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Sourdough Chocolate Cake

Comments : 11 Posted in : Dessert on by : Chris Tags: , ,

Don’t let the name throw you off, you won’t taste any sourdough in this decadent, moist sourdough chocolate cake.

I don’t bake cakes very often, but when I do I tend to go for rich chocolaty ones. The type of chocolate cake that is so ooey gooey that you’d swear it wasn’t fully baked (not that that would stop you). The type that makes you want a glass of milk just looking at the pictures.

I thought it would be fun (and tasty) to demonstrate just what you can do with a sourdough starter, since I’ve been enjoying using mine for a couple weeks now.

This sourdough chocolate cake recipe comes from the King Arthur website, and when I first saw it I thought “Really?” But it had so many positive reviews I gave it a go. I was really pleased with the results. You don’t taste the sourdough in it. Instead you get a seriously chocolate, moist cake topped with a sweet espresso butter cream frosting.

This cake is of course dependent upon you having sourdough starter. If you don’t have one you are in luck! Today just so happens to be the last day to enter our King Arthur Sourdough Starter & Crock Set, so if you haven’t yet, take a moment to enter for chance to win. 😉

Sourdough Chocolate Cake


  • cake
  • 1 cup "fed" sourdough starter
  • 1 cup milk (whole milk or 2% preferred) or evaporated milk
  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa (not Dutch process)
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
  • 2 large eggs
  • icing
  • 6 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • drizzle
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup


  1. Combine the "fed" starter, milk, and flour in a large mixing bowl. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours. It won't necessarily bubble, but it may have expanded a bit.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together the sugar, oil, vanilla, salt, baking soda, cocoa. and espresso powder. The mixture will be grainy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Gently combine the chocolate mixture with the starter-flour-milk mixture, stirring till smooth. This will be a gloppy process at first, but the batter will smooth out as you continue to beat gently.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  7. Bake the cake for 30 to 40 minutes, until it springs back when lightly pressed in the center, and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Remove the cake from the oven, and set it on a rack to cool while you make the icing.
  9. Sift the confectioners' sugar into a large mixing bowl, and set it aside.
  10. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter and add the buttermilk or yogurt. Dissolve the espresso powder in the hot water, add to the pan, and bring the mixture just to a boil.
  11. Immediately pour the simmering liquid over the confectioners' sugar in the bowl, and beat till smooth.
  12. Pour the warm frosting over the cake. If you wait too long and the frosting stiffens up, spread it over the cake.
  13. Combine the chocolate chips, milk, and corn syrup in a microwave-safe cup. Microwave till the chips soften, then stir till smooth.
  14. Drizzle/drip the chocolate over the icing. You can do this while the icing is still warm, or wait till it's cooled.


11 thoughts

  • December 13, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Okay, time to get Bubbles, my sourdough starter, out of the fridge and fed so I can make this. It looks so moist and delicious.

    • Chris
      December 13, 2011 at 7:19 pm

      Lol! Bubbles needs to make an appearance for this one 🙂

  • December 13, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Oh my goodness. This looks so succulent and moist…I’m not into most cakes, but chocolate…best friend for life.

    • Chris
      December 14, 2011 at 7:59 am

      Hahahah. Thanks Charissa. You can never go wrong with Chocolate 🙂

  • December 13, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    this looks amazing + your plating is so gorgeous! we just finished dinner about an hour ago, so if you don’t mind shipping one down to tennessee, it would make the perfect dessert tonight. =)

  • December 14, 2011 at 9:49 am

    I know I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… but brother, you got the wrong degree. This looks fantastic.

    • Chris
      December 15, 2011 at 9:00 pm

      Thanks Chris 🙂 Maybe after I retire heheh

  • December 14, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    This looks outstanding!
    Let’s hear it for our strange desserts lately: your sourdough cake & my velveeta fudge! hehe! 🙂

    • Chris
      December 17, 2011 at 10:18 am

      I thought the same thing Lauren, “sourdough? really?” but tasting is believing – it’s delish! 🙂

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