These savoury muffins are ideal for soaking up a stew, or slicing and filling with deli meats for lunch. They are so moist, no butter is required. This recipe can also be made into a loaf (see alternate baking instructions below).


  • 2 cups (500 mL) whole barley flour
  • 1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) loosely packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) baking powder
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) salt
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup (250 mL) crumbed aged cheddar cheese
  • 1 12-oz (355 mL) can pale ale or similar beer

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Lightly grease a standard 12-cup muffin pan.

In a large mixing bowl, combine barley and all-purpose flours, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cayenne and cheese. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the beer. Stir just until combined and slightly lumpy.

Spoon batter into muffin pan. Bake on the centre rack of oven until tops are lightly golden, about 15 minutes.

Makes 12 muffins.

Variation: Spoon batter into a lightly greased 9- x 5-inch (23 x 13 cm) loaf pan. Bake until golden and a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Allow loaf to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

Nutritional Information (per muffin): Calories: 164; Protein: 3 g; Carbohydrate: 26 g; Fibre: 3 g; Sugars: 3 g; Fat: 6 g; Saturated Fat: 2 g; Trans Fat: 0 g; Cholesterol: 8 mg; Sodium: 251 mg; Potassium: 16 mg