Morning Glory Muffins ♥

Morning Glory Muffins, butter, whole wheat flour, honey and a secret ingredient.
Today's muffin recipe: The iconic Morning Glory Muffin, still studded with raisins and apple and grated carrot but better suited to today's food sensibility, with upgrades like butter, whole wheat flour and honey and a secret ingredient.

Today' conversation: Things you might want to know about other morning glory muffins, the calories, the Weight Watchers point, how long they take to make, etc.

So here's all you really need to know about this recipe for Morning Glory Muffins. It's the same classic recipe, just better, way better. For flavor, it calls for butter instead of oil but just half the amount of fat. The flour is half whole wheat. The sweetness comes from some sugar but also from warm spices and honey and – the real secret ingredient – apple butter. So if you crave a classic moist, barely sweet muffin, studded with carrot and apple and raisins and nuts, this is your recipe, just like I've made it mine.

But three things you might want to know about Morning Glory Muffins.
graphic button small size size 10 If you want sweet cake and dense calories, mine is not your recipe. Instead for 300 calories (8 PointsPlus for Weight Watchers), go for this recipe from King Arthur Flour. For a whopping 450 calories and a staggering 12 PointsPlus, your pick is this one from Both have lots of reviews and five-star ratings.
graphic button small size size 10 If you want, no, need hot muffins, like, this very second or even within 30 minutes, this is not your recipe either. Mixing Morning Glory Muffins takes a good 45 minutes and an extra pan or two or three. Maybe you'd prefer the speed and simplicity of Gingerbread Muffins?
graphic button small size size 10 I'm calling this recipe "mine" because I need no other: as for a life-long love, I'm ready to commit and settle down "til death do us part". But in fact, all the hard work converting this recipe from "so-so" to "wow" and "cake sweet" to "morning healthy" was done by a former intern at Cook's Illustrated, that's the America's Test Kitchen folks. During her internship, she was assigned the task of using their arduous test-it-til-it's-perfect process on a recipe. She completely nailed this one, the recipe was first published here.

OH! ABOUT THOSE TULIP MUFFIN PAPERS! Are they not just the coolest? I do love both their looks and their functionality. Looks? That's obvious, right?! Functionality? The papers don't have to be sprayed, the muffins don't stick. Just drop them into a standard muffin tin and the muffin pan stays clean, no washing required. I also like that you can pull the muffins out of the hot pan straight from the oven, this lets them cool down more quickly, stopping the baking process. You'll find them here on Amazon. The downside? Depending on the supplier, they add $3 - $4.25 cost to a dozen muffins. Still, I'm ordering more, for special occasions.


Hands-on time: 50 minutes
Time to table: 1-1/4 hour
Makes 12 regular-size muffins

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick, 2oz, 57g) salted butter, melted and cooled
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar
1/2 cup (130g) apple butter
1/4 cup (75g) honey
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup all-purpose flour fluffed to aerate before measuring or 125g
1 cup whole wheat flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 125g
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt

2 cups (200g) grated carrots from about 4 peeled carrots
3/4 cup (60g) finely diced apple, skin on
1/2 cup (60g) currants
1/2 cup (60g) toasted walnuts

MISE EN PLACE Set the oven to 375F. Spray your muffin pans with baking spray. I don't usually recommend "mise en place" – that means to gather all your ingredients before beginning to mix – but do here. This means collecting all the Wet Ingredients (all together) in the primary mixing bowl; measuring the Dry Ingredients into a smaller bowl; collecting the Morning Glory Goodies in a bowl, except for the apple, which should not be chopped until the very-very end so it can be turned into the muffin batter straight away.

MIX THE BATTER With an electric mixer or by hand, mix the Wet Ingredients until well-combined, scraping the bottom of the bowl to make sure the honey hasn't stuck. Turn in the Dry Ingredients and just barely mix in, it's fine to see flour not yet mixed in. By hand, fold in the Morning Glory Goodies, distributing throughout the batter.

BAKE With two spoons, one to scoop and one to scrape, fill the muffin tins. Bake the muffins for 20 - 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 5 - 10 minutes before removing from the pan onto a rack to finish cooling.

Best the same day but the muffins do keep and stay moist for two or three days.

BUTTER Dice the butter and melt it in the microwave, 10 seconds at a time.
EGGS To warm the eggs to room temperature quickly, drop them into a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes.
APPLE BUTTER Not everyone has apple butter at the ready, somehow we always have two or three jars hanging around, maybe because we don't really eat it. So two suggestions, you could make Naturally Sweetened Apple Butter. Or you could let applesauce drain for 15 or 20 minutes to take out the wateriness, then measure a half cup and add an extra 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/16 teaspoon ground cloves. If you buy apple butter, look for one that has no added sugar, just apples, apple juices and spices.
WHERE'S THE COCONUT? THE PINEAPPLE? Go ahead, add a half cup of coconut but I'd remove a half cup of carrot. If you add pineapple, I would drain it very well first and probably substitute it for the apple butter.

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from Kitchen Parade, my food column

A Veggie Venture is home of 'veggie evangelist' Alanna Kellogg and the
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2014

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.