Sourdough Discard Chewy Ginger Cookies

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If you’re a sourdough enthusiast looking for a delightful way to repurpose your discard, these Sourdough Discard Chewy Ginger Cookies are a must-try. This recipe not only makes use of your excess sourdough starter but also incorporates a harmonious blend of warm spices and sweet molasses.

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These cookies are incredibly soft and chewy with that sweet molasses and ginger taste! They have a very mellow sweetness to them plain, but you can roll them in cane sugar or sprinkle with powdered sugar if you prefer a sweeter cookie.

If you haven’t gotten started in your sourdough journey yet, check out our guide on how to make a starter from scratch!

Understanding Sourdough Discard

Sourdough discard refers to the portion of sourdough starter that is usually discarded during the feeding process to maintain a healthy starter. Instead of wasting this discard, we can use it to enhance the flavor and texture of various baked goods, including these ginger cookies.

A 100% hydration starter means that the starter is fed with equal parts flour and water by weight. This hydration level contributes to a balanced and active sourdough starter, essential for leavening and flavor development in your cookies. The texture and moisture content of these cookies are really elevated when a 100% hydrated starter is used.

Cookie Baking Tips and Tricks

sourdough discard chewy ginger cookies
  1. Room Temperature Ingredients: Ensure all your ingredients, especially butter and eggs, are at room temperature. This creates a uniform dough texture for even baking.
  2. Chill the Dough: After mixing, refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes. This helps solidify the fats in the dough, preventing cookies from spreading too much during baking. It also gives the sourdough starter time to do its thing on the flour and sugars.
  3. Proper Measuring: Use precise measurements for ingredients to maintain the balance of flavors and textures in the cookies.
  4. Use Parchment Paper: Line your baking sheets with parchment paper to prevent sticking and ensure even baking.
  5. Even Cookie Sizes: Use a cookie scoop or measure the dough consistently to ensure even baking times for all cookies on the tray.

Sourdough Discard Ginger Cookies

Sourdough Discard Ginger Cookies

These cookies are so soft and chewy with a beautiful ginger punch!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time12 minutes
Chill Time2 hours
Servings: 30 Cookies (approx)



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
  • 2 tsp ground ginger powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 12 Tbsp butter softened or room temperature (not melted)
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar light or dark
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup molasses unsulphured
  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter 100% hydration, active or discard


  • Start by combining all the dry components: .2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tsp baking soda,1/2 tsp fine salt, 2 tsp ground ginger powder, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • In a separate bowl, blend both sugars and the slightly softened butter until well-mixed.12 Tbsp butter, 1/2 cup cane sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • In another small bowl, whisk the egg, then incorporate the egg, vanilla, and molasses into the sugar-butter mixture. Beat until thoroughly combined.1 egg, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 1/3 cup molasses
  • Introduce the sourdough starter to the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients, folding and stirring until everything is just combined, being careful not to overmix.1/2 cup sourdough starter
  • Chill the dough in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours, or you can leave it for up to a couple of days. Ensure to cover the bowl to prevent the dough from drying out.
  • Preheat your oven to 350F.
  • If you want to add additional sugar (recommended), place approximately half a cup of sugar or powdered sugar into a separate small bowl. Pinch and roll the dough into 1-inch balls, then roll these balls in sugar until they are lightly but evenly coated.
  • Arrange the cookie dough balls about 3 inches apart (12 per sheet) on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for around 10 to 12 minutes. Take note that the cookies will continue to flatten and crackle on top as they cool.
  • Allow the cookies to cool for several minutes on the baking pan before transferring them to a wire cooling rack.

Maintain the dough’s cold temperature to prevent excessive spreading of cookies. Keep it in the refrigerator until you’re prepared to roll and bake, and refrigerate (or even freeze) the additional dough between baking batches.

Storing Ginger Cookies

sourdough discard ginger cookies

For storage, keep leftovers at room temperature in an airtight container for several days (up to a week), or freeze any extras for up to three months.

This recipe makes a great one to have on hand in the freezer. Prepare the dough, roll into balls, and flash freeze on a baking sheet. Keep the dough balls in a freezer bag and cook when needed.

Craving more sourdough discard recipes? Check out our favorites!

Hey Beautiful! I’m Tara, garden enthusiasts, keeper of chickens, herbal homesteader and stay at home mom of 3 tiny humans and a sourdough starter named Ma. I love teaching others how to live a self-sufficient and sustainable life through homesteading, scratch cooking, and remembering to live barefoot, wild and free!

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