I’ve always appreciated Morning Glory Muffins. They are a great morning treat, packed full of delicious ingredients that at least make you feel like you are starting the day right. I’ve made many versions over the years – it used to be a standard treat I took to new moms. It’s such a cheerful and hopeful name. My recipe kind of fell by the wayside though; I guess I just replaced it with other muffin and quick bread ideas. It came back to mind when I found myself with a can of crushed pineapple I accidentally purchased and the other ingredients were on hand as well. I decided to turn my recipe into a Bundt cake simply because I have a pretty, specialty Bundt pan I don’t use nearly enough.
I replace the usual oil in this recipe with unsweetened applesauce. Sure, that makes this slightly healthier, but I really like the extra hit of apple flavor. Make sure you buy unsweetened applesauce, not one packed with added sugar and flavors. I get those little snack cup sizes that I can keep in the pantry for all sorts of baking projects. You can vary the spice in this cake to your own tastes, adding a little allspice or clove, or going all cinnamon.
As a morning treat, I think a light sprinkle of powdered sugar is just enough sweet, but you could make a simple glaze – even one using the juice drained from the can of crushed pineapple.
Morning Glory Coffee Cake
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2-1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup grated carrots (from about 2 medium)
1 medium red apple, grated with the peel on
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2/3 cups unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup buttermilk
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray an 11 – 12 cup Bundt pan with baking spray (I like Bakers’ Joy).
2. Mix the sugars, flour, baking soda, spices and salt together in a large bowl. I like to use my good clean hands to break up any lumps of brown sugar. Add the carrot, apple, pineapple, coconut and pecans and stir to combine. Stir in the applesauce. Measure the buttermilk in a 2 – cup jug, then crack in the eggs and beat well. Add the buttermilk and eggs to the bowl and stir just until the batter is combined, making sure there is no dry mixture left.
3. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
4. Sprinkle the top of the cake with confectioners’ sugar.
Note: If you would like a little extra hit of sweet, make a glaze with powdered sugar and buttermilk and drizzle over the cooled cake.
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