Sourdough marble muffins

Sourdough marble muffins

My relationship with sweet muffins can mostly be filed under the heading “disasters”. For years, I have  been looking for a muffin recipe that produced those beautiful domed muffins you usually buy at the bakery.  The results are usually either flat cup-cake like things or mini volcanos that spell oven the pan and the oven and result in hours of scrubbing and occasional cursing.

That chapter in my baking adventure finally came to an end this month with the sourdough surprises challenge.

For this month’s sourdough surprises, we were challenged to use our creativity and convert our favorite quick bread or muffin recipe into a sourdough recipe. I have a marble cake recipe which I love. I decided to convert it to sourdough and push the limit a little and play with it and turn it into marble muffins. It took a lot of reading and researching and staying glued to the oven while the muffins baked ready to intervene if the muffins decided to spell all over my oven.

The muffins did not spell or spread, on the contrary, they rose into beautiful round high domes.  Not only did they look great, they tasted heavenly and I think it is because of the starter in them, they did not go stale for days. I have noticed this very same effect in sourdough bread. It can go for days and days without going stale. The kids loved them with tea and took them to school neatly packed in their lunch boxes. So these muffins check all the boxes

If you don’t have your own sourdough starter, you can use my tutorial to get one. It is much easier than you think and having a sourdough starter opens up a world of yummy options. Just check out my sourdough recipe category if you need a little more encouragement. Now let’s get back to the topic of the day.

How to convert a regular quick bread recipe into a sourdough recipe?

Before I answer that question I think there is another question that begs for an answer.

Why should I ? Why should I mess with my favorite quick bread recipe and convert it into sourdough?

As I explained before when I shared my sourdough English muffins recipe. Using a sourdough starter makes your baked goods more digestible and more nutritious too. The acids in the starter make the vitamins and minerals in the flour more available to the body. The acids also slow down the rate at which glucose is released into the blood-stream and lower the muffin’s glycaemic index (GI), so it doesn’t cause undesirable spikes in insulin. They also render the gluten in the flour more digestible and less likely to cause food intolerance.

The Formula

This would be easiest if you maintain a starter at 100% hydration (which means you feed your starter equal amounts of flour and water at every feeding). A starter at 100% is 50% flour and 50% water. Meaning 1 cup of starter would contain half a cup of water and half a cup of flour. You can use that knowledge to convert your recipe from regular quick bread or muffin to sourdough.

You do however have to keep in mind that sourdough is acidic and it will affect the chemistry of your recipe so it would work best in recipes that already contain an acidic component like buttermilk or yogurt.

The formula that I have found to work best is to replace 1/4 cup of the flour and 1/4 cup of the liquid with 1/2 a cup of sourdough starter.

For example my recipe called for


  • 2 cups of flour,
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 cup of yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of sourdough starter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoon coco powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules (optional)
Read the whole recipe on Chef in disguise