Sourdough Muffins

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These delicious sourdough muffins are a delightful way to use your tangy sourdough discard for a unique savory breakfast treat!

Three freshly baked muffins on a wooden board, with a blurred kitchen background.
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Easy Delicious Sourdough Discard Muffins

My sister shared her sourdough starter with me a few weeks ago. I made bread for the first few weeks but then when I had to feed the starter weekly and discard half I started adding it to everything which is how I came up with these delicious sourdough muffins!

These muffins use all the classic muffins ingredients along with the sourdough discard which gives the muffins an airy tender crumb that contrasts beautifully with the crispy golden crust. I like to sprinkle some course sugar on the top before baking to get a lovely color and texture. The sourdough also gives these muffins a unique slightly tangy taste that everyone loves. Feel free to make it your own by with add-ins like chocolate chips, blueberries, or a tsp of cinnamon!

A freshly baked muffin on a blue and white patterned plate, with a bowl of strawberries and a cup of tea in the background.

How to Make Sourdough Muffins

First assemble the following ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour (1 ½ cups) – All-purpose flour provides a sturdy base for sourdough muffins, giving them structure and a soft texture.
  • Granulated sugar (1 cup) – Sugar adds a gentle sweetness that enhances the natural tanginess of the sourdough.
  • Baking powder (2 tsp) – Baking powder helps the muffins rise, creating a light and fluffy texture.
  • Baking soda (½ tsp) – Baking soda reacts with the acidity of the sourdough starter, contributing to a perfect rise and golden-brown crust.
  • Sea salt (½ tsp) – A pinch of sea salt sharpens all the flavors, balancing the sweetness and sourness beautifully.
  • Unsalted butter (½ cup) –
    Unsalted butter enriches the muffins with a melt-in-your-mouth creaminess and contributes to their golden crust.
  • Sourdough discard (½ cup) – Sourdough discard imparts a distinctive tangy flavor that sets these muffins apart from ordinary baked goods.
  • Plain full-fat Greek yogurt (¾ cup) – Plain full-fat yogurt adds moisture and a subtle tang, enhancing the texture and depth of flavor in the muffins.
  • Egg (1) – An egg binds the ingredients together, ensuring that each muffin has a uniform and tender crumb.
  • Vanilla extract (1 tsp) – Vanilla extract infuses the muffins with a warm, aromatic sweetness that complements the sourdough’s complexity.
  • Large Grain Sugar, to garnish (optional) – Large grain sugar sprinkled on top before baking adds a delightful crunch and a hint of sweetness to the finished muffins.

Use this Method

Prep Pan. Grease or line a 12 count muffin tin. Set aside. 

Combine Dry Ingredients. In a large mixing bowl whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 

Combine Wet Ingredients. In a small bowl combine the melted butter, sourdough discard, Greek yogurt, egg, and vanilla extract. Whisk well to combine. 

Combine Batter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold to combine till just combined. Be careful not to overmix. 

Spread Batter. Divide the batter between the muffin tins and sprinkle with the large grain sugar (optional).

Bake. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the muffins in the center rack at 425 degrees and bake for 8 minutes. Without opening the oven, decrease the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for about 12 minutes longer or till baked through and light brown. Insert a toothpick, it should come out clean if they are done. 

Cool. Let muffins cool for 10 minutes then remove them to cool on a wire rack.

A dozen freshly baked muffins cooling on a striped cloth, displayed in a symmetric arrangement on a metal tray.

Tips and Tricks for Making Sourdough Discard Muffins

Maintain Your Starter: Make sure your sourdough starter is active and bubbly. Feed it a few hours before you plan to make your muffins to ensure it’s at its peak activity.

Balance the Ingredients: Since sourdough starter is essentially flour and water, adjust the amount of these components in your muffin recipe. If your recipe calls for 1 cup of starter, consider reducing the flour and liquid in the recipe by about 1/2 cup each.

Avoid Overmixing: When combining your starter with the muffin batter, fold it in gently. Overmixing can result in tough muffins due to the development of gluten.

Control the Acidity: Sourdough starter can vary in acidity. To balance the flavor and ensure proper rising, add a small amount of baking soda to the batter. Baking soda neutralizes some of the acid, helping the baking powder work more effectively.

Rest the Batter: Letting your muffin batter rest for about 15 to 30 minutes before baking can allow the flour to hydrate and the sourdough starter to begin working. This can improve the texture and rise of your muffins.

Add Flavor Enhancers: Sourdough has a distinct taste that pairs well with other flavors. Add fruits like blueberries or apples, spices like cinnamon or nutmeg, or a hint of vanilla extract to complement the tanginess of the sourdough.

Use the Right Pan: Sourdough muffins tend to stick more because of the sugar content and moisture. Use a well-greased muffin tin or silicone muffin cups to ensure they come out easily after baking.

Check for Doneness Properly: Sourdough muffins can take a bit longer to bake through. Use a toothpick or a skewer to check for doneness. It should come out clean when inserted into the center of a muffin.

Cool Properly: Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for a few minutes after taking them out of the oven, then transfer them to a wire rack. This prevents them from becoming soggy.

Experiment with Toppings: Before baking, sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar or a mix of oats and brown sugar for a crunchy texture. This adds a nice contrast to the soft, moist interior of the muffins.

FAQs

What is the best type of sourdough starter to use for muffins?

Any active, well-fed sourdough starter can be used for making muffins. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a particular type, as long as it’s bubbly and has a good balance of yeast and bacteria.

Do I need to adjust the recipe if my sourdough starter is very thick or thin?

Yes, the consistency of your starter can affect the batter. If your starter is very thick, you might need to add a little more liquid to the batter to achieve the right consistency. Conversely, if your starter is runny, reduce the liquid in the recipe slightly.

Can I make sourdough muffins without baking powder?

Yes, but the muffins might not rise as much. The sourdough starter can act as a leavening agent due to its natural yeast, but baking powder helps ensure a good rise and a lighter texture, especially if your starter isn’t very active.

How can I make my sourdough muffins more flavorful?

To enhance the flavor, consider adding mix-ins like fruits, nuts, or chocolate chips. Spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, or vanilla extract also work well. Experimenting with different types of flour like whole wheat or rye can add depth to the flavor too.

Why did my sourdough muffins turn out dense?

This could be due to a few reasons: overmixing the batter, using a starter that wasn’t active enough, or not using enough leavening agent. Make sure your starter is bubbly, mix the ingredients until just combined, and ensure the right amount of baking powder and/or baking soda is used if the recipe calls for it.

How long can I store sourdough muffins?

Sourdough muffins can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. For longer storage, you can freeze them for up to three months. Just make sure to wrap them well to prevent freezer burn.

Can I use my “discard” starter for making muffins?

Absolutely! Using discard sourdough starter is a great way to make muffins. Since it may not be as active, ensure your recipe includes baking soda or baking powder to help with the rise.

How do I ensure my muffins are moist and not dry?

Avoid overbaking the muffins, as this is a common cause of dryness. Additionally, ingredients like applesauce, mashed bananas, or yogurt can be added to the batter to help keep the muffins moist.

Is it necessary to let the muffin batter rest before baking?

While not always necessary, allowing the batter to rest for about 15-30 minutes before baking can help hydrate the flour and activate the sourdough starter, leading to better texture and flavor development.

How can I make gluten-free sourdough muffins?

You can use a gluten-free sourdough starter and substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend. Make sure to check that the blend is suitable for baking, as some blends are better suited for breads or pastries.

Close-up of a freshly baked muffin split in half on a blue and white patterned plate, highlighting its fluffy texture.

What to Enjoy with Sourdough Muffins

Fresh Fruit: Enjoying sourdough muffins with fresh berries or sliced fruit can add a refreshing and juicy contrast to the tangy, dense texture of the muffins.

Honey or Jam: Drizzling honey or spreading jam on sourdough muffins can enhance their natural flavors with sweetness and depth, especially good with plain or lightly flavored muffins.

Butter or Cream Cheese: A dollop of butter or cream cheese melts into the warm muffin, adding a rich and creamy texture that balances the sourdough’s slight acidity.

Nut Butter: Almond, peanut, or cashew butter can add a nutty flavor and a protein boost, making the muffins a more filling snack or breakfast option.

Coffee or Tea: The robust flavors of coffee or the mild warmth of tea make perfect companions to sourdough muffins, as they help highlight the muffins’ subtle flavors and cleanse the palate.

Eggs and Bacon: For a hearty breakfast, serve sourdough muffins with eggs and bacon. The savory flavors of the bacon and eggs complement the sourdough’s richness and texture.

Smoothies: Pairing a smoothie with your sourdough muffin can add a nutritious and flavorful start to the day, balancing the muffin’s indulgence with the fresh, vibrant taste of blended fruits and vegetables. Try the raspberry beet smoothie!

Try these other breakfast recipes:

A freshly baked muffin on an ornate blue and white plate, accompanied by a cup of tea and a bowl of strawberries in the background.

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Sourdough Muffins

These delicious sourdough muffins are made with your sourdough discard and are super light and fluffy, they freeze well!
Cuisine American
Keyword best muffin recipe, breakfast muffins, easy muffin recipe, sourdough, sourdough discard
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 muffins
Calories 196kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell
Cost $8

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Grease or line a 12 count muffin tin. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a small bowl combine the melted butter, sourdough discard, Greek yogurt, egg, and vanilla extract. Whisk well to combine.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold to combine till just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
  • Divide the batter between the muffin tins and sprinkle with the large grain sugar (optional).
  • Place the muffins in the center rack at 425 degrees and bake for 8 minutes. Without opening the oven, decrease the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for about 12 minutes longer or till baked through and light brown. Insert a toothpick, it should come out clean if they are done.
  • Let muffins cool for 10 minutes then remove them to cool on a wire rack.

Notes

Feel free to add 1/2 cup of any other add-ins you want such as chocolate chips, dried fruit, or berries. Add these after mix has come together right before adding to muffin tins.

Nutrition

Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 150mg | Potassium: 92mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 256IU | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg

About Courtney

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2 Comments

  1. Katherine says:

    5 stars
    Delicious!

  2. Katherine says:

    5 stars
    Yum!