Brimming with warming spices, texture, and flavour these utterly delicious Morning Glory Muffins are nutritious enough for a breakfast on-the-go, or for a snack that will leave you completely satisfied.
We love love love morning glory muffins, and these, which lean heavily towards the wholesome side, are one of my absolute FAVOURITE. Riddled with good-for-you ingredients like carrots, nuts, raisins, shredded coconut, apples, applesauce, and topped with lots of crunchy pepitas, these perfectly-spiced muffins make a satisfying grab-and-go breakfast or a great pick-me-up snack in the middle of the day. Hearty and substantial, the flavour is big, the texture is impossibly tender, and they’re nice and moist from the grated apples and apple sauce.
These carrot-packed beauties are also a little extra special because they incorporate spelt and oat flour. Not only are these flours much more nutritious than all-purpose, they will also keep you full a lot longer. If you haven’t baked with spelt or oat flour before, read why I love using these flours further down below.
With lots of adaptations included, you’re going to want to double this recipe. The muffins freeze beautifully and will be fabulous for busy mornings or delicious quick and healthy snacks!
Spelt & Oat Flour
Spelt is an ancient wheat grain and spelt flour is made from the entire grain so it is a whole wheat flour. It is much lighter in taste and texture than the regular whole wheat flour you are used to, which can be dense, and unpleasantly grainy. In fact, it performs almost the same as all-purpose flour, with perhaps a little less rise. For casual baking, such as muffins, cookies, etc, you can usually get away with an equal swap from all, all-purpose flour, to all spelt flour.
I love that spelt flour has a sweet, mild nutty flavour with just a hint of texture which adds more body to your baked goods. Lower in calories and easier to digest than regular white wheat flour, spelt flour is also rich in vitamins and minerals and high in protein. All that said, the nutritional benefits of spelt flour over all-purpose may not be worth the investment (spelt flour is a little pricey) if you are an occasional baker baking the occasional treat. But I am all for ingesting a little extra fibre and minerals wherever I can. Can’t hurt. Plus, unlike all-purpose flour, whole grain flours will help keep you full longer which is exactly what I’m looking for if I’m eating a “breakfast” muffin, or a muffin as a mid-afternoon snack.
Important to note, spelt flour is NOT gluten-free. Though easier to digest if you are gluten-intolerant, you need to avoid it if you are celiac. You can find spelt flour at most well-stocked grocery stores or in most health food stores. It can also be ordered online and I really like this one, and this one.
Similarly, oat flour is a more nutritious whole grain flour which you can find just about anywhere now. Or you can easily make it yourself by blending up oats in a blender until powdery (lots of how-to’s online). Unlike spelt flour, oat flour has no gluten (make sure it is certified gluten-free) and is a lot lighter in texture so it cannot be swapped 1-for-1 with all-purpose. For this muffin recipe I use mostly spelt flour, with a 1/2 cup of oat flour and it works beautifully.
Ingredient Notes & Substiutions
There is a long list of ingredients for these morning glory muffins. Annoying, I know, but this is what makes them so glorious! Fortunately, most of the ingredients are pantry staples or easy to find. I have tried all the substitutes, or omissions, suggested here so I know they work.
Here’s what you’ll need to make them:
- Flour: I use spelt and oat flour (see section above for more details). You can use all-purpose, or 50% all-purpose and 50% spelt with great results.
- Carrots: You will need 2 cups of grated carrots for these morning glory muffins. That is about 4 medium, or 2 large chunky ones. If I have organic carrots, and the skin doesn’t seem too thick or gnarly, I don’t even bother peeling them.
- Apple: In this recipe I use only 1 small apple because I prefer the flavour of the carrots to shine through. Use an equal amount of carrots and apples, if you prefer. Alternatively, omit the apple and use all carrots.
- Applesauce: Adding unsweetened applesauce is optional but it helps with reducing the amount of sugar and adds a lot of moisture to the muffins. If you wish, you can replace it with a little more grated apple, mashed banana, or orange juice. This is the perfect time to try my unsweetened homemade applesauce – so good!
- Light brown sugar: This recipe uses 1/2 cup of sugar which is a lot less than most recipes call for. I find the muffins turn out perfectly sweet-enough for our taste, especially if you have added raisins and applesauce. I have made these muffins with half maple syrup and half brown sugar and it works great. Or you could use coconut sugar instead.
- Eggs: You will need 2 eggs for this recipe.
- Coconut oil: Surprisingly, these tender and moist muffins don’t need a lot of oil. You can use avocado oil, or any other neutral oil, if you wish.
- Shredded coconut: To me, this ingredient is not optional. However, I know there are many coconut haters out there so feel free to leave it out if you wish. You can also replace it with shredded pineapple, just make sure to drain the juices.
- Spices: These muffins shine with a hefty dose of cinnamon and just a smidge of nutmeg.
- Baking soda: To make the muffins rise.
- Vanilla extract: For more warming flavours.
- Salt: Most baked goods need a pinch of salt.
- Milk: Just a 1/4 cup of any milk, heated, to plump up the raisins.
- Raisins: The raisins get soaked in a bit of hot milk so they get nice and soft and plumped up. If you don’t like raisins, still include the milk in the batter and omit the raisins.
- Walnuts: Morning glory muffins typically include nuts. You can use walnuts or pecans or leave them out if you wish.
- Pepitas: Optional to top the muffins for a little extra crunch.
A Note On Muffin Liners VS No Muffin Liners
The muffin pan I use is great for releasing even the stickiest of batters so I don’t use muffin liners. I simply grease them lightly and absolutely nothing sticks. Eliminating the use of muffin liners means the tin can also accommodate a lot of batter. However, if you are using standard muffin liners, you will need to use a second muffin pan or bake in batches.
In other words, this recipe makes 12 very large muffins without the use of standard muffin liners, or 14-16 muffins using standard muffin liners.
How to Make Morning Glory Muffins
Perhaps the only bit of work involved in these muffins is grating the carrots and apple. You will need to use the large holes of a a box grater for this. Once that is out of the way, these muffins will take less than 10 minutes to throw together.
Here’s a quick how-to:
Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Combine the wet ingredients in another bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until combined.
Spoon the batter into each of the greased muffin holes, or muffin liners, filling them all the way to the top. Sprinkle each muffin with pepitas. Bake for 23 to 25 minutes in a preheated 375ºF oven.
Bakery-Style Domed Muffins
If you want muffins with bakery-style domed tops, you can bake the muffins at a high temperature to start, then lower the temperature for the rest of the baking time. The initial blast of heat encourages the leavening agents (baking soda and/or baking powder) in the batter to react faster, making the muffins taller and dome-y. I really like the look of the domed muffins and almost always use this method to bake my muffins. If tending to the temperature change seems too fussy for you, simply stick to the standard baking time provided in the recipe.
Here’s what you do for bakery-style domed muffins:
Preheat oven to 425ºF. Bake the muffins for 6 minutes (set a timer!) then lower the temperature to 350ºF. Bake for an additional 16 to 18 minutes, until the tops are lightly golden brown, the muffins are nicely domed, and a toothpick comes out clean.
Using this method, I find the total baking time for 12 large muffins to be about 24 minutes. For 14 to 16 muffins, the total baking time is closer to 22 minutes. As always, adjust accordingly if your oven runs hotter or cooler.
My favourite thing about these muffins is how delicious they are even days later.
- To Store: Leftover muffins can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for 1 week.
- To Freeze: The muffins can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, or on the counter for 3 – 4 hours. Warm slightly in the oven or microwave, if desired.
More Cozy Fall Recipes To Try
Morning glory muffins
- 1/2 cup (75g) raisins (see notes)
- 1/4 cup hot milk (any dairy, or plant-based milk will work)
- 2 cups (220g) Spelt flour (see notes for flour substitutions)
- 1/2 cup (45g) oat flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg optional
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/3 cup (60g) unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar packed
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups (225g) shredded carrots you'll need about 4-5 medium/large peeled carrots (I use a box grater)
- 3/4 cup (100g) shredded apple 1 small apple such as Honey crisp, Courtland, Granny Smith (I use a box grater)
- 1/2 cup (42g) unsweetened shredded coconut optional
- 1/2 cup (65g) chopped walnuts (or pecans) optional
- 3 tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin seeds) optional for topping
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Spray a 12-count muffin pan with non-stick spray (see notes if using liners).
- In a small bowl, soak the raisins with the 1/4 cup hot milk while you prepare the other ingredients.
- In a large bowl, whisk together spelt flour, oat flour, cinnamon, nutmeg (if using), baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, coconut oil, applesauce, brown sugar, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth and emulsified. Stir in the grated carrots, apple, shredded coconut, walnuts, and raisins with the milk.
- Use a spatula to fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until the batter is weel combined, but do not overmix.
- Divide the batter evenly among the wells of the prepared muffin pan, filling all the way to the top. Sprinkle the tops with pepitas, if using.
- Bake for 23 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. (See notes for achieveing a bakery-style domed muffin).
- Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling before serving.
- Leftover muffins can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for 1 week.