The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


Tadpole's picture


Can you take a bread sourdough an make a sweet sourdough out of it? Or do you have to start a sweet dough from the begining? I'd like to make a few cakes and really would like to try sweet sourdough.


clazar123's picture

Do you mean making the starter sweet?Or the final loaf sweet? Or using sourdough in cakes?

A starter is just flour,water and wild yeast. If you taste the starter by itself it tastes sour as that's the nature of it but you can make any kind of loaf from that-sweet,bland or savory. A lot depends on the ingredients of the bread you are making and also how long you ferment/rise the loaf on the initial rise (as well as the temp during rising). A LONG, slow rise in warm temps will produce a more sour loaf, usually.But there are wonderful recipes for brioche and pannetone as well as sweet buns and cinnamon buns. Just look at the recipes on the left bar of the home page or use the search box.

For cakes,it is great to use starter in sweet breads and biscuits. I'm not so sure it will give you a very light cake-prob more bundt cake consistency but quite delicious. Youwould still need to use baking soda or baking powder for the leaviening in cake/muffins.Many times, I just add some starter discard or starter to a banana bread batter just for the flavor-it is quite delicious and I'm sure you could find some actual recipes for this on this site.Just use the search box.

Tadpole's picture

I guess what I was wanting to say was yes, make a sourdough starter sweet. I can remember many years ago a lady gave me a starter she said to keep in the fridge. You feed, an take some to make a cake with it. Like I was saying maybe I just can't remember all she had told me.

paulm's picture

I agree with clazar123 about making a final dough that is sweet.  Here is a recipe for a coffee cake made using sourdough starter:

# From: Lawrence Allen Hite <>

Raspberry/Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Mix the following together to form a smooth dough:
2 C. starter
3/4 C. milk
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. sugar
1 beaten egg
3-1/2 C. bread flour

Let this rise until doubled in bulk (It took about 4 hours for my culture).
Knead this for 5 to 10 minutes, then split into two balls. Roll each out
into a rectangle about 12 X 16 inches. Mix together 8 oz. softened cream
cheese and 4 Tbs. sugar and beat until fluffy. Spread half of this on each
rectangle. Spread 4-5 Tbs. raspberry jam (or you can substitute your
favorite flavor or omit entirely if you like) over cream cheese layer. Now
either leave flat as is or fold over and make slits in the top surface to
expose the filling and let the dough rise a couple of hours. Bake at 375F
for about 25 minutes.


Tadpole's picture

Thanks so much. I really wanted to use up some of my sourdough. It seems I have let this monster get away from me. I hate to throw some away.

clazar123's picture

The sourdough sample the lady gave you and told you to keep in the refrigerator was probably a "Herman" or a "friendship cake" dough. The idea was to have some for yourself and give some to another.It does make a moist delicious cake. Here is a link:

highmtnpam's picture

Several neighbors baked and we used sourdough in biscuits, pancakes, cakes cinnamon rolls, etc,etc  "Almost anything we baked.  This wasn't 3 day build sourdough made for leavening WW breads.  Just the reefer, weekly feed type. It alway made a richer taste.   Pam

Lucifer's picture

The more acidic your bread is the less sweet it will be no matter how much sugar you put in.

Try a simple test.

Crush a lemon slice in a cup, fill with hot water. Add sugar. Sample. Then add more and then some more on top. Still not too sweet?

Try a cup of sweet water with the same amount of sugar later. You'll taste the difference.

It's fine to make sweet sourgough bread, but don't make it too sour.