Sourdough Chocolate Cake


Being a novice chocolate connoisseur makes me very inclined to try specialty chocolate recipes where I can add my own flair for enhancement. You can take almost any chocolate recipe and change the flavor simply by changing the chocolate cocoa used in the recipe. Other times, adding a few choice items like espresso or coffee can significantly enhance the flavor. One of the more delightful recipes I have come across is sourdough chocolate cake. While chocolate and sourdough may seem a bit contradictory, this recipe creates a delectable dessert that is sure to please the palate. It is certainly a great family favorite and wonderful for serving dinner guests.

sourdough chocolate cake

What Makes This Sourdough Chocolate Cake Special

Sourdough bread has long been a favorite for chefs and baking professionals as well as home bakers. It offers bread lovers an extra zing in their favorite starch. When baking a sourdough cake, the object is to increase the flavor and add a contrast to the rich sweetness of the chocolate. This specialty dessert cake recipe does both and is sure to tantalize the tastebuds. This is an excellent recipe for avid chocolate bakers to add to your specialty baking options, especially for the holidays or any special occasion.

chocolate sourdough cake

Frequent Recipe Questions

1. Does the cake taste very sour?

Sourdough Chocolate Cake does not have the same distinct flavor as sourdough bread. While there is a distinct hint of zest from the sourdough, the taste is definitively rich chocolate with a slight after flavor that is delightful for the tastebuds.

2. Is there a problem with ensuring the cake rises properly?

Timing for baking this recipe is important. While some recipes can be slightly adjusted, overcooking this cake can dry it out. Additionally, baking this cake for less than the recommended time can cause it not to rise properly.

3. What does adding espresso powder do to the flavor?

Adding the espresso powder will enhance the chocolate flavor and leave a hint of coffee taste in the cake. It also helps make the sourdough flavor a bit more subtle for those who are concerned about having a bit too much sourdough.

long fermented sourdough chocolate cake

Preparation and Kitchen Equipment Needed

Ensure the area you are working with has ample room, as you will have a full counter of utensils, bowls, and ingredients. You will only need a few equipment and utensil basics for this recipe. You will need:

1 Large Mixing Bowl
1 Medium Mixing Bowl
1 Small Mixing Bowl
9” x 13” Non-stick Cake Pan or (Non-stick bundt pan can be used)
Large Measuring Cup
1 Set of Teaspoon and Tablespoon Measuring Utensils
2 Large Non-stick Spoons
Small Saucepan
Cooling Rack

sourdough chocolate cake recipe


sourdough chocolate cake

Sourdough Chocolate Cake

Delicious Sourdough Chocolate Cake
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 pieces eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil, mild flavored oils such as canola or sunflower recommended
  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1 cup finely granulated sugar
  • 1 cup milk, you can also use evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1.2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Icing Ingredients

  • 12 tbsp butter, softened to room temperature
  • 6 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 tbsp hot water
  • 1 tbsp espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk


Cake Baking Instructions

  • Combine the milk, sourdough starter, and flour in a large mixing bowl. Cover and let the base rise at room temperature for approximately 2 to 3 hours. Don't look for bubbling to occur as a sign it's ready, as this may not occur. However, after 2-3 hours, the cake base mixture will have expanded, showing it's ready for mixing.
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F for about ten minutes before placing the cake inside.
    Lightly coat the 9"x 13" pan- or the Bundt cake pan with shortening or oil. Bakers may choose to use butter instead, which can offer a little added flavor boost. If you plan to remove the cake from the baking pan, you can also choose to flour the pan over the butter. This will help make it easier to remove it and place it on a serving dish.
  • In the medium mixing bowl, mix well the sugar, oil, baking soda, cocoa, vanilla, and salt. Do not expect the mix to be smooth when blended.
  • Add one egg at a time, blending well after each egg is added. This will smooth out the mixture a bit.
  • Pour this mixture into the large mixing bowl with the sourdough, milk, and flour base. Gently blend the two together until smooth. This will take several minutes.
  • Take the batter mix and pour it into the prepared 9” x 13” baking pan or Bundt cake pan.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes, checking it regularly after 30 minutes. Actual completion time can vary depending on the efficiency of the oven. You will know it is done when the cake springs back when lightly touched in the center of the cake. Verify the cake is ready with either a cake tester or a fork in the center to make sure it comes out clean with no mixture attached. If you opt to use a Bundt cake pan, you will need to bake it a little longer. Usually, a Bundt pan will addbetween10 and 20 minutes to the baking time. You should begin testing the cake after 35 minutes of baking time every 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove the cake from the oven once it is done. Do not let it sit in the warm oven after you turn it off as it will overcook it. Place the cake on a cooling rack and let cool for 45 minutes to 1 hour. This will give you plenty of time to make the icing. If you opt to leave the cake in the pan, you can add the icing as soon as it's ready. If you opt to take the cake out of the pan, removal should not occur before the pan is no longer warm to the touch at the bottom.

Making The Icing

  • Sift the 6 cups of confectioners sugar into a medium mixing bowl, and set it aside.
  • In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter and add in either the buttermilk or yogurt, whichever you prefer. Dissolve the espresso powder in hot water, then add to the melted butter in the pan. Then bring the mixture to a simple boil.
  • Once the mixture reaches a boiling point, immediately pour the simmering liquid over the confectioners' sugar in the bowl, and blend the mixture until smooth. Pour the warm frosting over the cake. While it may appear thin as it is poured, it will thicken as it cools.
  • If you choose to wait until it thickens and the frosting stiffens up, you will find it works great for frosting the cake. This will make it ready for pouring over the cake. It will look scrumptious on pan cake or will add a delightful dramatic look to a Bundt cake. Serve and enjoy!

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