image of carrot cake with sourdough recipe

Carrot Cake With Sourdough

Yum, Carrot Cake with Sourdough. Just to let you know, I’m Team Carrot Cake With Everything In It. Pineapple, nuts, raisins, sourdough starter…yeah, sourdough starter. Because using up sourdough starter is part of the fun sourdough game! And also, it makes cake really, really moist. Fluffy cake city, everyone. Even carrot cake. Because we’ve all had that carrot cake that was really, really dry.

If you’re not Team Carrot Cake With Everything In It, then feel free to omit whatever add-in you’d like. Or swap out the walnuts with pecans, raisins with cranberries, pineapple with oranges?!? Whatever you want. Get creative. Or don’t, and throw in all the goodies.

I usually make carrot cake once a year or so, when I have finally recovered from the previous year’s carrot grating. Each year, I make a different recipe to see what’s going on in the carrot cake recipe world. But so many recipes are for huge multilayer carrot cakes, which require so many carrots to be grated.

This year was the first one I decided to make my own carrot cake recipe – one with sourdough starter in it – and I made sure that the carrot grating wasn’t so excessive that I’d be too bummed out to make it soon again.

image of carrot cake with sourdough, sliced

This carrot cake is anything but dry. Every bite has something delicious in it. It’s delectable. The moisture from the sourdough starter is a moisture that you can’t get with any other ingredient. You’ll know what I’m talking about when you try it.

Tiny note on starter:

You can use any sort of starter you have, whether it’s mature and fluffy or flat liquid-y starter straight from the fridge. And on top is the loveliest cream cheese frosting. Not too sweet, not too cream cheesy. Is that a term? Cream cheesy? Anyways, the frosting is slathered on top of this hearty one-layer cake. So cute, so fun. This cake is the best.

If you make this recipe, please comment and rate the recipe below! I love hearing from you all. Also, you can tag me on Instagram @higheralchemybaking with your bake!

image of recipe for carrot cake with sourdough, sliced

Carrot Cake With Sourdough

This Carrot Cake With Sourdough has everything in it: raisins, walnuts, pineapple…and sourdough starter. This is a delicious way to use up any excess sourdough starter! And this cake is deliciously moist, luscious, and with a lovely cream cheese frosting.
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1 single layer 9-inch cake
Calories 412 kcal


  • 1 9 or 10-inch cake pan


for the add-in mixture

  • 100g shredded carrots (about 2-3 medium carrots)
  • 55g chopped raisins
  • 20g brown sugar
  • 35g chopped walnuts
  • 65g diced pineapple

for the batter

  • 2 eggs
  • 150g yogurt
  • 100g sourdough starter
  • 150g sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 50g olive oil
  • 245g whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

for the cream cheese frosting

  • 220g cream cheese, room temperature
  • 113g butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 175g sifted powdered sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray.
  • Mix the add-ins together in a small bowl and let sit.
  • Whisk the eggs and yogurt together until combined. Add the sourdough starter, sugar, and vanilla, then whisk until combined completely. Pour in the olive oil while whisking rapidly. The mixture should be smooth and luxurious.
  • Fold in the whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until no streaks are left. Then fold in the add-in mixture.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and spread the top evenly with a spatula. Set in the oven to bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely before frosting.
  • To make the frosting, cream the cream cheese and butter together in a stand mixer at high speed with a whisk attachment. Add the vanilla and cream until combined. Add the sifted powdered sugar and mix on high speed until light and fluffy.
  • To prepare for serving, set the fully cooled cake on your serving stand. Frost the top of the cake with a spatula. There will likely be a little frosting left over. Top with extra chopped walnuts or whatever you desire. Set in the fridge for half an hour to set for slicing. The cake keeps in the fridge and will taste even better after a day or so. Enjoy! Let me know what you think below in the comments or on Instagram @higheralchemybaking!


You can mix the add-in mixture a couple of hours before you make the batter. You can simply cover the bowl and let it sit on the counter. I usually do this to bring out the flavors of the add-ins as much as possible in the cake!

Let me know what you think of my recipe in the comments below! If you want another sourdough starter dessert recipe, check out my Whole Grain Sourdough Pinwheels!

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