The Best Easy Sourdough Discard Cookies Recipes
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The Best Easy Sourdough Discard Cookies Recipes

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If you’re anything like me and you bake sourdough, you’ve probably found yourself with an abundance of sourdough discard and a desire to minimize food waste. Well, get ready to indulge your sweet tooth because today, I’m sharing with you the ultimate sourdough discard cookies recipes. Whether you want chewy chocolate chip cookies, sourdough oatmeal cookies, or even breakfast cookies, this easy sourdough discard cookies recipe is for you.  This base recipe is not only unbelievably delicious but is also incredibly easy to whip up, making it perfect for both seasoned bakers and novices alike. 

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What is Sourdough Discard?

Sourdough discard is the portion of sourdough starter that is removed and discarded during the feeding process. It’s the portion of starter that’s typically discarded to keep the starter at a manageable size. While many may see it as waste, it’s actually a treasure trove of flavor and nutrition waiting to be utilized.  That’s why I never throw away my sourdough starter discard. 

Sourdough Starter in a mason jar

One of the key health benefits of sourdough discard lies in its fermentation process. During fermentation, beneficial bacteria and yeast work their magic, breaking down complex carbohydrates and making nutrients more accessible. This process can enhance digestibility and nutrient absorption, making sourdough discard a potentially healthier option compared to other types of flour-based products.  Additionally, sourdough starter has a number of prebiotic and probiotic like qualities, which can improve digestion and overall gut health. (Source)  The fermentation process for sourdough starter is what gives it that distinctive sourdough flavor commonly associated with sourdough bread.

Sourdough Discard is Good for More Than Bread

When most people think sourdough, they think bread.  When you’re new to making sourdough, it’s very easy to assume that sourdough starter is just for bread.  But, it’s not!  Through experimentation, I’ve learned that you can use sourdough – active starter or discard – in place of many commonly used wet ingredients when baking.  I’ve personally used my sourdough discard in place of oil or butter when baking.  I’m all about using healthy fats like home churned raw milk butter or olive oil in baking.  But, I don’t always have enough for a recipe when I bake.  So, I started experimenting with making sourdough discard recipes.  

The best easy sourdough discard cookie recipes

Sourdough Cookies

One of my absolute favorite ways to use sourdough discard is to make sourdough cookies.  I love a good cookie.  Adding sourdough discard or active sourdough starter is a great way to add some gut healthy bacteria to a delicious treat.  Using sourdough discard in cookies gives the final product a distinct chewy texture and a slight sourdough tang.  

half gallon mason jar with sourdough discard

Delicious Sourdough Cookie Recipes 

The thing I like best about this recipe is that it is a wonderful base recipe to use for making your perfect cookie.  You can easily take this recipe and adapt it to meet your desire for the ideal cookie.  Whether you want healthy sourdough breakfast cookies, chewy sourdough chocolate chip cookies, protein rich sourdough peanut butter cookies, or anything in between, this recipe has you covered!

Sourdough Discard Cookies Recipes – Base Recipe Ingredients

This base recipe makes a delicious cookie but is designed to be customized using the suggested Variation Ingredients below.  I do not recommend making sourdough discard cookies without adding in one or a combination of the suggestions in the section below.

Base Recipe Dry Ingredients: 

All Purpose Flour

Sugar OR Sugar + Erythritol*** – I recommend using turbinado raw cane sugar, but white sugar is also fine

Oats – use quick oats for a less distinctive texture, or rolled oats for a heartier, more filling option

Baking Powder

Baking Soda

Sea Salt

***You can substitute up to 50% of your sugar with erythritol for a healthy lower carb option

Base Recipe Wet Ingredients:

Sourdough Discard (using active starter is also ok!)

Molasses

Vanilla Extract 

Eggs***

***for a vegan friendly recipe, substitute each egg with 2 tsp water + 2 tsp baking powder + 2 TBSP oil.

Variation Ingredients

This is where the real beauty of this sourdough discard cookies recipes happens.  You can change up the kind of sourdough discard cookie you make by adjusting the final ingredients you add in! Most of these variations can easily be dairy free by omitting chocolate chips or by using dairy free chocolate.

Sourdough chocolate chip cookies:  add 2-3 cups of chocolate chips or white chocolate chips.

Rich, double chocolate sourdough cookies: Reduce sourdough discard by about 1/2 cup and replace with 1/2 cup room temperature unsalted butter, add 2-3 TBSP cocoa powder and 2-3 cups chocolate chunks or dark chocolate chips.

Sourdough breakfast cookies: Reduce the sugar by about 1/2 cup and add dried fruit, add 1/2 cup additional rolled or old-fashioned oats, 1/2-1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, and a sprinkling of mini milk chocolate chips.

Peanut or nut butter sourdough cookies: Replace up to 1/2 cup sourdough discard with up to 1/2 cup peanut or other nut butter. Add crushed peanuts or nuts. Add chocolate chips for an extra rich treat!

Almond chocolate chip sourdough cookies:  Add 4-8 grams almond extract, 1/2-1 cup slivered almonds, and 1-2 cups chocolate chips.

Oatmeal raisin sourdough cookies: Replace up to 1 cup flour with rolled oats, add 1-2 cups raisins, and 2-3 tsp cinnamon. This is a great dairy free option.

White chocolate cranberry sourdough cookies: Add 1-2 cups each white chocolate chips and dried cranberries.

Tools You May Need

Food Scale – this is a must for this recipe.

Cookie Scoop

Parchment Paper

Cookie Sheet

Stand Mixer***

Cooling Rack

*** I strongly recommend using a high-power stand mixer for this recipe as sourdough cookie dough tends to be thick and sticky.

How to Make These Sourdough Discard Cookies Recipes

Regardless of which variation you choose, the process will be the same.  I love these cookies so much, I always double the recipe. Preheat oven to 375* F.

Mix Wet Ingredients with sugar

First, place your stand mixer bowl or large mixing bowl on your food scale and add:

220 g sourdough discard – active sourdough starter is fine, too, if you have that on hand.

250 g turbinado sugar

7 g molasses – if you don’t have molasses, I recommend replacing sugar with brown sugar.

4 eggs (OR 8 tsp water + 8 tsp baking power + 8 TBSP olive oil for vegan-friendly option)

4-8 g vanilla extract***

***If using almond extract, butter, cocoa powder or peanut/nut butter, go ahead and add it/them to the mixing bowl.

Next, thoroughly mix sugar with your wet ingredients.  I love my Bosch Stand Mixer and use the cake paddle attachment for this part of the recipe.  If you’re using a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, I recommend using the paddle attachment.  

Add Dry Ingredients

Once sugar and wet ingredients are well mixed, it’s time to add your dry ingredients to the bowl.  Then, place your mixing bowl back on the food scale and add:

578 g all purpose flour

152 g oats – either quick or old fashioned

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp sea salt

Mix well using stand mixer.  I like to switch to my dough hook attachment for this part because the dough will start to get thick and sticky.  If using a Kitchen Aid Mixer, you can probably use your paddle attachment, but you may need to change to the dough hook.

If your dough is still a bit thin or runny at this point, let your dough rest for a little bit – 10-12 minutes should be more than adequate.  The dough will thicken up some as it sits.  

Add Variation Ingredients

Finally, once your dry ingredients are well mixed, it’s time to add your final variation ingredients.  Add chocolate chips, dried fruit, or whatever additional ingredients you’ve chosen and mix until just incorporated.  

The Best Sourdough Discard Cookies - with dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and white chocolate

After your final variation ingredients have been added, use cookie scoop to place cookie dough balls about 2-3 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheet.  I usually crumple my parchment paper before placing it on the baking sheet because it’s easier to work with.  

Bake for 12-16 minutes*** or until golden-brown.  Once cookies have finished baking, let cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.  Enjoy!

***In my experience, sourdough cookies tend to take longer to bake than cookies without sourdough discard/starter.  This is normal.  Some variations may take as long as 18-22 minutes.  A lot of this will depend on your oven.  Just keep an eye on them after 12 minutes.  Once they’re a light golden brown, they’re done!

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think in the comments below! I’d love to know what variation you use! Happy Baking!

The Best Easy Sourdough Discard Cookies Recipes

The Best Sourdough Discard Cookies Recipe

With many versatile customization options, this super easy sourdough discard cookies recipe is the perfect base for making a delicious, probiotic rich treat! This recipe doubles or even triples well!
2 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 50 cookies

Equipment

  • Food Scale
  • Stand Mixer
  • Baking Sheets
  • Cooling Racks

Ingredients
  

  • 220 grams Sourdough Discard
  • 250 grams Turbinado Sugar (or 125g turbinado sugar + 125g erythritol)
  • 7 grams Molasses
  • 4 Eggs (or 8 tsp water + 8 tsp baking powder + 8 TBSP olive oil for vegan friendly option)
  • 4-8 grams Vanilla Extract
  • 578 grams All Purpose Flour
  • 152 grams Oats quick or old fashioned
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place your stand mixer bowl or large mixing bowl on your food scale and add: sourdough discard, turbinado sugar (and erythritol, if using), molasses, eggs, and vanilla extract.
  • Use cake paddle or paddle attachment to mix well.
  • Add flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt to wet ingredients in mixer bowl.
  • Switch to dough hook, if necessary. Mix well.
  • If dough is a bit runny, let sit for up to 10-12 minutes before adding additional ingredients (SEE NOTES BELOW)
  • Finally, add one or a combination of the variation ingredients below. Mix until just incorporated.
  • Use cookie scoop to place cookie dough balls 2-3 inches apart onto parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake at 375* for 12-16 minutes or until a light golden brown. Times may vary a bit depending on the variation ingredients you use.

Notes

Variation Options:

This recipe is intended to be used with one or a combination of the following variations.
Sourdough chocolate chip cookies:  add 2-3 cups of chocolate chips or white chocolate chips.
Rich, double chocolate sourdough cookies: Reduce sourdough discard by about 1/2 cup and replace with 1/2 cup room temperature unsalted butter, add 2-3 TBSP cocoa powder and 2-3 cups chocolate chunks or dark chocolate chips.
Sourdough breakfast cookies: Reduce the sugar by about 1/2 cup and add dried fruit, add 1/2 cup additional rolled or old-fashioned oats, 1/2-1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, and a sprinkling of mini milk chocolate chips.
Peanut or nut butter sourdough cookies: Replace up to 1/2 cup sourdough discard with up to 1/2 cup peanut or other nut butter. Add crushed peanuts or nuts. Add chocolate chips for an extra rich treat!
Almond chocolate chip sourdough cookies:  Add 4-8 grams almond extract, 1/2-1 cup slivered almonds, and 1-2 cups chocolate chips.
Oatmeal raisin sourdough cookies: Replace up to 1 cup flour with rolled oats, add 1-2 cups raisins, and 2-3 tsp cinnamon. This is a great dairy free option.
White chocolate cranberry sourdough cookies: Add 1-2 cups each white chocolate chips and dried cranberries.
Keyword Clean Eating, Cookies, Easy Recipe, sourdough, Sourdough Discard, Vegan Friendly

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2 Comments

  1. 2 stars
    We tried so hard to like these cookies. My kids can’t even finish one! They are anything but chewy. Thick, cakey, not moist. I’m certain I didn’t miss anything and I just did the chocolate chip variation. Some sort of oil or something may help?

    1. Shanae – Thank you so much for your honest feedback! I’m sorry they weren’t a winner for your family. These cookies are definitely thicker than non-sourdough cookies. In my experience, using sourdough starter in cookies does change the texture as compared to traditional non-sourdough cookies. It’s something my family and those we’ve shared them with have enjoyed. If you choose to try this recipe again, I’d suggest cutting the amount of sourdough starter in half, or even up to 2/3 and replacing it with an equal weight in grams of room temperature butter to see if that meets your texture preferences. Again, I so appreciate your feedback!

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