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How To Use Sourdough Discard To Make Cinnamon Rolls

A selection of pastries with Cinnamon Roll

Using sourdough discard to make cinnamon rolls is the best way for repurposing something to make a delicious sweet treat

What Is Sourdough Discard?

Sourdough discard is the portion of sourdough starter (the mixture of flour and water that contains yeast and bacteria over time) that is removed before feeding the starter. Although sourdough discard can be used to create a new starter, it can also be used in various recipes. As with the typical nature of sourdough, sourdough discard in recipes can add that tangy flavor and deepen the taste of your favorite baked goods. In addition, the moisture that it adds to recipes can make your food taste fresher for longer. Sourdough discard has been through the fermentation process, so it has health benefits as well–rich in probiotics, which is great for the gut. 

A richer flavor and a healthy plus? Count us in. Here's to delicious and nutritious cinnamon rolls.

Cinnamon Rolls Using Sourdough Discard

Like any other recipe, there are so many ways to make sourdough discard cinnamon rolls–here’s a quick and easy recipe for you, with delicious cream cheese frosting! A general rule of thumb is to add one cup of sourdough discard to your dough.


  • 1 cup sourdough discard

  • 1 cup warm milk

  • ½ cup melted unsalted butter

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 4 cups flour

  • 1 packet active dry yeast

  • 1 egg


  • ½ cup softened unsalted butter

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon


  • 4 oz softened cream cheese

  • ¼ cup softened unsalted butter

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Combine discard, milk, butter, sugar, and salt.

  • Add active dry yeast.

  • Stir in the egg.

  • Gradually add flour, then knead the dough until it becomes smooth.

  • Cover the dough with a damp cloth, and let rise until it doubles in size (~1-2 hours).

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, or 190 degrees C.

  • Spread butter over rolled-out dough and sprinkle the filling evenly.

  • Roll the dough into a log and cut it into equal-sized rolls.

  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool.

  • Spread frosting over warm cinnamon rolls.

As with any other recipe, you can personalize the filling, the toppings, and the garnish. Have fun and enjoy!

Cinnamon Roll made with Sourdough Scraps

Other Options

The great thing about sourdough discard is that you can use it for so many other recipes. Listed below are a few other options besides cinnamon rolls, in case you want that tangy twist in some other recipes:

  • Sugar cookies

  • Pie crust

  • Waffles or pancakes

  • Muffins

  • Pizza crust

  • Banana bread

Have fun exploring everything else you can do! With sourdough discard, this is just the beginning.



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