Sourdough Cake Base

Based on King Arthur’s recipe.


  • 241g “fed” sourdough starter
  • 227g milk (whole milk or 2% preferred) or evaporated milk (1 cup)
  • 241g King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 298g granulated sugar
  • 150g vegetable oil (3/4 cup); 1/2 cup (100 g) if using melted chocolate below
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 large eggs

Optional Extras


  • 64g unsweetened baking cocoa (not Dutch process)
  • Alternatively, melted chocolate but only 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional

Lemon Poppy Seed

  • Zest and juice of half a lemon
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds


  • 1.5 cups frozen blueberries, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 baking apples finely diced and 2 tsp ground cinnamon


  1. Combine the “fed” starter, milk, and flour in a large mixing bowl. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours. It won’t necessarily bubble, but it may have expanded a bit.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together the sugar, oil, vanilla, salt, baking soda, and any extras you have. The mixture will be grainy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Gently combine the wet mixture with the starter-flour-milk mixture, stirring till smooth. This will be a gloppy process at first, but the batter will smooth out as you continue to beat gently.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  7. Bake the cake for 30 to 40 minutes, until it springs back when lightly pressed in the center, and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Remove the cake from the oven, and set it on a rack to cool while you make icing or decorations.

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