Sourdough Chocolate Cake

Use up sourdough discard in this easy homemade sourdough chocolate cake. It has a soft full texture and amazing flavor. And it’s easy too!

With sourdough being all the rage right now, you may be desiring something a little different than traditional sourdough bread. When you keep sourdough going for months on end, you can end up with a lot of sourdough discard…and no one wants to waste ingredeints!

This Sourdough Chocolate Cake solves that problem (and you might also like our pumpkin sourdough cake). Get your mixing bowls out and get ready….you’ll love this one!

Sourdough chocolate cake with one slice missing

What you’ll love about this cake:

  • uses sourdough discard to reduce waste
  • has real melted chocolate
  • moist, but full texture
  • amazing, bakery flavor
  • makes a 9″ 2 layer cake or a 9×13 cake

How to Make Sourdough Starter

This cake starts with an already mature sourdough starter. Our favorite is from Tastes of Lizzy T. You can find the ultimate sourdough starter guide here.

For this recipe the starter does not have to be bubbly and active. It can be sourdough “discard” since the cake has other leavening in it. The sourdough discard will add flavor to the cake.

How to Make Sourdough Cake

Prepare the starter:

  • Mix the starter, warm milk and flour in a mixing bowl. Cover and allow this mixture to sit for about 2-3 hours. It is ready to use when it starts smelling yeasty and slightly like sour milk.
sourdough starter for cake

Mix the cake:

  • Cream together the sugar, vanilla, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and shortening until well creamed. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition.
  • Stir in the melted chocolate.
  • Add this sourdough starter into the cake batter.
pouring sourdough in chocolate cake mix
  • Use a rubber spatula to mix the ingredients together initially.
  • Use hand mixer to continue mixing until the sourdough until completely combined. The sourdough will be sticky and stretchy, so it can be difficult to get fully mixed. But if you don’t make sure it is mixed, the cakes will not bake evenly. Beat for at least 1 minute on low speed, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Grease with shortening and flour two 9″ round cake pans. (or rub with cake release)
  • Spoon the batter evenly between the two cake pans.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cake tests done (toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).
spatula spreading frosting on chocolate cake

Frostings for Sourdough Chocolate Cake

There are endless possibilities for frosting this cake. Here are a few favorites:

overhead view of sourdough chocolate cake with sprinkles

Cake Toppings

There are so many different variations you can add to this basic chocolate cake:

  • sprinkles
  • nuts
  • chocolate curls
  • chocolate chips
  • caramel drizzle
  • Oreos
  • Snickers, Reese’s or other candy
  • fresh fruit

You can also use this cake to make German chocolate cake or Black Forest cake.

How to Store Cake

Store at room temperature in an airtight container for 3-4 days. If you know you’ll have it longer than that you can store it in the freezer.

Can you freeze this cake?

Yes! This cake freezes well. We recommend freezing slices individually wrapped so it defrosts quickly when the sugar craving hits.

For the ultimate in freshness, allow the cake to defrost fully before unwrapping. This keeps the moisture in the cake.

Sourdough chocolate cake on a plate with a bite out of it
Sourdough chocolate cake on a plate with a bite out of it

Sourdough Chocolate Cake

5 from 3 votes
Use up sourdough discard in this easy homemade sourdough chocolate cake. It has a soft full texture and amazing flavor. And it's easy too!
Servings 15
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting Time 2 hours

Ingredients
 

For the starter:

  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter – 100 grams (This does not have to be active starter. It can be sourdough discard.)
  • 1 cup warm milk (85-90º Fahrenheit) (240 grams)
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (220 grams)

For the cake:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate (melted)

Frosting:

  • 2 1/2 cups vanilla buttercream (or your other favorite frosting)

Instructions
 

*Plan ahead for this cake since you have to let the starter sit for 2-3 hours before baking.*

    Prepare the starter:

    • Mix the starter, warm milk and flour in a mixing bowl. Cover and allow this mixture to sit for about 2-3 hours. It is ready to use when it starts smelling yeasty and slightly like sour milk.

    Mix the cake:

    • Cream together the sugar, vanilla, baking soda, salt, butter and cinnamon until well creamed. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
    • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating between each addition.
    • Stir in the melted chocolate.
    • Add this mixture into the sourdough mixture.
    • Use a rubber spatula to mix the ingredients together initially.
    • Use hand mixer to continue mixing until the sourdough until completely combined. The sourdough will be sticky and stretchy, so it can be difficult to get fully mixed. But if you don't make sure it is mixed, the cakes will not bake evenly. Beat for at least 1 minute on low speed, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
    • Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Grease with shortening and flour two 9" round cake pans. (or rub with cake release)
    • Spoon the batter evenly between the two cake pans.
    • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cake tests done (toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).
    • Place one cake on a large cake plate. Top with ¾ cup frosting and spread to the edges.
    • Place the second cake on top. Then frost the top and outsides of the cake.
    • If you choose to put sprinkles or other toppings on the cake, be sure to do that before the frosting crusts over.
    • Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

    Notes

    The calories shown are based on the cake being cut into 15 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of unfrosted cake. We chose to give the cake calories without frosting since there are many different types of frosting. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**

    Nutrition

    Calories: 208kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 43mg | Sodium: 259mg | Potassium: 91mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 251IU | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2mg
    Course Dessert
    Cuisine American
    Calories 208
    Keyword birthday, cake with sourdough, comfort food

    About Julie Clark

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    Ingredients dont list shortening but you do in directions Please clarify Thank you

    5 stars
    I baked this cake and it was delicious Cake was very moist and fluffy Will be baking this recipe again.

    5 stars
    This cake came out very moist, I made the mistake of using a bundt pan and then I couldn’t ice it properly, fortunately it was so good that the recipient didn’t care how it looked. Love the cinnamon!

    This looks so good! What a great way to enjoy a treat while sticking to the good stuff!

    Thanks for sharing! Does it keep long?