Moist Sourdough Chocolate Cake: A Recipe from the Farm

Last Updated on February 22, 2024 by TheFarmChicken

Sliced cake with frosting displayed

I feel as if chocolate cake is a staple in the old-fashioned American kitchen and the modern. Perfect for celebrating something special like a birthday or anniversary or just as a treat. This Moist Sourdough Chocolate Cake: A Recipe from the Farm has a tender texture, rich chocolate taste and rises so nice! Perfect for the chocolate lovers.

Not only is it delicious, but it is also so simple to make. You don’t have to use boiling water or anything; just mix together and pop it in the oven. The biggest thing? Make sure your sourdough starter discard is well incorporated. I have some tips below on how to make sure it is!

Let’s get right into the process of making this moist sourdough chocolate cake…oh and did I mention I have the best frosting recipe to pair with it. I could go on and on about how wonderful Brown Sugar Frosting is…but I will spare you and just share the wonderful recipe. Be sure to check it out!

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The Ingredients for the Sourdough Chocolate Cake Recipe:

All Purpose Flour

A good quality flour is best. No need for bread flour in this recipe.

The Sugars

I like using both white and brown sugar for this recipe. There is a sweetness to the cake but not a lot. This way the frosting of choice can add a sweetness without being overly sweet when paired together.

Salt

I just use regular table salt in this recipe.

Baking Soda and Baking Powder

To make it lofty and soft the baking soda and powder do a great job at creating a fluffy cake.

Baking Cocoa – The Chocolate.

Here is where the rich chocolate flavor comes from. Cocoa powder is a pantry staple and so simple to add in with the other dry ingredients.

Buttermilk

One of my favorite ingredients to use when you want a moist and flavorful end product. Buttermilk seems to give recipes a depth of flavor that is unique and good.

Vegetable Oil or Canola Oil

Any light cooking oil should work. I usually use canola oil, but you can use whichever light oil you prefer.

Large Eggs

Adding to the richness of the cake is 3 large room temperature eggs.

Pure Vanilla Extract

I always try to use Pure Vanilla when possible but if all you have is artificial then that works too.

Sourdough Starter Discard

If you make sourdough bread then you probably have sourdough starter discard. This is the best chocolate cake to use up some of your sourdough discard. It has a whole cup or 250 grams of sourdough starter discard. I wouldn’t use active sourdough starter as this may make your cake rise too high.

Don’t Have a Sourdough Starter yet but would like one?

Agnes would love to teach you how to make your own starter! Check out Learning Sourdough with Agnes.

Dry ingredients in large bowl

How to get the Sourdough Starter Well Incorporated:

This can probably be the hardest part of this recipe. Here are a few tips to get it well incorporated so that you don’t end up with chunks in your cake of just starter.

  • Use room temperature starter- this makes it much easier to incorporate with the other wet ingredients.
  • The thing that helps the most is to whisk the wet ingredients all together before adding them to the dry ingredients and take your time doing it. Make sure you get them all incorporated. You’ll be glad you took the extra time!

How to know when the cake is done:

You want to make sure that you don’t overbake the cake. It can become dry if you do. It is still good but obviously better if not overbaked. I’ll list a few ways below to help you in knowing when the cake is done.

  • Always check your cake 5 minutes before it is supposed to be done. Ovens all bake at such different temperatures. You want to make sure your cake isn’t already done.
  • Use the toothpick method to check your cake doneness. You can also use a cake tester if you have one.

Toothpick Method: Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake if you pull it out and it is clean the cake is done. If there is still uncooked batter on the toothpick then you should bake for another 3 minutes and check again.

Baking in What Pan?

This cake could also be baked in cupcake liners just reduce the baking time to 10-12 minutes. I haven’t tried it in a 9”x13” pan but I do think it may be too much batter for that. You could always make some of the batter into a few cupcakes if you wanted a 9”x13” cake.

I would like to try this recipe using round cake pans and will update when and if I do! I love the look of a beautiful round layer cake. Especially for special occasions. I think you probably would get 3 – 9in cakes from this chocolate sourdough cake recipe.

Pin for Later:

Sourdough chocolate cake pin image

Moist Sourdough Chocolate Cake: A Recipe from the Farm

  • 2 ¼ (300g) cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (200g) cup granulated sugar
  • ½ (100g) cup brown sugar
  • 1 (6g) tsp salt
  • 2 (8g) tsp baking powder
  • 2 (11g) tsp baking soda
  • 1 (85g) cup baking cocoa
  • 1 ½ (310g) cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 (120g) cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp (6g) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (250g) sourdough starter discard, room temperature
  • Brown Sugar Frosting or Frosting of Choice

The Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • First, in a large mixing bowl, or in a bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, add the dry ingredients and whisk to combine.
  • Next, in a separate medium mixing bowl add the buttermilk, oil, eggs, pure vanilla, and sourdough starter discard.
  • Make sure to mix this well. You want the sourdough starter to be well combined with the other wet ingredients.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined and no dry spots are left, scraping the sides of the bowl as you go. Make sure to not overmix as this will leave you with tough cake.

Baking the Cake

  • Grease, with cooking spray, a half baking sheet (18”x13”) well, making sure to get the sides of the pan. Then pour the cake batter into the pan.
  • Place in preheated oven and bake for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool on a cooling rack and then frost or ice cake with Brown Sugar Frosting or frosting of choice.
  • Store leftover cake in an airtight container in the fridge to stay fresh.

Makes 1 half sheet pan (18”x13”) cake

Moist Sourdough Chocolate Cake: A Recipe from the Farm

A moist and chocolatey sourdough discard cake. Simple to mix together and perfect with brown sugar frosting on top!
Print Recipe
cake on a plate with frosting

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ cups 300g all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup 200g granulated sugar
  • ½ cup 100g brown sugar
  • 1 tsp 6g salt
  • 2 tsp 8g baking powder
  • 2 tsp 11g baking soda
  • 1 cup 85g baking cocoa
  • 1 ½ cup 310g buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup 120g vegetable or canola oil
  • 3 eggs room temperature
  • 2 tsp 6g pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup 250g sourdough starter discard, room temperature
  • Brown Sugar Frosting or Frosting of Choice

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • First, in a large mixing bowl, or in a bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, add the dry ingredients and whisk to combine.
    Dry ingredients in large bowl
  • Next, in a separate medium mixing bowl add the buttermilk, oil, eggs, pure vanilla, and sourdough starter discard.
    farm fresh eggs ready to be used in batter
  • Make sure to mix this well. You want the sourdough starter to be well combined with the other wet ingredients.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined and no dry spots are left, scraping the sides of the bowl as you go. Make sure to not overmix as this will leave you with tough cake.
    batter in bowl all mixed up
  • Grease, with cooking spray, a half baking sheet (18”x13”) well, making sure to get the sides of the pan. Then pour the cake batter into the pan.
  • Place in preheated oven and bake for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
    batter in sheet pan in oven
  • Let the cake cool on a cooling rack and then frost or ice cake with Brown Sugar Frosting or frosting of choice.
    frosted sourdough chocolate sheet cake

Notes

Store leftover cake in an airtight container in the fridge to stay fresh.
Makes 1 half sheet pan (18”x13”) cake

This cake and frosting pairing are a staple in our family. I hope you love it and enjoy making it for your friends and family. Let me know below if you have any comments or questions. Thanks for stopping by!

Sincerely,
Mariah | TheFarmChicken

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Other Sourdough Discard Recipes to Try:

A Complete List of TheFarmChicken Discard Recipes:

TheFarmChicken Sourdough Starter Discard Recipes

FAQ’s:

Why is my cake dry?

This could be for a couple of reasons but the most likely is that it was overbaked. Chocolate cakes can be a bit of a challenge when telling when they are done.
Either insert a toothpick to see if any gooeyness comes out or press gently on the top of the cake and if it springs back it is done. If it doesn’t leave it in the oven for a few minutes and try again.

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Philippians 4:13
farm fresh eggs ready to be used in batter
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