Can You Use Sourdough Discard in a Cake Mix? Yes! Make Caramel-Coconut-Walnut Cake
So, what happens when you use sourdough discard/starter in a cake mix? Good things, it turns out. I decided to give it a try with an inexpensive cake mix from Aldi. The result was surprisingly good! I ended up with a cake that tasted homemade. The cake was a little less sweet than many cakes made with mixes. It had a sourdough undertone to it. Nonetheless, I suspected that the cake I wanted to make--Caramel-Coconut-Walnut--would have enough extra sweetness in it to offset the sourdough, and that was, indeed, the case. I added coconut to the batter. To the streusel-like topping, I added more coconut, plenty of butterscotch morsels, and walnuts to provide crunch and a touch of bitterness to offset the caramel notes in the butterscotch morsels. This really is a good cake and a great way to use up your discard/starter rather than waste it! I baked the cake in two pans--one 9-inch square pan and an 8- by 4-inch loaf pan, because I wanted to freeze part of the cake for later. You can, alternatively, bake the cake in a 9- by 13-inch pan. The cake is wonderful warm (with or without ice cream, but with is better!) or served at room temperature.
Sourdough Caramel-Coconut Walnut Cake -- Makes a large cake or two smaller cakes
1 cup of water
1/2 cup of canola oil
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 teaspoon of coconut extract
1 cup of sourdough starter/discard
1 large boxed cake mix (15.25 ounces or so), 1/2 cup reserved
1/2 cup of shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup of reserved cake mix
2 tablespoons of melted butter
1/2-3/4 cup of shredded sweetened coconut
1/2-3/4 cup of butterscotch/caramel morsels
1 cup of chopped or broken walnuts
In a large bowl whisk together well the eggs, water, oil, extracts, and sourdough starter/discard. Whisk in all but 1/2 cup of the cake mix (reserve the 1/2 cup of cake mix for the topping). Fold in the 1/2 cup of coconut. Spritz one 9-inch square pan and one 8-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray, or spritz one 9- X 13-inch pan with the spray. Pour the cake batter into your pan/pans. Mix the 1/2 cup of reserved cake mix with the melted butter until crumbly. Sprinkle the top of the cake batter first with the shredded coconut, then the butterscotch morsels, then the walnuts. Sprinkle the crumbly cake mix mixture over the walnuts. Let the cake batter sit for 30-60 minutes to intensify the sourdough flavor or bake it immediately. When you're almost ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake a 9-inch square pan or a 9-X 13-inch pan of batter for 35 minutes, or until a pick inserted in the center comes out with no moist batter clinging to it. An 8- X 4-inch loaf pan of batter needs about 50 minutes to be done. Let the cakes cool a few minutes before serving them. You can serve the cakes warm or at room temperature.