Sourdough Saturday – Savarin Cake

Savarin is a French style, yeasted, sponge cake, similar to baba au rhum but without the raisins.

Many, many years ago I belonged to a recipe group where one of the options was a traditional Savarin. I didn’t make it then, but have been eying it ever since.

I guess it’s true that good things come to those who wait, because this sourdough adaptation was delicious. Light and moist like a traditional sponge cake, but with added zip from the sourdough. Plus it fits my main criteria for dessert – super simple but looks elegant and tastes decadent!


  • 2 cups sourdough starter (find out how to make your own starter here)
  • 3/4 cup softened stick butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup all purpose flour

In a large bowl, beat all ingredients together using either a stand mixer or a hand mixer.. Beat until ingredients are well combined and the batter is smooth – a little longer than you beat a traditional cake batter and a little less than you “knead” bread dough.

Spread the batter evenly in a 8 cup mold or cake pan (I used a Bundt pan). Cover and let rise until almost double.

It took about 4 hours to rise, but I had to run an errand and wasn’t able to bake it right then. So I just let it sit and rise for another two hours with no negative effects.

Bake at 350 degrees for 24 – 30 minutes, or until browned and it pulls away from the sides of the pan. Cool in mold for 10 minutes, remove from mold and let cool another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare Savarin Syrup by combining the following:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark rum

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Let cool to lukewarm.

Prick the cake all over with a thin skewer or a fork. Slowly pour the syrup over the cake until it is all absorbed.

Serve with fresh fruit and whipped cream! We are on day 3 and it is still nice and moist.

Note: If you want a more “boozy” cake, don’t add the rum until you have removed the syrup from the heat.

As usual, I will be submitting this recipe to the Yeastspotting site!

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About the Author

Renee Pottle, an author and heart-healthy educator, loves to explore and write about the Mediterranean Diet. She blogs at and

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