Moist Sunshine Muffins Recipe: A Day Without Muffins Is Like a Day Without Sunshine by Melissa Vickers

Moist Sunshine Muffins Recipe: A Day Without Muffins Is Like a Day Without Sunshine

Have you ever headed to the kitchen to satisfy a craving for a specific recipe, got started and then realized you were missing some key ingredients? The other day I got hungry for some Morning Glory Muffins, those hearty muffins full of crushed pineapple, grated carrots and apples and coconut. As I started pulling the ingredients, I realized that I only had half the 2 cups of grated carrots I needed, and none of the crushed pineapple. Fortunately, being my mom’s daughter, I just started substituting.

Muffins are so forgiving and so easy to adapt to what you have on hand or what you want to taste as you enjoy them. I figured I needed something juicy and sweet to replace the missing pineapple, and had some fresh mandarin oranges that seemed like a reasonable swap.

I remember the first time I made these muffins I was a little surprised that “morning glory” didn’t actually refer to some kind of orange or orange juice. That always makes me think of the time I told a young high school server at a conference breakfast that I was disappointed that there was no orange juice. I told him, “You know, a day without orange juice is like a day without sunshine!” from the old orange juice commercial. I got one of those wide-eyed, take-a-step-backwards-from-this-crazy-woman reaction. Next day, though, there was orange juice!

Since the muffin recipe called for grating both carrots and apples, I figured doubling the apples to make up for the grated carrots ought to work. And since I was changing up the original muffin recipe, I also substituted dried cranberries for the raisins. It worked! These are every bit as tasty as the original, and guarantee that orange juice inspired sunshine!

Like most muffins, these are best enjoyed fresh, but will remain soft at room temperature for a couple days. And they freeze well up to two months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and heat up (if you prefer) before serving.

Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Servings: 18


  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 2 medium apples, grated
  • 4 fresh mandarin oranges, peeled, sectioned and chopped
  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used half whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Whisk together oil, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl. Add in the carrots, apple, oranges, coconut flakes and dried cranberries and mix until thoroughly combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined (mixture will be thick, don’t overmix). Divide batter evenly among the 18 muffin cups that have been lined or sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, about 3/4 full.
  3. Bake in a preheated 350-degree F oven for about 25 minutes until tops are golden and springs back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Muffin Tins $8 & Up
Baking Liners $5 & Up
Vanilla $4 & Up
Cinnamon $3 & Up
Raisins $3 & Up

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Carrots and cranberries. What a nourishing muffin!
I enjoy being creative with my recipes too, and agree a day without muffins is a day without 🌞🌞

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