This sourdough chocolate cake recipe is rich, delicious, healthier, and a more nutritious take on your classic dessert. Start the night before to ferment the grains, develop the flavors, and make the cake easier to digest.
Somehow, Daniel turned one year old a few days ago. I’m not quite sure how that happened. It feels like just yesterday I was holding my newborn baby in my arms (read his home birth story here).
After six children, I can tell you with all my heart that babies don’t keep. You blink and they are one year old, they’ve learned to walk around the house, and they’re convinced they can do most things on their own.
Although it hurts my heart to move past the precious baby stage and into toddlerhood, watching Daniel become a toddler has its own set of blessings.
I love watching them learn: learning about the world, how to communicate, and developing that curious personality. It’s a really fun stage. Soon enough, he will be running around barefoot on the farm playing with the goats and climbing trees.
It goes too fast.
This chocolate sourdough cake was the perfect recipe to celebrate Daniel. Light, fluffy, and boasting my favorite sourdough tang, this cake has so much flavor. Layers of tender chocolate cake smothered with chocolate buttercream frosting.
Tips For Making Sourdough Chocolate Cake
- Ferment this recipe overnight to increase the nutritional value of the grains and make them more digestible.
- If you are in a pinch for time, skip the fermentation and use sourdough discard.
- You can use active sourdough starter or sourdough discard. It is a great way for all that extra sourdough starter you may have on hand. Learn how to create your own sourdough starter here.
- Add finely ground coffee to give this a deeper and richer chocolate flavor. Coffee and chocolate go together perfectly in baked goods.
Why you will love this recipe:
- Start this recipe the night before (or even up to 24 hours before) to allow it to ferment. Starting the night before removes a few steps the next day, making it easier to whip together.
- Chocolate lovers rejoice. Rich chocolate cake with a delicious chocolate frosting. This light and fluffy layer cake will have your family asking you to make this recipe over and over again.
- It is healthier and easier to digest than a standard chocolate cake.
- It’s the perfect cake for a birthday, holiday, or even just a weekend.
- You can easily turn this into a sourdough discard chocolate cake by just using sourdough discard, mix the cake batter together, and bake.
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Coconut oil: Could also substitute with another oil like avocado. I would avoid using vegetable oil as it inflammatory and highly processed.
Sourdough starter – Discard sourdough starter or active sourdough starter will work.
Sugar: Sucanat or rapadura (regular sugar would work also)
Finely ground coffee (optional)
Vanilla extract: Homemade or store-bought
Salted butter: If you only have unsalted butter available, you may want to add a dash of salt to the frosting to bring out all the flavors.
Tools you may need:
Measuring cups and spoons
How To Make Sourdough Chocolate Cake
The Night Before:
In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, coconut oil, sourdough starter, and water. Cover with plastic wrap, a tight lid, or beeswax wraps, and allow to sit overnight at room temperature or up to 24 hours.
The Next Day:
Preheat the oven to 350º F.
In a separate bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together sucanat or rapadura (regular sugar would work, as well), salt, and finely ground coffee (optional).
To the flour mixture, add remaining wet ingredients (eggs, vanilla, cocoa powder, and whole milk).
Next, add the sourdough mixture into the rest of the ingredients. Whisk to incorporate until smooth. Use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment for easier mixing starting on low speed.
Lastly, add baking soda and incorporate well.
Prepare two, 9-inch cake pans with butter. Tip: Trace the round cake pans on parchment paper and cut out. Place the paper on the bottom of the greased pan. This will help the cake pop right out after baking.
Pour chocolate cake batter evenly between the two greased cake pans.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.
Remove from the oven. Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and place on a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Create The Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
In a stand mixer bowl with whisk attatchment (or a large bowl with a hand mixer), add the softened butter.
Beat the butter on high speed for a few minutes until it becomes light and fluffy.
Turn the mixer down to low speed and slowly add in the cocoa powder and powder sugar until it is incorporated.
Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons of cream.
Once the ingredients are incorporated well, turn the speed back up to medium speed and whip until light and fluffy. Add remaining cream if the frosting seems too stiff.
Do I have to ferment this recipe?
No you do not. You can easily just whip it up without letting it sit overnight.
How do you store chocolate cake?
- Frosted cakes (with dairy) should be stored with a cake cover in the refrigerator. You don’t want to keep it in an airtight container as the cake can absorb the frosting.
- Frosted cakes without dairy can be kept at room temperature covered.,
- Freeze unfrosted cake in an airtight container with a piece of parchment paper between layers to prevent sticking for up to 6 months. Allow to thaw at room temperature for 6-12 hours before frosting and serving.
- Freeze frosted cakes in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Be aware that frosted cakes may not looks as pretty after then come out of the freezer.
What does sourdough do for cakes?
Not only does it add a slight tangy flavor to the cake, but it also helps break down the gluten in the cake. This helps it be more tender rather than tough and chewy. If you ferment the grains with the starter it helps break down the phytic acid which makes the nutrients in the grains more absorbable.
Is sourdough hard to bake?
This depends on the recipe. Some recipes like bread can be more challenging, while others like this sourdough cake recipe is much easier.
I love this type of recipe because you mix a portion of it the night before and then finish the recipe the next day. It does take some planning ahead (although you could just whip it up and forgo the fermentation), but it is worth it.
What is unfed sourdough discard?
It is sourdough starter that has not been fed in over 12 hours. When you feed a sourdough starter it gets nice and active, plus it should doubles in size.
Once the yeasts in the starter have fed off the new flour and water, the bubbles release, and it will then come back down (the process takes about 12 hours). This is then considered unfed sourdough stater. Normally, you toss half of the starter (or use it in a discard recipe). What you get rid of would be considered unfed sourdough discard.
Find More Sourdough Desserts
- Sourdough Carrot Muffins
- Pumpkin Rolls with frosting
- Sourdough Banana Bread
- Fudgy Sourdough Brownies
- 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.
Sourdough Chocolate Cake
Rich, delicious, sourdough chocolate cake is a healthier, more nutritious take on your classic dessert.
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup sourdough starter - discard or active starter
- 1 cup water
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups sucanat or rapadura (regular sugar would work also)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon finely ground coffee (optional)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3/4 cup cocoa
- 1 cups whole milk
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup salted butter, softened
- 3 cups Powdered Sugar
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla
- 1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
- 3-4 tablespoons heavy cream
- In a bowl, mix together flour, coconut oil, sourdough starter, and water. Cover and allow to sit overnight or up to 24 hours. (Optional)
- In a large bowl, mix together sucanat or rapadura, salt, and finely ground coffee (optional).
- To the dry ingredients, add eggs, vanilla, cocoa powder, and whole milk.
- Next, add the sourdough mixture into the rest of the ingredients. Whisk to incorporate until smooth.
- Lastly, add baking soda and incorporate well.
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- Prepare two, 9-inch cake pans with butter.
- Divide cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and allow to cool completely before frosting.
Create the frosting:
- In a stand mixer bowl with whisk attatchment (or a large bowl with a hand mixer), add the softened butter.
- Beat the butter on high speed for a few minutes until it becomes light and fluffy.
- Turn the mixer down to low speed and slowly add in the cocoa powder and powder sugar until it is incorporated.
- Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons of cream.
- Once the ingredients are incorporated well, turn the spead back up to medium and whip until light and fluffy. Add remaining cream if the frosting seems too stiff.
- Frost cake.
Ferment this recipe overnight to increase the nutritional value of the grains and make them more digestible.
If you are in a pinch for time, skip the fermentation and use sourdough discard. You can use active sourdough starter or sourdough discard.
Add finely ground coffee to give this a deeper and richer chocolate flavor.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 497Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 532mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 3gSugar: 28gProtein: 6g
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