The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Sourdough in chocolate cake?

PaddyL's picture

Sourdough in chocolate cake?

I'fe found an old sourdough cookbook I'd forgot I had, and there's a recipe for sourdough chocolate cake, sourdough cookies, sourdough sweets.  Why?  I can see it in breadmaking, but desserts?

Floydm's picture

Sounds good to me. I'm a sucker for bittersweet desserts.

SourdoLady's picture

I have made a sourdough chocolate cake before and it is very good. It is really not much different than using sour cream or buttermilk in a cake. You don't taste the sour. I often also put 1/2 cup of sourdough starter into any quick breads, such as zucchini bread or banana bread. Try it, you will like it!

PaddyL's picture

I've still got a loaf of buttermilk bread, made from the buttermilk starter, in the freezer, so when I make my bread on Monday, I'm going to use part of the dough for cinnamon buns.  It's something I do when I'm making a lot of regular bread dough anyway, but since this is so soft, I'm going to try a batch of sweet rolls with it as well.  I'll let you know how it works out.  I wonder how it would work if I saved some risen dough to make lavash, since I use regular risen dough for that.

swtgran's picture

For a while we didn't have an oven and I used to bake my bread and some cakes in my crock pot and sourdough chocolate cake was one of them.  It was a really good moist cake. 

I may have to find that recipe and do that again.  Thanks.  Terry

JERSK's picture

  The Amish friendship breads are actually a form  of sourdough cake. I guess you could add chocolate to one of those and make sourdough chocolate cake, Amish style.

Marni's picture

I've been wondering this for a long time.  I make a sandwich loaf almost every week and the recipe calls it "Amish Bread"  Why? I've also seen Amish pancakes and sourdough starter.  They all seem to be a bit on the sweet side- is that why or is it an historical thing? or...  ?


swtgran's picture

I believe the reason certain recipes are called Amish is because they are recipes developed by the Penn Dutch, usually of German decent, adpated and used by the Amish sect of people.  They are usually simple, hardy foods made from things that can be harvested or raised by or locally to them.  Terry

MaryinHammondsport's picture

Here's another source for a Sourdough Chocolate Cake Recipe. Funny, I just stumbled across it today, while looking for something else entirely. This comes with the warning that I haven't tried it myself.


edh's picture

You all are killing me; I don't know if it's just that winter refuses to end in Downeast Maine, or just a chronic need to try new things with chocolate, but will someone post one of these recipes?

I think sourdough works a lot like buttermilk; my son has declared sourdough pancakes a favorite. I can't use buttermilk, but the sourdough gives the baking soda the acidic kick to make pancakes really fluffy. I would think it would be the same in cake. Yum!


JERSK's picture

  You think it's bad down east, I'm up in Bethel and there's stil a few feet of solid snow pack. About the Amish bread, My wife just got an Amish friendship starter from a co-worker. It's basically a milk based starter, so i can't help you there. It also calls for a box of instant vanilla pudding! I wonder what they harvest that from?

rainbowbrown's picture

I got one of these from a co-worker as well a while while back.  I just couldn't do the instant pudding thind so I used it to make Pannetone.  It was pretty great. 

JERSK's picture

   I guess you could substitute a box of chocolate pudding for sourdough chocolate cake. It comes from the Penn Dutch chocolate pudding farms.

edh's picture


Yeah, there's a reason I don't live inland! Actually two; blackflies in the summer, and too much winter in the winter! To be honest, we have it pretty easy on the coast, just getting a little twitchy for green and flowers!

So you're still upcountry? We had to go down to Rockland last week and I thought of you as we drove through Lincolnville Beach and saw the ferry docking. When do you head back down to the water?

I don't know about the instant pudding; doesn't fit with my image of the Amish somehow! I think I'm just going to have to cave and make some chocolate cherry sourdough soon...

On another note entirely; have you ever heard of Crown of Maine? They're based up in The County and deal with Maine grown organic food, including wheat, spelt and flours of both. We're hoping to start working with them this year for our Local Food Buyers group. I think they send a truck all the way down the coast on a regular schedule, though I'm not sure.

Hope you've seen the last of the new snow for the year!


Oldcampcook's picture

This is the recipe I use.  And at least 8 people in my sourdough group have made it within the past week.  All rate it very highly.  I made two of them for my birthday.

This is a very wet batter.



½ cup sourdough starter

1 ½ cups all purpose flour

2 cups sugar

¾ cup powdered cocoa (not instant)

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 eggs

1 cup milk

½ cup vegetable oil

¾ cup cold coffee

1 teaspoon vanilla


Put the starter in a large bowl, cover loosely and allow to stand at room temperature until active and bubbling. Then add the rest of the ingredients, in the order given, beating well after each addition. It is not necessary to sift or premix any of the ingredients as long as you are careful to get the baking powder and baking soda evenly mixed.

Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans. Pour in the batter, which will be thin, and bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 30 minutes, or until the layers test done when poked with a toothpick. The cake will have pulled away from the sides of the pan.

Allow to cool about 10 minutes before removing from pans, then finish cooling the layers on wire rack. Do not frost until the cake is completely cold.

A mild chocolate butter cream frosting is nice with this cake.

Adapted from: “Baking with Sourdough.”

Marni's picture

I'm so hooked on sourdough now!  Everyday I look for something new to make with it. I saw this post at 8:00 this morning and had to make it- it's done, cooled ( well, almost) and tasted.  Yum.  I find that chocolate cakes sometimes have a bitter aftertaste, this one does not.  I did make some changes out of necessity- I used brown sugar ( a bit less than the 2C, rice dream for the milk and doubled the vanilla)  Thank you for a yummy new, soon to be regular in our house.

edh's picture

Thanks to all who put up recipes! I'm drooling; apparently I haven't been making enough sweets lately (yeah, right).

Oldcampcook; yours looks like the recipe that I can use most easily (glad to hear it worked with rice milk). My starter is a very stiff one; should I feed it to get it to a wetter consistancy, say 1:1:1 before trying this?



buns of steel's picture
buns of steel



Has anyone made the recipe from Nancy Silverton's Breads from La Brea Bakery?


Was thinking of making it as hubby's birthday cake, wanted to know how it is...

PaddyL's picture

This is from Rita Davenport's Sourdough Cookery.

Sourdough Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup shortening (I'd use butter.)

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1 egg

1/4 cup water

1 cup sourdough starter

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

2-1/2 cups rolled oats, uncooked

1 cup raisins (optional)

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Cream shortening with sugars.  Add egg and water.  Beat until light and flufrfy.  Add sourdough starter, vanilla, baking soda, salt, and flour.  Mix well.  Add rolled oats.  If desired, add raisins and nuts. Dough will be thick.  Drop by tsp. onto greased baking sheet.  Bake at 400F. for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on wire rack before storing.  Makes 3 doz.

She's got recipes in her for brownies, blondies, sugar cookies, all sorts of cakes, including carrot, spice, chcolate, fruit, cupcakes of all kinds.  The book was published in 1977, so I don't know if it would be available now.  Mine is a soft cover edition.  There are even recipes for doughnuts!  It never occurred to me to make anything but bread with my starter, but I'm making loaves plus some cinnamon buns this afternoon.  If you'd like any more recipes, let me know.

dablues's picture

My, oh my!  I made this cake but I kind of destroyed it a bit.  Anyway, I'm new to sourdough, and I had leftover sourdough enough to do two cakes.  I usually bake a cake in a 9x13 pan, since hubby & I don't care for frosting.  Well, I only had one 9x13 pan and wanted to use all the leftover starter, so I thought to bake it in a half sheet pan.  Of course, it started to overflow the pan, but I have a liner in the bottom of my oven, and the spot it overflowed, I quickly put another pan in to catch the drips.  My next mistake!  I took the cake out and it looked great.  But, since I am short on patience I wanted to transfer the cake to my cooling rack.  I didn't let it cool enough, and it broke in many pieces.  Needless to say, I was unhappy.  I told hubby I'm not wasting it I wanted to try it, so I salvaged all of it, crumbs & all.  When the cake finally cooled, I  cut what was left, the larger pieces into smaller pieces.  Now I should mention.  My husband didn't know I had madeg sourdough. I asked him before I even started how he liked sourdough bread, etc., and he said he didn't like it.  So, previously, I made sourdough Waffles, which he ate and loved.  I didn't tell him that there was sourdough in the batter.  Now for the cake.  He decided to taste a piece before we froze it in batches.  He, said, this is the best chocolate cake you ever made.  I had to laugh, and told him, well this was a Sourdough Chocolate Cake, and last week you ate Sourdough Waffles.

He looked at me and said, well maybe I don't like sourdough bread.  So now, that's another item on my to do list.  I just want to thank you for great recipe.  This definitely a keeper.