whole food ~ well made

Sourdough Chocolate Banana Bundt Cake

With sourdough bread baking, there’s always discard, so here’s a triple chocolate banana bundt cake that’s like a reward for all your efforts. And your excess doesn’t have to go to waste.

One of the hard realities of sourdough baking is that there’s waste. It’s just fact of life that every natural system. So, too, in a healthy sourdough culture.

No matter how often you bake bread, there will be sourdough discard. Filled with dead yeast and acidic bacteria, this excess sourdough starter not a good medium for rising bread.

But there are many other uses for it. Here’s one idea inspired by a wonderful cookbook by Sarah Owens simply called Sourdough.

Sourdough Chocolate Cake

While I’m not a huge desserts person, I adore home-baked goods of all kinds (especially pie!) And I typically go for the full-on everything: butter, sugar, heavy cream–you know, real ingredients that are good for special treats.

My motto: if you want the ice cream, have the best ice cream and savor every bite.

But this cake was different.

For my daughter Molly’s last basketball game of the season, I wanted to bake something for the team that was celebratory without being sugar laden. Not that I fool myself into thinking that cake is “healthy.” It just doesn’t have to be an all-out indulgence every time.

This cake came together the way a lot of my cooking and baking does: some brown bananas needing to be used up.

Rotting bananas as cake inspiration. Yup, that’s how I operate, foraging for everything that needs to be used.

And, of course, the ever-present extra sourdough starter, called “discard.” Every time I need to “rev up” my sourdough starter to bake well-risen bread, there’s discard.

I hate to pour it out. So, I try to use it as often as I can. One of my favorite ways is to make these sourdough waffles.

On this occasion, I put the sourdough discard to use for this cake. It can be either recently refreshed, “fed” or “unfed” since you’re not depending on it for the cake’s rising.

Mixed in one bowl, the cake is rich and moist and extra-chocolately.

I also slipped in my favorite baking hack of whole wheat pastry flour. And it’s lightly sweetened with honey.

You end up with a feel-good, quick-bread style of chocolate cake baked into a bundt pan. It will serve a crowd or stay moist for several days.

Consider it your reward for keeping your sourdough healthy. Or, make it for any celebration when you want something that’s not too sweet but still says “party time.”

Serve it as is, with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar or this dark chocolate frosting.


and become a forager

What’s your favorite way to use sourdough discard? Let me know in the comments below or tag a photo #lynnesforage on Instagram or Facebook.
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5 from 1 vote

Chocolate Sourdough Banana Bundt Cake

This is a feel-good, quick-bread style of chocolate cake made with whole wheat pastry flour, bananas, honey and sourdough. It was inspired by a banana bundt cake in the new book Sourdough by Sarah Owens. Make it for sports events, brunch or other celebrations when you want something that's not too sweet but still says "party time." Serve it as is, with a dusting of confectioner's sugar or this dark chocolate frosting.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword sourdough
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 people
Calories 441kcal
Author Lynne Curry


  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder unsweetened
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted or coconut oil, melted
  • 3/4 cup honey or agave
  • 1 3/4 cup sourdough starter unfed
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 large eggs, beaten free-range or pastured
  • 3/4 cup milk or nut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mini-chocolate chips optional

For the dark chocolate frosting:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips or milk chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • pinch sea salt


  • Grease and flour a bundt pan and set it aside. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F with the rack in the middle position.
  • Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl until well blended.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, combine the butter and honey, then add the sourdough, banana, eggs, milk and vanilla until very well blended.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir just until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan. Bake, rotating halfway through, until a tester comes out clean, 35-40 minutes.
  • Cool the cake on a rack for 15 minutes. Invert and lift off the pan, tapping on the bottom to release the cake. Invert the cake and cool completely before transferring to a serving plate.
  • To make the frosting, heat the cream in a saucepan or microwave until steaming. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips and butter in a small bowl. Let sit undisturbed until both are melted. Stir gently to combine into a smooth frosting.
  • Pour the warm frosting over the cooled cake and let it drip down the sides or use an off-set spatula to swirl it.


The sourdough for this cake is a thin mixture of equal parts flour and water by volume that does not need to be fed. In other words, this is what you make when you are feeding your sourdough and don’t want to throw out the excess.


Calories: 441kcal


  1. Pam

    Hi Lynne, What a great new look! The website is beautiful–vibrant and very user friendly. You have so many skills and talents–way to showcase them!
    And that cake… .WOW!
    Looking forward to what’s ahead on FORAGE.

    1. Hi Pam. It’s always scaring putting something new out there, so I’m really happy to hear that you like it. User friendliness is really important to me, too! I’m so glad you’re going to be sticking around! Heartfelt thanks.

  2. I like that you garden. I wish I could, but I don’t have the touch! This cake looks so delicious!! I love chocolate! I’ll be trying this soon!

    1. Yeah, gardening is not as universal as chocolate. I’m happy to hear this chocolate cake appeals, Elaine. Hope you let me know when you try it! Happy Valentines Day.

  3. I like the look of your site, so clean, and bright, and functional. I also like your way of living, which reflects ours in so many ways. I practice yoga, too, and we only shop at Farmers Markets or from the organic isles of a grocery store. Plus, our parents have gardens and plenty of pesticide-free summer vegetables. This cake is fantastic, both the look and the ingredients.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Nicoletta! Hope you come back often.

  4. 5 stars
    That cake looks delicious! Congrats on your blog’s new makeover.

    1. Thanks, Jessica!

  5. What a decadent looking cake! Can’t wait to give it a try!

    1. Thanks, Claire.

  6. Dorthell

    Made this today! Very moist, very easy to make. The texture is perfect. I will definitely make again with a little more honey or a little less cocoa powder as it leans to a more bitter chocolate. I used milk chocolate chips in my frosting and did put in the mini milk chocolate chips as well on the cake. A great recipe to use up my sourdough discard and it was done at the 35 min.mark.

    1. Great notes, Dorthell! Thank you for sharing your baking experience. I’ve got some bananas that may need to become this cake.

  7. Next time I bake this, I will.

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