Coconut Muffins with an Orange Glaze

I don’t have a terribly sweet tooth (although I know that doesn’t sound right to those of you who’ve followed this blog for a while and been witness to the vegan baked goodies and Indian sweets I’ve posted here). But it is the truth– I’d pick a savory snack over a sweet one any day.

For breakfast, though, and especially for breakfast on a Sunday morning, I love a bite of something sweet, although not cloyingly, richly sweet.

I was thrilled, then, to come across a recipe for Maui Muffins with an Orange Glaze in one of the vegan cookbooks I’ve owned for at least a year now and that has some truly unique recipes– the Candle Cafe Cookbook (I really love their chocolate cake with a ganache frosting. In fact, it was after eating it at a friend’s home that I rushed out to buy this cookbook).

These muffins sounded perfect– delicious and complex with many layers of flavor, but healthy as well with whole wheat and fruit juices and coconut.

I have a quirk about coconut. I love it in curries and Indian dishes, and I adore it in traditional Indian sweets like modaks and karanjis and naralachi vadi. But I absolutely, positively cannot stand it in cookies, cakes, candies and other baked goods.

But I’d bought a bag of sweetened coconut a while back that was lying in my refrigerator asking to be used, and I thought, what the heck. The muffins sounded good enough to try.

I doubled up on the coconut in the original recipe because I didn’t have pineapple, which the recipe called for and which is perhaps one of the reasons why these are called Maui muffins. So I am renaming mine Coconut Muffins instead. Also, instead of whole-wheat pastry flour, which the recipe called for and which I’d just run out of, I used durum whole-wheat flour which I did have on hand because that’s what I use to make my chapatis. The substitution worked very well– the muffins were moist and had a great crumb.

The recipe calls for agave nectar and for those of you who might not be familiar with it, this is a great natural sweetener which comes from the agave cactus. It makes a great substitute for honey which spoon-for-spoon has almost twice the calories as sugar does. (And, of course, honey is not vegan because those poor bees didn’t work themselves to death so we could just swoop in and steal their honey.)

Agave nectar has a low glycemic index which makes it one of the healthiest sweeteners you can eat, and if you live in the United States, it is easy to find — even the Costco I go to here in my Washington suburb stocks it.

So here it is, then, a delicious, healthy and easy recipe for a snack or breakfast or brunch or pre-breakfast…you get the idea? You can leave out the orange glaze if you want to reduce the sugar in the recipe, but I thought its sweetness was wonderfully complimentary to the barely-sweet muffin.


Coconut Muffins With An Orange Glaze
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Breakfast/Muffins
Serves: Makes 12 muffins
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup durum whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp egg replacer powder
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup agave nectar (use maple syrup or regular sugar if you don’t have this)
  • Zest of 1 orange (set aside 2 tsp or so for the orange glaze)
  • ¼ cup canola or other flavorless vegetable oil (the original recipe recommends safflower)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, egg replace powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, dissolve the egg replacer with the orange juice. Add the agave nectar, orange zest, oil and water
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together until they are just combined. Do not overmix. Add the coconut and mix in.
  5. Greas a 12-cup muffin tin and divide the batter equally between the cups.
  6. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  7. Place on a rack to cool. Unmold after 10 minutes and continue to cool the muffins.
  9. Heat the orange juice in a small saucepan until it begins to boil.
  10. Add the powdered sugar and zest and turn off the heat. Whisk together well.
  11. Pour over the cooled or barely-warm muffins.

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

27 thoughts on “Coconut Muffins with an Orange Glaze

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Rachana Kothari

    February 28, 2010 at 9:26pm

    These muffins look so crunchy and tangy!!! lovely combination of coconut and orange:)

  2. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 28, 2010 at 9:42pm

    Yummy looking muffin. I love coconut based dishes. I will be making this very soon.

  3. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 28, 2010 at 10:33pm


    coconut muffin looks really yummy. i love anything with coconut

  4. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Red Chillies

    February 28, 2010 at 10:50pm

    Vaishali, I have the same thought as you with regards to coconut. I love it in Indian curries, desserts but do’n like it much in cookies, cakes etc.
    But I have a sweet tooth and would pick sweet over the savory one.
    Like the coconut muffin variation, looks good.

  5. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    February 28, 2010 at 10:58pm

    I too love something sweet for Sunday breakfast after having some savory :) Muffins look great, nice orange glaze…healthy ones too!

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    March 1, 2010 at 3:58am

    Same pinch, i havent tried coconut in my bakes as yet but planning to do so soon :)
    Wishiny you and your family a very Happy Holi! Muffins look delicious, would love to grab one for breakfast!

  7. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 1, 2010 at 4:13am

    I too don’t like coconut in cakes or cookies Vaishali. :-) But that muffin of yours looks so tempting I don’t mind if it has coconut. Love that orange zest on the top. :-)

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    March 1, 2010 at 4:34am

    mmm. what a lovely muffin! Not fair to tempt like this. I am imagining the yummy taste coconut would give to this muffin :)

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    Priya Narasimhan

    March 1, 2010 at 6:09am

    I have been waiting for a baked dish from you for so long..:-) and finally here it is…absolutely irresistible for a sweet lover like me…

  10. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 1, 2010 at 8:26am

    Such a tempting muffin with fantastic orange glaze…

  11. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Happy Cook

    March 1, 2010 at 10:05am

    Wish i was like you but i have such a sweet tooth. Beautiful muffin,

  12. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 1, 2010 at 11:28am


    Like you, I do not have sweet tooth either, but I eat occasional sweet things and this looks yummy. In out house Zenguy loves sweet things, I shall make it him and it is healthy too.

  13. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    AMA's AnythingVegetarian

    March 1, 2010 at 2:53pm

    I love coconuts and it counts for whole wheat flour thats great.

    Vaishali,I always hit in to controversy about agave nectar.I stocked on two big bottles but when I keep reading negatives about it,I am skeptical.Some source quotes its the best replacement for sugar but I have also read it contains the same calories as of sugar .

    Just wanted to get your thoughts .

  14. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 1, 2010 at 3:18pm

    lovely muffins, addition coconut gives a nice flavour

  15. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 1, 2010 at 9:50pm

    Rachana, Latha, Swathi, Thanks!

    RedChillies: We Konkani gals love our coconut, right :) But seriously, this recipe was definitely a mind-changer for me on coconut in baked goods.

    Gita, ChitChat, Thanks!

    Parita, A very happy Holi to you!

    Sharmila, Uma: THanks.

    Priya, you are so kind..thanks and hope you try it.

    Priya, Sowmya, HappyCook, Zengirl, Thanks!

    AMA, you are right– there has been controversy over agave nectar, but most of it seems unfounded. Doctors and dietitians focused on health eating, like the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, recommend the use of agave over sugar in sweets because of its low glycemic response. Agave is not calorie-free, and no one is claiming that, but it is absorbed more slowly by your body than regular sugar which is very beneficial, especially for diabetics. Hope that helps :)

    Sumi, thanks!

  16. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 2, 2010 at 12:52am

    Do I love the glaze most or coconut muffins? Is simply gorgeous and tempting!

  17. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 2, 2010 at 4:27am

    I would call it as Golden muffins.. just love the colour and combi of coconut with orange glaze..

    Yes can repost with link back and send it to me:)

  18. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 2, 2010 at 11:17pm

    I wish I could just eat one muffin right away :) I love the addition of coconut in your muffins.


  19. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    March 5, 2010 at 9:51pm

    Lovely combination of orange and coconut.Muffins looks delicious.

  20. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    March 14, 2010 at 8:05am

    Muffin looks so delicious, first time here, lovely blog and lovely write up too..

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    September 13, 2011 at 11:09am

    Hi vaishali,

    To much of my happiness I have found flaxseed. Can I substitute egg replacer with flaxseedmeal?

    God Bless.

  22. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    September 13, 2011 at 1:12pm

    Hi Nisha, these muffins are more delicately flavored, so I would recommend replacing the egg replacer with 2 tsp of cornstarch. If you don’t have cornstarch, use 1 tbsp of the flaxmeal mixed with 2 tbsp of water, but you might lose some of the delicate orange flavor.

  23. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    September 15, 2011 at 5:23am

    hi Vaishali,

    Thanks. I do have cornstarch and, will try using that.

    God Bless.

  24. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Leslie Sanford

    September 2, 2013 at 7:53pm

    I made these muffins a few times a while back out of The Candle Cafe Cookbook – they were delicious!! The only problem I had was the glaze was so sticky that it was a mess eating them. Worth it though!!

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