mix to make some different flavours like I used to when I made muffins at a bakery. I’ll also make a gluten free version for my friends kid and sneak in some zucchini.

    1. Oh, and it made 12 muffins for me, baked directly in the muffin tin with no liners. I think the muffin tins we have in Aus may be a little bigger than yours in the US? Or I just overfilled slightly but they turned out just fine and within the cooking time stated too.

  18. Just finished making these and I could barely wait for them to cool. They are heavenly! I’m gluten free and I just replaced the wheat flour with gluten-free AP flour and I couldn’t tell a difference! Thanks for the great recipe, once again!

  19. These came out so good! I put carrots, zucchini, apples and a little bit of vanilla yogurt in. My kids loved them. Even my picky 1 year old. Your recipes never fail me. Thank you for your recipes.

  20. These muffins are the bomb! Loved everything about them. Could equal amounts of chopped prunes or dates be used in place of the raisins? Thank you for sharing!

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally