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Sourdough Carrot Cake


sourdough carrot cake

This sourdough carrot cake recipe is my favorite variation of carrot cake. It is wonderfully moist and perfectly spiced. The sourdough starter gives a decadent texture and elevates this cake. While many traditional carrot cake recipes call for ad-ins like pineapple and raisins, I kept it simple with just shredded carrots. However, you can add in dried fruit or nuts and make this versatile cake your own. Topped with a homemade whipped cream cheese frosting, it makes this cake a perfect dessert for any holiday!

sourdough carrot cake slices

Sourdough Carrot Cake Tips

  • Make ahead if desired: This is a batter that can be mixed the evening before, refrigerated, and baked in the morning. Additionally, the cake itself can be baked and stored at room temperature to be frosted the following day. Create a schedule that best works for you!
  • Grate the carrots ahead of time: Grating the carrots is arguably the most laborious part of this recipe. My suggestion is to grate them the day before you plan to bake and store them in the fridge. The best results will come from using a box grater.
  • Modify sourdough carrot cake: Feel free to add in dried fruit or nuts to the batter. We keep it simple around here with just shredded carrots, but use the recipe as a base and add in what you like! The cake can also be topped with crushed nuts, decorative sprinkles, or keep it plain.
  • Sourdough discard: An active or unfed starter can be used. If using sourdough discard, I recommend using one that is less than 1 week old. Using an old sourdough discard will make the cake sour.
sourdough carrot cake

Ingredients for Sourdough Carrot Cake

Note: this recipe can be done by hand or with a stand mixer

  • 1/2 cup of sourdough discard (fed or unfed)
  • 1 cup of neutral oil (avocado or olive oil work nicely)
  • 1.5 cups of sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of flour (+1 tablespoon for the carrots)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 2 cups of grated carrots (about 1lb)
  • Optional: chopped nuts, dried fruit, candied eggs for topping
For the frosting:
  • 8 oz of whipped cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of softened butter
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
Equipment needed:
  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Whisk/silicone spatula
  • Box grater
  • 1 9×13 cake pan

How to make sourdough carrot cake: step-by-step

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a cake pan with parchment paper.
  • Wash, peel, and grate the carrots and place them in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of flour, and toss to combine. This will ensure the carrots do not sink to the bottom of the cake.
  • In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the sourdough starter, oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract until combined.
making sourdough carrot cake
  • Next add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, & nutmeg and mix until combined.
  • Lastly, fold in the carrots and any additional fillings and pour the batter into the cake pan.
  • Bake the cake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake.
  • Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing to a cooling rack to completely cool.

Make the whipped cream cheese frosting

  • To a bowl add the softened butter and cream cheese, mix to combine.
  • Next, sift in the powdered sugar a cup at a time and mix until smooth and creamy. Note: if the mixture is too thick, add a teaspoon of milk at a time for desired consistency.
  • Frost the cake once it has completely cooled and decorate with desired toppings. Sifted cinnamon over top is a nice touch!
  • Sourdough carrot cake lasts 3-5 days in the refrigerator stored in an airtight container.
sourdough carrot cake
sourdough carrot cake slices

More sourdough recipes

sourdough carrot cake
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Sourdough Carrot Cake

Sourdough carrot cake is wonderfully moist and perfectly spiced. Topped with a whipped cream cheese frosting, it is a festive dessert that everyone will love.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: sourdough carrot cake
Servings: 16
Calories: 300kcal

Equipment

  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Whisk/silicone spatula
  • Box grater
  • 9×13 inch pan

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter fed or unfed (see notes)
  • 1 cup neutral oil olive oil or avocado oil work well
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour (+1 tablespoon for the carrots)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups grated carrots (about 1lb)
  • chopped nuts, dried fruit, candied eggs for topping optional

For the frosting

  • 8 oz whipped cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a cake pan with parchment paper.
  • Wash, peel, and grate the carrots. Place them in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of flour, and toss to combine. This will ensure the carrots do not sink to the bottom of the cake.
  • In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the sourdough starter, oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract until combined.
  • Next add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, & nutmeg and mix until combined.
  • Lastly, fold in the carrots and any additional fillings and pour the batter into the cake pan.
  • Bake the cake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the cake.
  • Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing to a cooling rack to completely cool.

Make the Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

  • To a bowl add the softened butter and cream cheese, mix to combine.
  • Next, sift in the powdered sugar a cup at a time and mix until smooth and creamy. Note: if the mixture is too thick, add a teaspoon of milk at a time for desired consistency.
  • Frost the cake once it has completely cooled and decorate with desired toppings. Sifted cinnamon over top is a nice touch!
  • Sourdough carrot cake lasts 3-5 days in the refrigerator stored in an airtight container.

Notes

Modify sourdough carrot cake: Feel free to add in dried fruit or nuts to the batter. We keep it simple around here with just shredded carrots, but use the recipe as a base and add in what you like! The cake can also be topped with crushed nuts, decorative sprinkles, or keep it plain.
Sourdough discard: An active or unfed starter can be used. If using sourdough discard, I recommend using one that is less than 1 week old. Using an old sourdough discard will make the cake sour.
This recipe can be done by hand or using a stand mixer.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 300kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Sodium: 150mg

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