When life gives you early mornings, make Morning Glory Muffins

Morning Glory Muffin from Kiwiandbean.com I haven’t set an alarm clock in 22 months. True story. As most parents of young children will attest, babies and toddlers are fabulously consistent, and insistent, little wake up calls. There is no sleeping in, no mistakenly hitting snooze one too many times, no drifting back to sleep to the soft sounds of morning radio. Sigh. Is it terrible that I am counting the days until the Bean can pour herself a bowl of Cheerios and flip on morning toons?

In the meantime, when life gives you early mornings, make morning glory muffins! Or cook dinner for later! Or go to one of those 7 am farmers markets! You used to wonder WHO actually goes shopping at 7 am, right? One thing at a time. Starting with the morning glory muffins.

I have long been a fan of the morning glory muffin. And when I learned that the baked good is by far the best vegetable-to-toddler delivery mechanism, I became an even bigger fan. The morning glory muffin is packed with carrots and apples, but you’d never know it, and this version also has plenty of healthy fats and a good dose of fibre-rich flax seed too. It is sweetened with a moderate amount of maple syrup (instead of the pile of white sugar called for in the original recipe), which is about as virtuous as a sweetener can get.

I had a feeling this muffin might be even better with a little cream cheese maple drizzle and–surprise–I was not wrong. Totally optional, however.

No reason to reserve these muffins for morning, despite their name. Whip up a batch anytime of day and throw them in the freezer for snacks or a modestly nutritious sweet end to lunch.

We will sleep in one day. We will sleep in one day. We will sleep in one day…

Whole Grain Maple Morning Glory Muffins

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 12 large muffins

Serving Size: 1 muffin

This is a significantly healthier and--in my humble opinion--tastier version of a recipe I sourced from allrecipes.com some years ago. Whole wheat flour and ground flax seed replace the white flour; maple syrup replaces the white sugar; and yogurt and extra virgin olive oil stand in for vegetable oil. Pop leftovers into the freezer for a super quick breakfast, snack or addition to your kiddo's school lunch.


  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (regular whole wheat will do in a pinch)
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups finely grated carrots (about 3-4 carrots)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 apple peeled and coarsely grated
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup plain unsweetened yogurt
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • FOR THE GLAZE (optional):
  • 1/2 cup softened cream cheese
  • 1/4-1/2 cup maple syrup (warmed briefly in the microwave)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 12-cup muffin tray with non-stick spray, or line with baking papers.
  2. Whisk together flour, flax seed, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large boil. Add carrots, raisins and apples and stir to combine. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, yogurt, maple syrup, olive oil and vanilla. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined. Do not over-mix or muffins will be tough and won't rise properly.
  3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin and bake in preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until tops begin to brown and a toothpick inserted in the muffins comes out clean. Transfer muffins to wire rack to cool.
  4. For the glaze: whisk the warm maple syrup into the cream cheese until you get a nice runny consistency (you may not need all of the maple syrup depending on the consistency of your cream cheese). Drizzle over the cooled muffins.

9 Responses to When life gives you early mornings, make Morning Glory Muffins

  1. Abigail June 5, 2014 at 9:45 am #

    Hey! Just happened upon your website! I just printed out your lactation muffins and then searched and found these. Do you think you could replace the flour or part of the flour with oats to make these more milk-making? I’m on baby number three and I’m really hoping I can breast feed longer than 6 weeks this time! I had a breast reduction as a teenager so I am looking for anyway to boost my milk supply. Thanks!

  2. Jayne March 12, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

    I just made these for the first time and they are delish! I substituted coconut oil for the EVOO and left out the raisins (because I can’t stand those little wrinkly things!), and they are so yummy! I think these will be a great treat for my kids and for me! Thanks for the recipe.

    • Sarah March 14, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

      Sounds great! Glad you enjoyed them!

  3. Bridget September 9, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

    yowzahs! These look awesome!
    I am on the serious hunt for the most amount of healthy goodness I can shove into one breakfast muffin for my 2 y.o… I may even add some grated zucchini – just to stick it to him 😉
    We are about to start part-time daycare so we need healthy go-to breakfasts that can be eaten on the go. Smoothies are a no-go right now… he loves to make them with me but refuses to drink any of it. Jerk!
    Can’t wait to try these tmrw morning!

    • Sarah September 15, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

      I think zucchini is a great idea. The more veg the better! And yes muffins like these are lifesavers on busy mornings. Quick…but also not messy, which is so important when feeding a toddler!

  4. Joey June 11, 2013 at 11:19 am #

    Do you thing this recipe will be as good with spelt or coconut flour?

    • Sarah June 11, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

      Good question, Joey! I expect spelt flour would work, although I haven’t tried it. I don’t have a lot of experience with coconut flour so I can’t help you there. But please do report back if you try either or both of these — I’d love to know!

  5. AM April 2, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

    I just baked these an they were delicious! I didn’t have flax so substituted it with an equivalent amount of multigrain flour. Next time ill try with the flax!

  6. Afshan March 16, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

    I am soooo making these tomorrow morning (at 6:30 a.m.!!) with my boys. Can’t wait. Mmmm…