Sourdough lemon cake

Sourdough lemon cake

Looking for a sweet breakfast recipe? try this super soft sourdough lemon cake.

People think sourdough can be used only when baking bread but I bet this sourdough lemon cake will change their mind. Super easy to make, this cake batter is ready in 5minutes, and you can make it the night before and bake it in the morning.

Sourdough for cakes: pros and cons

Sourdough is another type of leavening agent in fact you can use it not only to make bread and pizza but it’s perfect for making cakes too. Making cakes using sourdough will provide a more nutritious cake, that will also contain probiotics and prebiotics. Surprisingly the effect of the yeast and lactic acid bacteria responsible for the fermentation, remains even after the cooking process.  Studies* have shown that what remains of those bacteria after cooking has the same benefits of the live bacteria.

Another advantage of baking with sourdough is that  this process breaks down a large part of the gluten. This means that the cake is more digestible than a regular one made with a chemical leavening agent. Basically all the benefits of sourdough baking are applied to cake as well as bread and pizza.

The only downside I can find in baking cakes with sourdough is the time you need to allow the cake to rise. If you want a quick fix this is not the recipe you want to use. However, you can mix the ingredients the night before and cook the cake as soon as you wake up and have it ready in 40min.

Sourdough lemon cake


Sourdough lemon cake variations and ingredients

As always, the ingredients are key for getting a good result. I always use a semi refined flour, that comes from an ancient variety of grain. This gives the cake a beautiful scent and taste, as well as a great fiber content.

If you are like me, and do not like overly sugary cakes, this recipe is prefect. I use half beet sugar and half maple syrup ( the extra dark one).

When baking a cake using butter I always recommend to choose the best butter you can get your hand on. Pasture raised butter is the best for sure. If you cannot use a good quality butter I would swap it for coconut oil instead of vegetable oil.

Do not have lemons? Use oranges or vanilla, or pure almond extra. This is actually more a basic cake batter that you can enrich with your favorite ingredients. Try fresh berries, peaches, apricots, or apples. You can mix in raisins, nuts chocolate chips.

Ingrediens for a 8x8in baking tray

50gr of butter or coconut oil
60ml of extra dark maple syrup (the lighter one will do too)
300gr of semi refined flour (you can also use gluten free flour)
2 eggs
120ml of milk of your choice
100gr of vital sourdough or even the discard of your feed
1 tablespoon of lemon zest
For the glaze: 30gr of powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice

How to prepare a sourdough cake

Step 1
In a large bowl mix the butter, maple syrup and sugar. If you are using a kitchen machine, use the paddle attachment.

Step 2
Add the eggs and milk to the bowl and mix well. Add the sourdough and mix it in.

Step 3
Add the flour and lemon zest to the batter and mix until well combined. Grease the tray and dust it with flour or line it with parchment paper to avoid the cake from sticking. Pour the batter into the baking tray, level it with a spoon or an offset spatula and cover it with plastic wrap. Let it sit on the counter overnight or until doubled in size.

Step 4
Pre-heat the oven to 170°C / 375°F. Remove the plastic wrap and cook the cake for 40/45min. Check the cake after 40min. If a skewer comes out cleat, the cake it’s done.
The cooking time can vary depending on the oven.
Remove the cake from the oven. Let it sit on a wire rack to cool. Prepare the glaze by mixing the lemon and the sugar. Add the lemon a bit at a time to make sure the glaze won’t be too thin.

This cake keeps for days if covered with plastic wrap or you can freeze it cut into small portions.


B.J. Varian et al, “Microbial Lysate Upregulates Host Oxytocin” – Brain Behaviour and Immunity 61 (2017):36-49

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