Love and Olive Oil

Spent Grain Applesauce Muffins

I want to thank Lindsay for letting me take over the blog today. I made these muffins after a homebrew session this past weekend and thought they were good enough to share. If you’re interested, I plan on sharing the beer too if it turns out (it’ll be a few weeks before I know for sure.)

Spent Grain Applesauce Muffins

I’ve always wished that Lindsay was a beer drinking girl. Partly because I think she is missing out on one of the finer things in life, but also, I secretly wish I could justify buying brewing more beer. I love the brewing process, the history, and obviously the carefully crafted home brew, but I’m always left with a quandary at the end of a brew day. What should I do with this mountain of spent grain?

Spent Grain Applesauce Muffins

One of the byproducts of all-grain brewing, spent grain is essentially malted barely that has had most of the sugars rinsed out of it. Throwing it away seems like such a waste, which is why I’m thankful for the Brooklyn Brew Shop. They have a section on their blog with lots of great ideas for using spent grain in all kinds of things from burgers to crackers to these applesauce muffins. The little bit of sweetness left in the grain is perfect for these muffins, which, by the way, taste nothing like beer. Even Lindsay, who steers clear of anything that remotely resembles beer, gave these muffins her stamp of approval. The grain adds just a little bit of crunchy texture to a sweet, moist, balanced muffin that is perfect for breakfast.

If you’re not lucky enough to be or to be married to a home brewer, I suppose you could substitute rolled oats, wheat bran, or another grain in place of the spent grain.

Spent Grain Applesauce Muffins

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1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup spent grain, dried*
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup packed light brown sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup unsweetened applesauce


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or grease with baking spray.

In a small bowl, combine flour, dried spent grain, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

In a separate larger bowl, whisk together eggs, 1 cup of brown sugar, and oil until well combined; stir in applesauce. Fold in flour mixture until just moistened (it’s ok if it’s still a little lumpy).

Spoon about 1/4 cup of batter into each muffin tin. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons of brown sugar over tops.

Bake muffins for 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

*To dry your spent grain, spread the grain in a thin layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 180ºF for about 7 hours, stirring every hour or so.

Recipe from Brooklyn Brew Shop.

All images and text © / Love & Olive Oil

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  1. Love this recipe, but i stead of applesauce I use 2 -3 bananas and only 1/2 cup of coconut oil! Tastes fabulous! 

  2. Hello, I have made thus recipe several times, but i stead of applesauce I have always used mashed bananas. I also use 1/2 cup of melted coconut oil instead of the 1 cup vegetable oil. My banana spent grain muffins turn out fabulous! Great taste! 

  3. These are amazing. Drying the grains is worth the efforts. Yes it does take time to dry them properly, but again well worth it. Make an effort to squeeze them through cheese cloth a couple of times before you place them in your oven to dry. I also turned up the heat after 4 hours at 175 to 225 for the last few hours and tossed them well.
    My grains have kept well for almost four months in a zip lock bag in my cupboard. Next time I want to grind some to make flour and add it to my sourdough bread recipes plus the grain for texture.

    My yogis love them! And I also make my own applesauce and sometimes make it a little chunky, gives not only moisture, but texture as well!

    Take the time because YOU are worth it????

  4. I made these for the first time a few hours ago… and the response of my friends and family was so positive I’m now making them again! Great recipe!

  5. I don’t have 7 hours to dry the grain today, can I package it and put it in the fridge till next weekend? Or will it not be good? Thanks!

  6. My hubby is a home brewer and I hate throwing away all the grains, so I’m starting to look for recipes to use them.  This one looked great, but, 1 cup of oil?  I used half of what was called for and the muffins were still plenty moist and delicious.  

  7. I’m going to give this a go today, but I’ll be substituting half of the oil for more applesauce, to cut down the calories (: thanks for the recipe! 

  8. Does the dried spent grain keep at all? Seven hours is a long time to bake anything, even if you only have to stir every hour, and I am assuming a batch of beer uses more than 1/2 cup of grain. Thanks for your help and for an awesome way to use my boyfriend’s leftover grains!

  9. I’m a long time home brewer as well, and I have another suggestion for you. Spent grains make the most wonderful mulch. Spread them out to let them cool but not dry out too much, then spread them thickly at the base of your plants. At the end of the year turn them under and they will enrich the soil as well. Works a treat for both container plants and kitchen gardens.

  10. My husband is a homebrewer, we’ve always just thrown the spent grain away, maybe now we can do something with them!!!!

  11. Cute muffins – but where do you find the grain?

  12. These muffins look great! I’m excited to do some work with spent grain. I love beer, too!

  13. I’m not a beer drinker but I do sometimes use it to cook and bake with. This recipe sounds great and the photos are really gorgeous, very impressed!

  14. These are such beautiful photos! And SUCH a good idea for using spent grain. Beer AND muffins works for me!

  15. I certainly don’t have any spent grain, but they sound delicious.

  16. Great looking muffins! I’ll try this recipe today. We homebrew also and I’m always looking for recipes to use those spent grains. I have a recipe for cookies that have an awesome texture and are not too sweet and I’ll share it with you if you’d like it.
    What I do with my spent grains, since there are more than I can use at any one time, is measure three cups per freezer ziplock bags and label it with the date and toss them in the freezer. As with everything, the flatter and more spread out they are initially while they freeze, the quicker they freeze and the quicker they defrost later. The reason I measure three cups is because that is usually the amount required for most of the recipes I have. The grains freeze well and none of the flavor is lost. What great fiber, too!
    Thanks for the post! (btw – what kinds of beer have you brewed?)

    • Thanks for the freezer suggestion, and I’d love to see that cookie recipe. I’ve mostly brewed American Pale Ales up to this point as I am relatively new to brewing. The beer I brewed with these grains is a Belgian Blonde Ale and I can’t wait to see how it turned out!

    • Oh please can you share the recipe with me too!!!

  17. Yum! I love these muffins!

  18. aw, great post, Taylor! I swear you and Jason would have a blast with brewery tours and drinking beers. He’s very into the brews like you and always loves to try different kinds of beer. Me and Lindsay can sit at home and bake & catch up…or more like I’ll get distracted trying to pet Sgt. P ;)

  19. Great post Taylor! I love that first shot of the muffins. I’m with Lindsay – I definitely don’t like drinking beer, but I think I’d be a fan of these muffins :)

  20. These look amazing, but can you just buy spent grain from a grocery store? I don’t recall ever seeing it, and I don’t drink beer either so there won’t be any beer making sessions for me, haha :)

    • I don’t think you would find it in a grocery store, but if you really wanted to try using it, I’m sure a local brewery would gladly give you some spent grain if you asked.

  21. Applesauce deserves a better reputation. It’s not just for babies. I love the stuff. These look delicious!

  22. I dont like beer to drink but I will never say no to it or alcohol in desserts…rum soaked raisins for cookies, beer bread, Guiness brownies, bourbon bananas, booze in desserts is a-okay for me :)

  23. Mmm, that looks delicious! Being German born and raised, I second the beer opinion!

  24. Love this idea, especially since it’s loaded with applesauce! I’m a huge apple and muffin fan.

  25. Spent muffins are a fabulous idea, a great way to use up leftover ingredient. And I can’t wait to see the beer. I enjoy home brews and unique micro brews and we’ve talked about doing a home brew, just haven’t ever actually done it. Looking forward to seeing that!

  26. I love how resourceful you are! Wicked idea. Lindsay is a lucky lady (even though she doesn’t drink beer at least she gets these delicious looking muffins) – I am indeed not lucky enough to be or be married to a home brewer.

  27. I will forward this recipe to my dear friend! Her husband is a beer maker, and she is an adventurous cook!

  28. Sounds great. M so tempted

  29. I wasn’t a beer drinking girl until this past year. 2 things got me into it:

    1) I started off with dark, chocolatey stout beers. For some reason I liked the flavor better and it was a great drink to sip on at the end of the day.

    2) Go to some breweries and do beer tastings. I really developed an appreciation for beer that I could have never fathomed having otherwise.

    Or just eat lots of these muffins, that would work too :)

  30. The muffins look perfect!

  31. These sound great! Probably a lot of good fiber too?

  32. Looks and sounds great, Taylor!! Again, I know I say it all the time to Lindsay, I wish we were neighbors, I’m sure Curtis would give you his honest feedback on your homebrews! :)

  33. I love love love all that you come up with. THere is always something delicious that I find on your site and these look delicious.

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