Morning Glory Muffins with Candied Pecan Topping

Morning Glory Muffins with Candied Pecan Topping - this is one of those "never-fail" recipes! The muffins always come up tall and pretty. I love that they're so delicious and loaded with healthy ingredients at the same time. Oh, and the candied pecan topping is totally amazing!

One of those “never-fail” recipes but also super delicious and loaded with healthy ingredients at the same time.

I love the fact that we have all sorts of “destinations” within walking distance of our home. Even on the coldest winter days, Scott and I bundle up, donning hats, gloves, boots – whatever the weather calls for, and take a nice brisk walk. We have restaurants, grocery stores, thrift shops, you-name-it, all within a mile or two.

One of our very favorite places to walk is Whole Foods. It’s a little farther than the others, but we think of lots of excuses to head that way. Sometimes there’s just one thing on my grocery list, but we make this market the goal of our expedition anyway, and enjoy roaming the aisles and the beautiful produce section, usually leaving with much more than the lone item we started out for.

I love checking out the baked goods there, and recently got hooked on the Morning Glory Muffins. Although Morning Glory Muffins have been around for a long time, it seems their deliciousness never grows old. They’re sweet, moist and usually filled with lots of fresh carrots, shredded apples, raisins, coconut and walnuts. I was thrilled to find that they’re also made with whole wheat flour.

Morning Glory Muffins with Candied Pecan Topping - this is one of those "never-fail" recipes! The muffins always come up tall and pretty. I love that they're so delicious and loaded with healthy ingredients at the same time. Oh, and the candied pecan topping is totally amazing!

The muffins at Whole Foods are kind of pricey, so I decided to try making something similar myself for a breakfast and/or snacking option. Although Whole Foods actually has a recipe on their website for Morning Glory Muffins, I chose a recipe from King Arthur Flour to base my muffins on.

Morning Glory Muffins with Candied Pecan Topping - this is one of those "never-fail" recipes! The muffins always come up tall and pretty. I love that they're so delicious and loaded with healthy ingredients at the same time. Oh, and the candied pecan topping is totally amazing!

Why? Well, whenever I’m looking for a good recipe online, I always click on the “images” option at the top of the search page. There’s an old saying: “a picture is worth a thousand words” – it’s so true, and is very helpful to me when I’m trying to decide on a recipe.

These images were taken from the Whole Foods and King Arthur websites. Which one would you choose to make?

Muffin Collage - Whole Foods VS King Arthur

Yup, me too.

Once that decision was made, I had some fun with the King Arthur recipe. I swapped out dried cranberries for the raisins, exchanged a generous dose of pecans for the walnuts and left the nutritious red skin on the apples.

Morning Glory Muffins with Candied Pecan Topping - this is one of those "never-fail" recipes! The muffins always come up tall and pretty. I love that they're so delicious and loaded with healthy ingredients at the same time. Oh, and the candied pecan topping is totally amazing!

Instead of adding the pecans to the batter, I used them for a “candied” topping. I combined them with sunflower seeds, honey, salt and a bit of oil and then roasted them for 10 minutes while I was putting together the muffin batter. The topping came out of the oven golden and glistening and, along with a sprinkle of Demera sugar, added a beautiful and delicious finishing touch to my muffins.

Morning Glory Muffins with Candied Pecan Topping - this is one of those "never-fail" recipes! The muffins always come up tall and pretty. I love that they're so delicious and loaded with healthy ingredients at the same time. Oh, and the candied pecan topping is totally amazing!

I’ve served these Morning Glory Muffins with Candied Pecan Topping several times recently, and everyone seems to go crazy over them. They disappear quickly and I love that they can be baked ahead and stored in the freezer. An overnight thaw or a quick stint in the microwave and they’re just like fresh baked.

Morning Glory Muffins with Candied Pecan Topping - this is one of those "never-fail" recipes! The muffins always come up tall and pretty. I love that they're so delicious and loaded with healthy ingredients at the same time. Oh, and the candied pecan topping is totally amazing!

These rustically beautiful muffins are loaded with fiber and lots of great nutrients. I find that one muffin keeps me satisfied all morning. It makes me a happy camper when there’s a stash in the freezer that we can enjoy for a quick, healthy breakfast with a cup of coffee or glass of milk.

Morning Glory Muffins with Candied Pecan Topping - this is one of those "never-fail" recipes! The muffins always come up tall and pretty. I love that they're so delicious and loaded with healthy ingredients at the same time. Oh, and the candied pecan topping is totally amazing!

Whip up a batch of these delicious Morning Glory Muffins with Candied Pecan Topping. I call it a “no fail” recipe, as every time I make them, they come out high-domed, beautiful and super moist.

Morning Glory Muffins with Candied Pecan Topping - this is one of those "never-fail" recipes! The muffins always come up tall and pretty. I love that they're so delicious and loaded with healthy ingredients at the same time. Oh, and the candied pecan topping is totally amazing!

I think you’ll agree and these muffins will go on your “frequent flyer list” too as they are now on mine! Thanks Whole Foods for such great inspiration!

Morning Glory Muffins with Candied Pecan Topping - this is one of those "never-fail" recipes! The muffins always come up tall and pretty. I love that they're so delicious and loaded with healthy ingredients at the same time. Oh, and the candied pecan topping is totally amazing!

P.S. I did find that the recipe makes more than indicated on the King Arthur site. They instruct to fill the muffin cups “almost to the top”. I did fill them nice and high, but instead of 12, I was able to get 16 really nice size muffins from the recipe.

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Morning Glory Muffins with Candied Pecan Topping

Morning Glory Muffins with Candied Pecan Topping - one of those "never-fail" recipes! And I love that they're so delicious and loaded with healthy ingredients. The topping is amazing!

5 from 10 reviews

This is one of those “never-fail” recipes! The muffins always come up tall and pretty. I love that they’re so delicious and loaded with healthy ingredients at the same time. Oh, and the candied pecan topping is totally amazing!

  • Author:
  • Category: Breakfast, Brunch

Ingredients

  • For the candied pecan topping:
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup salted, roasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • For the muffins:
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, I have also used white whole wheat flour with good results
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded carrot, sometimes when I’m in a hurry, I pick up a bag of the pre-shredded carrots at the grocery store.
  • ½ cup shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened, packed
  • 1 large red, crisp apple, cored and diced into small, approximate 1/4-inch
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 3 large eggs
  • ⅔ cup vegetable oil, I like sunflower oil, but any neutral flavored oil would be fine
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Turbinado Sugar, for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 16 muffin cups* or line them with papers. Line a sheet pan with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray or rub with a paper towel and a bit of oil.
  2. Combine pecans and sunflower seeds on the prepared sheet pan. Drizzle with the honey and olive oil. Stir to coat seeds with honey mixture (don’t worry if the honey seems to stick to just some of the nut mixture, it will all come together in the oven). Place pan in preheated oven and bake for 4 minutes. Stir to redistribute and bake another 2-3 minutes or until pecans are light golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Stir once or twice during cooling to keep mixture from clumping together.
  3. In a large bowl (I’m talking really big), combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, spices, and salt. Stir well.
  4. Add the carrots and coconut, apples and dried cranberries. Stir well and the run your hands through the mixture, breaking up any small clumps of brown sugar, coconut or cranberries that remain.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, orange juice and vanilla. Stir till smooth.
  6. Add egg mixture to the flour mixture, and stir until evenly moistened (mixture will be quite thick).
  7. Divide the batter among the cup wells of the prepared pans, filling almost to the top (about 7/8 full).
  8. Divide the candied pecan mixture evenly among the muffins. Sprinkle each muffin with about 1/2 teaspoon of Demera sugar.
  9. Bake the muffins for 25 to 28 minutes, until they’re nicely domed and a cake tester inserted in the center of one of the inner muffins comes out clean. I like to check them at about 20 minutes and if they are getting fairly brown, but are still a little doughy in the centers, cover them with foil for the remainder of the baking time. Remove from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes in their pan on a rack, then turn out of pans to finish cooling. Wrap any leftovers in plastic wrap or a zippered storage bag, and store at room temperature for several days; freeze* for longer storage.

Notes

I have several types of muffin pans, but I really love these USA 12-cup muffin pans. They’re quite heavy-duty and everything bakes very evenly. The muffins and cupcakes seem to rise a little higher in these pans as well.
When I freeze any type of baked goods, I place them in the freezer on a pan, unwrapped. Once they are frozen, I throw them into a zippered plastic bag or a storage container. That way they don’t get crushed or stuck to each other as they are freezing. I love these Rubbermaid Storage Containers. They stack so nicely and you get a ton of them in a set.

Morning Glory Muffins with Candied Pecan Topping - this is one of those "never-fail" recipes! The muffins always come up tall and pretty. I love that they're so delicious and loaded with healthy ingredients at the same time. Oh, and the candied pecan topping is totally amazing!



33 thoughts on “Morning Glory Muffins with Candied Pecan Topping”

  • I have a few favorite sites that I check for recipes, yours is now one of them but what I want to comment on is that I also go on Google images and search for a recipe and start with pictures.

  • I can’t wait to try each of your recipes, I’m disabled and because of some transportation issues right now it may not be until after the first of the year before I can try them all, each of them look delicious and I to like to make it ahead and freeze to enjoy when not up to cooking etc.Thanks for shareing the recipes if they taste half as good as they look.,they look great way better than the picture you shared from whole foods and King Arthur. We don’t have a whole foods close by, I have used King Arthur flour, yours look 100 percent better than any of the 2 pictured, thanks again for sharing.Pray that you and your family have a wonderful Holiday Season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  • Once again I like your recipe! I also use the King Arthur web site and order all my baking ingredients (especially vanilla, baker’s special sugar, and and their white whole wheat flour) some of my bake ware from them. You can’t beat them for quality.
    I’ve used their recipe for Morning Glory Muffins before and it works just as you report. However, I do like the ammendments you have made and will continue to make these muffins according to your recipe.

  • Hi Chris,
    I want to make these muffins because as you said “a picture is worth a 1000 words”. They look so good..
    I have KA whole wheat flour, it does not say pastry flour.. Can I use this or do I need what the recipe calls for.
    Thank you for your help.
    Dorothy

  • It was such a pleasure meeting you at my cooking station at Whole Foods. The muffins look absolutely delicious! Can’t wait to follow you in Paris.

    best regards,
    Sherry

  • Chris,

    Just made these muffins for our breakfast tomorrow and I must say 6 are already gone. They are so delicious and this recipe definitely will be a keeper. Didn’t have coconut so I chopped up crystallized ginger in its place and also had to sub pepitas (pumpkin seeds) for sunflower seeds. Next time I make these I will be sure to have all the original ingredients.

    Thank you for sharing your great recipes! I always look forward to baking up something new from you blog.

  • Morning Glory Muffins are such a classic! I’m so glad you were inspired by Whole Foods and love your twist with the candied pecans. Stunning photography here from Scott, too! 🙂 We visit our local WF store a couple times per week. But, I’m glad you selected the King Arthur Flour recipe. I cannot say enough about KAF! I enjoy ordering from them as well as using their recipe database. Thanks for sharing, Chris. Pinned!

  • Dear Chris, the name of these beauties certainly fits them extremely well – these muffin treats of yours look absolutely glorious! Love the list of healthy ingredients and the picture perfect way you presented them in these pretty muffin liners on that even prettier cake stand!
    Hope you are enjoying a wonderful Sunday, dear friend!
    Andrea

  • These are one of my favorite muffins, too! And yours rival any bakery version! And I, too, love that these use whole wheat flour. Time to get out my apron 🙂 Happy weekend, my friend.

  • Dear Chris, That is so nice that you are in walking distance to many places.
    I love muffins in the morning. with a cup of coffee or tea. These look perfect. King Arthur is always there when one needs a little inspirations. I love there flour too.
    Beautiful pictures Chris. xoxo Catherine

  • These look totally amazing! Think I will whip up a batch this morning as a test for feeding our rally car racing team in April. I’m sure the guys will love these. We have Whole Foods coming to Bellingham in a year…cannot wait, wish it was sooner! Oh, thanks to you, I went shopping for the muffin papers on Amazon… 🙂

  • Not only do they good pretty they are DELICIOUS. I just made these and we LOVED them. I didn’t have sunflower seeds that were good. Don’t think we missed them either. I used scant in place of brown sugar and put a little orange zest. Love cranberries and orange. I did use unsweetened coconut. If they had been any better we would be in more trouble. I did use freshly ground.hard white wheat. This is a keeper recipe!!! Freezing some to take our son in Charlotte,NC.

    • OOPS! That should have said used sucanat. Now I know why it said scant. This crazy computer changed it and I didn’t realize it. It did this time and I saw it.

  • Wow Chris….your photos are a million times more enticing than WF or KA! (Maybe they should consider paying food bloggers to submit their finished recipes!). LOVE morning glory muffins. And yours, my dear, are the most gloriest I’ve ever seen! : )

  • I live out in the sticks, and while that does have its advantages, being close to fancy grocery stores is not one of them. Sigh. Those muffins look absolutely gorgeous with that topping! I’m not a raisin person, so the substitution of cranberries is one I wholeheartedly agree with. 🙂

  • I’m going to try this recipe as a coffee cake or two; one topped with pecans and one topped with walnuts. Also want to try the recipe in grab and go bars for road trips and hiking. Thanks for the recipe and great blog.

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