Don't throw out that extra sourdough discard! ½ cup and 15 minutes will get you the most delicious and easy Baked Sourdough Donuts! Top them with chocolate icing, roll them in powdered sugar, or cover them is spiced cinnamon sugar for an extra special treat!
I don't know about you, but I am constantly trying to find things to add my sourdough starter to. I have such a hard time throwing it out, since it produces the most delicious bread. The starter has so much potential and adds great texture and moistness to these donuts.
To be honest, I can live without the typical fried donut. The texture and taste is off putting to me. These are much more pleasant and flavorful, plus I control the ingredients.
Why You Should Make These Donuts
- Donuts are awesome! Obviously!
- They are easy to make! No need to wait for yeast to make the dough rise, no rolling out the dough, and no stamping out donut shapes to fry. These donuts are piped into a pan and baked in the oven.
- They are baked, not fried. You'll need a donut pan for this recipe, but you will be baking them. No need to worry about taking out the fryer or messing around with scorching hot oil.
- No equipment required! You'll mix the batter by hand so you don't have to break out the big stand mixer or your hand mixer that we can never find the beaters to. We've all been there!
- These donuts are more like a cake donut instead of the traditional fried donuts. The texture is moist and flavorful and similar to that of an old fashioned donut.
I've become obsessed with making donuts! Peanut Butter baked donuts or Lucky Charms baked donuts are some of my other favorites.
What is Sourdough Discard?
When you have a sourdough starter, you need to "feed" it before you bake with it. In doing this, you will get rid of a portion of your starter in order to feed the rest and get it bubbly and active to bake with. The portion that you are getting rid of is called the "discard". It's perfectly fine to add to baked goods, but it's not great to make a loaf of sourdough bread with as it doesn't contain the active bacteria to make the dough rise. Keep the extra sourdough discard in a container in your refrigerator to use in all sorts of baking. You can keep extra discard in a mason jar in your refrigerator for a few months. It will stay good just hanging out in the refrigerator.
These sourdough waffles are too good and a must try if you have any extra discard and want to make an extra special breakfast treat.
Ingredients You'll Need
- Sourdough discard- A half cup of the discard is enough to make these baked sourdough donuts.
- Baking powder and baking soda- Because we are using inactive discard, (meaning it has not been fed) it doesn't have the leavening power that you will need, so the baking powder and baking soda are going to do the heavy lifting in getting the donuts to rise.
- Vanilla- To flavor the donuts, I like to add vanilla. You can add cinnamon, nutmeg, even cocoa powder to make chocolate donuts.
- Whole Milk- Milk is the liquid in this recipe. It will moisten the donut batter and keeps the donuts from drying out.
- Coconut oil and eggs- These provide the fat in the donut to provide a nice, moist crumb. Butter can be a direct substitute for the coconut oil.
Step by Step Photos
How to Make the Toppings for the Donuts
- Powdered Sugar- A classic kids favorite, simply roll the donuts in powdered sugar when they are done baking. You will want to do this when the donuts are still a little warm so the powdered sugar will stick to the donut better.
- Cinnamon Sugar- Mix together ¼ cup of granulated sugar with 1 tablespoon of cinnamon. Roll the donut in the cinnamon sugar to coat the donut completely.
- Chocolate Glaze- In a small microwave safe bowl, microwave 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons of butter in 30 second increments, stirring after each increment. It should take about 2 minutes for the chocolate to melt. When the chocolate chips are completely melted, add ¼ cup of whole milk and stir until the milk is completely combined with the chocolate. It will look curdled at first but don't worry! Keep stirring, it will come back together. Allow that to sit for a few minutes to thicken up and then dip the donut into the glaze.
- Hot Tip!- If you find that the powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar is not sticking to the donuts as much as you would like, brush melted butter onto the donuts and then roll them again.
Do They Taste Like Sourdough?
They don't! Because these donuts don't have a long ferment like a loaf of sourdough bread would, they don't taste like sourdough at all. The sourdough discard adds tenderness to the donuts, but not to the taste.
I don't have Sourdough Discard, can I still make this recipe?
Sure! Sour Cream or Greek yogurt would be a great substitute for sourdough discard.
Can I make these dairy free?
If you don't have whole milk or are dairy free, any milk would work. Almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk would all be great substitutes. If you aren't worried about dairy but only have 2% milk on hand, use that too!
Frequently Asked Questions About Baked Sourdough Donuts
They will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days. If you want to make them ahead of time but not serve them right away, I would bake them off and place them in an airtight container. Then, when you are ready to serve them, coat them in powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, or the chocolate glaze.
Yes! They are great to freeze for up to 3 months in an airtight Ziploc bag. When you are ready serve them, add the toppings. Don't add the toppings before freezing them as the powdered sugar or the cinnamon sugar will get very wet and almost melt off the donut when you defrost them.
If you want to fill these donuts, I would pipe the dough into muffin tins. Bake as you would and then fill them with jelly when they are fully baked. Even if you don't want to fill them, a muffin tin would be a great substitute for the donut pans.
More Recipes You Might Enjoy:
Did you give these Baked Sourdough Donuts a try? I’d love to hear from you! Give me a shout on Instagram or Facebook and share this recipe on Pinterest! And don't forget to check out some other drool worthy recipes below! Thanks for sharing this journey with me and enjoy these delicious recipes!
- Death by Chocolate Zucchini Bread
- Lemon and Blueberry Zucchini Bread with Lemon Icing
- Nutella Zucchini Bread
- Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini
- Double Chocolate Oat Cookies
- Instant Pot Peach Jam
- Light and Crisp Sourdough Waffles
Baked Sourdough Donuts
- Donut Pan
- ¼ cup Coconut Oil
- ½ cup Sugar
- 2 Eggs Large
- 2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup Whole Milk
- ½ cup Sourdough Discard Inactive (unfed)
- 1 ½ cups All Purpose Flour
- 2 teaspoon Baking Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- Preheat the oven to 375°.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the oil and sugar until completely combined.
- Add the eggs and vanilla to the bowl and mix well.
- Add the sourdough discard and whole milk to the bowl. Mix again until everything is well combined.
- Add the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda to the bowl and mix gently until everything until combined. Do not overmix. It's ok if there are a few lumps left in the batter.
- Brush the donut pan with melted butter and pipe the batter into the donut pans. Butter the pans well as this batter will easily stick to the pans.
- Bake for 12 minutes until the donuts are slightly browned. Cool them on a wire rack.
- Top with your favorite toppings when the donuts are cool enough to handle.
- Roll the donuts in powdered sugar for the classic powdered donut.
- Mix ¼ cup of sugar with 1 tablespoon of cinnamon. Roll the donuts in the cinnamon sugar mixture.
- To make a chocolate glaze, in a small microwave safe bowl, microwave 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons of butter in 30 second increments, stirring after each increment. It should take about 2 minutes for the chocolate to melted. When the mixture is completely melted, add ¼ cup of whole milk and stir until combined. The mixture will thicken as it cools. Dip the donuts in the chocolate or spoon the chocolate over the donuts for a chocolate glazed donut.
- If you find that the toppings are not staying on the donut or the donuts are too cool, brush some melted butter onto the donuts and then roll them in powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar.
My husband and I loved these! Made some adjustments due to high altitude, baked at 400 degrees on convection setting for 10 minutes. Moist, not too sweet, just perfect! Thank you!
I love that! I am so glad you enjoyed them! Thanks so much for making my recipe!
I just made these, and they turned out well, although I used one 6-hole donut pan and one 6-hole muffin pan and both were overfilled. they turned out fine, but no holes and a bit of overflow, so I will use another pan next time. Even unadorned they tasted good! (I couldn't convince myself to wait)
I have a question though: For the chocolate glaze you say to microwave the chocolate chips and butter, but I don't see anything about how much of each I should be using.
Hi! Can I long ferment these for 24hrs to reduce the gluten? Some recipes allow for this, and others don't do well. Thanks!
Hi! I don't see why you wouldn't be able to, but I haven't tried to be honest. Let me know how it comes out!
Delicious! I also save my sourdough starter and use it in different ways. I got a mini donut maker from my husband on our 40th wedding anniversary, was looking for donut recipes and came across this one. Made exactly to the recipe and they were great. To use up all the batter took me about an hour, but they were great. We don’t like extra sweet food, and these were just sweet enough, with a cinnamon sugar topping. They did not stick to the pan and the texture was soft. Thank you for this great recipe.
Thank you so much making the recipe!
Alison Terrell Jakaitis
If I don't have any discard starter, can I use active starter for these?
yes! You can definitely use active starter for this recipe.
These were fabulous but will likely never make again. I used a nonstick donut pan by Wilton and used Pam sprayed lightly the first batch but stuck to the pan. Scrubbed the pan clean and sprayed a bit more liberally with Pam for the second round and still stuck to the pan.. So the last batch I did the old fashioned oil and flour.. no luck still stuck. As great as these are I will never make again unless I can find a way for them to not stick to the pan.
I'm so sorry these doughnuts stuck to the pan! I'm glad you enjoyed the flavor though. Thanks for trying my recipe!
I used Baker's Joy to spray my pans and the donuts fell out on their own, no encouragement needed.
ok, this recipe looks amazing and I really, really want to make it. But in the instructions you have "add whole milk", which is missing in the ingredients list ... How much do I need?
Please and thank you.
Thank you for noticing that! You will need 1 cup of whole milk.
Awesome, thank you.
These turned out AMAZING!!! Thank you for a fabulous recipe 🙂
I am so happy you enjoyed them!! Thanks for trying them out!
What's your opinion on freezing this batter?
I've never tried it honestly, but I don't see why you couldn't freeze the batter. Then when you are ready to use it, defrost it in the refrigerator. Let me know how it works!