Rise and Shine Muffins

While visiting London this past November, a couple of colleagues and I quickly developed a morning ritual of meeting at the Starbucks on Berkeley Street before heading in to the office.

Since Starbucks doesn’t offer any gluten-free baked goods; and even if they did, I’m not sure I’d be inclined to pass up a homemade treat for processed gunk, I ended up packing a coconut muffin top in my purse so I could join in the ritual.

I sat with the group; Venti Calm Tea in hand, as they snacked on their scones, yogurt, and lattes. It made my morning.

During one of our visits Lea; my boss, decided to order a rise and shine muffin – a breakfast muffin packed with apple, raisins, carrot, pineapple, cranberries, sunflower seeds and pecan pieces. “A source of fibre” the little poster in the window claimed.

It looked good, making my sad little muffin top quite insignificant.

When I got back to my hotel room over 16 hours later, I still had that golden muffin on my mind – a surefire sign that I had to recreate it when I got back to Canada.

Then, I completely forgot about the recipe for a solid 3 months.

When planning the recreation a couple of weeks ago, I did a bit of research to figure out what I was up against. A good place to start was the nutrition facts from Starbucks:

  • 448 calories – I little heavy for a breakfast muffin. To cut this down, I opted for less oil than usual, reducing the 18g of fat from the original as well.
  • 6g protein – a perfect amount that I worked hard at maintaining in my recreated version.
  • 31g sugar – I’d be a wreck if I had this much sugar in the morning. ZING! Instead of relying on refined sugar, I opted for sweetening with just a touch of maple syrup and dried fruit.
  • 2.8g fiber – to keep this, I added flax seed instead of the oat bran and other glutenous ingredients used by Starbucks.

I wrote down the ingredients that I thought would yield a similar healthier, gluten-free alternative and got to work!

The result?

The best muffin I’ve ever made.

Seriously. I know I say that a lot, but I really mean it EVERY time.

… and if you don’t believe me, my neighbor; Shawna, said it was too.

Rise and Shine Muffins

Gluten free, Dairy free, Refined sugar free, Yeast free, Corn free, Grain free

Don’t let the bird food topping fool you. These muffins are so ridiculously tasty and don’t taste at all like they’re ‘good for you’. At just under 170 calories per muffin, you can feel good about indulging in one of these on your way out the door, packing in your child’s lunches, or just making a batch for yourself on a sunny Wednesday morning.

Yield: 6 muffins

Servings: 6


  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots, drained
  • 1/2 banana, chopped into rough chunks
  • 2 tablespoon unsweetened raisins or dried currants
  • 2 medjool dates, pitted and finely chopped


  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole flax seed


  1. Preheat oven to 400F and line 6 muffin cups with paper liners. Set aside
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Combine all wet ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
  4. Add dry to wet and stir until incorporated.
  5. Add in shredded carrots, banana, raisins, and dates. Stir until just mixed.
  6. Drop mixture into prepared muffin liners and top with the mixture of seeds.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Mine took exactly 17 minutes.

View nutrition facts

Is it wrong that I’m planning to make a batch of these to take with me to India? They’ll stay good for a couple of days, I’m sure of it.

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Comments | Leave Your Comment

  1. YUM! So these are the muffins you were telling me about :D Love it! It is like a paleo version of my Get Up and Go Muffins!!

  2. These sound awesome Leanne, and I’d pick yours over the Starbucks one any day!! I’m sure the airport security guards might let you smuggle some into India if you’re willing to share with them. ;)

  3. I love the challenge of trying to make a fast food item healthier- these sounds SO good, I always eye starbucks baked goods and get a twinge of jealousy seeing friends indulge. But this honestly sounds so much better to me than any of those.

  4. Yum..I am so going through a muffin phase..I find the need to make them weekly..I’ll have to throw this recipe in the mix! :) Thanks for sharing!!!

  5. Those look delicious! I generally don’t like muffins that much because they’re too much like cupcakes, but this one looks healthy and yummy.

  6. Mmmmm I’m going to make these!!

    I remember an awesome recipe from my past called rise and shine muffins – and they had a whole orange in them peel and all you just blended it up!! They were INCREDIBLE!!!!

    Have an awesome day!

  7. Whoa this sounds like all the best things about carrot cake, but transformed into a delicious, healthy, breakfast muffin. Will definitely have to make these soon. Argh, why do coffee shop baked goods always have to have so much f-ing sugar??!!

    • You know… that’s exactly what it is! Why haven’t I been describing it like that?!

  8. it was the bird topping that intrigued me! :)

    by the look of these ingredients, I can tell these are tasty! have a great time in India!

  9. Ever since someone called muffins “fat bombs” — referring to Tim Horton’s chocolate chip muffins being twice the calories/fat of a typical donut — I have sworn them off. Along my way to healthy eating, I have realized that it’s one of those stupid food fears I should get over. I’ve printed recipes for “healthy” muffins before but most of them are just muffins with pumpkin or zucchini (and still tons of processed sugars and junk in them). So this might be the one that actually makes it into my belly. Thanks!!

    • Well, yes there are lots of muffins that would constitute as a fat bomb I suppose, but these are not it! I hope you enjoy them if you do give them a try, Cheryl :)

  10. Leanne – I haven’t even made these YET and I already LOVE them :)
    Cannot wait to bake them!

    <3 All the best! Thanks!

  11. So not only do these muffins amaze me, but the fact that you are leaving on a long trip very very soon and you are still pumping out amazing recipes, amazes me even more. I don’t know how you do it all :) Seriously though, these muffins look incredible. I haven’t made muffins in a while for some reason, but these are inspiring me to make some this weekend. They are one of my favorite options for breakfast.

  12. Those muffins are gorgeous! It’s hard to believe you can make a muffin with such little flour but hey, it looks like it worked!
    I hate standing in front of the pastry case at Starbucks. I give the muffins, scones, and cakes dirty looks.

  13. The texture of these muffins looks fantastic. I have not had much luck with coconut flour but continue to experiment with it. Were your muffins wet at all inside?

    • Coconut flour is so tricky! Nope, the muffins were fully cooked like any other muffin. No wetness at all!

      • Hello!

        I’ve tried them, and they did turn quite wet inside. While they are still delicious, I’m wondering if I did something wrong…

        Any clue?

        • Interesting, I’ve made this same recipe 3 times with no issues at all! You didn’t replace any of the ingredients?

  14. Thanks for making these love :) hehehehe. My mom always made that unhealthy version, but they were my fav, so I am super excited to try these ones! Again, thank you! They look amazing

  15. How long will you be gone? I will miss your posts! Just got this post in my email inbox and saw the bright and chirpy looking muffins nestled inside double cupcake liners, so cute and well photographed, and I smiled. Thanks for your positive outlook, lovely photographs and wonderful recipes. I always take a moment out of my busy day of raising my 2 year old and my 2 month old just to rest a bit and get inspiration from you. Thanks!

    • I’ll be away for 3 weeks. I’ve lined up a bunch of great ladies to blog for me while I’m gone, and will be posting updates when I can :) I’m happy the muffins made you smile this morning, Elizabeth. You must have quite the busy household with two little ones under 2 years old!

  16. do you eat these for breakfast sometimes yourself? do you pair them with anything or good on their own?

    • I’ve been having 1 for breakfast by itself (totally tasty!) and if I’ve just done a spin class I’ve been adding a dollop of sunflower seed butter and an apple to the mix.

  17. I baked these yesterday and they are delicious! I couldn’t find coconut flour yesterday though, and I wanted to make them right away, so I just used regular flour for now. Will have to try them again with the coconut flour. Love this recipe :)

  18. I finally managed to get some coconut flour, so at last I could cook these muffins! The raw mix was delicious, so I was really looking forward to them coming out of the oven. I was wondering if they’d be a bit heavy or dense, but they are lovely, fluffy and a really nice flavour. I didn’t have a banana but otherwise stuck to the recipe and I shall definitely be making these again!! p.s. You mentioned ground hemp seed when you wrote about replacing the original ingredients for the fast food muffin, but there doesn’t seem to be any in the recipe? Thanks! ;)

    • Hi Arwen, I’m happy the muffins turned out well for you! They’re one of my favorites. Regarding the hemp seeds, I couldn’t find the reference in the post. Are you sure it was this post? So weird!

  19. Please advice what I can use instead of coconut flour. We don’t get that in Africa

    • Hi Poorvi, unfortunately coconut flour cannot be subbed in this recipe as it’s different from all the other flours. Sorry I can’t be more help!

  20. These are yummy! I didn’t have enough maple syrup so substituted unpasteurised honey. I’m about to make my 2nd batch this week :)

    • Great to know that it works with honey. So happy that you enjoyed them, Ella!

  21. Leanne, I made these today and they’re unreal. SO GOOD. I haven’t used the oven or stove all summer…I was so craving these muffins and ending up baking them on the grill!! Took ~25 minutes but they are perfection! Thanks!!!

    • On the grill?! WHAT?! That is awesome. Wow. I need to try that. I’m so happy that you liked the muffins, Katy!

  22. Question: in the narrative before the recipe, you commented on fiber content. “2.8g fiber – to keep this, I added ground flax seed instead of the oat bran and other glutenous ingredients used by Starbucks.”
    I don’t see ground flax in the ingredient list. Does this muffin still have a good fiber count?

    • Hi Jody – good eye. Not sure what went on there but it should say “flax seeds” not “ground flax seeds” There are flax seeds on the top of the muffins. I hope that helps!

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