Sourdough Chocolate Cake

Published: April 6, 2023 • Last Updated: December 13, 2023
Author: Laura
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sourdough chocolate cake

Are you looking for a sweet treat that is as delicious as it is unique? Look no further than Sourdough Chocolate Cake! This moist and fluffy cake is the perfect blend of sourdough and chocolate flavors. Enjoy a slice with a cup of milk or some ice cream, and savor the flavor of this classic treat.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  1. Sourdough Chocolate Cake is a delicious combination of rich chocolate and sourdough flavors that will satisfy your craving for something sweet and indulgent.
  2. The perfect balance of moistness and lightness makes this cake both decadent and delicate at the same time, making it perfect for any occasion!
  3. This easy to make recipe calls for just a few simple ingredients, so you’ll have a fantastic dessert in no time!

Sourdough Chocolate Cake Sponge Ingredients

  • Active Starter – This is a type of sourdough starter, made with flour and water, which is kept alive through regular feeding. It provides the unique flavor and texture of traditional sourdough breads.
  • All Purpose Flour – This is a type of white flour that is usually used to make cakes, muffins, and other baked goods. It can be used for almost any baking recipe. I often substitute with whole wheat and white khorasan (Kamut) flour so feel free to be creative!
  • Milk (Dairy or Non Dairy) – Milk will add creaminess and richness to the sponge of your cake, as well as providing flavor. You can use either dairy milk such as cow’s milk or non-dairy milk like almond or oat milk.

Additional Ingredients

  • Sugar – Sugar adds sweetness and helps create a light, fluffy texture in the cake sponge.
  • Avocado Oil – This oil adds moisture and contributes to a rich, buttery texture in the cake.
  • Cacao Powder – Cacao powder gives the chocolate flavor to this cake and makes it extra decadent!
  • Eggs – Eggs play an important role in binding the ingredients together and giving structure to the cake sponge.
  • Vanilla – Vanilla adds depth of flavor to the sponge mix, making it even more delicious!
  • Salt – Salt enhances all the other flavors in this cake so don’t skip it! It also helps to balance out sweetness from sugar. I always use Redmond Real Salt because of the naturally occurring minerals, it doesn’t contain anti-caking agents, bleach or sugar. Use code LAURA15 for a discount!
  • Baking Powder & Baking Soda – These are essential raising agents that help your cake rise during baking for an airy yet moist finish. I always make sure to use aluminum free baking powder. In fact, here’s a post I did on Instagram about baking powder and soda.

Storing and Freezing Sourdough Chocolate Cake

The best way to store this cake is in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. If you want to freeze the cake, make sure it is fully cooled before wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. The frozen cake will last in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat it, thaw the cake overnight at room temperature.


Why bake with sourdough discard?

Baking with sourdough discard is an excellent way to put your excess starter to good use! Sourdough discard has a unique flavor and texture that can enhance baked goods, giving them a slightly tangy and nutty taste. It also helps improve the structure of cakes and breads, making them softer and more fluffy. Lastly, it adds moisture to the crumb, resulting in a more tender cake or loaf. So, don’t throw away your sourdough discard, start baking with it instead!

What is the leftover sourdough starter called?

The leftover sourdough starter is commonly referred to as “sourdough discard”.

Why throw away half of sourdough starter?

Sourdough starter needs to be “fed” regularly in order to stay active. Throwing away half of the starter and replacing it with fresh flour and water helps maintain an ideal balance between yeast, bacteria, and enzymes for successful bread-making. It also prevents over-fermentation, which can lead to a sour flavor or off-flavors in your final product. You can also use the “no discard” method, which is what I do! I have more information on this on my Instagram page.

What can I do with sourdough discard?

  1. Quick breads, like banana, or zucchini bread
  2. Pancakes and waffles
  3. Moist and tender cakes
  4. Chewy crackers and cookies
  5. Flavorful pizza doughs and focaccias
  6. Rustic sandwich breads
  7. Muffins and scones
  8. Flavorful flatbreads
  9. Biscuits
  10. Delicious pretzels

Extra Tips

  • Start with a reliable, tested sourdough starter, make sure it is active and bubbly.
  • Use high-quality cocoa powder and organic, unrefined sugar.
  • Go light on the sugar, too much may lead to a dry cake.
  • To keep the moisture in, store leftover cake in an airtight container once it has cooled.
  • If your starter is too liquidy, add more flour until you achieve desired consistency.

What else should I know about Sourdough Chocolate Cake?

Sourdough chocolate cake is a delicious pastry with a classic flavor that has been enjoyed for decades. It is made from fermenting flour, water, and starter culture together overnight. This fermentation process breaks down the starches in the flour and adds an extra layer of flavor to the finished product.

Using sourdough starter adds an extra depth of flavor to the cake that can’t be captured any other way. Even by using a standard recipe, your final result will have slight variations due to the unique composition of the sourdough starter each time you bake.

When baking sourdough chocolate cakes, it’s important to keep track of baking time since they might require more time than regular cakes. Once your cakes come out of the oven, allow them to cool completely before frosting or filling them with any type of glaze or cream topping, as this will ensure that all moisture can be retained when storing them afterwards.

More Sourdough Recipes

Sourdough chocolate cake is sure to please any sweet tooth cravings that may arise! With its rich flavors enhanced by fermentation and perfect balance between sweetness and cocoa bitterness – there’s nothing quite like it!

Check out my The Sourdough Essentials Physical Cookbook or the The Sourdough Essentials Digital Cookbook so that you can get access to ALL my sourdough recipes!

sourdough chocolate cake
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5 from 1 vote

Sourdough Chocolate Cake

This Sourdough Chocolate Cake is delicious on so many levels. Using an active starter, you can bake the most moist cake ever!


Sponge Ingredients

  • 1 cup active starter
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk dairy or non dairy

Additional Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup avocado oil
  • 3/4 cup cacao powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda


  • Combine the sponge ingredient in a bowl, cover and let sit for 6-8 hours. The sponge can be left on the counter or in the refrigerator. For a long ferment, put in the fridge for 1-3 days. When you get the sponge out of the refrigerator, let it come to room temperature before proceeding.
  • Mix all of the other ingredients in a separate bowl. Combine the sponge mixture 1/3 at a time with the rest of the ingredients. Mix well enough to combine or the starter will be streaky in the batter, but don't overmix .
  • Pour the cake batter into an oiled 9×13 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before frosting .


The cake can be made the same day by skipping the fermenting step. Simply combine all ingredients in order, except the flour. Gently add the flour and mix, without overtaxing and bake as directed. 

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  1. Have you tested this recipe using less sugar? If so, what were the results? Just curious if I will still achieve optimal results if I do cut back on the sugar.

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