Sourdough apple cake combines a light, buttery cake base with sweet apples and crunchy flaked almonds to create a delicious afternoon tea cake.
Sourdough starter is used as part of the flour in the cake base and gives a subtle hint of sourough flavor. You can use either fed, active starter or sourdough discard.
Using pantry staples, including canned apples, this sourdough apple cake is an easy one to pull together in a hurry for unexpected guests. While simple in its structure, it's sure to wow anyone who has a slice.
Can You Make A Cake with Sourdough Starter?
It might seem impossible to make a cake using sourdough starter - but it is totally doable. In its simplest form, sourdough starter is simply flour and water.
In general, a cake has some kind of flour and liquid, like water or milk in its ingredient listing.
Making a sourdough cake requires substituting some of the flour and liquid in the cake for sourdough starter. It can be a really simple swap, or a little more complicated, depending on the other ingredients in the cake.
Cakes generally use baking powder or baking soda for a leavening agent, so the sourdough starter is included purely for flavor - and is often a way to use the unfed sourdough starter or sourdough discard.
Sourdough starter will not always have an effect on the texture of the cake, but the flavor and texture of the final product will largely depend on the age of the sourdough starter, the sourness, as well as the hydration of the starter.
For something different, why not make this cake with an apple sourdough starter.
How To Make Sourdough Apple Cake
Sourdough apple cake is a delicious sweet treat that can easily be made with pantry staples and of course, sourdough starter.
It's very fast to mix and bake. You will need a stand mixer or electric beaters to cream the butter, sugar and eggs, but this is literally the most time consuming part.
Here's how to make this buttery Sourdough Apple Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
- Line a square cake tin with parchment paper.
- Beat the eggs, sugar and butter until they are whipped (they will be pale and creamy).
- Now add the other ingredients and beat until well combined and smooth.
- Layer the cake batter into the cake tin, smoothing it out so it covers the entire base.
- Layer drained apple slices over the cake.
- Sprinkle with brown sugar and flaked almonds.
- Bake in the oven until the cake is done and the sugar and almonds are toasted.
- Cool on a rack before serving.
What's The Difference Between Sourdough Starter and Sourdough Discard?
Sourdough starter and sourdough discard are the same thing. Confused?
Sourdough starter refers to the flour and water that's in your jar on the counter (or the fridge). The "discard" that you remove from the jar before feeding is still sourdough starter, it's just unfed.
In general, you use fed, active sourdough starter for a sourdough bread recipe. The discard is meant to be "discarded" however we've come up with a gazillion ways to use it up to reduce food waste (which is awesome by the way).
Now, because they are the same thing - you can use either in this recipe, fed, active starter or unfed discard. The thing to remember is that if you use discard that is really old and sour it will have an effect on the taste of the cake.
How To Have More Sourdough Starter
If you love making things with your sourdough starter, you might wonder if there's a way to always make sure you have a bit more in your jar.
For example, you might want to make this sourdough apple cake with fresh, bubbly starter - plus make a loaf of bread. To do this you might need 200g of starter (plus a bit to leave in the jar).
So let's say you have 50g in your jar but you want 200g. You'd need to feed it accordingly - so to 50g of starter, you'd feed 100g of flour and 100g of water. Then you'd have 200g to bake with and 50g left over to feed the next time you want to bake.
There's a much bigger explanation on this topic here.
Tips for Baking A Sourdough Apple Cake
While this sourdough cake is very easy to put together, there are few things you need to know to make sure your cake is a success.
- Canned apples give the most consistent result with this cake. They are easy to use and impart moisture into the cake. It's always easy to have a few cans on hand for cakes or pies.
- Be sure to whip the butter, eggs and sugar really well. This will give the cake a beautiful light texture.
- This recipe has been made using a square cake tin that is 8 x 8 x 2 inches or 20 x 20 x 5 cm like this one. Of course you can use a bigger or smaller tin, but it will change the way the cake is cooked.
- Make sure you line the cake tin with parchment paper (unless you are using a spring form tin). The baking paper allows you to easily lift the cake out onto the cooking rack once it's cooked.
- You could make this cake in a round spring form tin if you prefer.
Serving Sourdough Apple Cake
This delightful sourdough cake can be served in many ways.
Perfect as it is, you can also serve it warm with good quality vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
For something a little different, you could swap out the canned apple for canned peaches. A great way to change things just a little - but still with a delightful result.
If you love this recipe, you might enjoy these ideas:
- Sourdough Apple Cinnamon Muffins with crunchy almond sugar topping.
- Sourdough Discard Date Cake with Lemon Drizzle.
- Sourdough Raspberry Muffins with Orange & Coconut.
- Try these no wait sourdough recipes - there's one that you're sure to love!
Sourdough Apple Cake
- Mixing Bowl
- Electric Beaters or Stand Mixer
- Square Cake Tin (8 x 8 x 2 inches or 20 x 20 x 5 cm)
- 120 g Butter
- 150 g Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 100 g Sourdough Starter
- 150 g All Purpose Flour
- 30 g Milk Whole
- 6 g Baking Powder 1 tsp
- 5 g Vanilla Extract
- 200 g Apples Tinned or Canned
- 20 g Brown Sugar
- 50 g Almonds Flaked
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Line a square cake tin with parchment paper.
- Cream the butter, sugar and eggs together in a bowl (you could use a stand mixer or electric mixer for this). They will be light & fluffy and pale in color.
- Then add the sourdough starter, milk flour, baking powder and vanilla to the bowl and mix on medium speed for around 2 minutes until the cake batter is smooth and well combined. It's quite a thick cake batter.
- Smooth the cake batter into the base of a lined cake tin.
- Then evenly spread the canned apples over the top of the cake (make sure you drain them before hand).
- Sprinkle the brown sugar and almonds over the top of the apples.
- Bake the cake at 180C/350F for around 30 minutes or until golden (if you insert a skewer into the cake it should come out clean).