Instead of a buying a present this year, one of my friends requested a batch of healthy breakfast muffins. She was flying out to Queensland for a holiday Christmas night and wanted to take some healthy food on the flight. On Christmas Eve I found myself awake at 4.30am and unable to sleep, so I got up and baked the muffins.

I adapted a Martha Stewart recipe that we had both tried before and liked. I replaced the ground nutmeg with some mixed spice and cinnamon, and the raisins with dried cranberries (I thought the changes made them more Christmasy). I also used apple sauce instead of mashed banana. The house smelt lovely that morning and the muffins were very happily received a few hours later. I think I’ll bake myself some of these next time I’m flying anywhere. They are also great to have in the freezer for breakfast on the run.

Later in the day, I was dropping off presents to another friend, who on hearing about the muffins exclaimed “We can request baked goods for presents?” I think I might be getting a few more requests next year. But that’s okay, as I’ve always liked giving gifts that I’ve made myself. And it was lovely to receive my handmade smart rider (train card) holder and bike riding garters (so I can ride my recently bought vintage looking bike while wearing a dress) from my friend.breakfast muffins

Healthy breakfast muffins

Makes 12-15

You will need 1-2 muffin/cupcake tins (12 hole – 1/3 cup)


  • 1 ¼ cups plain flour
  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon mixed spice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup raisins (or dried fruit of your choice, I used dried cranberries)
  • 3 tablespoons oil (original recipe used olive oil, I used vegetable oil)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 3-4 carrots grated (use 4 if they are small, 3 if they are larger)
  • 1/3 cup apple sauce (or 1 ripe banana – mashed)


  1. Preheat oven to 190C fan forced (210C). Spray the tins with cooking/baking spray. I’ve found these cook better straight in the tins rather than using liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt until combined and free of lumps. Add oats and raisins and mix until combined. In a separate bowl or jug, combine the oil, egg and milk and whisk until the egg is beaten. Add the remaining ingredients (oil, egg, milk, grated carrots and apple sauce) to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. If the mix is a little dry and not coming together, and a touch more milk (1-2 tablespoons).
  3. Fill each muffin cup with about ¼ cup of the mix. Cook for 25 minutes or until cooked (a skewer should come out clean).
  4. Allow to cool slightly before removing from the tin. If sticking, just run a knife round the edge and they should release.

Adapted from Healthy Morning Muffins – Martha Stewart Recipes