If you are looking for a delicious, comforting, and easy way to use up sourdough discard, these Vegan Chai Sourdough Muffins are for you. I can’t say that the sourdough flavor comes through, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s a great way to not let discard go to waste. Instead of tangy, the flavor is warm, rich, and spicy like a sweet cup of chai. These muffins may be my son’s favorite yet, and my husband loves to heat them up and add a little cinnamon honey butter.
The first time I experimented with the recipe, the muffins hardly rose and were flat. While the flavor was great, an excess of moisture made the muffin heavy and dense. For reference, I started with 150 grams of flour, 1 cup of applesauce, and ¼ cup of plant-based milk.
On my second attempt, the texture significantly improved from upping the flour, decreasing the applesauce, and slightly increasing the milk to thin out the batter; however, the muffins still weren’t as airy as I was looking for. From testing various vegan egg substitutes in muffins before, I knew that too much applesauce was the culprit behind the “crust-like” edge that separated from the rest of the muffin.
For my third and final test, all I did was halve the amount of applesauce from the previous bake (a decrease from ½ to ¼ cup). The result was the light, slightly domed, flavorful muffin that I was looking for.
If you don’t work with sourdough or have discard on hand, I highly recommend the Chai Spiced Vegan Muffin Recipe by Feel Good Foodie that inspired the flavor and gave me a starting point.
A Few Things to Keep in Mind:
The sourdough discard can be used directly from the fridge. If the discard has a layer of liquid on top, be sure to stir it well before measuring. I almost always measure discard by weight, as that ensures none gets lost on the measuring cup (plus it saves a difficult dish). I tend to use whatever neutral oil I have on hand, and I can confirm that the muffins turn out well with both extra-light flavored olive oil and canola oil. If you make the recipe successfully with another oil, please let me know. Lastly, my oven tends to run hot, so be sure to do the toothpick test before assuming they are fully baked.
So without further ado, here is the recipe for Vegan Chai Sourdough Muffins.
Vegan Chai Sourdough Muffins
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (180g)
- 2/3 cup brown sugar (130g)
- 1 tbsp baking powder (14g)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 cup sourdough discard (120 g)
- 1/2 cup neutral oil of choice (120 ml)
- 1/4 cup applesauce unsweetened
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/3 cup plant-based milk (80 ml)
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly grease 10 cups of a 12-muffin tin with nonstick spray or add liners.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices.
- In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: discard, oil, applesauce, maple syrup, and plant-based milk.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and gently stir with a spatula until just combined. The batter will be thick.
- Fill the 10 muffin cups with the batter. It should just fit with the cups fairly full.
- Bake at 425°F for 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 350°F and then cook for 5 more minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.