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Sourdough gingerbread

Best Sourdough Gingerbread Cake

  • Author: Emilie Raffa
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: (1) 9x13 inch cake
  • Category: Sourdough Discard Recipes
  • Method: Oven-Baked
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


A simple, step-by-step recipe for THE BEST moist and fluffy sourdough gingerbread cake made with sourdough discard. It’s so soft it will melt in your mouth! My secret ingredients include toasty brown butter, vanilla extract and luscious sour cream. Recipe adapted (with changes) from: Nigella Lawson.


Flour Mixture:

Sour Cream Mixture:

Molasses Mixture:

Whipped Cream & Berries To Serve (optional)

  • (240g) 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. powdered sugar
  • Raspberries

A Few Notes, Tips & Substitutions:

  • Nigella uses Guinness in her original gingerbread recipe. It’s good. But so is water if you don’t have beer. 
  • Nigella uses golden syrup (instead of molasses). If you’d like to do this, it’s an even swap. The flavor is not as rich and spicy; it’s more sweet and buttery. I LOVE doing a 50/50 blend of golden syrup and molasses. 
  • If you are not a sourdough baker, or you do not have sourdough starter on hand to make this recipe, just leave it out. The batter is very, very forgiving without having to make additional adjustments.
  • For gluten free, first you’ll need a GF sourdough starter (or exclude it altogether). Use King Arthur Measure For Measure GF Flour. It’s a 1:1 substitute.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F/ 180 C. Line a  9×13 inch/ 23×33 cm baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt together; set aside.
  3. Whisk the sour cream, eggs and sourdough discard together; set aside.
  4. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Continue to cook, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula, until it turns light golden brown (not dark brown). Remove pan from the heat.
  5. To the pan of melted butter (off heat): add the molasses, brown sugar, water, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and vanilla extract. Whisk to dissolve the sugar. The texture will be runny.
  6. Add the flour mixture to the pan. Whisk to combine. It will be lumpy at first; this is OK. 
  7. Add the sour cream mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Whisk to combine.
  8. Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan.
  9. Bake on the center rack for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick (or dry spaghetti strand) comes out clean when inserted.
  10. Remove from the oven. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling (just lift it out of the pan using the parchment paper overhang as handles). 
  11. To serve, dust with powered sugar and cut into squares. Alternatively, serve with whipped cream and raspberries.

For The Whipped Cream: Pour the heavy cream into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add the powdered sugar. Run the machine on medium-high until soft peaks form.

Gingerbread Storage Notes: Cover cake (in pan) with foil and store at room temperature, up to 3 days. Make sure the foil doesn’t touch the surface of the cake; it will stick to the top. Leftovers can be wrapped tightly and frozen. Reheat gently to serve.

Keywords: sourdough, sourdough discard, gingerbread, molasses, Nigella Lawson, dessert