I originally shared this recipe back in 2013, and it’s consistently one of my most popular muffin recipes. I recently rephotographed the recipe and also reworked it a bit – now the recipe has a dairy-free option. We’ll be making these again Easter weekend – what could be more perfect for Easter breakfast than carrot muffins?!
With sunny bits of carrot, coconut, and pineapple, these moist carrot muffins with coconut and pineapple are another reason to smile on even the dreariest of days.
It used to just be my golden retriever and me. Her name was Angelyne, and every night I’d lure her onto the bed with a treat. Then I’d roll to my side and she’d curl into the crook of my knees.
Many people prefer to keep the dog off the bed, but Angel was the perfect 90-pound heater – a must in wintertime. By dawn, she’d have shifted upward, her head on the pillow next to me. I’d smile through my sleepy fog. “Good morning, sunshine,” I’d say. She’d slurpily lick me on the face. It was gross. But happy.
She was a good dog. I miss her.
But now I’ve got another little ray of sunshine, my audacious young toddler who, like Angel, also happens to sport sweet golden curls. Lately, she wakes up in her crib in the middle of the night and – with (ahem) parental assistance – makes her way to our bed. And so every morning, the three of us all wake up together. She lays between us, usually stirring long before we’re ready to wake. Soon she chirps. “Hi!” “Da da!” “Ma!” “Nose. Eyes. Mouf. Eyebwows,” she pokes our faces and, despite ourselves and our desperate wishes for more sleep, we smile. And then we laugh. Our little sunshine.
And so it is in honor of those little rays of sunshine in our lives that I named these muffins. With sunny bits of carrot, coconut, and pineapple, these super-moist, super-happy muffins are another reason to smile on even the dreariest of days.
They’re a riff on my hearty spiced carrot muffins, a favorite of adults and picky toddlers alike – with some added coconut. Inspired by the hunk of pineapple left over from shish kabobs and mojito sangria, I threw that in too. Just generally inspired, I shifted the spices around a bit.
My toddling little sunbeam helped by placing liners in the muffin tins, “mixing” together the ingredients, enthusiastically gobbling the (literal) fruits of our labor, and, of course, making me smile all along the way.
Good morning, sunshine.
Good Morning Sunshine Muffins (Hearty Carrot Muffins with Coconut and Pineapple)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour (or substitute another cup of all-purpose flour)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup whole milk (can sub unsweetened almond milk or soy milk)
- 3/4 cup applesauce
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar (use 1/2 cup if you prefer a less-sweet muffin)
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil (can sub melted coconut oil)
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups carrot (grated (about 3 medium carrots))
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sweetened flaked coconut
- 1 cup fresh pineapple (cut into 1/4-inch dice or "tidbit" size -or- use canned pineapple tidbits, drained -or- 1 cup frozen pineapple tidbits)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease or place cupcake wrappers in a standard-size, 12-cup muffin pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, applesauce, brown sugar, vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla extract.
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and whisk just until all ingredients are incorporated. Gently stir in the carrots, 1/2 cup coconut, and pineapple.
- Use a cookie scoop to divide the mixture between the muffin cups. Cups should be filled to the top.
- Sprinkle tops evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons coconut.
- Bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until muffin tops spring back when poked and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool for 5 – 10 minutes before removing from the muffin tin. Serve plain or with butter, if desired.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 – 3 days, or freeze.
Originally published Jun 3, 2013. Updated April 3, 2017.