Soft, chewy and easy to make sourdough discard cookies. Whip these Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies up using a bowl and spoon. No mixer needed! Use Sourdough Starter Discard in this recipe just like in these Easy Sourdough Biscuits, and Sourdough Discard Scones. Pillow soft and extra chocolatey featuring chips and chunks, these cookies are freezer friendly! This recipe is vegetarian, and easily dairy free.
Sourdough Discard Cookies
I first tried sourdough chocolate chip cookies from a local bakery a few years ago. What a delight to find this offering as I was just in the throws of learning How to Make Sourdough Bread, so my interest was piqued.
The texture was pillow soft and chewy, with a slight tang. Different from other chocolate chip cookie recipes and from bakeries I’d tried.
With my new knowledge of sourdough cookie possibilities, I started experimenting and tweaking an old recipe to utilize sourdough discard on hand in the fridge that I otherwise use for Sourdough Banana Muffins, Sourdough Oatmeal Pancakes, and Easy Sourdough Biscuits. But now (!!), sourdough starter cookies!
C O O O O K I E E E S ( ! ! )
Related: Use your sourdough starter to make the most fabulous Seeded Multigrain Sourdough Bread!
Quick Guide: How to Make Sourdough Discard Cookies
In this sourdough chocolate chip cookie recipe, discard is incorporated to add flavor and for practicality purposes, to use up that sourdough discard setting in the back of the fridge. Use a bowl and spoon to whip this recipe up! No mixer needed. In summary, here’s how to make this recipe (see recipe card below for details):
- First, melt the butter and transfer it to a large mixing bowl.
- Second, to the butter, whisk in brown and cane sugar.
- Third, whisk in the sourdough discard and egg.
- Next, mix in the dry ingredients, then add the chocolate chips and chunks.
- Last, scoop and bake.
See how easy they are to whip up?
After scooping, there’s no need to rest in the fridge unless more sourdough flavor is desired. Although at this point the cookie dough can be frozen for longer storage.
Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookie Flavor Development
To tease more sourdough flavor from your cookies, simply rest the cookie dough in the fridge for up to three days. Do this by keeping them in the same mixing bowl, scoop then bake or scoop all the cookies and rest in the fridge between parchment paper in a covered container.
Sourdough flavor is more apparent on day three than day one.
Use Chocolate Chips and Chunks
This sourdough discard cookie recipe calls for chocolate chips and chunks. To create those puddles of chocolate, chop your chocolate bar into BIG chunks, about 1/2″ (1.3cm) each, so long as they fit into your cookie scoop.
I like both chips and chunks for flavor and mouth feel. Choose at least 70% chocolate for the chunks, cut from a chocolate bar, and semi sweet chocolate chips, about 60%. If preferred, use milk chocolate chips, although the cookies will taste sweeter.
A Few Recipe Notes
- Dairy Free? Yes Please! I tested this recipe with Earth Balance Buttery Sticks and it works well. Use your favorite dairy free chocolate chips and bar. I like Enjoy Life Foods and Theo Chocolate. *See recipe notes for more details.
- Freezer Friendly! I love having these cookies on hand in the freezer. Simply freeze after scooping on a parchment lined sheet pan. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer container. Thaw at room temperature for about 30 minutes, then bake.
- A Note On Sugar: I use organic cane sugar in my baking recipes. The grain size is larger than granulated sugar and may change the outcome of this recipe if substituted. If you try granulated sugar in this recipe, please let us know how it goes!
- Kitchen Tools: I recommend an oven thermometer, and weighing your ingredients using a digital kitchen scale for best outcome. Use the scoop and sweep method for volume measurements if a scale is unavailable.
More Sourdough Discard Recipes to Love
- Sourdough Vegan Pancakes
- Sourdough Banana Muffins
- Easy Sourdough Discard Biscuits
- Sourdough Oatmeal Pancakes
- Cranberry Orange Sourdough Scones
- Strawberry Sourdough Shortcake
Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups + 3 tablespoons (235 grams) Unbleached All Purpose Flour
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 3/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 3/4 teaspoon Fine Sea Salt
- 1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons (155 grams) Unsalted Butter
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) Light Brown Sugar packed
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (80 grams) Cane Sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 cup (65g) Sourdough Discard
- 1 Large Egg
- 1/2 cup (85 grams) Chocolate Chips I like 60% Semi Sweet
- 3 ounces (85 grams) Chocolate Bar I like 70% - 80% Dark, chopped into large chunks.
- Set oven rack in center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit (177 Celsius). Line a sheet pan or pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
Mix the Cookies:
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a small sauce pot, heat the butter on low until melted. Set aside.
- Into a large mixing bowl, transfer the melted butter. It should be warm to the touch. To the butter, add the brown sugar and cane sugar. Whisk until incorporated. To the butter mixture, add the vanilla and sourdough discard. Whisk until incorporated. Crack the egg into the batter. Whisk until smooth.
- To the butter mixture, add the flour mixture all at once. Use a wooden spoon to mix the ingredients, folding and pressing the dough until there are no dry bits left.
- To the batter, add the chips and chunks. Mix until the chocolate is evenly distributed. For More Sourdough Flavor (optional): At this point, rest cookies in the fridge for up to three days. This can be done right in the mixing bowl, covered, before scooping. Or, scoop (see below), then store cookies between sheets of parchment paper in a lidded container. Bring to room temperature before baking.
- Scoop cookies using a number 40 ice cream/cookie scoop and transfer to prepared pan spacing cookies at about 2 inches (5 centimeters) apart. Or portion to 1 1/2 tablespoons. each, then roll into a ball. To Freeze (optional): At this point the cookies can be frozen. Freeze cookies on a parchment lined sheet pan. Once frozen, transfer to a storage container and freeze for up to three weeks. When ready to bake, thaw at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Bake.
- Bake cookies at 350 Fahrenheit (177 Celsius) for 10-13 minutes OR when the cookies are just turning golden around the edges and the bottom is golden. Remove sheet pan from oven and set on cooling rack. Allow cookies to cool on the pan for about 5 minutes. Transfer individual cookies to a cooling rack and enjoy. Allow to cool completely before storing cookies in a cookie jar. They'll keep for up to three days.
- Reduce added salt to 1/4 tsp. due to the salt content in Earth Balance.
- Because the dough is a bit softer, rest in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes so that the dough is easier to scoop.
- Use your favorite dairy free chocolate chips and bar. I like Enjoy Life Foods and Theo Chocolate.
Wow! These cookies are amazing!!!! I am new to the sourdough game but not the baking game. I’ve had a chocolate chip cookie recipe that I’ve used for years that everyone loves. I was hesitant to try a new one because I’m so biased towards mine but wow these are the best cookies I’ve ever had let alone made!!!!!!!!! I could literally cry (probably because I’m 6 months pregnant)!! Also, I have made 100s of recipes I’ve found online but I’ve never taken the time to comment. These are seriously just that good 😭
Oh my gosh, Raven, lol! Your note made my day! SO excited you’re enjoying the cookies. Thank you for coming back and sharing your thoughts, and five star rating! Day made!
Hello! I’ve made these a few times and they’re one of my favorite cookie recipes! However, the last 2 times I’ve made them, They spread completely flat. Very little structure. I am weighing everything. Any troubleshooting tips for me? Thanks!
Hi Morgan! Thank you for your note. Love that you’re weighing your ingredients and so happy to hear you’re enjoying the cookies, despite their spread. Try adding 1-2 tablespoons of extra flour next time. Due to moisture content differences in flour (and butter), this could be the culprit. Also, are you using an oven thermometer (digital or dial – the kind you put inside your oven) to check proper oven temperature? Let me know how it goes, okay?
It’s so nice to get a recipe from someone who has actually made this recipe. I don’t like the taste of chocolate, but love the smell. I make English Muffins and Bagels each week, and I hate tossing the sourdough discards. I made 18 of these cooking for my study group, they were devoured by 4 women who just couldn’t stop themselves (we had other food there, but the cookies won the disappearance contest!).
Hii Isabel! Thank you for your note and sharing your success with us! Sounds like it’s time to make another batch ;)
I made this twice! Great cookies!
I would like to substitute goji berries instead of the chocolate (due to melting). Should I just add try chopped goji berries or should I rehydrate them before I add them?
Hi Veronica! Hooray! SO happy to hear you’re enjoying the cookies. Definitely rehydrate the goji berries! That sounds yummmm!!
Hi Traci! I feed my starter with bread flour (not all purpose flour) would that be okay to use the discard for this cookie? Thanks@
Hi Lin! It’ll be delicious! 🙌🏻
Hello, today is my 3rd time making this recipe using regular semi-sweet chips and once adding M&M’s to regular semi sweet chips. I am sort of new to using sourdough starter in breads (everyone seems to have been on board since March 2020!) and always felt wasteful with my discard! No more! Thank you, and I’ve been enjoying the recipes in the blog!
Hi Kristin! Thank you so much for your note and giving the recipe a go. I love how versatile it is, and that you added M&M’s! What fun! So happy you’re enjoying the blog :D
a very nice alternative to the same old and for me very old chocolate chip cookie recipe, I’m definitely new to anything sourdough other than basic bread and pizza dough, so thank you!
Hi Sabrina! SO happy to hear you enjoyed the cookies. Discard is magic in baked goods!
What a flawless cookie! So nice to have a recipe that comes together quickly, and bakes so beautifully. I dressed these babies up a little by browning the butter, adding 80 g toasted walnuts, and giving them a little sprinkle of flaky sea salt before baking. I’ve made these several times now, and everyone loves them!
Thank you for your note, Paula and giving the cookies a go! Love these tips… and yes to flaky sea salt! :D
That is a great idea Traci… I used to throw away sourdough natural yeast that I made everyday. Now you just gave me a new cooky recipe… By the way, I made EGG Drop Soup this morning… I comfort food when the weather is cold and I have not make this soup for a few months now… Thanks for a great cooky recipe… Nathan
Thank you for your note, Nathan! Let me know if you give the cookies a go!
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
What a great use of sourdough discard Traci! They look fabulous. Love the combo of chocolate chips and chunks.
Yes to chips and chunks! They melt differently and offer a layer of interest to cookies. Thank you Mare!
Katherine | Love In My Oven
How have I never thought to use sourdough discard in a cookie recipe!? I bet it adds the best flavor! These look so amazing Traci!
Such a treat Katherine! Just adding a bit does wonders for these cookies texture and flavor (if one can be patient!).
Great cookie but I only had a bar of unsweetened chocolate bar that was 100% cacao. I used semi sweet morsels. I little too bitter for my taste buds but nothing a nice glad of milk didn’t cure. I’ll make again after purchasing a better bar of chocolate.
Hi Vickie! Hooray! Thank you for your note and giving the recipe a go! Indeed, 100% cacao is very bitter, even for a cookie with lots of sugar. A 70-80% chocolate bar tones down those bitter chocolate notes and pairs so well with semi sweet morsels! LMK if you give it a go again with a less bitter chocolate.
Liz @ Floating Kitchen
Of all the ways to use sourdough discard, this might be the most brilliant! Happy Valentine’s Day, Traci!
It’s such a treat, Liz! Happy Valentine’s my friend! <3