Sourdough Pumpkin Cake with Maple Cashew Cream Frosting

I’m proud to announce that I’ve kept my sourdough starter alive for over 2 weeks now!  One would think if I could keep a human alive for over 13 months now, that some bubbly water and flour wouldn’t be that hard.  If you remember correctly though, I don’t have the best track record.

One of the hardest parts, for me at least, about cooking with sourdough starter is that you are constantly throwing away unfed starter.  I cringe every time I have to do this.  The pizza dough I made for my flatbread was one good solution, and this week I tried another: pumpkin cake.

This cake is the kind of cake you could eat for breakfast and not feel guilty about it.  It is has a slight spice from the ginger in the pumpkin spice and some tang from the sourdough starter, but unlike other cakes it isn’t packed with sugar.  On its own it isn’t sweet, but when paired with the maple cashew cream frosting it achieves the perfect level of natural sweetness.


Sourdough Pumpkin Cake with Maple Cashew Cream Frosting (cake adapted from here)

For the cake:

1 cup unfed sourdough starter at room temperature

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup plain yogurt (I used low fat)

1 egg

1/2 cup honey

1 1/2 cups King Arthur all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a round 9 inch cake pan (you could also use a bundt pan).

2. In a large bowl, stir together sourdough starter and pumpkin.  Add the coconut oil and stir to combine.  Add the yogurt, honey and egg, stopping after each to stir to combine.

3. In a separate bowl, sift together the remaining ingredients, and then pour into the bowl with the wet ingredients.  Stir until combined.

4. Pour into greased cake pan, and bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in it comes out clean.  Let cool for 10 – 15 minutes before removing from pan to fully cool on a cooling rack.

For the icing: I simply followed this recipe from the Edible Perspective.  I just left out the orange zest.


What I love about this cashew cream frosting is that it sweetens the cake perfectly without making you feel ill.  I’m a self-proclaimed frosting addict, but have regretted my fair share of frosting binges.


You might of noticed, that I’ve been experimenting with soaked cashews besides just this cake.  I find the creaminess that comes from them unbelievable and fascinating.  Not to mention, I think they are healthier than butter :)

What do you like to use your unfed sourdough starter for?  What is your favorite thing to do with soaked cashews?

*This post is part of a series on sourdough recipes.  As part of this series, I was given sourdough starter and flour from King Arthur Flour to use.  All opinions and photos are my own.*

  1. natalie says:

    ooh i am always looking for new uses for sourdough starter! we used it to grill little flatbread pieces over the weekend and they were awesome!

    and I’ve never tried the soaked cashew thing but I’m intrigued!

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