Sourdough chocolate chip cookies are a delicious way to use discarded sourdough starter. Also a great way to reduce kitchen waste! Because every sourdough starter is unique, flavour results will vary. You can add starter to sourdough cookies to reduce waste, add fermented bacteria to your gut, and for flavour. To create a stronger sourdough flavour, rest your mixed cookie dough in the fridge for up to three days before baking.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Chocolate: you can use dark, semi-sweet, or milk chocolate chips. Chopped chocolate also works well.
- All-purpose flour: try swapping in 40% (80 grams) of whole wheat flour for the all-purpose. This works especially well with whole wheat pastry flour.
- Make it dairy-free: use a good quality plant-based butter.
Step 1: mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Step 2: in another bowl, cream the sugars and butter. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then mix in the starter and vanilla.
Step 3: add the dry ingredients. Mix halfway, then add the chocolate chips.
Step 4: carefully fold in until the dough is mixed and the chocolate is well distributed.
Step 5: scoop the cookie dough into a lined baking sheet.
Step 6: bake for about 10 minutes before cooling on a wire rack.
- Use room temperature eggs: room temperature eggs mix better than cold eggs. A quick tip to take the chill off is to submerge your eggs in a bowl of hot tap water while you gather the other ingredients.
- Pack if using cups: tightly packing the brown sugar means there is a much higher ratio of brown to white sugar. More brown sugar means chewy sourdough cookies.
- Don't over-mix: mixing the flour in by hand with a wooden spoon will prevent over-mixing, which can lead to tough cookies. Stop when the flour is just mixed into the wet ingredients.
This recipe uses discard (flat, unfed starter), but you can also use active sourdough start if that's what you have. We've tested these sourdough cookies with both discard and freshly fed active starter and didn't find any real difference between the two, but it should be weighed rather than measured with cups if you make that change.
If you want a stronger sourdough flavour - we don't find that this makes any difference to texture - refrigerate the dough, well covered, for up to three days. The dough can be chilled for a maximum of three days but should only need about 12 hours for the starter to kick in and make the cookies easier to digest.
If you don't have a hand or stand mixer you can make the cookies by hand with a wooden spoon. It just takes a bit longer and needs a little elbow grease to cream butter by hand.
How to Store
Storage: once cooled, store the cookies in a sealed container with a tight-fitting lid. Cookies will keep stored on the counter for up to three days and in the fridge for up to a week.
Freezing: transfer cooled cookies to an airtight container and freeze for up to two months.
Why do you rest chocolate chip cookie dough?
Depending on the recipe, letting cookie dough rest can make for chewier cookies and can improve the overall flavour. This is personal preference but if the recipe calls for resting the dough, it's usually due to a high fat content that needs chilling before baking.
What makes chocolate chip cookies fluffy instead of flat?
The ingredients need to be the right temperature for fluffy chocolate chip cookies with nice air pockets. Room temperature, but not softened, butter, eggs at room temperature, and so on. Chilling the dough can also help with this.
Why are my sourdough cookies flat?
If your cookies turn out flat, it's probably because the ingredients or the dough got too warm before baking. If the dough seems too wet or your butter is melting when you add it, make sure to chill the dough before baking (this is more for summertime baking).
If you make this Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe or any other sourdough discard recipes on the Baked Collective, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more baking, follow along on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Measuring cups and spoons or a digital kitchen scale
- 2 Mixing bowl
- 2 baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- Hand or stand mixer
- Wooden spoon or rubber spatula
- Cookie scoop optional
- Wire rack
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup brown sugar tightly packed
- ½ cup sugar granulated
- ¾ cup butter soft, room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup sourdough starter
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl until well combined. Set aside.
- Place the brown sugar, white sugar, and butter in a second mixing bowl.
- Use a hand or stand mixer to mix everything together on medium to high speed until thick and creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Crack an egg into the butter and sugar mixture. Continue to mix on medium-high speed until the egg is well mixed in. Repeat with the second egg.
- Add the sourdough starter and vanilla to the bowl. Again, mix until well blended, smooth, and creamy.
- Switch to a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture.
- Mix the cookie dough by hand until the flour is about halfway mixed.
- Add the chocolate chips to the bowl, and continue to mix by hand until the flour is just mixed in.
- Use a medium-cookie scoop to scoop 12 portions of dough onto each prepared baking sheet. The dough portions should be about 2 inches apart from each other and from the sides of the pan.
- Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake the sourdough starter cookies for 9 to 11 minutes, or until the edges are light gold.
- Remove the baking sheets from the oven to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
- Transfer the cookies from the baking sheet to the wire rack to cool completely.