To tell you the truth, these morning glory muffins are sort of/kind of to die for. Like unbelievably moist and flavorful, with little bursts of currant goodness, and great texture (from both darkly-toasted pecans and sweetened shredded coconut). I have had my mother-in-law’s recipe for them (which looks a lot like this morning glory muffins recipe) for years, as my husband has always sworn they were delicious, but I was resistant to trying them for two reasons: One, I have always thought of a morning glory muffin as kind of a healthy, hippy muffin of sorts and in general baked goods of that ilk tend not to be my thing. Two, (full disclosure) I don’t always listen to my husband.
But this is what I learned: Despite the fact that these muffins are indeed healthy-ish (they include whole wheat pastry flour and a whole, unpeeled apple, and a couple of carrots) it is absolutely mandatory that I up my listening-to-husband game, as these muffins are just too good. They are like carrot cake muffins on steroids that don’t even come close to needing or wanting a cream cheese frosting and my kids have been known to eat them for dessert. Need i say more?
Nantucket is ostensibly the morning glory muffin’s provenance and I looked to the original morning glory muffin recipe when beginning to develop my own. I also looked at Sally’s Baking Addiction (but decided against including apple sauce), and Martha Stewart (but oats were not going to make the cut), and King Arthur Flour (I was against adding orange juice or soaking my currants, but liked the idea of not peeling my apple). Long story short, my recipe came together pretty quickly. Yes, I played around with the amount and type of leavening, as I wasn’t getting the lift I wanted, and with the amount of light brown sugar and oil in search of the perfect balance of sweet and moist, and I decided on currants (rather than raisins) for the more delicate fruitiness they impart, but each batch I made was delish and could have been the one, if not for my need for morning glory perfection.
And that is what you will find here: The perfect (slightly healthy) morning glory muffin of your dreams, provided you dream about morning glory muffins, which I (admittedly) now do.
(Good) Morning Glory Muffins
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cup carrots grated, about 2-to-3 carrots (i used my food processor, and processed the apple along with the carrots)
- 1 apple with the skin on, grated (i used my food processor, but you can also use the large holes on your box grater)
- 1/2 cup currants
- 1/2 cup pecans darkly toasted
- 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
- 1 cup 2 Tbsp vegetable oil (my fave is a super mild olive oil (NOT extra virgin))
- 2 large eggs
- 1 yolk
- 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
- Sanding sugar for decorating
- Preheat the oven to 450-degrees. Spray two 12-cup muffin tins with cooking spray (or butter them).
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, leavenings, cinnamon, and salt. Add the carrots, apple, currants, pecans, and coconut and stir to combine with a rubber spatula.
- In a large bowl, vigorously whisk the sugars with the oil, add the eggs and yolk, one at a time, whisking after each addition until incorporated. Add the vanilla and whisk again.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and with a rubber spatula, gently fold the two together until a few streaks of flour still remain.
- Using a cookie scoop, transfer the muffin batter to the tins, filling each cup about 2/3 of the way full. Generously sprinkle each muffin top with sanding sugar/sugar in the raw. Place one tin in the oven and immediately drop the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Bake the muffins for 15-to-18 minutes, rotating the pan after 10, and checking on the muffins after 15. the muffins are ready when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a moist crumb or two.
- Remove the tin from the oven and replace it with the second tin.
- Let the muffins cool before removing them from the tins. the muffins last at least three days on the counter tightly wrapped (and are even better on the second day). I freeze all extras in a plastic bag and my children have been known to eat them for dessert — they are that good.
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