Completely made from scratch, this homemade sourdough carrot cake is absolutely delicious. Super moist with the perfect amount of spice, it’s topped with a decadent cream cheese frosting. This is one of our favorite cakes.
I’m always looking for ways to use up sourdough discard. I’m a firm believer that you should never just toss out your sourdough starter, but rather use it in a variety of different discard ways.
Why throw away good starter when you can make cake out of it? Am I right?
This sourdough carrot cake has all the classic carrot cake flavors and is topped with deliciously sweet cream cheese frosting. But wait – there’s a sourdough twist.
The sourdough not only adds another layer of flavor with the slight tanginess, but this recipe can also be long fermented so the grains are more broken down, making it easier to digest and the nutrients more bioavailable.
Also, this may be your kids’ new favorite way to eat carrots. I kid.
Why you will love this recipe:
Delicious: Super yummy spiced cake smothered in cream cheese frosting.
Can be long fermented: Struggle with eating non-fermented grains? No worries. You can ferment this recipe overnight so it is easier to digest.
Easy: It only takes a few minutes to mix this cake up for the oven. If you want to make it easier, put the carrots through the shredding blade on a food processor.
Sourdough Carrot Cake Making Tips:
- This cake can be made quick or long fermented for more health benefits.
- Grate carrots by hand and don’t use pre-shredded carrots. The pre-shredded carrots are too thick to bake nicely in cake.
- Active sourdough starter or sourdough discard will work for this recipe, since the sourdough isn’t used for rising, but rather for flavor and fermentation.
- Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting. If you don’t, you will be left with a melted soupy frosting mess.
- Ensure the baking powder and baking soda are fresh. If they have been sitting in the back of the cabinet for a while and are past their prime, then the cake won’t rise properly.
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What does sourdough do for cakes?
It can help reduce the amount of gluten formation in the cake, which in turn helps the cake be more tender rather than tough and chewy. It can also add a depth of flavor to the cake with a wonderful, mild sourdough tang.
Can I use sourdough discard straight from the fridge?
Yes. As long as it has not been too long since feeding the starter, you can mix it up and use it.
Oil – Preferably a healthy oil, like melted coconut oil or avocado oil.
Sugar – White granulated sugar
Sourdough starter– Active or discard. New to sourdough? Learn how to make your own sourdough starter here.
Leaveners – Baking powder and baking soda
Carrots – 3 large carrots
Tools you may need:
9×13 baking dish or cake pans
Measuring cups and spoons
How To Make Sourdough Carrot Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch pan or line with parchment paper.
Grate carrots and chop pecans. For easy grating, I suggest using a food processor with a grating attachment. A box grater will also do.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, white sugar, brown sugar, sourdough starter and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just incorporated. Try not to over mix.
Stir in carrots and fold in pecans.
Pour into prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated for 40 to 50 minutes.
Allow to cool before frosting.
Make It Long Fermented:
The Day Before:
Mix together oil, sourdough starter and flour. Cover and allow to ferment for 8-12 hours.
The Next Day
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch pan.
Whisk together eggs, brown sugar, white sugar, and vanilla.
Add to fermented dough.
Sprinkle over remaining dry ingredients and mix well.
Fold in grated carrots and chopped pecans.
Pour into prepared pans and bake for 40-50 minutes.
Allow to cool completely before frosting.
How To Make Cream Cheese Frosting
To a stand mixer, add softened cream cheese and butter. Whip together for a few minutes.
Slowly pour in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla.
Whip until nice and fluffy.
Fold in chopped pecans (optional).
- Swap out the pecans for chopped walnuts, pistachios, or sliced almonds.
- Add orange zest for a brighter take.
- Add raisins.
- Turn it into a trifle. Break up the cake and place in into a trifle dish, layering the cake with frosting. Yum!
- Make them into sourdough carrot cake cupcakes. Make the recipe as stated before, but place them into lined muffin tins and bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Find More Delicious Cake Recipes:
- Delicious Sourdough Chocolate Cake
- The Best Sourdough Coffee Cake
- Sourdough Vanilla Cake
- Gingerbread Cake With Einkorn Flour
- Lemon Sourdough Pound Cake
If you try this recipe and love it, I would love if you gave it 5 stars! Thank you! Tag me on Instagram @farmhouseonboone.
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 cup oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup starter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 cups grated carrots (3 large)
- 1 cup chopped pecans
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch pan or line with parchment paper.
- Grate carrots and chop pecans.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, white sugar, brown sugar, sourdough starter and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just incorporated. Try not to over mix.
- Stir in carrots and fold in pecans.
- Pour into prepared pan.
- Bake in the preheated for 40 to 50 minutes.
- Allow to cool before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- To a stand mixer, add softened cream cheese and butter. Whip together for a few minutes.
- Slowly pour in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla.
- Whip until nice and fluffy.
- Fold in chopped pecans (optional).
- Frost cooled cake.
This cake can be made quick or long fermented for more health benefits.
Grate carrots by hand and don’t use pre-shredded carrots. The pre-shredded carrots are too thick to bake nicely in cake.
Active sourdough starter or sourdough discard will work for this recipe, since the sourdough isn’t used for rising, but rather for flavor and fermentation.
Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting. If you don’t, you will be left with a melted soupy frosting mess.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 589Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 424mgCarbohydrates: 66gFiber: 2gSugar: 50gProtein: 6g