My Top 5 Sourdough Cookie Recipes by Make It Dough (2024)

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Don't throw away your sourdough discard! Use it to make delicious Sourdough Discard Cookie Recipes. There are so many ways to use sourdough starter than just baking bread. From chewy chocolate chip cookies to crispy biscotti you'll love the flavor and character it adds to cookies.


My Top 5 Sourdough Cookie Recipes by Make It Dough (1)

The first recipe I ever developed was my Sourdough Oatmeal Cookies, so sourdough cookie recipes will always have a special place in my heart.

Why you’ll love these recipes

You can use up a lot of sourdough starter: If you don’t bake bread very often, cookies are a delicious way to use up excess sourdough starter.

Sourdough discard adds a delicious tang: The natural acidity of sourdough complement the rich buttery notes and the sugary sweetness of cookies.It also adds a nuanced flavor that you simply can't get otherwise.

Adds moisture to dough: Water that’s locked in sourdough discard keeps cookies moist and tasting fresh for days longer.

Can I add sourdough discard to any cookie recipe?

Adding sourdough discard to cookie dough isn’t as simple as simply chucking a cup of it into your favorite recipe. Sourdough contains a lot of water, and this added moisture can adversely affect the texture and flavor of cookies, causing them to either harden or spread.

Balancing the ratio of ingredients is especially important for cookies. It’s best not to experiment and to use recipes that have been specifically formulated, tried and tested using sourdough discard.

My Top 5 Sourdough Cookie Recipes by Make It Dough (2)

My Top 10 Sourdough Cookie Recipes:

This list has been updated based on the most viewed and loved recipes on Make It Dough!

Soft and Fudgy Sourdough Discard Chocolate Cookies

Soft and fudgy, these Sourdough Chocolate Cookies are made with three types of chocolate. Sourdough discard adds a delicious tang that perfectly balances the rich flavor of chocolate.

Sourdough Discard Chocolate Cookies

Sourdough Discard Crinkle Cookies

Crinkle cookies were my absolute favorite growing up. I've always been an absolute chocolate fiend, so I could never get enough of these rich and fudgy treats. When I set out to recreate a sourdough version of these cookies, I knew I wanted them to have a really soft, and chewy middle. Adding discard to

Sourdough Discard Crinkle Cookies

Chewy Sourdough Discard Oatmeal Cookies

These Sourdough Oatmeal Cookies are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside with a great flavor thanks to browned butter and sourdough discard.

Sourdough Oatmeal Cookies

Sourdough Pumpkin Cookies

These Sourdough Pumpkin Cookies are soft, chewy, with a delicious earthy flavor thanks to the addition of pumpkin puree! A quick one-bowl recipe that tastes even better a few days after they are baked.

Sourdough Pumpkin Cookies

Chewy Sourdough Molasses Cookies

Molasses and sourdough are a match made in cookie heaven! You’ll love the taste and texture of these Sourdough Molasses Cookies. Perfectly spiced, seriously chewy with a crunchy, crackly top, these cookies develop an even more delicious texture days after being baked

Chewy Sourdough Molasses Cookies

Brown Butter Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies

These Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies are truly chewy (not crisp or gooey) with a rich nutty, toffee-like flavor thanks to the addition of browned butter and dark brown sugar. Incorporating a little bit of sourdough discard to these chocolate chip cookies adds a delicious tang that makes these cookies truly unique.

Sourdough Biscotti

Don’t throw away your excess starter, use it to make these Sourdough Biscotti. Crisp and wonderfully crunchy, these biscotti are delicious and taste delightful with a cup of coffee. These twice-baked cookies are easy to make and are the best excuse to eat dessert for breakfast!

Sourdough Biscotti

Sourdough Banana Cookies

Just like the edge of a loaf of banana bread, these Sourdough Banana Cookies are chewy, caramelized and slightly crisp. This no-frills eggless cookie uses overripe bananas and sourdough discard so you can feel good about using ingredients you may otherwise throw away.

Sourdough Banana Cookies

Sourdough Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Chewy, sweet, loaded with oatmeal and raisins with just a hint of cinnamon, I’m a bit biased but I think these Sourdough Oatmeal Raisin Cookies are the perfect cookie. This one bowl recipe is simple to make and takes less than an hour from start to finish.

Sourdough Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Sourdough Lemon Cookie Pies

Tangy, sweet and loaded with bold lemon flavor, you’ll love these Sourdough Lemon Cookies Pies. Two soft, chewy cookies with a fresh lemon filling sandwiched in the middle, you’ll love these bright zesty treats.

Sourdough Lemon Cookie Pies

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Sourdough Cookie FAQs

What is sourdough discard?

Sourdough discard is any portion of your starter that is removed during the feeding process or any part that is not used to make bread. You can use it in other bakes and dishes or store it in the refrigerator for future use.

What are sourdough discard recipes?

Sourdough discard recipes can be savory dishes and desserts that do not use sourdough for its leavening abilities. These can be breads that combine commercial yeast and sourdough discard, or that use chemical leaveners like baking powder or baking soda.

Why did my cookies spread?

Sourdough adds additional moisture to cookies which can cause them to spread. The sourdough cookie recipes on this blog are formulated to compensate for this. It’s important to maintain the proportions of ingredients in any recipe and weighing your ingredients maximizes your chances of success.

Will my sourdough cookies taste sour?

Sourdough discard adds a delicious tang that balances the sugary sweetness of cookies. The intensity of this flavor depends on the unique acidity of your sourdough discard. If you’ve been keeping your discard in the fridge for a long time, then it will impart a more pronounced flavor in your bakes.

You may also like:

  • Soft and Chewy Sourdough Discard Sugar Cookies
  • Sourdough Discard Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
  • Chewy Cranberry Oatmeal Sourdough Cookies
  • Ube White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Sourdough Cookies

« Sourdough Chocolate Chip Muffins

Sourdough Discard Cranberry Muffins »

Reader Interactions

Did you make this recipe? Do you have questions? Let me know below!

My Top 5 Sourdough Cookie Recipes by Make It Dough (2024)


What is the secret to a good sourdough starter? ›

Over the years, I've found keeping the mixture warm at around 80°F (26°C), and high hydration (100% water to flour in baker's percentages) helps get things started. In addition, while not mandatory, using certain flour also helps increase the chances a starter will take hold quickly (see below).

What happens if you put too much sourdough starter in your dough? ›

GENERAL RULE: The less starter you use, the slower your dough will ferment - often resulting in a more sour flavored loaf. And you guessed it..the more starter you use, the faster your dough will ferment - resulting in a less sour loaf. Using less starter in your recipe will help slow down the fermentation process.

Are sourdough cookies better for you? ›

The process of slow fermentation allows the bacteria to break down the carbohydrates and gluten and also neutralizes the phytic acid, making it easier for the body to digest. Fermented sourdough also contains healthy resistant starch and doesn't raise blood glucose levels as much as conventional wheat cookies.

What flour is better for sourdough starter? ›

Due to its wide availability and affordability, all-purpose flour is often my top recommendation for creating and maintaining a sourdough starter. In fact, I've been feeding my own sourdough starter Central Milling's all-purpose flour for the past 4 years.

Do you have to discard sourdough starter every time you feed it? ›

It would be best if you discarded some portion of your starter each time you feed it unless you want to continue to let it grow. Eventually, you need to discard the used “food” (flour and water) that's been used to sustain your starter during the last fermentation period.

Why discard half sourdough starter? ›

If you don't get rid of the excess, eventually you'll have more starter than your feedings can sustain. After a few days, your daily 1/4 cup flour and water won't be enough to sustain your entire jar of starter, and your starter will be slow and sluggish, not much better than discard itself.

What size jar is best for sourdough starter? ›

What Size Jar is Best For a Sourdough Starter? No single-sized jar is best for every baker because it depends on how much sourdough starter they regularly need for baking. However, for most people, a 3/4 liter (28.7 fluid ounces) jar is perfect as it can store both a small sourdough starter or a large one.

What does an overfed sourdough starter look like? ›

An overfed starter can be too diluted and it will be very watery. Your workers are there, they are just overwhelmed with too much food and water. When this happens, first leave it out in the warmth overnight. In the morning discard all but a tablespoon of starter and feed it.

Is discard the same as starter? ›

Active starter and discard both come from the same sourdough starter. However, they are in different phases. Active starter has been fed flour and water within the last 12 hours or so and is growing until it hits its peak. Once it begins to fall it is considered discard.

Can I eat sourdough everyday? ›

Is it healthy to eat sourdough everyday? You could eat sourdough every day, but it isn't necessarily healthy to do so. A healthy diet is characterized by balance and moderation. Whether or not it is healthy for you to consume sourdough every day depends on the rest of your diet.

Can you eat raw sourdough discard? ›

While some people claim to have healed their gut problems by eating probiotic rich sourdough starter, it's not really advisable. Raw sourdough starter contains uncooked flour which can harbor harmful bacteria among other things. You can read more about why you shouldn't eat raw flour here.

What is the secret to a good cookie? ›

The key is to always use top-quality ingredients as they'll result in a better cookie; it really is that simple.
  • Always use butter.
  • Choose the right sugar.
  • Choose the right flour.
  • Check your flour is in date.
  • Choose the right kind of chocolate.
  • Cream the butter and sugar.
  • Beat in the eggs.
  • Fold in the flour.

Does chilling cookie dough make better cookies? ›

Cool down your dough for a tastier, chewier cookie.

There's a few reasons why, but one important part is it gives the butter in your dough a chance to firm up before baking. The colder your dough is before it heads into the oven, the less it will spread during baking, which makes for loftier cookies.

What does adding milk to cookie dough do? ›

The moisture contributed by the milk will also increase spread and hydrate more of the starches in the flour. These hydrated (gelatinized) starches support the structure of the air pocket wall, keeping the cookies from collapsing once cooled. By holding more water, they also help keep the cookies softer over time.

Does sourdough starter get better the older it is? ›

While the age of your starter won't make your bread any better — turns out, only good sourdough practices can do that — it's a link in the long legacy of sourdough, one of the oldest forms of baking that exists. Whether your starter is a week or a decade old, you can become part of that lineage as well.

How to make 100% sourdough starter? ›

A 100% hydration sourdough starter is a culture which is kept and fed with water and flour at equal weights. Like for instance 5 oz water to 5 oz flour. A 166% hydration starter is fed with equal volume of flour and water, which most typically is one cup of water (8.3 oz) and one cup of flour (5 oz).

What is the fastest way to activate a sourdough starter? ›

Place your starter in a warm spot to rise and activate, ideally 75-80 F. Temperature is really important. The warmer it is, the faster it will rise. Your starter is active when it shows the following signs: doubles in size, small and large bubbles appear, has a spongey or fluffy texture and exhibits a pleasant aroma.


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