Sourdough brownies are perfect for using up sourdough discard! They are fudgy, super chocolatey, and have gorgeous crackly tops. Only 10 ingredients and 12 minutes to prep! Recipe includes a how-to video.
Sourdough Discard Brownies
Decadently rich and fudgy with glossy, shiny, and oh-so-slightly-crackly surfaces, these sourdough brownies are my new favorite brownies. I know we have some tough contenders including my reigning champion brownies from scratch or my nutella brownies, but these take the cake (brownie?).
Of course the fact that they are fudgy and SUPER chocolatey helps, but the complexity from the sourdough adds such… interesting and wonderful flavor undertones. It’s a subtle taste–not at all sour–but you’ll pick up on it, and it’s divine! It’s also a wonderful way to use up excess sourdough starter you’d otherwise toss, so win-win.
This recipe is incredibly simple. It uses only 10 ingredients and takes less than 15 minutes to prepare before baking. Unlike my small batch brownies, you will need two bowls here, but it’s worth the extra dish. We’ll use that second bowl to whip the eggs and sugar together to get those nice, shiny brownie tops 😍.
Why try my recipe:
- Flavorful: using 3 types of chocolate, a healthy splash of vanilla, and sourdough means these brownies have incredible flavor.
- Fast: ready in less than 45 minutes!
- Reduces food waste: repurposes that discard instead of tossing it.
What You Need
Look at that, only 10 ingredients (9 if you leave out chocolate chips — don’t do that though). I told you this recipe was simple! Here are a few worth noting before we start:
- Chocolate bar. You can use either a semisweet chocolate or 60% cacao chocolate bar in this recipe. We’ll chop this up and melt it with the butter to get it nice and warm for our cocoa powder (this will help bloom the cocoa and intensify its flavor!). Chocolate chips would work instead in a pinch, but I prefer the results with a baking bar here.
- Cocoa powder. I like using Dutch process cocoa in this recipe, but natural will work too. Remember, you can’t always substitute natural cocoa for Dutch process, but in this recipe it is safe to do.
- Sourdough discard. Have some discard leftover from feeding from your sourdough starter? Perfect! My recipe makes use of the discard instead of just discarding it.
- Eggs. It’s best if your eggs are at room temperature; this will allow them to incorporate more easily and help you create those crackly brownie tops. If you forget to set yours out ahead of time, you can use my trick for bringing eggs to room temperature quickly.
- Chocolate chips. You can always make your sourdough brownies without chocolate chips, but I don’t see the harm in adding just a little more chocolate 😉
SAM’S TIP: Vigorously whisking the eggs and sugar creates those shiny, crackly, meringue-esque tops that everyone dreams about (or is that just me?!). It also helps give the brownies a bit of lift and keeps them from being too dense.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Sourdough Brownies
- Melt together the chopped chocolate and butter in 25-second intervals in the microwave. Anytime you’re melting chocolate, you don’t want to heat it for too long at once or it could seize, meaning you need to start over.
- Immediately stir in the cocoa powder until well incorporated. Adding the cocoa powder to the warm chocolate and butter helps bloom it, developing the chocolate flavor.
- Add the eggs and sugar to a separate bowl and whisk vigorously for about 2-3 minutes, until lightened and increased in volume.
- Add the sourdough discard and vanilla to the egg mixture and stir until mixed in.
No Mixer? No problem. Just use a whisk to vigorously whisk the eggs and sugar together by hand until well combined. Even if you don’t mix as much as I do, you’ll still have wonderful, tasty sourdough brownies.
- Drizzle in the chocolate mixture and stir well. I usually use a spatula for this step and don’t use my electric mixer anymore.
- Stir in the flour and salt until the batter is cohesive and smooth.
- Fold in the chocolate chips, if you decide to use them.
- Spread the batter into a parchment lined pan and bake for 30 minutes at 350F. Let cool completely before cutting.
SAM’S TIP: When checking your sourdough brownies for doneness with a toothpick, make sure you don’t accidentally hit a chocolate chip. If you do, the toothpick will come out chocolatey and can be mistaken for wet/raw batter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! These sourdough brownies will still be tasty without the chocolate chips. Simply leave them out; no other changes needed.
LOTS of things! So far I’ve shared recipes for sourdough discard crackers, pancakes, and chocolate chip cookies (my new favorite cookies!). I’m still coming up with more recipes, so if there’s something specific you’d like to see, let me know in the comments!
You could, but I find that Dutch process cocoa is best for this recipe. It provides the most chocolatey flavor and adds a depth that pairs nicely with the sourdough.
I’ve got another sourdough discard recipe coming soon…can you guess what it is? Hint: you’ll need some very ripe bananas to make it 🙃
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
- 10 Tablespoons (141 g) unsalted butter
- 4 oz (113 g) 60% or semisweet chocolate bar chopped into small pieces
- ½ cup (50 g) Dutch process cocoa powder
- 1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- ½ cup (110 g) sourdough discard
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup (83 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (130 g) semisweet chocolate chips optional
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) and arrange a rack to the center of the oven. Line a 9×9” square baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Combine butter and chopped chocolate in a large microwave-safe mixing bowl and heat in the microwave in 25-second intervals, stirring well in between, until butter and chocolate are melted and mixture is smooth (alternatively you may melt on the stovetop over a double boiler).10 Tablespoons (141 g) unsalted butter, 4 oz (113 g) 60% or semisweet chocolate bar
- Immediately add cocoa powder and stir well.½ cup (50 g) Dutch process cocoa powder
- In a separate bowl, combine sugar and eggs. Use a whisk to beat vigorously for about 2-3 minutes (or use an electric mixer on high speed for 1 minute).1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar, 2 large eggs
- Add sourdough discard and vanilla extract and stir well.½ cup (110 g) sourdough discard, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Drizzle melted chocolate mixture into egg mixture and stir until well-combined.
- Add flour and salt and stir until completely combined and batter is uniform.⅔ cup (83 g) all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon salt
- Stir in chocolate chips, if using.¾ cup (130 g) semisweet chocolate chips
- Spread evenly into prepared baking sheet and bake in center rack of oven for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist fudgy crumbs (or clean).
- Allow brownies to cool in pan before cutting and serving.
Cocoa powderMay substitute natural cocoa powder, but Dutch process works best with this recipe for best flavor.
StoringStore in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.