Spent Grain Muffins with Molasses and Yogurt

IMG_0535A few weeks ago I made a delicious 1 gallon batch of Brooklyn Brew Shop’s Smoked Wheat beer and had a couple of pounds of spent grain after it was all over.  I was going to compost it, but I read somewhere that I could feed it to my chickens.  They loved it!  As I gave it to them I could tell why they loved it–it has this sweet malty aroma that wraps around your nose like a warm blanket.  Why give it all to the birds!

I fell in love with the idea of using spent grain in recipes when I discovered Brooklyn Brew Shop’s category of blog posts called Spent Grain Chef.

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So last Sunday I had a great brew day and made a 5 gallon batch of California Common Lager. I used malted grains that I picked up at Oakbarrel in Berkeley: an American Pale malt for the base (about 11 pounds), a little Carapils (aka Dextrine) and a little Crystal 80L.

So with around 12 pounds of grain after it was over, I knew what I wanted to do.  Make muffins!

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I’m pretty impatient, so drying it and grinding it into flour seemed like too much of a chore.  I found some recipes for spent grain bread on the Web that use wet grains. You can keep them in the fridge or freeze them until you’re ready.

I built my recipe using a combination of Brooklyn Brew Shop’s Spent Grain Applesauce Muffins, a whole grain muffin recipe from Deaf Smith Country Cookbook which uses molasses and buttermilk, and a recipe I like for Yogurt Fruit Muffins from Bobby Flay’s brunch cooking show. Adding molasses and yogurt instead of applesauce made them extra dark and moist. I also increased the amount of spent grain because I really wanted them as an ingredient to jump out and I had a lot of grain to use!

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  • 1 1/2 cups of spent grain
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon safflower oil (or some other vegetable oil)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons molasses


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a muffin pan or line with paper liners.

Mix dry ingredients, except spent grain: flour, 1 cup of sugar, baking soda, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  Add spent grain and oil.  Mix thoroughly.  Set aside.

In another bowl mix wet ingredients: eggs, yogurt, and molasses. Stir well.

Combine all ingredients and mix well. You’ll have a lovely bubbly soup that’ll remind you of your last mash!

Fill the muffin pan by dividing up the batter into each cup. I usually fill all but one and fill up the empty one with water.  Water helps keep the muffins moist and gives them a shiny, crusty top. Before putting them in the oven you can sprinkle the remaining brown sugar on top of them, or, as pictured below, sprinkle it on about midway through baking.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until nicely browned. Cool for 5 minutes or until you can run a butter knife around the edges and pop them out. Serve while hot and steamy!

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