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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Sourdough Discard Pancakes

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Ditch the store-bought pancake mix. These sourdough discard pancakes are light, fluffy, and easy to make! Made with leftover sourdough starter discard, these delicious pancakes are family-friendly and ready in 30 minutes!

Fluffy sourdough discard pancakes stacked on a plate, topped with berries.

This easy sourdough discard pancakes recipe is a great way to put that excess sourdough starter to good use. Combining the tangy flavor of sourdough with the comforting familiarity of pancakes, this recipe is sure to become a family favorite. 

The result is a batch of fluffy, tangy griddle cakes that are perfect for a family breakfast or brunch. With a hint of lemon juice and a sprinkle of sugar, these pancakes are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth while keeping things healthy and wholesome. Plus, the sourdough starter discard adds a unique sour taste that pairs perfectly with your favorite pancake toppings. 

If you’ve jumped on the sourdough bandwagon and are looking for an easy and delicious way to use your discarded sourdough starter, then these pancakes are just what you need! This recipe combines the tangy flavor of sourdough with the comforting goodness of pancakes, making it a great way to start your day. 

What’s best is that these fluffy sourdough discard pancakes are incredibly versatile, making them a fantastic choice for breakfast, brunch, or even a fun dinner. You can serve them with a drizzle of maple syrup, a dollop of Greek yogurt, or a sprinkle of fresh berries. 

The options are endless, and you can customize them to suit your family’s tastes. If you love a hot breakfast but you’re not a morning person, I get it! Just know they freeze well for later. Pop a frozen sourdough discard pancake in the microwave or toaster oven, and you’ve got breakfast ready in just a couple minutes!

But the best part? These sourdough discard flapjacks are more than just a tasty meal. They’re an opportunity to experiment with sourdough recipes, to make the most of your sourdough starter discard, and to bring a little bit of a twist to regular morning pancakes. Trust me, once you’ve tried them, you’ll want to make them every single day!

👩🏽‍🍳 Why You’ll Love Sourdough Pancakes

  • Plant-Based: This recipe is perfect for those who follow a plant-based diet. With almond milk instead of regular milk and wholesome ingredients, these pancakes from sourdough starter discard are a delicious and healthy alternative to regular pancakes.
  • Use Excess Sourdough Starter: If you’re like me, you probably hate wasting and discarding leftover sourdough starter. Well, this recipe is the perfect way to use it up for a deliciously healthy breakfast everyone will love!
  • Lower Sugar: With only three tablespoons of sugar in the recipe, these pancakes are a healthier alternative to store-bought pancake mixes that are often high in sugar and artificial ingredients.
  • Better Than Store-Bought Mix: These really are the best sourdough pancakes! They’re light, fluffy, and easy to make, offering a far superior taste and texture to even store bought sourdough pancake mix. Plus, you know exactly what’s going into them, so you can feel good about serving them to your family.
  • Great For Special Occasions: These griddle cakes are a fantastic option for a special occasion, a holiday breakfast, or when serving a crowd. They’re light, fluffy, and can be customized with your favorite toppings, making them a versatile and festive addition to any menu.
  • Family Friendly: They’re a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. They’ve been taste-tested and kid-approved, which means they’re perfect for a family breakfast.

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🥘 Ingredients

Making these healthy sourdough discard pancakes is a breeze, since you only need a few basic ingredients. Whether you’re a regular baker or not, you’ll likely find most of these items already in your pantry, or they can be easily sourced from your local grocery store.

Ingredients for easy, fluffy sourdough discard pancakes recipe.
  • All-Purpose Flour: This is the main dry ingredient that gives structure to these sourdough starter discard pancakes, making them fluffy and light.
  • Whole Wheat Flour: Adding whole wheat flour not only provides a slightly nutty flavor but also increases the fiber content, making them a healthier choice. I like to use half and half for the best taste, texture, and rise!
  • Sugar: Sugar adds a hint of sweetness to the pancakes and helps them brown beautifully when cooked. Three tablespoons is all you need. After all, maple syrup adds plenty of sweetness.
  • Baking Powder & Baking Soda: These are the leavening agents that help the pancakes rise and become fluffy. Baking powder adds that fluffiness, while baking soda reacts with the sourdough discard and lemon juice for even more rise and lightness.
  • Salt: A touch of salt enhances the overall flavor of these easy sourdough pancakes from discard. Trust me, salt equals flavor, even in sweet recipes!
  • Sourdough Starter Discard: Don’t throw away your extra sourdough starter! Use your active starter to create light and airy pancakes. You’ll need about 1 cup of leftover sourdough discard. This is the secret ingredient that gives these pancakes a unique tangy flavor and also gives them a light and fluffy texture.
  • Almond Milk: Almond milk is a great dairy-free alternative that adds a subtle nutty flavor. The amount of milk can be adjusted depending on how thick or thin you prefer your pancakes to be.
  • Lemon Juice: Lemon juice adds a hint of freshness to the pancakes and works with the baking soda to help the pancakes rise.
  • Eggs: Large eggs provide structure making them tender and fluffy with a moist interior. Make sure they’re at room temperature.
  • Olive Oil: Olive oil adds a hint of richness and helps to create a perfect golden brown color when the griddle cakes are cooked. 

🍲 Ingredient Substitutions

  • All-Purpose Flour: You can substitute all-purpose flour with an equal amount of white whole wheat flour, a gluten-free flour blend, or oat flour. Just keep in mind the texture of your levain pancakes may change.
  • Whole Wheat Flour: If you don’t have whole wheat flour, you can use all-purpose flour or oat flour in equal amounts.
  • Sugar: You can replace sugar with a natural sweetener like pure maple syrup, agave nectar, or coconut sugar. 
  • Almond Milk: You can substitute almond milk with any other plant-based milk such as soy milk, oat milk, or coconut milk. 
  • Lemon Juice: If you don’t have fresh lemons, you can use apple cider vinegar or white vinegar as a substitute for these easy discard pancakes.
  • Eggs: For a vegan version, you can replace eggs with flax eggs (1 tbsp of ground flaxseed mixed with three tablespoons of water for each egg) or applesauce (1/4 cup per egg). 
  • Olive Oil: You can use another neutrally flavored oil like melted coconut oil or vegetable oil. If you prefer a buttery taste, melted butter can also be used. 

🔪 How To Make Sourdough Discard Pancakes

Ready to make the best sourdough discard pancakes you’ve ever tasted? This easy recipe will guide you through the process step-by-step. For more detailed instructions and nutrition facts, see the recipe card at the end of this post.

Whisk Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set this aside for later.

Dry ingredients for flapjacks combined in a bowl.

Whisk Wet Ingredients: In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients, ensuring they are well combined.

Batter for sourdough discard pancakes in a mixing bowl.

Combine Wet And Dry Ingredients: Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Whisk them together until you have a smooth batter.

Let Batter Rest: Let your pancake batter rest for about ten minutes before you start cooking.

Wet and dry ingredients for sourdough pancakes mixed together in a bowl.

Cook Pancakes: Heat a large nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Use a portion scoop or a measuring cup to drop 1/4 cup of batter onto the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes. You might need to turn the heat to medium-low if your pancakes are cooking too fast. When it’s ready to flip, bubbles will begin to pop on the surface of the pancake.

Sourdough pancakes made with leftovers sourdough starter discard cooking in a skillet.

Flip Pancakes: Use a thin set spatula to flip the pancakes and cook on medium-low heat for another 4 to 5 minutes. Repeat until all the batter is used up.

Flapjacks cooking in a pan.

Serve: Serve your delicious sourdough discard pancakes with your favorite pancake toppings. Enjoy!

Easy sourdough discard pancakes stacked on a plate

💭 Expert Tips

  • Use Active Sourdough Starter: For even fluffier sourdough discard pancakes, use an active starter that’s bubbly and ripe. This will give your homemade pancakes a light, airy texture and a more pronounced sourdough flavor. 
  • Control The Heat: If they brown too quickly, turn the heat down to medium low. You want to make sure that the insides cook properly without burning the bottoms. Doing a mini pancake test first can help you adjust the heat accordingly. Plus, you even can use an electric griddle. 
  • Portion Scoop For Uniformity: Use a portion scoop for even and uniform griddle cakes! It is much easier and less messy than using a measuring cup. This way, all your tangy pancakes will cook at the same rate and look picture-perfect.
  • Avoid Overmixing: For best results, don’t overmix the pancake batter. Overmixing can result in a chewy texture, as opposed to the light, fluffier sourdough pancakes we’re aiming for. Just mix until the ingredients are combined and no more.
  • Adjust The Batter Consistency: You can adjust the ratio of liquid to flour depending on how thick you want your them to be. More flour will result in thick, cakey pancakes, while more liquid will give you thin, crispy and chewy ones.
  • Rest The Batter: Let the batter rest! Resting allows the baking powder to activate, resulting in fluffier griddle cakes. You should see little air bubbles when you drag your spoon through the batter.

📖 Variations

  • Chocolate Chip Sourdough Pancakes: For a sweet twist, add a handful of chocolate chips into your sourdough pancake batter. The chocolate will melt as the pancakes cook, creating delicious pockets of melted chocolate within your fluffy sourdough pancakes. 
  • Blueberry Sourdough Pancakes: If you’re a fan of fruit in your griddle cakes, try adding fresh or frozen blueberries to the batter. The blueberries will burst as they cook, adding a delightful sweetness and tang to them. Just be sure to gently fold the blueberries into the batter to avoid crushing them.
  • Savory Sourdough Pancakes: If you prefer a savory breakfast, try adding some sauteed diced veggies or cheddar cheese into your pancake batter. The savory ingredients will add a unique and satisfying twist to your morning meal. You can even top it off with some savory toppings like fried eggs, scrambled eggs, diced avocado, sour cream, or even this pesto without pine nuts!
  • Overnight Sourdough Pancakes: For a time-saving variation, prepare the pancake batter the night before and let it rest in the fridge overnight. The next morning, just add the baking soda and baking powder and cook them. This method will result in extra fluffy pancakes and save you prep time in the morning.
  • Whole Wheat Sourdough Pancakes: For a healthier twist, replace the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour. This will give your sourdough flapjacks a nuttier flavor and add some extra fiber to your breakfast.
  • Homemade Sourdough Pancakes With Fruit: To add a burst of freshness, top them with your favorite fresh fruit or berries. You can also mix some fruit directly into the pancake batter for a fruity surprise in every bite.
  • Sweetener Variations: If you prefer natural sweeteners, try replacing the white sugar in the recipe with maple syrup, honey, or coconut sugar. These alternatives will give your griddle cakes a unique flavor profile while keeping them just as sweet and delicious.

🍽 Serving Suggestions

These sourdough discard pancakes are a delightful, nutritious breakfast option that can be enjoyed in a number of ways. Here are some serving suggestions to turn these pancakes into a full meal, or to pair them with other dishes to create a balanced, satisfying feast.

🙌 Dietary Adaptations

This delicious pancake recipe can easily be modified to become vegan, gluten-free, or dairy-free. Let’s look at the minor tweaks you’ll need to do to fit these dietary preferences:

  • Vegan Sourdough Pancakes: This sourdough discard recipe calls for eggs, which are not vegan-friendly. For those on a vegan diet, you can easily substitute the eggs with flax eggs to make it vegan. To make a flax egg, just mix one tablespoon of ground flaxseed with three tablespoons of water and let it sit for a few minutes until it thickens. This simple swap will allow you to enjoy this delicious breakfast staple while sticking to your dietary restrictions.
  • Gluten-Free Sourdough Pancakes: If you’re following a gluten-free diet, replace the all-purpose and whole wheat flour with a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend. This will allow you to enjoy the same delicious sourdough pancakes without any gluten.
  • Dairy-Free Option: Good news, this recipe is already dairy-free! The recipe uses almond milk and olive oil instead of dairy milk and butter. If you have a nut allergy, you can substitute the almond milk with coconut milk or any other non-dairy milk of your choice.

🫙 Storage Directions

  • To Refrigerate: If you have leftover sourdough discard pancakes, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They’ll stay fresh and tasty for up to three days.
  • To Freeze: You can even freeze them! Lay them out in a single layer in ziplock bag and freeze for up to one month! Perfect for a cozy Saturday morning. 
  • To Reheat: When you’re ready to enjoy them again, reheat them in the microwave on a low setting or gently warm them in the oven. Be careful not to overheat them, as this could make them tough. 

❓ Recipe FAQs

What else can I make with leftover sourdough starter?

Apart from these delicious pancakes, you can use your leftover starter for a variety of other dishes. It works perfectly for the super popular sourdough bread, english muffins, pizza crust, quick-breads, crackers, cakes, and sourdough biscuits. The subtle tang of sourdough adds a unique flavor to baked goods. You can even add some to your waffle batter for delicious sourdough waffles!

How do I make my pancakes fluffy?

To guarantee fluffy pancakes, let your batter rest after mixing. This allows the baking powder to activate and create air bubbles, resulting in a light and fluffy texture. Avoid overmixing the batter, as this can lead to chewy griddle cakes.

What’s the best way to flip pancakes?

For easy flipping, use an extra wide, thin spatula and a hot griddle. Make sure to adjust the heat as necessary to prevent the pancakes from browning too quickly – you don’t want the bottoms to burn before the insides can cook.

Homemade, fluffy sourdough discard pancakes stacked on a plate, topped with berries.

🥞 More Pancake Recipes!

Love this plant based breakfast recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating 🌟 in the recipe below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page!

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📋 Recipe Card

🎥 Watch How to Make It

Fluffy sourdough discard pancakes stacked on a plate, topped with berries.
Print Recipe
5 from 8 votes

Sourdough Discard Pancakes

Ditch the store-bought pancake mix. These sourdough discard pancakes are light, fluffy, and easy to make! Made with leftover sourdough starter discard, these delicious pancakes are family-friendly and ready in 30 minutes!
Prep Time8 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time33 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 159kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until smooth.
  • Allow the batter to rest for 10 minutes before cooking.
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat and lightly spray with spray oil.
  • Drop a ¼ cup of the batter into the heated skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes until bubbles start to appear.
  • Turn the pancakes over and continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes.
  • Remove and repeat with remaining batter.
  • Serve with your favorite pancake toppings.

Notes

  • Substitute both flours for gluten free flour to make these pancakes gluten free.
  • To make these pancakes vegan friendly substitute the eggs with flax eggs.
  • Store left over pancakes covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Do not overmix the batter, and let the batter rest! Baking powder activates as soon as it mixes with a liquid. Rested batter makes fluffier pancakes.  
  • If the pancakes brown too quickly, turn the heat down to medium low. You don’t want the bottoms to burn before the insides can cook. I always like to test a mini pancake first so that I don’t end up wasting a pancake!
  • Use a portion scoop for even and uniform pancakes! It’s much easier than a measuring cup.
  • You can adjust the ratio of liquid to flour depending on how thick you want your pancakes to be. Using more flour will give you thick, cakey pancakes, using more liquid will give you thin, crispy and chewy pancakes.

Nutrition

Serving: 2pancakes | Calories: 159kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 208mg | Potassium: 94mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g

14 responses to “Sourdough Discard Pancakes”

  1. I made these pancakes for breakfast this morning and OMG were they delicious! Definitely adding to my regular rotation.5 stars

  2. Now this is a sourdough discard recipe I can get into. The pancakes look and sound fabulous. Perfect breakfast for my family.5 stars

  3. Thank you, I often have discarded starter and sometimes make crumpets but lI oved it in the pancakes too. Plus, a good reason to make pancakes 😉5 stars

  4. These fluffy and fabulous pancakes are a perfect breakfast to start the day. Can’t wait to taste them.5 stars

  5. What a fantastic way to use up discard! Love this. I hate wasting so I really appreciate recipes like this! Thank you!5 stars

  6. I have never made pancakes using sourdough discard! The pancakes looks fluffy and delicious. I’m going to try this for my weekend brunch with the family this weekend.5 stars

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