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30+ Amazing Sourdough Discard Recipes (Tried & True!)

In most of these recipes, the sourdough discard is simply for flavor.  An unfed starter will not make a baked good rise. But it will add a great tangy flavor, almost like using buttermilk.  Just keep in mind you’ll still need baking soda or yeast for these recipes.

Don’t just discard your sourdough starter!   Use it in a new, tasty recipe. Here are some of the best.

Every day you dutifully feed that little jar its mix of flour and water.  But in order to keep the right balance, you have to throw out a portion of the starter every time. But throwing it out hurts. I get it.

First of all, let me say that it IS important to discard a portion of your starter regularly.  So if you don’t want to make one of these recipes, just give yourself permission to throw it in the trash.  It’s like thinning the plants in your garden. Painful, but necessary. If you don’t do it, the whole effort will be wasted.   

 1. Sourdough waffles

3 square waffles made with sourdough starter on white plate

These are my favorite sourdough discard waffles because there is no overnight rise or anything else complicated. You mix, you pour into the waffle maker, you eat. Don’t worry about a sour flavor, it is barely noticeable, especially when they are covered in butter and maple syrup. (As they should be!)

2 Sourdough pancakes

stack of 3 sourdough pancakes on white plate

And with waffles, pancakes are not far behind. My favorite sourdough pancakes are thick, fluffy, and like the waffles, mixed up and cooked in just a few minutes. Easy and delicious.

 3. Banana Bread

Sourdough banana bread is a great thrifty baking project because it uses two ingredients that would otherwise be wasted: sourdough discard and overripe bananas. I love to bake a loaf of this and keep it in the freezer for an unexpected guest or a hectic morning.

Like most sweet sourdough recipes, there is no real noticeable sourdough taste in these. You can add blueberries to the batter, or top with a brown sugar icing if you want something sweeter.

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 4. Carrot cake with sourdough discard

cupcake with cream cheese frosting

Sourdough carrot cake might sound a little weird, but trust me on this one. This recipe is sweet, soft, and delicious. Even people who don’t like sourdough will love it. If you leave off the frosting, you can even call it a muffin if you’d like.

I serve this regularly to people as just a “normal” carrot cake and it always gets devoured.

5. Sourdough blueberry muffins

7 sourdough blueberry muffins on cooling rack

I’m noticing a real breakfast food trend here, and it makes sense. You typically discard and feed your starter in the morning, so if you have a breakfast recipe that can use it up, all the better.

This recipe for blueberry muffins uses discard sourdough and is delicious! It has a cinnamon sugar crumbly topping you will love!

6. Pizza crust

3 pizza dough balls on counter

Sourdough pizza crust is handy because pizza is something you can eat regularly. Whenever you just aren’t sure what to do with your starter, go ahead and mix up a batch of this dough.

This recipe can use either discard or fed starter. If you are using discard, you’ll need to add a little yeast.

7. Sourdough Cheese Crackers

sourdough cheddar cheese crackers in clear canister

When you are ready for a sourdough cracker that’s a little different, try these cheddar sourdough crackers. They are crisp, salty, addictive, and taste like a gourmet cheez-it. They are rolled out and cut but easier to make than you think!

8. English Muffins

These are, again, a perfect breakfast recipe. They have tons of air pockets and a great texture. They are great, of course, with just butter and jam, but we really love them with breakfast sandwiches. One of the most practical sourdough discard recipes out there.

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9. Sourdough Chocolate Cake

glass pan with sourdough chocolate cake missing slice

This is a simple cake that is totally appropriate for a snack as well as a dessert. You only need one bowl and a few minutes of prep time, and it’s absolutely delicious: moist, chocolatey, and not too sweet. Get the easy sourdough chocolate cake recipe here

10. Baked Doughnuts

stack of 3 donuts

Serve these delicious baked sourdough donuts with cinnamon and sugar topping to your family for a special treat. You can have them for breakfast, brunch, a snack or a dessert.

11. Pretzels

homemade pretzels on piece of parchment

This sourdough pretzel recipe can use either discard or fed sourdough starter. There is some kneading and shaping involved, so they are not a quick recipe like pancakes or waffles. But they are delicious, fun to make with kids, and can be adapted to be either sweet or savory.

12. Sourdough Discard Coffee Cake

Sourdough discard coffee cake has a delicious flavor from the starter and from sour cream and its topped with a super delicious cinnamon sugar streusel. A big hit with little ones!

13. Lemon Snack Cake

close up view of sliced sourdough lemon pound cake

This cake is a delicious breakfast, snack, or dessert. Topped with a sweet-tart lemon glaze, this is a sweet treat that uses up some of that unfed sourdough discard without wasting it.

14. Chocolate Chip Sourdough Muffins

cooling rack with 1 dozen sugar topped muffins

Easy to make and another perfect sourdough breakfast recipe, even picky eaters love chocolate chip muffins. This recipe is moist and sweet, and topped with crunchy sugar.

15. Lavender scones

scones with dried lavender

Lavender Sourdough Scones are easy to make and delicious! The floral lavender flavor and lemon glaze make them perfect for a party or an everyday treat! These scones can also be made without a sourdough starter and they are just as delicious!

16. Cranberry Cake

This coffee cake is perfect for a weekend morning or afternoon snack. It is moist and buttery, with a layer of fresh cranberries and a double layer of rich, walnut-crumb topping.

17. sourdough gingerbread

slice of gingerbread with whipped cream

Sourdough gingerbread is soft and has a deep spice flavor that is not too sweet. This old-fashioned cake is perfect for any time of day, and there’s no sourdough flavor; it tastes just like the classic.

18. Sourdough Crescent Rolls

basket of crescent rolls

Sourdough crescent rolls are soft and buttery. They are also a little bit sweet and have a nice sourdough flavor. These rolls are perfect with any family dinner.

19. Flaky Biscuits

biscuits on plate

These sourdough discard biscuits are flaky, buttery, and delicious. You need just five ingredients to make them. Perfect any time of day.

20. Sourdough Shortbread Cookies

stack of shortbread cookies

This recipe uses a unique technique. Sourdough Shortbread Cookies! Buttery shortbread cookies are made more delicious with powdered sourdough discard. These cookies are perfect for the holidays!

21. Sourdough Granola

bowl of yogurt and granola

Sourdough granola is a great way to use up your sourdough discard. This homemade granola is easy to make and tastes great. It is perfect for snacking on anytime.

22. Sourdough Lemon Ricotta cookies

cooling rack of frosted cookies

Sourdough Lemon Ricotta Cookies are soft, tender, and melt in your mouth amazing. The ricotta and discard sourdough starter makes the cookies moist and cake-like with the perfect balance of sweet and tart.

22. Sourdough Chocolate chip cookies

dark chocolate chunk cookies

The best sourdough cookies of any I’ve tried, these chocolate chip cookies are thick and chewy, not cakey. Delicious!

23. Sourdough Naan

stack of naan

This Sourdough Naan is a delicious flatbread that you can enjoy as a snack or with your favorite meals. It has a slightly chewy texture and a charred flavor that will delight your taste buds. You can use it to soak up your favorite stews, spreads, or toppings.

24. Cinnamon rolls

1 cinnamon roll on towel

You can learn how to make cinnamon rolls with sourdough starter. These cinnamon rolls are made without yeast, so they are small and simple to make. The filling is sweet and delicious, and the frosting is easy to put together.

25. Sourdough Dutch Baby

This Sourdough Dutch Baby or German Pancake is a thick type of pancake that is typically made with yeast. It is very delicious and melts in your mouth.

27. Sourdough Onion Rings

tray of homemade onion rings

It is possible to make the crispiest, crunchiest, tastiest onion rings you have ever had by using sourdough starter discard. This will help give the onion rings a perfect coating.

28. Pie Crust

unbaked pie shell

You can use leftover sourdough discard to make this easy dough! This recipe for sourdough pie crust is made quickly in the food processor and has a great flavor.

29. Sourdough Pumpkin Cake

This cake has a delicious combination of flavors with the sweet pumpkin spice and the tang from the sourdough. The perfect cream cheese frosting tops it off making it easy to make and perfect for fall.

30. Sourdough Apple Cake

Sourdough apple cake recipe: a moist and delicious cake made with shredded apples and your sourdough starter.

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30+ Amazing Recipes to Use Your Sourdough Discard

Print Recipe
In most of these recipes, the sourdough discard is simply for flavor.  An unfed starter will not make a baked good rise. But it will add a great tangy flavor, almost like using buttermilk.  Just keep in mind you’ll still need baking soda or yeast for these recipes.
Click here to grab a free seasonal e-cookbook!

Equipment

  • Mason Jar
  • Mixing bowl

Ingredients

  • Discard sourdough starter
  • Other ingredients for recipe

Instructions

  • Select your favorite recipe from the list and follow the instructions.
  • Alternatively, reduce flour and liquid by 1/4 cup from your favorite baking recipe and add 1/2 cup of sourdough starter
Author: Katie Shaw
Did you make this recipe?Tag me @heartscontentfarmhouse so I can see!

26 thoughts on “30+ Amazing Sourdough Discard Recipes (Tried & True!)”

  1. Hi, I have an active starter it’s about a month old, when the recipe says unfed how long from a feeding is that ??? When it’s bubbling or already doubled ??

    Reply
    • it’s usually at least hours after a feeding. it will typically peak around 4-8 hours and anything after that it’s on the decline and is considered “unfed”. if its still bubbly, just stir it up. using an active starter in a “discard” recipe won’t hurt anything.

      Reply
  2. Thanks for the info on the starter and the discard! I have been feeding my starter for about 17 days now, and using some of the discard starter that I keep in the fridge. I use Einkorn flour, so it does react a bit differently than regular flour. I have read so many different methods for starter that my brain is on overload, as some directions contradict others. So, I am still feeding my starter twice a day. I started with 1/4 cup + 2 T of flour and 1/4 c water. I still feed it that amount. I discarded twice a day once I started seeing the “hooch” develop (Einkorn develops less hooch, I am told). It looks good and smells good, so I think I am on the right track. I don’t always discard twice a day; sometimes once. Does this make sense? Is my starter pretty much ready after 4 weeks? (which is what I have read.)
    Thanks, again for your help!

    Reply
    • hi Roseann! I’m not familiar with einkorn starter but the general rule of starter readiness is this: does it double in volume within 4-8 hours after a feeding? (it will double faster in a warmer room). put a rubber band around I t to mark the level at the feeding. if it doubles, you’re good to go!

      Reply
  3. Sorry to bug you but I’m having trouble clicking the link for the English muffins. Is it possible to get that recipe? I’m so excited for all these recipes! This is si great!

    Reply
  4. If there isn’t a sour dough flavor added to these recipes what is the purpose of adding the sour dough starter. what purpose does it serve?

    Reply
    • it still adds some flavor… I would describe it as a tanginess, like when you add yogurt or sour cream to a baked good. it’s just not exactly sour. but the main benefit of these recipes is when you discard your sourdough starter now you don’t have to throw it out.

      Reply
      • Unless you make your starter extra sour and do an extra rise your breads don’t typically taste sour. My starter is extra sour. I make all kinds of stuff with it and it adds a bit of a zing. I made bagels yesterday and donuts a few days ago. They were not sour. Fermented starter is easier to digest and is an excellent addition to baked goods. It also helps those gluten free goodies less dense. GF pancakes rise wonderfully with a couple tbs of starter added to the batter. Since my starter is extra sour my pancakes have a nice zing and fluff like a normal pancake. Add sugar to batter and the zing pretty much goes away.

  5. Hi, I would like to try making the lemon snack cake. This one also does not have a link. Will you please put that in a reply? Thanks so much!

    Reply
  6. There are not any links other than pancakes. I see links in one of your responses but I can’t get to the pretzels or pizza.

    Reply
  7. The Carrot Cake recipe does not have a link. Can you provide one please? I’m excited to try this one. Thanks!
    Oonagh

    Reply

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