Morning glory bread is warmly spiced and packed with grated carrot, apple, banana, coconut, and more for a moist and tender quick bread. Made with all whole wheat flour, this recipe hits the spot for breakfast or a snack any time of day!
A banana, an apple, and a carrot all walk into a bar...
Just kidding! They walked into this recipe for morning glory bread. This bread has been on my site for nearly six years now, and every time I remake it I intend to take new pictures. I've failed on that front on multiple occasions, but finally got myself together to get the job done.
Not that it was hard work or anything. You don't have to twist my arm to have another loaf of this around...
Reasons to Love This Recipe
- This breakfast quick bread is ultra moist and tender with a great crumb consistency.
- It features a variety of nutritious goodies, from whole wheat flour and chia seeds to fruits and walnuts.
- It's great any time of day and freezes well, too.
- The "morning glory" flavor is unique and delicious! See also these morning glory blender pancakes.
Perhaps most well-known for being made into muffins, morning glory batter is packed with add-ins such as grated carrots and apples, with coconut, nuts, and potentially dried fruit thrown in, as well. Often whole wheat based and cinnamon-spiced, this batter bakes up into muffins or bread that does its own thing but is carrot- or spice cake-adjacent.
Legend (well, the Internet) has it that morning glory baked goods originated in a cafe in the 1970s, but the beauty of a recipe like this is that it's so flexible. While I'm not sure what precisely was in the very original recipe, this is my take on loaded-up morning glory bread.
- Flour: While whole wheat flour seamlessly bumps up the nutrition, but all-purpose will also work.
- Oil: Melted coconut oil (refined if you don't want extra coconut flavor, unrefined if you do) or another neutral cooking oil such as canola or vegetable does the job here to provide lots of moisture.
- Sugar: While this bread does get sweetness from fruit, one-half cup of refined sugar is a welcome touch. Both brown sugar and coconut sugar are great, with coconut sugar in particular lending a warm and roasty flavor.
- Fruits and Veggie: Includes mashed banana, shredded apple, shredded carrot, and coconut flakes.
- Add ins: Lots of wiggle room here! You can omit the chia seeds or walnuts if you like, or you can throw in raisins or even dried cranberries.
Like so many quick bread recipes, this one can be boiled down to mixing the wet and dry ingredients separately, combining, and then baking.
- Mash the banana. Doing this first with a fork or electric mixer ensures it's totally smooth and flavors the batter without being chunky.
- Add the wet ingredients. Beat in the oil, sugar, egg, and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Combine dry ingredients. Separately whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
- Pour dry into wet. Stir until just combined. Don't overmix as this can cause the gluten proteins to over-activate and lead to tougher baked goods.
- Stir in add-ins. Here come the apple, carrot, coconut, walnuts, and chia seeds.
- Pour into pan. Grease loaf pan with butter or cooking spray to prevent sticking.
- Bake. 35-40 minutes at 350°F.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- The apple will become wet when you shred it. Don't blot the shreds before adding them to the recipe as the excess moisture helps with making sure this morning glory bread is soft and tender.
- It's normal for the batter to be very thick. You may need to pour/spoon it into the loaf pan and then level off the top.
- Let the bread cool in the pan for 20 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. This helps ensure you get clean slices that don't crumble or mush up.
More Quick Bread Recipes
- Naturally-sweetened banana bread with honey is an ultra moist banana bread that turns out beautifully every time.
- Along those same lines, pumpkin bread with maple syrup? Perfect for fall.
- What if you wanted the best of both worlds? Here's pumpkin banana bread.
- While lemon yogurt cake does lean a little more on the cake vs. quick bread side, it's made in a loaf pan so I think it counts. Greek yogurt provides a wonderfully moist texture for a truly delicious citrus-y dessert.
If you’ve enjoyed this recipe, I’d love for you to leave a star rating in the recipe card and/or a comment review below!
Whole Wheat Morning Glory Bread
- 1 medium ripe banana, mashed
- ½ cup melted coconut oil or neutral-tasting oil of your choice
- ½ cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 medium apple peeled and shredded (approx. ¾ cup)
- 1 medium carrot peeled and shredded (approx. ½ cup)
- ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- ¼ cup chopped walnut pieces (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease an 8 ½" x 4 ½" or 9" x 5" loaf pan and set aside.
- Add the ripe banana to a mixing bowl and mash it well using a fork or an electric mixer. Add the melted coconut oil, coconut or brown sugar, egg, and vanilla extract and mix until the mixture is smooth with no lumps remaining.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt until evenly combined.
- Add the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients and mix until the flour mixture is just combined, taking care not to overmix. Stir in chia seeds, shredded apple, shredded carrot, coconut flakes, and walnuts (if using) until evenly mixed. The batter will be thick.
- Pour/spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top has set up and a tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. An 8 ½" x 4 ½" loaf pan will likely take a few minutes longer than a 9" x 5" pan. Let the bread cool for 20 minutes in the pan before loosening the edges with a thin spatula or knife and transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice once fully cooled.
- Storage: I like to keep this bread in an airtight container in the refrigerator as I think it stays fresh longer that way, though you can leave it out at room temperature if you prefer.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.Food Safety and Nutrition Disclaimer
Note: The images in this post were updated in 2021 from the original publish date in 2015, with a few minor recipe tweaks. If you're coming back to this recipe from a saved link or pin (thank you!), you might recognize the image below.
Claire Heilman says
This recipe looks wonderful. I just got a bread machine. Can I make this in my new bread machine?
Hi Claire, I'm not too familiar with the ins and outs of a bread machine, so I'm not sure how this bread would do in there. Is there a setting on it to make quick breads? That could work, provided your particular model means no-yeast (made with baking powder/soda) type quick breads and not just a speedy yeast bread setting. Please let me know if you give it a try and enjoy your new machine!
Can you use a gluten free substitute and if so what would you suggest?
Hi Lisa, I don't have much experience with GF flours, but I'd say go for one that says it's a 1:1 substitution for regular flour. While I haven't used it myself, I've heard good things about the King Arthur Flour GF flour, that it can be subbed right in. I wouldn't use something like coconut flour, which cannot be subbed 1:1 and requires some recipe finessing as to not mess with the texture. I hope that's helpful!
Thanks Dani! Lots of goodness going on here. 🙂
Thanks girl! This loaf is disappearing pretttty quickly. Breakfast, snacks, everything!
Eggs and toast is a favorite for us! At least one day of the weekend we make a big batch. I bet you'd love this!
Thanks Stacey! I agree.
Thank you Gayle! I'm definitely making quick work of this loaf. 🙂
Hahaha thanks Kristi! 🙂
Haha sometimes it's hard to mess with a good thing! Thanks Denise!
Thanks Jess! So many goodies in here. 🙂
This looks delicious! I will substitute the flour with gf bisquick. Yummy!