How to Turn Sourdough “Discard” into delicious Chocolate Mug Cakes!

Recipes that tell us to waste food like “discard half of your sourdough starter” are a big thumbs down. I care about food waste not because it’s a hypothetical idea, but because I care about people (about you) and food budgets and feeding people.

We all waste food. Food waste happens. I get it. My family wastes food by mistake, but we are doing our best to minimize that. Wasting food by mistake is one thing, but opting to throw it away (i.e. sourdough discard) is another. Here’s to us saying “no” to throwing away sourdough starter! It’s food, and there are so many ways we can use it to nourish ourselves and/or our families. Plus, it’s a great excuse to make chocolate mug cakes 😉


  1. Keep your starter in the fridge when you’re not using it. It usually takes a few days and a few feedings to get it ready to bake with, so calculate when you’ll need it and use the fridge to slow down it’s growth when you don’t need it.
  2. Be mindful of how much you need for the recipe you are making and don’t let your starter get bigger than you need before using it.
  3. If and when you do get more starter than you need, you can freeze it until you need it.
  4. Find recipes that use the extra starter so you can use every bit of good food!
  5. Zero Waste Chef is one of my favorites who has 2 recipes I love: Discard Crackers + Sourdough Pancakes
  6. Scale up the recipe you’re making to use a bit more starter!
  7. Make these Chocolate Sourdough Mugcakes!

They’re not the sweetest “cake” and you can add and extra ounce of honey if you want them more sweet, or add 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips. We all love them like this, a sweet chocolate bread meets mug cake with a slightly sour edge we love.

Sourdough Discard Chocolate Mug Cakes

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Servings: 3


  • 1 ½ ounces Butter
  • 2 ounces Honey
  • 1 Egg
  • A splash Vanilla
  • 1 ounce cocoa powder
  • 4 ounces sourdough starter discard


  • Preheat oven to 350°/170°
  • Mix all ingredients together in the order that they are listed. (no baking powder needed)
  • Pour into 3 ramekins/mugs or 2 larger ones and bake for 20 minutes until risen and gooey. Enjoy!

Other post you might enjoy!

A Flexible Chocolate cake

Single serving chocolate cakes (not sourdough)

Sprouted Chickpea Chocolate Hummus 

Chickpea Chocolate Cake