Sourdough Discard Carrot Cake Bars

Sourdough discard is a versatile ingredient that can add a unique depth of flavor to baked goods. Here’s a recipe for Sourdough Discard Carrot Cake Bars that are moist, flavorful, and perfect for using up your sourdough starter discard.

Sourdough Discard Carrot Cake Bars Recipe


For the Carrot Cake Bars:

  • 1 cup (240g) sourdough discard (unfed)
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (180g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups (150g) grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup (60g) chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (80g) raisins (optional)

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 oz (225g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (120g) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Prepare the Pan and Preheat the Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
    • Grease and line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhang for easy removal.
  2. Mix the Wet Ingredients:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the sourdough discard, granulated sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth and well combined.
  3. Combine the Dry Ingredients:
    • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
  4. Mix Wet and Dry Ingredients:
    • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, stirring until just combined. Do not overmix.
  5. Add Carrots and Optional Ingredients:
    • Fold in the grated carrots, and if using, the chopped nuts and raisins.
  6. Bake the Bars:
    • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread it evenly.
    • Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
    • Let the carrot cake bars cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
  7. Prepare the Cream Cheese Frosting:
    • In a medium bowl, beat the softened cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy.
    • Gradually add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract, beating until smooth and well combined.
  8. Frost the Bars:
    • Once the carrot cake bars are completely cool, spread the cream cheese frosting evenly over the top.
    • Use the parchment paper overhang to lift the bars out of the pan and place them on a cutting board.
    • Cut into squares or rectangles.
  9. Serve:
    • Enjoy your Sourdough Discard Carrot Cake Bars! Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


  • Grating Carrots: For best results, grate the carrots finely. This helps them blend into the batter and keeps the bars moist.
  • Add-Ins: Feel free to customize with your favorite add-ins like shredded coconut or pineapple chunks.
  • Frosting Variations: For a lighter option, you can make a simple glaze with powdered sugar and a bit of milk or lemon juice instead of the cream cheese frosting.

These Sourdough Discard Carrot Cake Bars are a delicious way to use up your sourdough discard while enjoying a classic, spiced treat.

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