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Chocolate Sourdough Cake

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This chocolate sourdough cake is such a delicious way to use up extra sourdough starter. Nobody will be able to tell just how healthy it really is!

This chocolate sourdough cake is such a delicious way to use up extra sourdough starter. Nobody will be able to tell just how healthy it really is!

Sourdough and I go way back.

Fifteen years ago, my friends Kara and Ben came back from a year of volunteer work in Alaska, and they brought home with them an old Alaskan sourdough starter. Having finished my own volunteer year in the San Francisco area, I was a big fan of sourdough and I wanted to make my own sourdough bread.

Ben gave me a portion of the starter with detailed instructions about the care and feeding of the starter. I didn’t know how to take care of anything but myself at that point in my life, but I did my best with that little starter. I made the same bread recipe over and over, and I never even looked for another recipe. After some time, the starter got relegated to the back of the refrigerator as life got busier and I stopped making bread. I eventually threw the starter away.

Benefits of Sourdough

Nearly a decade later, I’ve recently found myself thinking about sourdough once again. But this time, I’m part of an online community that has educated me on the health benefits of sourdough bread.

The fermentation process involved in making sourdough bread breaks down the phytic acid in gluten, so people with gluten sensitivity can often enjoy sourdough. Nutrients in the bread can be more easily absorbed because the phytic acid is broken down, and the bread doesn’t mold as quickly as would a typical loaf of wheat bread because of the fermentation process.

Also, did I mention I love the taste of sourdough bread?

Making Homemade Sourdough Starter

I was so excited to learn that I could make my own sourdough starter with nothing but flour, water, air, and time. I now have a bubbly little starter on my counter waiting for me to create some great food.

Apparently it’s best to wait 6 weeks before attempting a bread recipe, so I’ve tried a couple other things while I wait. Chocolate cake seemed like a logical choice. Anything tastes good with chocolate, right?

This sourdough chocolate cake recipe is adapted from this recipe at King Arthur Flour as well as this recipe from GNOWFLINS. My cake uses maple syrup as the sweetener, and it’s not very sweet. It’s more of a snack than a dessert cake. It tastes delicious, and nobody can tell that it has sourdough in it.

Chocolate Sourdough Cake

This chocolate sourdough cake is a great recipe to use up extra sourdough starter.
Print Recipe
4.60 from 10 votes
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:30 mins
Resting time:8 hrs
Total Time:8 hrs 40 mins


  • 1 cup fed sourdough starter
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Mix together the starter, water, and flour in a bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it sit overnight. (Note: If your starter is very thick, add a bit of extra water so it will mix evenly into the cake mixture.)
  • In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, stir together the eggs, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Stir the cocoa powder mixture into the egg mixture. Then add the flour mixture that was sitting overnight, and stir to fully combine. (Again, if the starter mixture seems too thick to blend evenly into the chocolate mixture, add a bit of water to it so it will blend in well.)
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 259mg | Potassium: 131mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1mg
Servings: 16
Calories: 195kcal
Cost: $.35 per serving

Chocolate Sourdough Cake Price Breakdown

This cake costs $5.53 to make. It contains 16 servings, so the cost per serving is $.35. This is a delicious snack that you can feel good about eating.

Note: This post was updated in 2018.


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