When I first set out to create this easy sourdough brownie recipe, I had three goals in mind:
- Dirty no more than one dish. Because as a busy mama of 4, unnecessary dishes are the enemy. I’m all about the easy recipes.
- Create a delicious desert that is fully fermented yet can be whipped up quickly. No extra fermentation process here (except for the fermenting your starter already does on the counter)!
- They had to be fudgy brownies. Because a cake-like brownie isn’t a good brownie. You don’t have to agree, but it doesn’t make it any less true.
Let me tell you, I have made these delicious brownies a lot of times these last few months. I don’t think my family minded too much.
And although they have tasted amazing and possessed that fudgy texture every time, they kept wanting to fall apart every time I cut them. ANNOYING. So I started playing around and making some changes. I added an extra egg, a bit more cocoa powder, and included some baking soda. Then an incredible thing happened. Not only did they hold together after cooling, but they developed that beautiful, signature crackly top.
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These brownies have a signature dark chocolate flavor, and are INCREDIBLE when you serve them atop a scoop of ice cream. As a matter of fact, if you really don’t want to wait for these to cool, this is the way I recommend serving them. If the brownies are cut while too warm they may easily fall apart. But when you’re using them as a mix in or crumbling them on top of some homemade vanilla ice cream, who cares?
Variations for Sourdough Skillet Brownies
This is a skillet brownie recipe. Because it’s how I make them, and I think it’s an easy, great way to get homemade brownies in a hurry. Plus, it’s awesome to not even dirty a mixing bowl.
However, if you don’t own a cast iron skillet, or just prefer baking in a glass dish, you certainly can do that. Melt your butter and chocolate in a small saucepan, transfer to a large mixing bowl or stand mixer with whisk attachment, then add the remaining ingredients. After mixing all the ingredients, pour batter into your well-greased or parchment paper lined glass baking dish. If you choose to go this route, I recommend baking in a 9×13 pan as the recipe makes a fairly large amount (I have a big family). Or, you can just half the recipe and use an 8×8.
If you’re really a chocolate lover, these look and taste lovely with the addition of extra chocolate chips sprinkled over the batter before baking. You could also sprinkle powdered sugar after baking for an added effect.
Ingredient Notes for Sourdough Brownies
- I use salted butter when I make these brownies because that’s what I always have on hand. If you would like to use unsalted butter, you may want to increase the salt to 1/2 tsp.
- Any kind of semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips work great for this recipe, but I prefer to use organic bittersweet chocolate chips like these as a cleaner option. (Check out Thrive Market for great deals on clean, organic ingredients!)
- You can swap out the coconut sugar and/or organic cane sugar if you only have one or the other. I like to use both for the flavor balance. You could also use regular dark brown sugar, sucanat, or rapudura if that’s what you have on hand. As long as the sweetener is granulated and subs for sugar in a 1:1 ratio, the texture of the brownie will turn out just as it should.
- You can use active sourdough starter or sourdough discard. I’ve found that I prefer the starter to be active because I think it improves the final texture slightly. But discard will also work very well.
- I use raw cacao powder from Azure Standard or Thrive Market because it is high quality (although Azure is the perfect place to get your bulk healthy ingredients for cheap) and more nutrient dense.
- The baking soda should be added last after the rest of the ingredients.
Tips for Making Sourdough Skillet Brownies
- Melt butter & chocolate on medium low heat, then remove the skillet from the heat. Make sure your melted chocolate isn’t too hot before you add the eggs, or they will cook! Slightly warm is fine though.
- Add your ingredients in the order listed in the recipe card and mix with each addition for best results.
- Don’t forget to turn the oven on before you start mixing up the brownie batter (like me).
- Let the brownies cool to room temperature before cutting if you want them to hold together well. I know, it’s hard.
- Put these in the refrigerator once they’re cut and you won’t regret it. There’s nothing like pulling these out of the fridge for an afternoon or late night snack. Eating them chilled really brings out the fudgy texture.
FAQs for Sourdough Brownies
How do you make sourdough starter?
To make this sourdough skillet brownie recipe, you need to have a sourdough starter. I have a post all about sourdough starter, what it is, and how to make your own. If you’re new to sourdough, be sure to check that out!
How should I store sourdough brownies?
If they last long enough, you can store sourdough brownies in an airtight container after cooling and cutting. Putting them in the refrigerator helps them hold together and really brings out the fudginess.
Can coconut oil be substituted for butter in sourdough brownies?
Absolutely! Sometimes the texture turns out a bit more cakey when coconut oil is used, but they are still delicious.
If you tried this recipe and enjoyed it, be sure to leave a comment below or let me know over on Instagram!
Sourdough Skillet Brownies
- 14 in. cast iron skillet or 9×13 glass baking dish
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 3 eggs room temperature
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup sourdough starter
- 1/2 cup cocoa or cacao powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Melt butter in cast iron skillet or large saucepan over medium low heat.
- Add chocolate chips and stir until melted.
- Remove skillet from heat. Whisk in eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt until fully combined.
- Add sourdough starter and mix.
- Add cocoa powder and whisk until fully combined.
- Sprinkle baking soda over batter and whisk again until thoroughly mixed.
- Transfer to glass baking dish if not using cast iron and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- Cool completely before cutting and serving. (unless you don't mind crumbly brownies!)
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.