The perfect transition cake heading straight into spring time. A warm spiced cake filled with carrots and topped with a simple but beautiful cream cheese frosting.

❤️ Why You’ll Love Sourdough Discard Carrot Cake

There’s a theme here, but all the cakes I make have been a birthday cake, one way or another. Which means that kids enjoy it just as much as adults. I actually made this for my daughter’s second birthday and one of the girls told me she doesn’t like carrots so she wasn’t going to eat it. I encouraged her to just try and that she might just change her mind. Needless to say, she told me she likes carrots now ;).

🍲 Ingredients

Sourdough Discard – This is just inactive sourdough starter that hasn’t been fed. It is equal parts flour and water that has already risen and fallen and now can be added to a multitude of recipes.

Flour – All-purpose flour, which I have learned is not only a kitchen staple, but a kitchen necessity.

Whole-Wheat Flour – It doesn’t take much whole-wheat flour to add a rustic flavor to the crumb, and it’s totally worth it.

Carrots – its a carrot cake, you cannot skip these.

👩‍🍳 How to Make Sourdough Discard Carrot Cake

In a mixing bowl combine oil, sugar and sourdough starter. Mix in your eggs until well incorporated, and add in vanilla extract. Add carrots and walnuts. In a separate bowl combine flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Pour batter into a greased 9×13 baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Make the cream cheese frosting: Whip together a 1/2 stick of softened butter, 1 block of softened cream cheese, and 1 cup of powdered sugar. Add milk until you reach your desired consistency.

🪄 Tips and Tricks

  • Grate your carrots with a cheese grater, trust me.
  • You can use active starter instead of discard starter and let it rest in the fridge overnight if you want to break down the gluten and make it more gut friendly.
  • The longer your sourdough starter has sat, the more sour the taste will be, so keep that in mind.

🗒 Variations

Walnuts are an easy addition to the cake, as well as raisins or pineapple.

  • Walnut Carrot Cake
  • Pineapple Carrot Cake
  • Carrot & Raisin Cake

🗒 Substitutions

You can substitute sourdough discard for active sourdough starter, just stir it down first. If you don’t have any whole-wheat flour on hand, you can substitute it for 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour.

  • sourdough discard for active sourdough starter
  • whole-wheat flour for all-purpose flour

🗒 Best Served With

  • Coffee in the morning
  • Dessert after dinner

👝 How to Store Leftovers

Store the leftover cake in an airtight container, in the fridge for up to 3 days.

🤔 Common Questions

Can I make this into two cakes?

Yes, you can either double the recipe and make two 9×13 cakes, or you can split the batter of one cake into 2 circle cake pans and bake them for 30 minutes.

frosted carrot cake with decorative flours on a marble slab
5 from 3 votes

Sourdough Discard Carrot Cake

Print Recipe
Delicious sourdough discard carrot cake that you wont feel bad about.
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:35 minutes
Total Time:50 minutes



  • 1 cup sourdough discard
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups carrots, grated
  • 1 ½ cups coconut oil, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 TBS cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 TBS butter, softened
  • 1 block of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • splash milk


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grate your carrots and melt the coconut oil. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients, except the sugar.
  • In a stand mixer (or mixing bowl and whisk) on low, combine the oil, sugar, and sourdough starter. Add in your eggs, vanilla and carrots until everything is well incorporated. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing until combined.
  • Pour the batter into a greased 9×13 baking dish.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes until a tooth pick comes out clean from the middle.
  • Sit and let cool completely before adding the cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In the stand mixer on low, whip together butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and add milk until you've reached your desired constancy.
  • Spread evenly over the carrot cake. Place into the fridge until ready to serve.


If you like your carrot cake with walnuts or golden raisins, those are easy add-ins to this recipe. Add 1 cup of each, or one or the other. 
You can also substitute coconut oil for olive oil for an extra moist cake with a unique depth of flavor. 


Calories: 832kcal | Carbohydrates: 99g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 49g | Saturated Fat: 38g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 382mg | Potassium: 206mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 66g | Vitamin A: 5643IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Sourdough Discard
Servings: 8
Calories: 832kcal
Cost: $5

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