In Breakfast, Recipes, Snacks, Sourdough

No more tossing your excess sourdough starter, instead, mix up a batch of these quick & easy homemade sourdough muffins. The flavor variations are endless and you’ll have delicious muffins ready in just under 30 minutes.

Homemade sourdough muffins in three different flavors.

This recipe was originally published in 2017 and has recently been updated with tips and additional baking instructions.

We all want muffins that are good for us and easy to digest, but we can’t all wait 8 hours to get these healthy benefits by making traditional sourdough muffins, letting the sourdough starter work its magic! There has to be a better way!

Y’all are in luck…I took to the kitchen testing recipe after recipe until I nailed down a delicious no-wait sourdough muffin recipe with a boatload of variations. It’s the perfect solution for extra sourdough starter, and yet another reason to start a sourdough starter if you don’t already have one going (or perhaps you need a gluten-free sourdough starter?)!

The key is having an active and thick sourdough starter. I’m in the routine of feeding Seymour (as in, “Feed me, Seymour!”), my sourdough starter nightly.

By feeding my starter in the evening, it’s always ready in the morning whether I’m baking bread, making pancakes, starting these heavenly sourdough cinnamon rolls, or our whipping up a batch of these yummy sourdough English muffins!

Another trick for these sourdough muffins is to keep your sourdough starter rather thick. It should be quite difficult to stir when adding the water and flour (I always add slightly less than double the flour as water…so if I add one cup water, I’ll add just under two cups flour, this is roughly a 100% hydration). 

Ready to bake? Then let’s gather those supplies!

Homemade Sourdough Poppy Seed Muffins

Do I Need to Let This Recipe Sour?

No! That’s the beauty of these no-wait sourdough muffins. You’re using 100% sourdough discard (which is sourdough starter that’s been fed within 6-12 hours prior to baking) plus mix-ins for this recipe. Because your flour has already been soaked for a minimum of 6 hours, you’re ready to go for a completely digestible sourdough muffin.

This recipe is my favorite because, many times when I want a sourdough muffin, I don’t want to wait 6 hours for the flour to soak or sour!

Ingredients and Flavors for Sourdough Muffins

Ingredients

  • Sourdough starter – this recipe works best with sourdough starter that’s been fed within 6-12 hours of baking. A well-established starter is also recommended. If your starter has been neglected without regular feedings, your muffins may turn out with more of a sour flavor.
  • Eggs – room temperature eggs work best when baking. If you don’t have time to let your egg come to room temperature, place your egg in a bowl of warm water for about 10 minutes.
  • Vanilla extract – muffins and extracts are like bread and butter… ya gotta have both! See our flavor options for other extract variations.
  • Sea salt – always
  • Coconut oil – we’ve used melted coconut oil, butter, avocado oil, and even olive oil successfully in this recipe. Choose which you like best (or simply use what you have on hand).
  • Sugar – this recipe calls for coconut sugar, but you can also use regular organic sugar, honey and even maple syrup. If using a liquid sweetener, start with 3/4 the called for amount and adjust as needed. Alternatively, you can add an extra 1/4 cup sourdough starter to offset the added liquid.
  • Baking soda – this is what gives these muffins their rise. Because we’re not feeding the starter with flour and letting it rise for 6-8 hours, we need the rapid rising power of baking soda.
  • Add-ins – check the flavor options below and pick your favorite!

How to Make This Recipe

What I love about this recipe is that it’s nearly identical to making a regular muffin recipe. There’s no souring time, which means you just dump in the ingredients, mix them together, scoop some into your muffin pan, and bake! The hardest part is deciding which flavor you’re going to try first.

Chocolate Cheesecake Sourdough Muffins

Gather ingredients

Read through all the flavor options below, then gather your ingredients, measure them out and proceed to the mixing step. Now is a great time to preheat the oven to 400℉. This recipe whips together so quickly that it’s a drag when you forget to preheat the oven first!

Mix ingredients together

Add sourdough starter, egg, vanilla, salt, and sugar (all your wet ingredients) to a large bowl and whisk on low until combined. (Do be sure to read through the recipe variations because there may be additional ingredients added throughout the basic steps.)

Since there are no traditional “dry ingredients” to this recipe, now is when you’d add in your mix-ins (unless otherwise noted below).

Melt coconut oil (or melted butter works well) in a small pot on the stove and add to the mixing bowl. Mix on low until combined.

Add baking soda and mix on low just until batter begins to bubble up and grow in size (this is the magic of sourdough starter and baking soda!). DO NOT OVERMIX!

Gently stir in remaining mix-ins by hand.

Line and fill muffin cups

It’s been my experience that these sourdough muffins like to stick to paper muffin cups. If you get the heavier-duty parchment paper variety, they stick a little less. My preference is to get these silicone baking cups and you won’t have any issues with sticking.

Alternatively, you can butter then flour your muffin tin.

Add approximately 1/4 cup batter to each muffin cup. You want to fill them about 3/4 full. These muffins rise less than traditional muffins, so for a muffin that won’t deflate, be sure you’ve added enough batter to the pan.

Bake

Bake muffins for 15 minutes in a preheated, 400℉ oven. Certain flavor combinations bake at different times, so check your muffins after the 12-minute mark and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Allow muffins to cool for 2-3 minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

The muffins tend to firm up once cooled.

Blueberry Muffins - Sourdough

Sourdough Muffin Flavor Options

As you can tell, we adore this muffin recipe. It’s the perfect base for pretty much any flavor craving I can imagine.

A classic go-to in our house are the sourdough blueberry muffins pictured above. But one of my favorite indulgences is the chocolate chip cheesecake variation (which could easily be a double chocolate cheesecake recipe by adding in cocoa powder!). You can see that ooey-gooey combination further up in this post.

Follow the instructions below to make your sourdough muffins the perfect flavor:

  • Blueberry: Add 1/2 tsp. almond extract at step 2, and 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries at step 5.
  • Carrot Cake: Add 1/2 cup grated carrots at step 2, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp lemon zest at step 5.
  • Chocolate-Chocolate Chip: Add 1/4 cup cocoa powder at step 2, and 1/2 cup chocolate chips at step 5. Use the full 1/2 cup coconut sugar to offset the bitterness of the cocoa powder.
  • Chocolate Cheesecake: Add 1/2 cup chocolate chips at step 5. Cube 4 tablespoons cream cheese and place a couple cubes on top before baking. Make chocolate-chocolate cheesecake muffins by adding 1/4 cup cocoa powder during step 1.
  • Lemon Poppy-seed: Add 1 Tbs poppy-seeds, 2 tsp. almond extract, 1 tsp lemon zest or 5 drops lemon essential oil at step 2.
  • Coconut: Add 1/2 cup shredded coconut at step 5, and sprinkle shredded coconut on top before baking.
  • Pumpkin Pie: Add 1/2 cup pumpkin puree and 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice at step 2.
  • Banana Nut: Add 1/2 cup mashed, very ripe banana and 1 tsp. cinnamon at step 2, and 1/4 cup crushed walnuts, pecans or slivered almonds at step 5.
  • Zucchini: Add 1 tsp cinnamon at step 2 and 1/2 cup grated zucchini (that’s been squeezed to remove excess liquid) at step 5
  • Apple, Carrot, Zucchini: Add 1 tsp cinnamon at step 2grate 1/4 cup apple, 1/4 cup carrot, and 1/4 cup zucchini and squeeze out as much moisture as possible, allowing to strain for 5-10 minutes. Once you have squeezed out as much liquid as possible, add during step 5.
  • Cinnamon Raisin: Add 2 tsp cinnamon at step 2 and 1/2 cup raisins at step 5
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This recipe is featured in our Sourdough eBook! If you love easy and delicious sourdough recipes (including gluten-free options!)click here!

Homemade sourdough muffins in three different flavors.

Homemade Sourdough Muffins

These quick and easy sourdough muffins are the perfect solution to using up excess starter. There are countless flavor variations, which will be your favorite?
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Course: Breakfast, Snack, Sourdough
Cuisine: American
Keyword: muffins, sourdough muffins
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 12 muffins
Calories: 106kcal
Author: Kelsey Steffen

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400℉. Add sourdough starter, egg, vanilla, salt and sugar to mixing bowl and beat on low until combined.
  • Add in mix-ins (unless otherwise noted below).
  • Melt coconut oil on stove and add to bowl, mixing on low until combined.
  • Add baking soda and mix on low until batter begins to bubble up and grow in size (this is the magic of sourdough starter and baking soda!).
  • Gently stir in remaining mix-ins.
  • Line muffin pan with silicone baking cups and add approximately 1/4 cup batter to each muffin cup, filling about 3/4 full.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean.

Notes

  • Many people have mentioned this recipe sticking to the paper muffin liners. It's my recommendation to use silicone muffin liners or to butter and flour your muffin tins.
  • This recipe works best with a well-fed, established sourdough starter.
  • If using sourdough starter that has been neglected, feed regularly for 3-4 days then try this recipe.
  • The above ingredients are for the base recipe, choose your muffin flavor from the options below, incorporating the added ingredients. This recipe makes one dozen muffins.

Mix-In Options

  • Blueberry Muffins: Add 1/2 tsp. almond extract at step 2, and 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries at step 5.
  • Carrot Cake Muffins: Add 1/2 cup grated carrots at step 2, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1 tsp lemon zest at step 5.
  • Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Muffins: Add 1/4 cup cocoa powder at step 2, and 1/2 cup chocolate chips at step 5. Use the full 1/2 cup coconut sugar to offset the bitterness of the cocoa powder.
  • Chocolate Cheesecake Muffins: Add 1/2 cup chocolate chips at step 5. Cube 4 tablespoons cream cheese and place a couple of cubes on top before baking. Make chocolate-chocolate cheesecake muffins by adding 1/4 cup cocoa powder during step 1.
  • Lemon Poppy-seed Muffins: Add 1 Tbs poppy-seeds, 2 tsp. almond extract, 1 tsp lemon zest, or 5 drops lemon essential oil at step 2.
  • Coconut Muffins: Add 1/2 cup shredded coconut at step 5, and sprinkle shredded coconut on top before baking.
  • Pumpkin Pie Muffins: Add 1/2 cup pumpkin puree and 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice at step 2.
  • Banana Nut Muffins: Add 1/2 cup mashed, very ripe banana and 1 tsp. cinnamon at step 2, and 1/4 cup crushed walnuts, pecans or slivered almonds at step 5.
  • Zucchini Muffins: Add 1 tsp cinnamon at step 2 and 1/2 cup grated zucchini at step 5
  • Apple, Carrot, Zucchini Muffins: Add 1 tsp cinnamon at step 2grate 1/4 cup apple, 1/4 cup carrot, and 1/4 cup zucchini and squeeze out as much moisture as possible, allowing to strain for 5-10 minutes. Once you have squeezed out as much liquid as possible, add during step 5.
  • Cinnamon Raisin Muffins: Add 2 tsp cinnamon at step 2 and 1/2 cup raisins at step 5

Nutrition

Calories: 106kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 172mg | Potassium: 5mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 20IU | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg

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Children Sharing DIY Sourdough Muffins

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Showing 45 comments
  • Avatar
    Jaimie
    Reply

    These sound awesome- I’m wondering if they would work with savory add-ins like grated cheese and spring onions? I’m more of a savory breakfast person. But I wasn’t sure how the melting cheese would affect them? Thanks!

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen
      Reply

      Yes! I think they would be amazing! With something heavy like cheese they may not rise as much, but I’ve added cream cheese to the center and it sort of just sunk to the bottom (still delicious though!). Some people have mentioned adding cornmeal and making a corn muffin (I’m working on perfecting this recipe now!), I’ll be sure to test it with some additions like cheese and jalapenos! YUM!

  • Avatar
    Sadie
    Reply

    I’m obsessed with these muffins. I’ve made 3 versions and they are all sooooooo good! Thanks so much for doing all the footwork to fill us in on all the different varieties. I don’t think I’ll ever make another muffin recipe again… Too many disappointing recipes out there. These are the best!

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen
      Reply

      Awesome! We’re so glad you like them Sadie! Thanks fo the feedback!

  • Avatar
    Kathy
    Reply

    Could cream cheese be used in this recipe? And if so, how much? Thanks

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen
      Reply

      Hi Kathy. I have successfully put a small cube (maybe 1/2 tsp) on the top of each muffin before baking. The cream cheese does tend to sink to the bottom because the batter is a pretty thin batter, but the results were delicious! I have not tried using softened cream cheese and mixing that into the batter. But I imagine if you could get the cream cheese fairly soft, you might be able to create a swirl effect. If you give it a try, please come back and let us know how it turned out!

  • Avatar
    Kathy
    Reply

    The taste was great but mine stuck to the liners.

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen
      Reply

      Oh no Kathy! We’ve had that happen before, too. I’ve noticed it happens less when I have a “thicker” sourdough starter, and especially if we let them cool completely before digging in (hard to do, so sometimes we just deal with the paper, LOL!). Alternatively, you could butter and flour your muffin tins to (hopefully) avoid sticking.

  • Avatar
    Deb M.
    Reply

    Oh, these look wonderful! I LOVE recipe’s that just use the starter without added flour, so I don’t have to wait so long. LOL Will have to try them, and think I want to try using honey or maple syrup as a sweetener too…hopefully!

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen
      Reply

      Wonderful Deb! Let us know how you like them!

      • Avatar
        Deb M.
        Reply

        These are wonderful!! I even made an Orange flavored muffin that was fantastic! They lend themselves to lots of different flavors. Gave some to an Amish neighbor and they loved them too! Thanks so much for the recipe!!

        • Kelsey Steffen
          Kelsey Steffen
          Reply

          Now that’s quite the compliment, Deb! Thanks! Where we live there are quite a few reformed Amish and Mennonite families, plus a very VERY good bakery owned by Mennonites and their pastries and other baked goods are PHENOMENAL!

          • Avatar
            Deb Mommens

            Yes, their baked goods are really good too! I’m always happy they seem to like what I bake for them, since they are so good at doing their own. LOL I gave them your recipe, so they could make their own since I don’t bake often enough to keep them supplied with them all the time and us too. ;-))

          • Kelsey Steffen
            Kelsey Steffen

            Aww, thanks!

  • Avatar
    May
    Reply

    To any fellow vegans out there: I’ve made these twice now using a flax egg (1 tbsp flax meal, 3 tbsp water, let it sit for a couple of minutes while you gather ingredients and melt the oil) and they came out great! I made the chocolate chip and lemon poppyseed variations, can’t wait to try out some more.

    Definitely my new favourite way to use up discard starter, thanks Kelsey!

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen
      Reply

      Thanks for the tip May! These are some of our favorite “quick” muffins! And I always love having an egg-free version!

  • Avatar
    lindsey
    Reply

    Hi! I love the simplicity of these muffins. Are they super sour? I once out of curiosity just poured my started into a fry pan to make a pancake and it was as sour as a lemon! do the other ingredients mellow it out enough? Excited to try!

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen
      Reply

      Hey Lindsey! YES! The baking soda and sugar definitely helps mellow out the flavor of your starter. But you don’t want your starter TOO hungry. What I mean is that these muffins work best with starter that’s been fed within about 6-12 hours. If it’s been much longer, you’ll likely have some hooch or extra sour flavors in your starter that will effect the flavor. Hope this helps, ENJOY!

      • Avatar
        Michelle
        Reply

        I tried this today and while the flavor was great, it ended up with a lot of air so it was suuuuper crumbly. Any thoughts? Should I have let it settle down before distributing?

        • Kelsey Steffen
          Kelsey Steffen
          Reply

          Next time I’d try baking them a little less and letting the batter settle just a tad. Depending on how “active” your starter was, the baking soda will react at different degrees. These muffins are so fun to experiment with because you don’t have to spend a lot of time waiting around to know if the recipe will turn out or not!

  • Avatar
    Shannon
    Reply

    These are amazing. My baking soda never made my batter rise but they still rose in the oven. I did use a hot water pan under them. The most pillowy soft muffins. I made the blueberry version as written, with the exception of melted butter instead of coconut oil. They did take about 10 extra minutes to bake.

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen
      Reply

      I’m so glad you like them Shannon! The blueberry are a favorite around here, too. How active was your sourdough starter? Sometimes if I’m using a starter that’s REALLY hungry (hasn’t been fed in nearly 24 hours) the baking soda doesn’t have as much of a rising effect. And butter is always a great call! 😉

  • Avatar
    Sandy
    Reply

    Hi, made these yesterday morning. Not really happy with outcome. I found them a bit dry and rubbery. I wanted to like them, and keep recipe but I did not. It would have been great using up discard this way. Sorry

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen
      Reply

      That’s a bummer Sandy! I’ve had a few of my batches not turn out so well, and I think I figured out it was because my starter was TOO hungry. These muffins work best if your starter has been fed within 8-12 hours, otherwise the baking soda doesn’t have as much of a rising effect which can make the muffins more dense. I hope you’ll try again! They really are one of our favorite ways to use up excess starter!

  • Avatar
    Viviana
    Reply

    Loved these. My starter was runny but was perfect for these. I did the blueberry muffins with coconut sugar and coconut oil. My boyfriends mom loved them. Will be trying the other add ins!

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen
      Reply

      Awesome Viviana! They’re one of our favorite things to make with extra starter! The blueberry are so good! Thanks!

  • Avatar
    Veralyn
    Reply

    These turned out fantastic!!! I use Teff flour for my starter. My starter was extra runny because I had used more water in the previous feeding so I added a TBL of coconut flour to absorb some of the extra liquid while I was adding all the other ingredients to the bowl. We had some ripe bananas so I used both (they were small) as well as 1/2 c of coconut, and 1/4 C Chocolate chips to make a banana Chocolate coconut muffin.
    One of them raised perfectly, the others stayed a little flatter, but all of them were absolutely delicious and did not taste gluten free!!! I am so excited to share these with my friends and family that can’t eat gluten. Thank you!!
    Most of the other recipes I had found used flours I didn’t have on hand, I love that this just uses starter and that I don’t have to wait forever to eat them ????

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen
      Reply

      That’s so great Veralyn! And thanks for letting us know how well it worked with Teff flour! I’m sure all our GF friends will be glad to know this! Your banana, coconut chocolate muffin combination sounds heavenly!!!

      • Avatar
        Veralyn
        Reply

        Yes, I love that this can work with gluten free starter or regular starter. I may try this again as a Chocolate muffin using my rye flour starter. Rye, Chocolate, and sourdough always seem to complement each other nicely. Oooooo, maybe with some mint chocolate chips mixed in!
        Thanks again for a wonderful base recipe!

  • Avatar
    Tracy
    Reply

    Can’t truvia be used instead of sugar?

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen
      Reply

      Tracy, great question! I haven’t tried it myself, but I imagine it’d work just fine. If you give it a try, be sure to come back and let us know if it worked!

  • Avatar
    Vicky
    Reply

    Hello Kelsey
    What is your sourdough starter hydration percentage, batter consistency and is the texture suppose to be a bit chewy??
    Just made an apple and carrot (without zucchini), honestly I didn’t think it would work, the batter was runny (my SD is 100% hydration) but they turn out beyond my expectation. The 1st batch didn’t rise/flat as the 2nd wondering should I let it proof B4 baking!
    Would doubling Add-ins hurt?
    Much thanks for sharing your recipes I do love the taste, texture and SD

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen
      Reply

      Hello Vicky! My starter is at 100% hydration as well and I’m using it about 12 hours after feeding (I only feed once per day, so my starter is used to that, starter could vary if you feed more often!). Once all the ingredients have been combined the consistency is somewhere between waffle and pancake batter, it’s pretty runny, not like typical muffin better. With the addition of baking soda, your batter should puff up and be pretty airy. Try not to stir out all that air as this helps with rise. Because we’re not adding any additional flour, the muffins won’t be as tall or dense as your typical muffin, but because I didn’t want to wait around 6 hours for my flour to soak, I’m quite fine with the end result! 😉 I haven’t experimented with different mix-in ratios. You certainly could give it a try, but I can’t guarantee it’ll work! Let us know if you give it a go and how they turn out! Thanks for reaching out!

  • Avatar
    Heather
    Reply

    I want to let you know I’m enjoying your muffin recipe. My first batch (banana muffins) didn’t turn out well (flat), but I re-read the recipe and decided my starter wasn’t thick enough to begin with. My next attempt was more successful. After that I made a batch of Blueberry that went very well. My only curiosity was that each batch I made resulted in fewer overall muffins and I still don’t know why.

    Last week I used your recipe as a launch point for something I’ve always wanted to do: Sourdough cornbread. I made sourdough cornbread muffins. They were the best of all the sourdough muffins I’ve made so far! Here’s what I did…

    2 cups starter
    1 egg
    2 T honey
    1 t baking soda
    1/2 cup cornmeal
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1/4 cup milk

    I doubled the above recipe and it made twelve perfect muffins in unlined muffin cups.

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen
      Reply

      This is amazing Heather! Thank you so much for sharing…I think I’ll give this cornbread recipe a try this week, it sounds delicious! So weird about your muffins making less each batch. Sometimes sourdough can be such a mystery, but so satisfying when a recipe is a hit!

  • Avatar
    Lauren
    Reply

    Can you substitute organic sugar for the coconut sugar?

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen
      Reply

      Hey Lauren! Yes, subbing out the sugar is no problem. Enjoy! These are our favorites!

  • Avatar
    The Food Hunter
    Reply

    I love the idea of these.

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen
      Reply

      Thanks! They’re light and fluffy! Not quite as dense as normal muffins.

  • Avatar
    linda spiker
    Reply

    I adore sour dough! These muffins sound fabulous!

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen
      Reply

      Thanks Linda! Sourdough has our hearts, too! We’re constantly finding new ways to use it up.

  • Avatar
    Tammy
    Reply

    LOVE this and all the variations… YUM!!! I guess it’s time to begin the sourdough starter process.. 🙂

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen
      Reply

      Yes, yes it is! 😉

  • Avatar
    Cheryl
    Reply

    These look really yummy!!

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen
      Reply

      They TASTE really yummy, too!

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