Sourdough Spice Cake is filled with bold flavor from Fall baking spices, & you won't notice the sourdough starter discard. Bake a loaf today!
[Side Note: a version of this post first appeared on my OutlanderCast column, October 9, 2018 ]
Autumn is a season of transitions.
The heat of summer cools to the eventual cold of winter. Here in New England the trees put on a show of color the likes of which I still marvel at, California girl that I am.
Kids go back to school, or some head there for the first time. And pumpkin spice lattes start popping up at your local coffee shops.
Longtime readers know that I’m always looking for sourdough discard recipes for my weekly unfed sourdough starter.
Hold on to your spatulas...here come's my recipe for Sourdough Spice Cake!
Sourdough in cake? Really?
Don’t worry that this Sourdough Spice Cake recipe has sourdough starter discard in it. The spices take the spotlight unto themselves.
Honestly, you won’t taste it.
I upped the goodness in this cake by adding a streusel topping bringing a buttery crunch to the top of the cake. It's not unlike the topping found on my Apple Crisp recipe (aka Apple Crumble), minus the oats.
Steps to making a quick bread recipe
Since this recipe for Sourdough Spice Cake is a quick bread, it comes together...uhm...quickly.
Start with the streusel topping. The method is very similar to making biscuits in that you start with a flour mixture that you then add butter to until you get something resembling pea-sized crumbs.
It's important to keep the streusel chilled after you make it. That keeps it from melting into the batter while the bread is baking. I learned that the hard way, as you can tell from the pictures.
Just keep it in the refrigerator while you make the cake batter.
Make the cake batter by whisking the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separately, then folding them together.
After you've poured the cake batter into your prepared pan, crumble the chilled streusel topping evenly and press it down gently so it sticks but doesn't melt as the bread bakes.
Other ways to serve this cake
To make Sourdough Spice muffins, just fill the wells of a standard muffin pan ⅔ full. Top with the streusel as above, then bake at 350°F for around 20 minutes.
A Spice Cake like no other
Sourdough Spice Cake is so flavorful! This sweet bread is loaded with spicy fall flavors, and is moist and soft.
It should stay fresh at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week. For longer storage, you can freeze it for up to 3 months. Allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.
Whether you serve this for brunch, dessert, or for afternoon snack on a chilly Fall day, you're in for a treat.
Move over, Pumpkin Spice, Sourdough Spice Cake is in the house!
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!
Recipes using sourdough starter discard
When you maintain a sourdough starter, you have a dilemma. What do you do with your unfed sourdough starter discard? I've got lots of suggestions for sweet and savory ways to use your fed sourdough starter and the sourdough starter discard. Here are a few samples...
Sourdough Starter Maintenance
Here's all you need to know about feeding your sourdough starter. Whether you're new to sourdough or just need a refresher, this is the place to start!
Sourdough Spice Cake
For the streusel topping
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp dark brown sugar, packed
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold, cubed
For the cake
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar, (3¾ oz, 107g)
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 cup sourdough starter discard, at room temperature, see Recipe Notes
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- ½ cup sour cream, or plain yogurt (regular or Greek), at room temperature
- ¼ cup canola oil, see Recipe Notes
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Prepare the streusel: Whisk the flour, both sugars, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl and toss together with a fork. Cut in the cold butter using a fork or your hands until the mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs. Place the streusel in the refrigerator while you make the batter.
- Prepare the cake: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and spices. If necessary, mash any large lumps of brown sugar.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the sourdough starter, egg, sour cream, oil, and vanilla. Mix together until everything is fully combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
- Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan. Top evenly with the streusel, pressing it down gently into the top of the bread so it sticks.
- Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes, then remove it from the pan using the parchment paper as a sling and allow it to cool completely.
- Serve & enjoy!
- One large loaf in a standard loaf pan and two mini loaves using mini loaf pans. Bake the large loaf for 35 to 40 minutes and the mini loaves for 25 to 30 minutes
- Six mini loaves using mini loaf pans. Bake for for 25 to 30 minutes
- Twelve full-size muffins in a standard muffin pan. Bake for 18 to 23 minutes
- One small bundt cake in a 6-cup bundt pan. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes