Sourdough Discard Cornbread is a great transition from summer into fall. Paired with a summer soup or a backyard barbeque, it's delicious, but it's also so cozy with a fall chili or heartier stew in the colder months! Cornbread is also a great time to break out the honey - or salted honey, or hot honey - to add a bit of kick!
This recipe is a sweet and fluffy cornbread with a bit of a sourdough tang.
Why you'll love this recipe
- This easy recipe for Sourdough Discard Cornbread comes together in under 30 minutes!
- It's great to serve with soup, chilli, as a barbecue side dish, and topped with your favorite toppings.
- This recipe is a sweet and fluffy cornbread with a bit of a sourdough tang.
- This recipe is a great way to use some of your sourdough discard!
As long as you have sourdough discard, you are well on your way to making this recipe!
- All-purpose flour: This gives the final cornbread a light and fluffy feel.
- Yellow cornmeal: Yellow cornmeal gives the cornbread it's color. If you only have white cornmeal on hand, that will work in a pinch!
- Sourdough discard: The sourdough discard should be unfed and at room temperature for this recipe. This recipe is designed for a sourdough starter with a 1:1:1 ratio (when you feed the starter, it's with 1 part starter, 1 part water, 1 part flour). If your starter uses a different ratio, you'll need to adjust some of the ingredients.
- Granulated sugar: This is a sweet cornbread, and granulated sugar gives it that sweetness.
- Non-dairy milk: I like to use unflavored almond milk, but you can use any kind of unflavored non-dairy or regular dairy milk.
- Egg: The egg helps give this bread structure and moisture.
- Honey (optional): I love to top this cornbread with a swipe of butter and drizzle of honey. Feeling fancy? Try a little raw honeycomb on top! This is also a great time to try out any hot honey or salted honey.
See full recipe below for detailed directions.
Substitutions & Variations
This is a very adaptable recipe and below are a few easy substitutions and variations you can try.
- Sourdough Discard Cornbread Muffins - Make a muffin version of this cornbread by dividing the batter into a lined muffin pan. Bake at the same temperature, but keep an eye on the time - they may not need to bake as long!
- Use a cast iron pan - You can use a cast iron pan for this cornbread. Let the pan heat up while the oven is coming to temperature. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and coat the sides and bottom of the pan with butter, then pour the batter into the hot pan. Keep an eye on the baking time as it may not need to bake as long.
- Remove the egg - If you're not using eggs, replace the egg with ¼ cup of plain yogurt (dairy or non-dairy).
- Use active sourdough starter - You can use active sourdough starter instead of discard in this recipe. If you're doing so, omit the baking powder.
I have not tested this recipe with other variations, but if you do, let us know how it turns out in the comments! I always love to hear how you're adapting these recipes and use those as ideas for future recipes as well!
How to make Sourdough Discard Cornbread
This recipe comes together in just a few easy steps!
Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Add all wet ingredients (including sourdough discard) and whisk to combine.
Pour the batter into a greased 8x8-inch baking pan.
Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Slice, then serve!
Expert Baking Tips
- Mix the batter until completely smooth. Any lumps or chunks will show in the final cornbread!
- After baking, let the cornbread cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan before transferring to a cooling rack to cool fully. Slice once cooled.
- Top the cornbread with your favorite toppings - butter and honey (and even some flaky sea salt) is a classic combination!
What is sourdough discard?
Sourdough discard is what is leftover after you feed your sourdough starter. You can either literally discard this (trash or compost) or use it in sourdough discard recipes like this one.
Sourdough discard is not as active as sourdough starter, so you do need to use a leavening agent (in this case, baking powder) for the dough to rise predictably. Don't worry, the final cornbread will still have a bit of sourdough flavor and you'll get a little bit of additional lift from the natural yeast in the sourdough discard!
Room Temperature Storage: Store this cornbread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can reheat in the microwave for about 30 seconds to make it warm and soft again.
Freezer Storage: Cornbread freezes very well. Let the cornbread cool fully, then add to an airtight container or bag (individual servings works well here!). Freeze for up 3 months. Reheat in the microwave for 30-60 seconds to make it warm and soft again.
Yes, you can use active sourdough starter instead of discard in this recipe. If you're doing so, omit the baking powder. There is no rise time with this recipe, so you don't need to make any adjustments there.
Please note that if you use active sourdough starter to make this recipe, it will rise more than a version made with sourdough discard. This is not a bad thing, but something to consider!
Yes. If you're not using eggs, replace the egg with ¼ cup of plain yogurt (dairy or non-dairy).
Sourdough Discard Cornbread is delicious to dip into soups, chilis, or serve as a barbecue side dish. It's delicious topped with a spread of butter, a drizzle of honey and a little flaky sea salt. This is also a great place to use hot honey or salted honey! Raw honeycomb is delicious on top as well!
Sourdough Discard Cornbread
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- ½ cup + 1 Tabelspoon all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup (about 200 grams) sourdough discard unfed, at room temperature
- ½ cup unflavored, non-dairy milk or other milk of your choice
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 1 egg
- Preheat oven to 400℉. Grease an 8x8-inch baking pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Add the sourdough discard, non-dairy milk, vegetable oil, melted butter, and egg and whisk until smooth.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool fully. Slice before serving.