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Sourdough Cake with Variations

by Leslee S.


Dear Linda, I have finally succeeded with sourdough starter and recipes enough to be sharing :-)

A friend, over for Sabbath, commented to her mother-in-law visiting with her that my sourdough bread is "the best". You get lots of credit, because I have modified my bread recipe with lots of your tips!

Here is the best, versatile cake recipe I have used so far. Still not to Gingerbread, but that can happen next.

Again, many thanks to you!!
Leslee S
" A small piece of bread given with love is enough to feed hundreds." North African proverb

Jeremy, Grandma's "Sour Dough Collection" folder (like a school report folder with the three-hole bend-down tabs) has almost 20 pages of newspaper articles about sourdough in it, carefully cut and pasted, and a few other collections loose inside. The first pages are not dated, but the oldest dated clipping is from March 1966. This recipe is from that collection.

Sent in from Mrs. Perry Waterman, Myrtle Point, OR (date unknown) with things in [ ] from me

Sourdough Applesauce Cake

1 cup sourdough starter [active and happy]
1 cup applesauce
1 cup flour [unbleached, or 1/2 unbleached and 1/2 whole grain]
1/4 cup powdered dry milk [I do not always include this]
Stir above in large [glass or ceramic] bowl, set aside. [This can sit for up to 90 minutes, the starter will get happier and expand some more.]

[SECOND: in a separate, medium/large bowl, metal okay]

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening or butter [softened, I use butter]

1 egg
Beat well, then add:
1/2 teasp. salt
1/2 teasp. ground cloves [or ground ginger]
1 teasp. cinnamon
1/2 teasp. nutmeg
1/2 teasp. allspice [or keep the cloves and use ginger here]

[beat well, then, when everything else is ready (other things you are adding, the pan and oven and all), add:]

2 teaspoons baking soda

After beating, add this to the bowl of starter mix.

Beat to mix, add 1/2 cup chopped nuts [pecans!] and 1/2 cup raisins [or mini chocolate chips--the mini stay suspended, regular ones settle to the bottom]. Bake in 8x8" pan, 350 degree oven, 30 to 50 minutes.


Make it chocolate!

Add up to 9 Tablespoons cocoa and up to 3 Tablespoons oil ( that's a 3:1 ratio, or up to 3 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted) and 1 teasp. vanilla to the sugar, butter, egg mixture

This works with or without the applesauce. With applesauce the cake is very moist, without it the cooking time is less.

Make it pumpkin!

Use 1 cup canned pumpkin instead of the applesauce

Make it pumpkin chocolate!

Use the pumpkin, add 2 Tablespoons cocoa and mini chocolate chips.

These ought to work, too!

Make it banana!

Use 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas instead of applesauce, change or eliminate the spices according to your preference

Make it zucchini... or carrot... but I would add those to the butter-sugar-egg bowl and modify spices accordingly.

I haven't contemplated making this a gingerbread cake, but that's next, cuz I love gingerbread, too. I'll let you know.