One applesauce sourdough discard muffin held in a hand over the kitchen table.
Baking,  recipe

Quick and Easy Applesauce Sourdough Muffin Recipe

This recipe is SUPER versatile and I love recipes like that. I can adjust based on preferences, what I have on hand, what we’re in the mood for. In my life, I need recipes like this, not rigid ones with no flexibility. I hope you enjoy these muffins! Applesauce or pumpkin, nuts or chocolate (or both!) and you’ve got something for everyone.

One applesauce sourdough discard muffin held in a hand over the kitchen table.

Most sourdough muffins simply use some discard in them, so I called these a “quickie sourdough.” While they use up some of the ever-present discard stored in my fridge…the flour in them is not truly fermented, so when one has a sensitive tummy, these might not be tolerated well.

This recipe is the best of both worlds, you can mix and bake right away, OR ferment part of the dough overnight (or all day) and then mix and bake to make the whole batch true sourdough.

While muffins are fun, when one has a lot of children and farm chores, one can get tired of scooping and baking muffins. I’m happy to tell you that you can bake this recipe in a 9×13 pan, for a few minutes longer, and then slice it into squares like cake. They might not be grab and go then, but the time savings are worth it. 

Applesauce muffins cooling on a dish towel.

You can bake the batter as is, or we like to dress them up with a little cane sugar on top. If you plan to freeze them, I do not suggest topping them as the toppings get soggy in the freezer.  With some organic cane sugar sprinkled on top before baking, it makes a lovely sweet crunch that makes this muffin skirt the line on a cupcake. Which is how I like my muffins…

One applesauce sourdough discard muffin held in a hand over the kitchen table.
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5 from 17 votes

Applesauce Sourdough Discard Muffins

No one wants to waste their sourdough discard! It's a natural part of the process of keeping sourdough, so this recipe teaches you how to utilize that discard.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Fermet6 hrs
Total Time6 hrs 30 mins
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 36 muffins
Calories: 359kcal


  • 1 1/2 cups sugar OR 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 cups sourdough discard
  • 1 1/2 cups applesauce or use pumpkin or squash puree
  • 3 cups flour all-purpose or whole wheat or a mix
  • 1/2 cup melted butter, coconut oil or olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts or chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda


To ferment:

  • Mix sugar, applesauce, and sourdough discard together in a bowl. Add the flour. Cover and let sit on the counter 6 hours, up to overnight.

To make now:

  • If you want to just mix and bake right away, mix the sugar, applesauce, and sourdough discard up, followed by the flour, and then immediately move onto the next step.
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F. Mix in the vanilla, eggs, melted butter, salt, and nuts/chocolate. Mix well. Its going to be a little gloppy/hard to mix, but use your elbow grease!
  • Sprinkle the baking soda and baking powder over the whole dough, and mix well for 10-20 seconds. Let sit while you line your muffin pans or grease your 9×13 pan. The chemical reaction with the sourdough and the baking powder/baking soda with change the consistency of the dough to be more like a normal muffin batter.
  • Scoop 1/4 cup scoops into muffin papers/greased muffin pans or pour the whole bowl in a 9×13 pan.
  • If desired, sprinkle with coarse sugar such as organic cane sugar, maybe 1/2-1 tsp per muffin.

To bake:

  • For muffin tins, bake 20 min, turning halfway. Check with a knife to make sure they are done
  • For a 9×13 pan, bake for 30-35 minutes, turning halfway. Check with a knife to make sure it is done.


These muffins/loaf really need to cool down to being just warm. If you eat when they’re still hot, they will stick to the papers and be gummy. Sourdough needs to cool down a bit to set up its ‘crumb structure.’
Inspired by Simple Life by Kels


Serving: 1muffin | Calories: 359kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 301mg | Potassium: 132mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 197IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 2mg

Sourdough Sweets


  • Melinda Borda

    My kids and I loved this! Thank you, Kate, for another excellent, kid-friendly recipe.

    I made this with pumpkin puree, avocado oil, and a flax seed egg substitute since I was out of eggs. One of the best things about Kate’s recipes is that they have tasted amazing even when I substitute ingredients.

  • Bonnie Peters

    These muffins are fantastic!!! I used banana instead of applesauce and did the overnight ferment and they are perfect! Delicious. My kids want to eat them all!

    • Linda B

      I’ve had this recipe floating around on my counter for months. Finally made them today and can’t believe I waited so long. I followed the recipe exactly, but added dried cranberries instead of nuts or chocolate chips. Delicious!!! I think this is going to be my new go to muffin recipe. I’ve already jotted down some other options for add ins: blueberries, whole cranberries, shredded apples. Can’t wait to make them again!


        My granddaughter and I made them with applesauce, mashed bananas, walnuts and dates…I totally agree, going to make them again and again!!

  • Leah

    5 stars
    I’ve made these muffins two times in as many days, once with pumpkin & pumpkin pie spice and once with applesauce and cinnamon, They are absolutely amazing! They will now be a regular in our house.!

  • Erika

    5 stars
    Wow- these are amazing!! I am NEW to sourdough so I’m still trying to figure it all and this recipe was wonderful. I used pumpkin purée and honey.
    I also accidentally ran out of time the first day I made them so I popped the “starter” dough in the fridge overnight and added the rest (eggs, etc.) to bake the next day, and they still turned out great. Thank you Kate!!

  • Jessica

    5 stars
    Excellent! I used pumpkin purée for half the batch and applesauce for the other half- put walnuts in the apple mixture and pecans in the pumpkin mixture and used just a little less honey than the recipe called for, but next time will follow exactly as written as mine needed just a bit more sweetness. Also forgot to add salt but I am super happy with these muffins and I will definitely make again! Thank you!

  • Kylee Chase

    5 stars
    These turned out perfectly! Let the dough ferment over night and finished the process in the morning. I didn’t add any mix-ins, as I had none on hand my kids would go for, but excited to try different combinations as I continue to use this recipe! I did sprinkle cinnamon-sugar on top and that was delish!

  • Haley Holden

    5 stars
    These look amazing!!! I have a quick question… does the taste change depending on if you make it all the same day versus letting it sit? Or will it taste the same regardless? Thank you!


      Because it’s sourdough the batter will get more zippy, but if you like the sourdough flavour it just makes for a better muffin.

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