Decadent Sourdough Chocolate Cake

Decadent Sourdough Chocolate Cake

Martha Levie, is the chief at Abigail’s Oven Sourdough Bakery and mother of ten. She and her husband Allen, bake thousand of loaves of sourdough bread weekly. In addition to this, they home-school their brilliant children.

Calling all chocoholics! Celebrate  #ChocolateCakeDay with this luscious sourdough chocolate cake, the secret recipe of  Abigail’s Oven's beloved February treats.  Martha Levie, the bakery's chief baker (and mom of ten!), shares her magic touch, using a sourdough starter to build a rich, decadent cake with a hidden health bonus.

Don't worry, your family won't suspect this cake is packed with bioavailable nutrients from whole wheat and cocoa,, thanks to the long fermentation process. Dark chocolate itself is a powerhouse of antioxidants and minerals, even offering potential health benefits like reducing heart disease risk and boosting brain function (as MedicalNewsToday tells us).

So ditch the guilt and indulge in this classic cake that satisfies your sweet tooth while nourishing your body. Let's bake a healthier (but still oh-so-delicious) chocolate celebration!

Sourdough Chocolate Cake 

Treat Your Taste Buds and Your Body (Serves 8-12). This cake is:

  • A chocolate lover's dream: Rich, moist, and bursting with cocoa flavor.
  • Secretly healthy: Whole wheat and cocoa offer bioavailable nutrients thanks to the long fermentation.
  • Easy to make: Just a few simple steps and a little overnight rest.

Gather your ingredients:

For the Cake:

  • 1 cup [226g] active Sourdough Starter (bubbly and alive!)
  • 1 cup [245g] water or milk (adjust if using honey by reducing the liquid by half)
  • ½ cup applesauce (adjust if using honey by reducing this by half)
  • 1 ½ cups sugar or 1 cup honey (298g sugar or 340 g honey)
  • 2 teaspoons [10g]vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup natural, organic cocoa powder (avoid Dutch-processed)
  • 2 cups [241g] all-purpose flour (or wheat flour, or a mix)
  • ¼ teaspoon [1.5g] salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons [3g] baking soda + 2 tablespoons [30g] water


  • ⅔ cup [60g] heavy cream
  • 1 cup [170g] chocolate chips
  • Optional chopped  walnuts or pecans



  1. Using an electric mixer or whisk, mix the sourdough starter, with milk or water until dissolved
  2. Mix in the apple sauce, sweetener and vanilla.
  3. Whisk together the flour, salt and cocoa in a separate bowl, then add to the wet ingredients and mix till smooth.
  4. Cover and rest at room temperature for 6 to 12 hours.

Let's bake!

  1. Start at sunrise (or the previous evening): Mix your sourdough starter with water or milk until smooth. Then, stir in the applesauce, sweetener, and vanilla.
  2. Whisk it up: In another bowl, mix the flour, salt, and cocoa. Add this dry mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until you have a smooth batter.
  3. Rest and Rise: Cover your batter and let sourdough do its thing at room temperature for 6-12 hours. It needs time to get all bubbly and magical.
  4. The Big Bake: Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C). While it warms up, whip your eggs in a bowl and dissolve the baking soda in water.
  5. Time to Get Fizzy: Once the oven is hot, fold the whipped eggs and the baking soda mixture into your batter. It might get a little bubbly—that's the acid in the starter meeting the baking soda, doing more magic!
  6. Pour and Bake: Choose your pan (Bundt, two 9-inch rounds, or a 9x13 rectangle) and fill it with your batter. Bake for 30-40 minutes, checking for doneness with a toothpick or gentle finger press.
  7. Chocolate Heaven (optional): While the cake cools, get your ganache going. Heat the cream in a saucepan until just hot, then add the chocolate chips and stir until melted. Let both cake and ganache cool for 20 minutes before getting drizzly.
  8. Share the Love: Decorate your cake with ganache, top with walnuts or pecans if you like, and share it with loved ones! (Don't forget to leave a comment below and tell us how amazing your sourdough cake turned out!)

Here are some additional tips:

  • Use good quality chocolate chips for the ganache – it makes a big difference!
  • If you don't have a Bundt pan, two round cake pans or a baking pan will work fine. Just adjust the baking time accordingly.
  • Get creative with toppings! Fresh berries, whipped cream, or a sprinkle of sea salt are all delicious options.

Enjoy this delicious and surprisingly healthy treat! And remember, baking with sourdough is just as rewarding as eating it.

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Is this really supposed to include no fat, apart from the egg yolks? I assume the applesauce is meant to replace at least part of the oil/butter, but even with extra moisture this turned out kinda dry (although I did use whole grain hard and soft white wheat flour) and not very chocolatey. I made extra frosting and coated the cake entirely, in part to make up for the dryness and also because frosting is the purpose of cake. I will probably make this again but I’ll be adding some oil and maybe more sugar to enhance the flavor and tenderness. Fat carries flavor, after all!


Terry, a big miss indeed, and fixed thanks to your observance! Thanks big time.

Darryl Alder

Where’s the ingredient list?


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