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Sourdough Coffee Cake

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This sourdough coffee cake recipe is an easy way to use sourdough discard, and a great way to have breakfast! The subtle sourdough flavor cinnamon pecan crumble combine well in this tender and moist cake. Perfect for breakfast or an afternoon treat!
sourdough coffee cake on plate with fork and coffee cup behind
This cake is moist and tender, with great flavor! The sourdough adds just a tiny touch of flavor, so its not overpowering but adds just a little “something”. Its a winner!

Love Sourdough? Check out over 60 great sourdough recipes, including other fun dessert sourdough recipes:

three plates overhead with coffee cake and forks

Coffee cake is one of my favorite desserts. I mean, how can you not love a cake that you can eat for breakfast? And one that pairs so beautifully with a cup of coffee?

Using your sourdough starter in a coffee cake is lovely. The sourdough just adds a touch of sourdough tang that increases the depth and complexity of the flavor of the coffee cake.

two plates with coffee cake and forks on plates

How to bake sourdough coffee cake

This coffee cake is a quick and easy recipe that uses your sourdough discard. Below is a quick overview of how to make this recipe. For the full directions, please scroll down to the recipe card below.

Make the cinnamon pecan crumble.

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon until combined.
  2. Stir in the flour and chopped pecans.
  3. Set aside.
collage showing steps to make pecan crumble

Make the cinnamon filling.

  1. In another medium mixing bowl, stir together the brown sugar, flour, and ground cummins until combined.
  2. Set aside.
collage showing steps to make cinnamon filling for coffee cake

Make the cake batter.

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and combine well.
  3. Add in the sour cream, sourdough discard, and milk and whisk to combine.
  4. Mix in the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda and whisk to combine, but do not overmix.
collage showing steps to make sourdough coffee cake batter

Assemble the coffee cake.

  1. Pour half of the coffee cake batter into a prepared 9×9 cake.
  2. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar filling evenly over the cake batter in the pan.
  3. Gently dollop the remaining cake batter over the cinnamon filling. Use a spatula or offset knife to gently and evenly spread the cake batter over the filling.
  4. Sprinkle the pecan crumble over the top of the cake batter.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with minimal crumbs attached.
  6. Cool on a wire rack until room temperature.
collage to show how to assemble sourdough coffee cake

What kind of sourdough starter does this recipe need?

For this recipe, your starter needs to be at a 100% hydration sourdough starter. For more information, read Feeding Your Sourdough Starter.

The sourdough starter does not need to be fed and active, it can be discard.

  • If your starter has been sitting in the fridge for a week and has a lot of hooch (the liquid that the sourdough yeast produces as it consumes) on top, the cake will have a more pronounced sourdough tang. 
  • If your starter has been sitting on the counter and was fed yesterday, your cake will have a less pronounced sourdough flavor.
sourdough coffee cake on small grey plate with two slices in background

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overhead view of coffee cake with three plates on cake

Make sure you also check out 10 easy recipes that use sourdough discard for more ideas for how to use your sourdough starter in quick ways!

Yield: 12 servings

Sourdough Coffee Cake

sourdough coffee cake on small grey plate with two slices in background

This sourdough coffee cake recipe is an easy way to use sourdough discard, and a great way to have breakfast! The subtle sourdough flavor and cinnamon pecan crumble combine well in this tender and moist cake.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

Topping

  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Cinnamon Filling

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Sourdough Coffee Cake

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sourdough discard, 100% hydration (unfed)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Spray a 9" pan with baking spray and set aside.

Make the cinnamon pecan crumble.

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon until combined.
  2. Stir in the flour and chopped pecans.
  3. Set aside.

    Make the cinnamon filling.

    1. In another medium mixing bowl, stir together the brown sugar, flour, and ground cummins until combined.
    2. Set aside.

    Make the cake batter.

    1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
    2. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and combine well.
    3. Add in the sour cream, sourdough discard, and milk and whisk to combine.
    4. Mix in the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda and whisk to combine, but do not overmix.

    Assemble the coffee cake.

    1. Pour half of the coffee cake batter into a prepared 9×9 cake.
    2. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar filling evenly over the cake batter in the pan.
    3. Gently dollop the remaining cake batter over the cinnamon filling.
    4. Use a spatula or offset knife to gently and evenly spread the cake batter over the filling.
    5. Sprinkle the pecan crumble over the top of the cake batter.
    6. Bake in a preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with minimal crumbs attached.
    7. Cool on a wire rack until room temperature.

    Notes

    Keywords: breakfast dessert sourdough

    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    12

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 419Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 354mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 2gSugar: 29gProtein: 6g

    Nutrition information is an estimate and is provided for informational purposes only. For the most accurate information, please calculate using your specific brands and exact measurements.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram, and don't forget to tag #gingeredwhisk.

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    GK

    Monday 31st of August 2015

    I made this cake, and it turned out very well (though the blueberries did sink to the bottom)! I think the sourdough gives it a tender richness very much like a sour cream cake. Thank you for sharing!

    Rebecca

    Thursday 20th of August 2015

    Sorry about your bad day! Those happen to me too where I just need to stay home and not operate any heavy machinery. Sounds like you turned it into a nice day with the kids though. The cake sounds yummy! I love blueberries in coffee cake. I wonder if the streusel would hold better if you use cold butter and cut it into the dry ingredients?

    Kelster

    Thursday 20th of August 2015

    I had one of those days this week. I add oil to the egg whites that were waiting to be beaten. Cooked the egg yolk, water, oil and rum mixture instead of the mixture I had set aside for lunch. Spilled the next set of egg whites that I separated. Etc. Etc. Indeed, some days you just have to step away.

    Really love the look of your cake! Hope you get the better brown sugar soon. I've been battling with bad confectioner's sugar. Or maybe I'm just really bad at making a simple glaze. Maybe both.

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