Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What to eat Wednesdays - Sourdough chocolate cake

I've been looking for new ways to use my sourdough starter, so thought I'd give a chocolate cake recipe a go. This cake tastes amazing and is much healthier than a regular chocolate cake.

I think this will be my go-to chocolate cake recipe from now on, as it is decadent enough for celebrations, yet much gentler on my stomach. Usually after eating a piece of regular chocolate cake I'm left with a bit of acid reflux. Not so with this recipe, as the lactic acid in the sourdough breaks down the phytic acid within the grains and makes the cake much more digestible.

If you don't already have a sourdough starter, you can make your own following these instructions at Kitchen Stewardship.

As with all good sourdough recipes, you will need to leave the cake's sourdough flour base to rise for 7 hours to properly break down the phytic acid. Also, this cake requires the starter to have been recently fed. This means you need to plan in advance. My advice: feed your starter in the morning, mix the cake base up in the evening, leave it to rise overnight and bake the following morning. It may sound like a lot of work but it's really not. Time does the work for you.

  • 1c fed sourdough starter (you want it nice and frothy)
  • 1c milk (raw, full-cream milk is best) or kefir
  • 1c plain or spelt flour
  • 1c wholemeal flour
  • 1 1/2c sugar (unrefined dried sugar cane juice is best, eg. rapadura, jaggery or muscovado)
  • 1c grapeseed oil or melted coconut oil
  • 2t natural vanilla extract
  • 1t salt (fine, solar-dried sea salt is best)
  • 1 1/2t baking soda
  • 3/4c cocoa powder 
  • 1t espresso powder, optional
  • 2 large eggs

1.Combine starter, milk and flour in a large mixing bowl.

2. Cover with a clean cloth and let rest for at least 7 hours.

3. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) and grease 30cm cake tin.

4. In a separate bowl, beat together sugar, oil, vanilla, salt, baking soda, cocoa and espresso powder.

5. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

6. Gently combine chocolate mixture with sourdough mixture, stirring till smooth.

7. Pour batter into prepared cake tin.

8. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

I didn't bother to ice this cake as I figured it would be healthier for me without all that extra sugar. However, it would taste lovely with a chocolate ganache icing or a regular chocolate butter icing made with 3c icing sugar, 1/2c cocoa, 50g softened butter and a little boiling water.


  1. Wow Emma, this looks awesome. Will definitely have to try this one. Jodie.

  2. It’s easy to bake a Sourdough Chocolate cake. My grand mom always bake this for our birthday. She establish a bakeshop and now that kind of recipe is there best. I think I can suggest that recipe of yours. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Oh yum, where is the cake shop? I'd love to visit it one day.

  4. Thanks for this! I really want to try it, but I've never heard of whole meal flour. Is it the same as whole wheat flour? Where can I get it? Thanks!

  5. Hi Grace, yes it's exactly the same. And you can use all purpose flour instead of plain if you like. Please let me know how the recipe works for you. Cheers, Emma


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