Are you wondering what to do with sourdough discard? These Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies are the best way to use up leftover sourdough starter! These chocolate chip cookies are perfectly soft, chewy and so easy to make in less than 30 minutes! It's also a convenient small batch recipe, yielding about 9 cookies.
I received my sourdough starter as a gift a few months ago but have yet to make actual sourdough bread. I've tried a few sourdough discard recipes but haven't found any I loved, so I created my own in this sourdough chocolate chip cookies recipe! All of my friends love them and one even said they're the best cookies he's ever had!
I've also made sourdough discard muffins, brownies, and banana bread with leftover sourdough starter! I'm excited to try these sourdough discard cinnamon rolls, too!
Why We Love This Recipe
- It's a great way to use up sourdough discard instead of letting it go to waste!
- The sourdough cookies have a perfect soft and chewy texture and sweet and salty flavor!
- It makes about 9 regular cookies so it's nice to share amongst a few people.
- They're a fun variation of classic chocolate chip cookies with a tasty tang from the discard! For another delicious variety of CCCs, try my Salted Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies.
- All purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Dark brown sugar: recommended, but light brown sugar will work as well.
- Sourdough discard (unfed sourdough starter)
- Vanilla extract
- Semi sweet chocolate chips: feel free to use a dark, milk, or whatever you like instead.
- Egg yolk
- Unsalted butter
See recipe card below for quantities.
Substitutions & Variations
Mix-ins: Feel free to add ¼ cup of your favorite mix-ins like nuts or toffee. You can also replace the chocolate chips with something else if you'd like. For super melty chocolate puddles, use dark chocolate chunks instead of chocolate chips!
This recipe has not been tested with other substitutions or variations. If you replace or add any ingredients, please let us know how it turned out in the comments below!
This sourdough discard recipe is so easy, you just need basic cookie baking equipment!
- A nice cookie sheet (or two) to bake them on.
- A hand mixer or stand mixer with a paddle attachment is helpful, but not necessary.
- A small/medium (about 2 tablespoons) cookie scoop is good to use.
Step by Step Instructions
Before you get started, let your refrigerated ingredients reach room temperature and preheat oven to 350°F/177°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup.
Step One (Picture 1 above) - In a medium/large bowl, cream together the softened butter and brown sugar until they're combined well and fluffy (2-3 minutes).
Step Two (Picture 2 above) - Mix in the sourdough starter discard, followed by the egg yolk and vanilla extract.
Step Three (Picture 3 above) - In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir them into the wet ingredients just until the flour streaks disappear.
Step Four (Picture 4 above) - Gently mix the chocolate chips into the cookie dough. The dough will be slightly sticky.
Using a cookie scoop (about 2 tablespoon capacity), place cookie dough balls 2-3 inches apart on a baking sheet. Top with extra chocolate chips if you'd like.
Bake the cookies on the middle oven rack at 350°F/177°C until their edges are slightly tan (8-11 minutes). Sprinkle on some flaky salt and let them cool for a bit on the sheet before transferring to a wire rack.
Tip #1 - Use unfed sourdough starter. This is the leftovers that don't get fed any flour or water and is usually discarded. When I tested these with fed sourdough starter, the cookies were okay but you could taste the extra flour.
Tip #2 - Weigh your dry ingredients. Over-measuring flour is a common issue that makes cookies dry and puffy. This is easily prevented by using a food scale to weigh the flour in grams (see metric tab in recipe card below). If using measuring cups, spoon the flour into the cups and level it off with a straightedge.
Tip #3 - Don't over-bake the cookies! Take them out when the edges are light tan. They'll continue to bake on the hot sheet after you remove them from the oven. If you leave them in the oven for too long, the cookies might turn out dry, hard and crunchy.
Sourdough discard (also known as unfed sourdough starter) is the sourdough leftover after measuring out the sourdough that gets fed. This is generally thrown away, which is why I've created this cookie recipe so that it doesn't have to go to waste!
You can, but it isn't recommended. Using fed sourdough starter can give the cookies more of a floury flavor.
When they're hot out of the oven, place a larger round object around them and scoot the edges back in. This is called cookie scooting!
This is likely from over-measuring the flour or over-baking the cookies. For the best results, use a food scale to weigh the flour in grams.
Room Temperature: Store in an airtight container with a slice of bread for up to 1 week. The bread will absorb the moisture, keeping the cookies soft for days!
Refrigerator: Storing the baked in the refrigerator can dry them out, so this is not recommended. While the dough is best baked right away, it can be covered and refrigerated overnight and then baked the next day.
Freezing Instructions: Wrap the completely cooled cookies in plastic wrap and/or a freezer-safe bag labeled with "Sourdough Discard Chocolate Chip Cookies" and the date for up to 1 month. The dough balls can also be frozen for 1 month and baked within that timeframe.
Did you try this recipe? I'd love to see it!
Tag @brokenovenbaking on Instagram & Facebook and leave a ⭐️ review below!
Sourdough Discard Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Baking sheet
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring spoons
- Hand mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment optional
- Cookie scoop
- Wire rack
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ scant teaspoon salt (scant = a little less than ½ teaspoon)
- ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup brown sugar light or dark, packed
- ¼ cup sourdough starter discard unfed
- 1 large egg yolk room temperature
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (optional).
- In a medium/large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until very well combined (2-3 minutes). Mix in the sourdough discard followed by the egg yolk and vanilla extract.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until the flour streaks are gone. Mix in the chocolate chips.
- Scoop cookie dough balls (about 2 tablespoons each) onto a baking sheet 2-3 inches apart. Top with extra chocolate chips (optional).
- Bake on the middle rack until the cookie edges are lightly golden (8-11 minutes).
- Recommended: scoot your cookies! Right out of the oven, place a slightly larger round object (biscuit cutter, large cup, etc.) over the cookie and scoot it around to bring the edges in, making the cookie perfectly round.Also feel free to sprinkle the cookies with flaky salt!
- Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet until they're firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack (5-10 minutes).
The provided nutritional information is an estimate per serving. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Sarah McKain says
I put this in the fridge overnight it made them fluffy.
Hi, I would love to make these but I’m confused on the starter part. If I am not planning on making a loaf of bread can I prepare the starter for these cookies? How long does it need to sit out?
Kayla Burton says
Hi Melissa! It doesn't need to sit out at all - I make these cookies with the discard that's leftover after feeding my sourdough starter. I hope this helps!
But can I make a small “starter” just for the cookies? I’m not making bread, just want to make these cookies, because I love sourdough cookies!
Kayla Burton says
Ah, I see what you mean! The closest thing to a starter I can think of would be to mix flour and water together, but that would likely have a bit different of a taste and texture than a true sourdough starter. If you wanted some sourdough discard just to make these cookies, I'd recommend stopping by a local bakery and seeing if they have any discard to spare! 🙂
Blanca Ruelas says
At the very top (picture with the ingredients) shows one egg for one egg yolk, but the ingredients list calls for 2 egg yolks. Which one is it?
Kayla Burton says
Hi Blanca! It's one egg yolk. The ingredient list may be toggled to 2x if it's showing 2 yolks, so I'd double check that!
Do these cookies flatten out on their own? Or do you have to press them?
Kayla Burton says
Hi Sarah! They should flatten on their own while baking.
Loved this recipe. Made them today and they were perfect! Perfect size batch, great way to use sourdough discard, not too sweet and easy to make. Followed the recipe using grams for measurement, which definitely helped. Thank you so much for the recipe!
My kids and I made these for our first sourdough experiment ever and they are SO good! Thank you!
Kayla Burton says
I'm so happy to hear this!! Thank you for sharing!
Really really really good recipe. Really.
This was the BEST chocolate chip cookie i have ever tasted! The center was chewy and soft and the outside was crunchy. I loved it! Highly recommend!
Kayla Burton says
Yay thank you, Ariel!! 🙂
These cookies were sooooo good and the texture was chewy amazing! I didn’t have chocolate chips so I chopped up a chocolate bar that had toffee pieces in it. Love having a use for sourdough discard.