Perhaps you’ve started making sourdough and have a (growing) jar of sourdough starter ‘discard’ sitting in your fridge like me!? I’m sharing some of my favourite recipes for using up sourdough discard here including this insanely delicious and moist Lemon Sourdough Cake.
Apparently I have a soft spot for lemon cake… or anything lemon really. I didn’t think I was THAT obsessed, but my track record proves otherwise. For instance, there is this Sicilian Citrus Bundt Cake, this Lemon Almond Cake, these delicious Lemon Ricotta Blueberry Muffins, these Lemon Ricotta Pancakes… and for good measure we added a Lemon Olive Oil Cake to the cookbook. Since I haven’t heard any complaints I figured, why stop now?
I wasn’t aware of this before I started making my own sourdough starter, but there is a lot of starter that gets discarded in the process of feeding your starter. Not one for wasting food, I was eager to find a home for the discard!
I found a chocolate cake recipe using sourdough discard, and despite the fact that it looked amazing, my crew isn’t big on chocolate (except Max). So off I went to adapt the recipe to make it a lemon cake (with less sugar than the original); it’s a keeper! I was almost offended when Charles told me it was the best lemon cake I’d made so far (since it required none of the heavy lifting that the others took to create). I picked my pride up off the floor and took the compliment.
Recipes Using Sourdough Discard
If you’re looking to use up your sourdough starter discard, you need to use recipes that are designed for it. Adding the starter discard to a traditional recipe is inviting trouble (aka failure). Here are a few of my favourite discard recipes that I’ve discovered so far!
- these pretzels – YUM! (I didn’t have malt powder so used the sugar option and it turned out but I think you could use egg whites if you didn’t want them sweet).
- these crackers
- this pizza crust
- this focaccia
Gluten Free Recipes Using Sourdough Discard
If you’re looking for gluten free sourdough discard recipes (or a tutorial on how to make your own gluten free starter and sourdough bread), check out A Couple of Celiacs. Clearly you need to start with gluten free starter for this. My aunt Mary is amazing!
I posted a tutorial a couple of weeks ago on making your own sourdough starter, and will be posting a bread recipe soon. If you’re wanting to learn how to make sourdough or take your sourdough game to the next level join me in the Sourdough Schoolhouse Course – they are offering $75 off of the course for my followers for a limited time when you use the code FRAICHEBAKES at checkout. Click here to learn more about the course. Sourdough isn’t the most intuitive thing to master (so I’ve found), and the course has helped me tremendously!
Modifications to the Lemon Cake
Since first making this cake many have commented that they would like to have more lemon flavour in it. The original recipe called for 1/3 cup lemon juice and 1 packed tablespoon of lemon zest. I changed the recipe (below) to 1/2 cup lemon juice and 2 tablespoons packed lemon zest, and added the option for a lemon glaze on top of the cake. Enjoy!
Lemon Sourdough Cake
Lemon Sourdough Cake
This moist and perfectly sweet Lemon Sourdough Cake uses sourdough discard to make the cake moist with a springy light texture. This cake freezes well.
- 1 cup sourdough starter discard
- 1 cup milk (any milk will work, plant based etc)
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup oil (any neutral oil)
- 2 eggs (beaten)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest (packed)
- 2 2/3 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a 9x13" pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sourdough starter, milk, sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest to combine.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt to combine. Slowly add the flour mixture to the first large bowl and stir together to combine until smooth (you can use a hand mixer if desired).
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread it out until smooth. Bake for approximately 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool and serve or freeze any leftover cake for up to 1 month in a sealed container.
Lemon Glaze: Mix together 1 cup of icing sugar with 1 teaspoon lemon zest and enough lemon juice to thin to your desired consistency. Drizzle over the cooled cake before serving.