Make the most of your sourdough starter discard with this easy one-bowl chocolate sourdough cake! It’s a decadent treat, great with coffee.
Photography by Sophie MacKenzie
We have lots of sourdough discard recipes, however, sourdough cakes are something we haven’t explored much yet. I think that’s all about to change after trying this sourdough discard chocolate cake!
You’d never know this is an egg-free cake recipe since the sourdough starter adds both hydration and lift. Keep in min though, if you’re looking for a sourdough discard cake with intense sourdough flavour this may not be the recipe for you. The chocolate flavour counteracts any noticeable sourness, and even more so if you add frosting once the cake cools. Still, we love the idea of reducing kitchen waste where we can!
A Note About Frosting For This One-Bowl Sourdough Chocolate Cake
We didn’t include a recipe for frosting because there are so many terrific choices! For this post we used our easy vanilla frosting recipe and simply added cocoa powder to taste to make it chocolate. Spiced rum buttercream or cream cheese frosting would also be delicious!
- Oil—Use any neutral-tasting oil you like or have on hand. We used avocado oil but vegetable oil or canola oil are fine, as well as widely available.
- AC Vinegar—Apple cider vinegar helps activate the baking soda and baking powder, which is needed in a cake made without eggs.
- Sourdough Starter—This is a sourdough discard recipe, which means we used unfed starter. For more information about sourdough starter, including terminology, visit this post called How To Make A Sourdough Starter.
Tips & Notes
This sourdough cake recipe doubles well! Simply double the amount of ingredients and divide the batter between two cake tins rather than one.
How To Store Sourdough Starter Chocolate Cake
Sourdough cake will keep on the counter, covered with plastic wrap or inside a cake server, for up to two days (maybe three if really well covered). You can refrigerate the cake, however, we recommend bringing it to room temperature before serving.
Light spelt flour can be substituted at a 1:1 ratio for all-purpose flour. You can also substitute up to 40% whole wheat flour (74g) in this sourdough chocolate cake recipe.
Use any light-tasting oil you like or have on hand. We used avocado oil, but canola and vegetable oils are more widely used. We think sunflower, grapeseed, or coconut oil should also work here, however, we haven’t tested them.
White vinegar or lemon juice can be swapped in for apple cider vinegar.
More Sourdough Discard Desserts
Chocolate Sourdough Cake (One-Bowl)
- 8-inch (20-cm) round cake tin
- Parchment paper
- Mixing bowl
- Wire rack
- Measuring cups and spoons or a digital kitchen scale
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons neutral oil, plus extra for greasing the pan
- ¾ cup water, room temperature
- ½ cup sourdough starter discard
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Lightly grease an 8-inch (20-cm) round cake tin with oil. Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper cut to fit.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk well.
- Add the oil, water, sourdough discard, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla to the bowl. Stir until everything is well mixed and the flour is just combined.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin. Place the cake in the oven and bake for 28 to 30 minutes, or until the top of the cake bounces back when lightly pressed with a fingertip.
- Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool in the tin. Once cooled, turn the cake out of the tin and decorate with your favourite icing.