Sourdough Chocolate Cake

Sourdough Chocolate Cake by

I was just informed of today being National Chocolate Cake Day, I mean, is that really a thing?  And if it is, why aren’t we all eating chocolate cake right this minute!?  Fortunately, I always have a chocolate cake on deck somewhere and today’s chocolate cake is not only super easy, it’s dairy free (except the frosting which you can omit or make without the dairy) plus it’s a cake you can make straight up, or with a cup of sourdough start which is what I did yielding truly amazing results.  My husband loved it because of the hint of sour and the ganache frosting made it less sweet than a buttercream topped cake, and for a from scratch cake the texture was so perfectly bouncy, moist and rich.  I will give you instructions to make it without the starter because I know that only pretty hard-core bakers maintain a sourdough start, but if you do take my notes on making it with your recently fed sourdough, it’s just so fun when you can use it for something other than bread or waffles.


1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup cocoa (dutch process if you have it)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon vinegar (cider or white)

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup cold water (you can use milk as well but water worked great for me)

If using sourdough start do 1 cup of starter and reduce water to 4 ounces and reduce flour to 1 cup and don’t add starter until the end, just combine well before pouring into your pan.


1 1/2 cups chocolate chips or chocolate chopped up

1/2 cup heavy cream (half and half works too)

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly grease an 8″ square or 9″ round cake pan that’s at least 2″ deep.
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.  Whisk the vanilla, vinegar, vegetable oil, and water in a separate bowl.  Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients, stirring until thoroughly combined.  (Add the sourdough now if using) Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake 30-35 until a toothpick in the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs.
  4. Once most the way cooled make the frosting.  Heat the chocolate and cream until the chips melt and stir until smooth.  I do this in a pyrex heating only 30-45 seconds at at time so I don’t burn the chocolate.  Once smooth pour/spread over the cake.  Let cool a good 10-15 minutes and serve.  Keeps well at room temperature for 3-4 days.

Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour’s Original Cake Pan Cake 


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