Sourdough Discard Lemon Loaf Cake

sourdough discard lemon loaf cake

This tender sourdough discard lemon loaf cake is a delightful way to put some extra sourdough starter to use, and does not require overnight resting (only an hour!). A luscious lemon sweet bread that retains only a subtle sourdough flavor, if any, and has a delicate crumb. The glaze isn’t required to make it worth your time, but adds a little to the luxury.

Makes 1 9″ loaf (about 10 slices)

  • 1/4 cup butter (half a stick), softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water or milk of choice
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter, fed the previous day

Optional glaze:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • juice of one lemon (if it’s a very large lemon, add a little less)

For the cake:

In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add one egg and mix until fluffy. Then add the second egg, along with the vanilla and lemon zest and mix for a few seconds. Add the oil and milk or water and mix until combined, starting on low speed to avoid splashing. Measure in the dry ingredients and starter and mix until batter looks uniform and there are no lumps, but not beyond that point.

Grease and flour a loaf pan, and use a spatula to scrape all the batter into the pan. Cover and refrigerate for for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C). Remove covering from loaf pan and place in the center of the middle rack. Bake for 50-60 minutes until a knife or skewer inserted into the middle comes out without any uncooked batter on it.

Tip loaf out of pan and place on a wire rack or wood cutting board to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing. If glazing, let sit until almost completely cool, and then replace in pan.

For the glaze:

In a small microwave safe bowl, melt the butter. Add the confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice and use a small whisk or a fork to stir until there are no lumps. Pour the glaze evenly along the center of the loaf and allow to sit until it sets (it will still be soft). Run a spatula along the edge of the pan and carefully remove the loaf.

Use a serrated knife to cut into slices about 1 inch thick and serve. Now enjoy your sourdough discard lemon loaf cake, and that extra space you’ve regained in your starter jar! The cake keeps well in an airtight container on the counter for a couple days.

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