If you love sourdough cookies, you're in the right place! I've put together 20 delicious sourdough cookie recipes for you to try. Not only do they use some of your sourdough starter (or discard), they make fantastic sweet treats, snacks or even the perfect gift for friends and family.
Adding sourdough discard to cookies can sometimes be tricky due to the high moisture content in sourdough discard. Cookie dough is not usually associated with adding water. But these sourdough cookie recipes are all tried and tested in The Pantry Mama kitchen and by over 185,000 members in my Facebook Group.
Can I Add Sourdough Starter or Discard To Any Cookie Recipe?
While you can add sourdough starter or discard to a lot of different things (I've even written a guide on how to add sourdough discard to almost any recipe), adding sourdough discard to cookies can be problematic.
Cookie dough is generally a drier or firmer dough than say a muffin or cake recipe. With muffins and cakes, you can remove some of the flour and liquid and replace it with sourdough discard. There often isn't enough moisture to remove with cookie dough.
This means that you have to be careful not to add too much sourdough discard and overwhelm the dough with moisture.
The good news is that I've done all the hard work for you and experimented with adding discard to oh so many different cookie recipes. So you don't have to waste time and ingredients wondering if they will turn out.
Should I Use Sourdough Starter or Sourdough Discard in Cookie Recipes?
You can use either sourdough starter or sourdough discard in any of these sourdough cookie recipes. If you've got some excess sourdough starter after making a loaf of sourdough bread, then you can use that.
Similarly discard is perfectly ok. However, you want to make sure that you are using fresh sourdough discard that hasn't been sitting around for too long. If it is too sour, it can overpower the flavor of the cookies and make them taste quite strange. You can read more about sourdough discard here.
Cookies with lots of add ins like Sourdough Cowboy Cookies and Sourdough Gingerbread can take a more sour flavor. Simple cookies like sourdough shortbread will be overpowered by really old discard.
16+ Sourdough Cookie Recipes
So let's get down to it ... grab your sourdough starter and let's bake some sourdough cookie recipes!
Soft Sourdough Pumpkin Spice Cookies
These soft, slightly spiced pumpkin sourdough cookies feature a delicious maple glaze that brings just a little bit extra! Whether you make these to gift or just enjoy in those quiet moments, you are going to absolutely love these!
Sourdough Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies
A delightful twist on sourdough gingerbread cookies, these sourdough crinkle cookies are full of warm gingerbread spices with soft interiors and a crackly, crunchy outside.
Sourdough Discard Cowboy Cookies
Sourdough discard cowboy cookies are full of pecans, chocolate chips and coconut flakes. They are such a fun and delicious cookie and perfect for snacks on the go or for filling your cookie jar.
Sourdough Thumbprint Cookies
Sweet sourdough cookies with a jammy centre, these sourdough thumbprint cookies are perfect to fill with your favorite jam. They are a lovely cookie to make at any time of year, but make lovely Christmas gifts too.
Sourdough Skillet Cookie
This giant sourdough skillet chocolate chip cookie is an absolute sourdough dessert delight! With crispy edges and a gooey centre, you could say it's the perfect sourdough cookie!
Sourdough Pfeffernusse Cookies
Sourdough Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
These delightful sourdough chocolate crinkle cookies have a crackly, crispy exterior and a velvety soft centre. Their striking appearance makes them the perfect cookies for any occasion.
Sourdough Hot Cross Cookies
These delicious sourdough hot cross cookies are just perfect for Easter, but really you could enjoy them anytime! If you don't want to pipe the crosses on you could leave them iced or even just drizzle the icing on top. So easy!
Sourdough Snickerdoodle Cookies
The ultimate cinnamon sugar coated cookie, sourdough snickerdoodles are soft, velvety and oh so delicious. Slightly brown and chewy on the outside and soft in the middle ... just the way we like them!
Sourdough Gingerbread Cookies
Sourdough Gingerbread Cookies are a unique sourdough cookie recipe because the dough can be fermented for a few days before you cut and bake them. This gives them a really lovely sourdough tang. They are the perfect festive cookie when decorated.
Sourdough Shortbread Cookies
These delicate sourdough shortbread cookies are a sweet treat with a crumbly, melt in your mouth texture - just like the real Scottish shortbread they are based on. You can add rice flour for an extra crumbly, short texture.
Sourdough Carrot Cake Cookies
Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies
Soft and chewy sourdough chocolate chip cookies with crispy edges? Yes please! Filled to the brim with chocolate chip goodness, these sourdough chocolate chip cookies are one of the most popular cookie recipes on The Pantry Mama website!
Sourdough Breakfast Cookies
Hearty sourdough breakfast cookies full of nuts, seeds and dried fruits. These sourdough cookies are a creative way to use your sourdough starter and get you organised for busy weekday mornings!
Sourdough Discard Peanut Butter Cookies
Who can resist a good peanut butter cookie? These ones are super simple to make - perfect for getting the kids in the kitchen! You don't need any special equipment for these, you can mix them in a bowl with a fork.
Sourdough Anzac Biscuits
Sourdough Anzac Biscuits are a unique sourdough recipe, based on the classic Aussie Anzac Biscuit. We do not call these cookies - they are always biscuits (you can read more about why this is here). Filled with the goodness of rolled oats, coconut and golden syrup, these truly are a delicious snack.
Sourdough Sugar Cookies
Perfect for decorating at any time of year, sourdough sugar cookies are a blank canvas, waiting for your imagination to take over! Chill the dough to make them easier to work with and then let your decorating skills go wild!
Is there anything more lovely than a good biscotti? Filled with nuts, spices and loads of love, this sourdough biscotti recipe will be one you treasure. Not only are they a great cookie to have on hand, they also make a lovely gift for family and friends.
Sourdough Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
These sourdough oatmeal raisin cookies have crispy edges and soft, chewy centres. They pair perfectly with a glass of cold milk or even a hot cocoa!
Sweet Sourdough Crackers with Cinnamon Sugar
Now these sweet sourdough crackers aren't technically a cookie, but let me tell you they are lovely served with tea and coffee. Dusted with cinnamon sugar, these sweet morsels are definitely in the cookie family!
Frequently Asked Questions
Cookies made with sourdough starter won't necessarily taste sour. As long as you're using active sourdough starter or sourdough discard that isn't too old, your cookies will just have a slight sourdough tang, rather than full on sourdough flavor.
If you use old, sour discard, this can overpower the flavor of your cookies and make them quite unpleasant.
Some recipe allow you to ferment the dough. This will give you more of a sourdough tang, but shouldn't be overwhelming.
Cookies will spread if the fat content in your cookies melts too fast in the oven. The way to avoid this is to make sure your cookie dough is cold when it hits the oven. This stops the dough from melting as soon as it hits the heat. This is really important when making sourdough chocolate chip cookies.
Adding sourdough discard to cookies won't necessarily make them soft. It will add moisture which needs to be balanced out by other ingredients, particularly if you want those crispy edges. Ingredients like corn starch can be added to cookies for a softer, chewier flavor.
In some instances, adding sourdough starter to cookie dough will help to keep the cookies fresher for longer. This is more true for cookies with a softer texture like snickerdoodles and soft & chewy chocolate chip cookies.