This Sourdough Discard Apple Cake is a delicious and very easy cake recipe to use up sourdough starter discard. With a slight tang from the sourdough, a topping of sweet and tart apples, and a crunch of lovely almond slices. The perfect cake for breakfast or dessert!
There are so many great recipes that help you use up that precious sourdough discard. This apple cake is not just a lovely fall cake, but also the perfect way to use up some discard! The discard makes the cake even softer with such a lovely flavor.
A truly no-fuss and easy cake recipe...the cake batter could be made without an electric mixture. It's a really versatile batter that works not only with the fresh apples. You could even use peaches in the summertime or berries. The recipe is totally dairy-free, but feel free to use your favorite butter. I've made it dairy-free and with dairy, and either way, the cake is absolutely lovely!
The sourdough starter
It breaks my heart a little if I have to toss out my sourdough starter…I even shed a tear! So I always try to make something with the discard instead of dumping it in the sink. This is that easy cake recipe that gets a slight tang from the starter. You’ll be making it over and over again! It’s that easy to make!
Here is the sourdough starter recipe I used to make mine.
Some other sourdough discard starter recipes we recently shared:
Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Bread Recipe
Sourdough Pumpkin Coffee Cake
Sourdough Banana Bread
Sourdough Pizza Margherita
Blueberry Limoncello Pie with Sourdough Crust
What ingredients are in a sourdough apple discard cake?
- lemon juice
- ground cinnamon
- ground ginger
- sugar (any sugar you prefer)
- fig jam (or apricot or strawberry)
- baking powder
- lemon zest
- unfed sourdough starter (the discard)
- sliced almond
- turbinado sugar
- margarine or butter
How to make apple cake with sourdough starter
This is a very simple homemade cake base recipe that uses sourdough discard. Here is an overview directions. Scroll down for full instructions on the recipe card.
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9x9-inch square cake pan or 9-inch round cake pan (or spray with baking spray) with removable bottom.
In a medium skillet, add the apples, lemon juice and rind, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and jam. Stir together.
Sauté on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. The apples will start to get tender.
Set the pan aside and let it cool for a few minutes while you prep the other ingredients.
In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients and lemon zest. Rub the zest in the flour mixture. This helps release the lemon essence (smells so lovely!).
In a separate large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the sugar and eggs until creamy (about 5 minutes). You could beat this all by hand (get a good arm workout!). Beat oil and the sourdough discard. Mix well.
Add flour mixture into the sourdough mixture a half up at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with spatula and mix well after every addition.
Pour the batter into prepared pan . Arrange the apple slices and juices over the batter.
Sprinkle the turbinado sugar and thin pats of butter on top of the cake and bake for about 45-55 minutes, or until skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Check cake at about 40 minutes. Every oven is different. If cake is browning, cover with aluminum foil for remainder of baking time.
Let cool for about 20 minutes before removing from cake pan. Best served warm.
Can I make this sourdough discard apple cake without a sourdough discard?
Yes, you can! Simply sub in some plain unsweetened yogurt containing active cultures, which will give you still a little bit of tang (and a bit of added moisture). Or use some buttermilk.
Which apple should I use for sourdough apple cake?
I used Granny Smith. Pink Lady is also another lovely tart apple. Use whatever apple you love the most!
Can I freeze this sourdough discard apple cake?
Yes, you can! IF you have any leftovers, once the cake has cooled down completely, wrap individual slices with plastic wrap and places slices of cake in large zipped lock freezer bag. The cake slices will keep wrapped very well for up to 2 months.
Some other delicious apple recipes to try:
- Easy Cranberry and Apple Cake
- Apple Pie Coffee Cake
- Apple Pie with Oat Streusel
- Apple Cider Donut Cake
Sourdough Discard Apple Cake
- 2 lbs Granny Smith apples peeled cored and, and cut into slices
- 1 large lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 Tablespoon sugar any sugar you prefer
- 2 Tablespoons fig jam or apricot or strawberry
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- zest of one large lemon
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup coconut oil or any mild flavored oil
- 1 cup unfed sourdough starter room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons turbinado sugar
- 2 Tablespoons margarine or butter
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9 x 9 square cake pan or a 9-inch round cake pan with removable bottom.
- Add the apple pieces and slices into a small bowl and squeeze the lemon juice over it; set aside.
- In a medium skillet, add the apples, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and jam. Stir together.
- Sauté on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes. The apples are ready when they are soft to touch when you poke with a fork.
- Set the pan aside and let it cool for a few minutes while you prep the other ingredients.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Toss in the lemon zest and with your hands, mix it into the flour mixture to release the lemon essence.
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the sugar and eggs until creamy (about 5 minutes)You could beat this by hand with a wooden spoon. Beat in the oil and the sourdough discard. Mix well, stopping mixer to scrape sides of bowl to incorporate.
- Add flour mixture into the sourdough mixture a half up at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with spatula and mix well after every addition.
- Pour the batter into prepared pan. Arrange the apple slices and the juices from pan over the batter.
- Sprinkle the turbinado sugar, thin pats of butter, and the almond slices on top of the cake. 2 Tablespoons turbinado sugar. Bake about 50-60 minutes, or until skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Check cake at about 40 minutes. Every oven is different. If cake is browning, cover with aluminum foil for remainder of baking time.
- Let cool for about 20 minutes before removing from cake pan. Best served warm.
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information presented below is an approximation and may vary depending on the exact ingredients used.
What a lovely recipe to use up my sourdough discard. I have made this several times already. Making another one this weekend for guests!!
Amazing! I used my whole rye sourdough discard in the recipe and was really nervous, that the cake would not grow enaugh and be very Compact. However, the end result was a huge fluffy delicious apple cake 🙂 I liked particularly like the topping, it was a new method of making the topping of a cake for me, as I usually put dough sprinkles on top.
Thank you for this recipe!
Hi Lina-THANK YOU for taking the time to write us and let us know how you enjoyed the apple cake:) So happy you also enjoyed the topping! HAPPY BAKING! XX