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…
JK. They walked into this recipe for morning glory bread. An ultra-moist and tender loaf made with whole wheat flour and chock full of goodies such as cinnamon, unsweetened coconut, chia seeds, and walnuts.
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!
There’s a lot going on in this recipe. Perhaps most well-known for being made into muffins, morning glory batter is jam-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. It’s hard to say no to that.
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, I’ve added in mashed banana and chia seeds to make this morning glory bread even more loaded.
Flour: While whole wheat flour is my pick for a nutritious bump that flies under the radar. Regular all-purpose flour 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 a ton of moisture.
Sugar: While this bread does get some sweetness from the fruit, one-half cup of refined sugar is a welcome touch. I’ve tested this recipe with both brown sugar and coconut sugar and found them both great. Coconut sugar in particular lends a warm and roasty flavor.
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.
How to make morning glory bread
Like so many quick bread recipes, this one can be boiled down to mixing the wet and dry ingredients separately, combining, and then baking.
For the wet ingredients, I recommend beginning by adding the banana to a mixing bowl and mashing it very well with a fork or beating it with an electric mixer until mostly creamy. I’m not partial to discernible chunks of banana in breads or cakes, so beating it well before adding the rest of the ingredients ensures it blends in seamlessly all the while providing flavor.
Once the banana is dealt with, add the oil, sugar, egg, and vanilla extract and beat until smooth and combined.
In a separate bowl whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet and mix in until just combined. Since you will be stirring in the add ins, don’t overmix at this stage. Overmixing can cause the gluten proteins in the flour to over-activate, leading to tougher baked goods.
Next up are the add ins: shredded apple, shredded carrot, flaked coconut, walnuts, and chia seeds. You’ll notice the apple becomes pretty wet when you shred it. Don’t squeeze out the shreds before adding them to the recipe. The excess moisture helps with making sure this morning glory bread is soft and tender.
The batter will be really thick (this is normal), so you may need to pour/spoon it into the prepared loaf pan. Level off the top then bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top has set, the edges are golden brown, and a long tester such as a toothpick or a piece of dry spaghetti inserted in the tallest part comes out clean.
Let the bread cool in the pan for twenty minutes or so (it doesn’t need to be precise), then carefully loosen the edges and transfer it to a wire rack to cool entirely before serving. Making sure the bread has completely cooled before cutting helps ensure you get clean slices. Otherwise the warmth can cause it to crumble and mush up.
If you like the banana/cinnamon/chia seed combination with pineapple thrown in for good measure, these pineapple banana chia bars might be calling your name. These no-bake, date-based bars feature flavors inspired by a southern classic, hummingbird cake.
Two classic quick bread recipes that are repeat in my kitchen are naturally sweetened banana bread and naturally sweetened pumpkin bread. With the former sweetened with honey (and bananas, obviously) and the latter sweetened with maple syrup, these two breads are ultra moist and flavorful.
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 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp 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. Grease an 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" 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.
- 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 1/2" x 4 1/2" 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.
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.