Turtle Sourdough Brownies: Sourdough Surprises

I have found a new challenge…sourdough starter used to bake something other than sourdough bread!  Crazy right?  There is a group dedicated to using sourdough starter in all new, creative ways.  Where do I sign up?

Every month there is a different theme, and this month’s theme is Sourdough Brownies.  This is my first month participating in Sourdough Surprises and I couldn’t be more excited.  Not just because I love a challenge, but because I am so excited to learn how to use my sourdough starter for something other than sourdough bread.  Not that sourdough bread isn’t awesome, it is, but I knew that there had to be more that it could be used for.

They gave us a recipe from Wild Yeast that we could use as a jumping off point.  You are allowed to add your own unique twist and embellishments to the recipe, and boy did I!  I normally like my brownies chewy and gooey with no nuts or toppings.  Just a nice, rich, deep chocolatey brownie allowed to shine all on their own.  So I started with the original recipe and added espresso powder, because I always do to bring out the chocolate undertones.  Then I added chocolate chips just for fun.  I pulled them out of oven, and they were still shiny on top.  I expected a gooey center when they cooled, but that is not what I found.  I wish I had the perfect words to describe how these brownies turned out, so let’s give this a try…..

Turtle Sourdough Brownies Knife

The brownies are crumbly, but not dry.  They are moist and melt in your mouth, and have a distinct “tang” to them.  The sourdough starter definitely stands out.  Now each starter is different, so we all probably have different degrees of tanginess……

Turtle Sourdough Brownies Napkin

I’m not going to say they are sour, because they are not.  They lean more towards tart than sweet.  So I needed to kick up the sweetness!  Turtle Sourdough Brownies it is…..

Turtle Sourdough Brownies cookingwithcurls.com

The only caramel sauce that I have ever made, was for caramel apples.  I was afraid that it would be too thick, so I started looking for another option.  I combined bits and pieces of each recipe and created a caramel sauce that does not contain heavy cream.  I used canned coconut milk instead…..

Caramel Coconut Milk

I made two separate batches trying to achieve a dark amber color, but it never happened.  This caramel sauce taste wonderful!  I’m sure it would be perfect over vanilla ice cream as well:)  Okay, back to the brownies…..

After I made my sauce, I toasted some pecans and made a standard chocolate ganache to drizzle over the top.  It is just the right amount of sweetness to compliment the sourdough brownies beneath them.

Check out all of the other sourdough brownies here:

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Turtle Sourdough Brownies

Serves 12+
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 55 minutes
Meal type Dessert
A new twist on brownies covered with caramel, pecans, and chocolate ganache.


  • Sourdough Brownies
  • 300 Grams bittersweet chocolate (almost 3 bars of Ghirardelli)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 Teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 Large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 40 Grams cocoa powder
  • 1 Tablespoon espresso powder
  • 1 cup "fed" soughrdough starter
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Caramel Sauce
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk (shake well before opening - can substitute heavy cream)
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Chocolate Ganache
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tablespoons full fat coconut milk (shake well before opening - can substitute heavy cream)
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter


Turtle Sourdough Brownies Parchment
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a metal 9 X 13 pan with parchment paper. Spray parchment with cooking spray or coat with butter. If you leave an overhang of parchment paper, it is much easier to remove the brownies from the pan.
Turtle Sourdough Brownies Chocolate
I used a scale to measure the bittersweet chocolate.
Turtle Sourdough Brownies Butter
Place chocolate and butter in a large dish and microwave for 1 minute.
Turtle Sourdough Brownies Whisk
Stir and return to microwave in 15 second increments, stirring each time, until chocolate is smooth.
Turtle Sourdough Brownies Sugar
Whisk in the sugar, salt, and vanilla.
Turtle Sourdough Brownies Egg
Add the eggs one at a time, whisking to combine after each addition.
Turtle Sourdough Brownies Cocoa
Sift the cocoa powder, and stir into mixture. I had to weigh the cocoa powder on the scale as well.
Turtle Sourdough Brownies Espresso Powder
Add the espresso powder.
Turtle Sourdough Brownies Starter
Add the starter and stir gently until it is fully incorporated.
Turtle Sourdough Brownies Chips
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Turtle Sourdough Brownies Pan
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Turtle Sourdough Brownies Baked
Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. They are done, and the top is still shiny.
Cool in the pan for 20 minutes.
Turtle Sourdough Brownies Knife
Lift out of the pan and allow to cool completely.
Turtle Sourdough Brownies Napkin
Cut and serve or add Turtle Topping.
Caramel Sauce
Caramel Sugar Water
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring sugar, water, and agave nectar to a boil. Stirring well in the beginning to dissolve the sugar.
Caramel Simmer
Reduce heat to low, and continue cooking until mixture turns a deep amber color, about 12 - 15 minutes. Swirl contents occasionally to ensure even cooking.
Caramel Add Butter
Remove pan from heat and very carefully add the butter.
Caramel Add Milk
Add the coconut milk and salt, and stir until smooth.
Caramel Cool
Let cool before serving.
Caramel Toast Pecans
Toast pecans in a non-stick skillet until aromatic and slightly browned.
Caramel Chop Pecans
Chop pecans.
Caramel Add Pecans
Add pecans to caramel sauce, stir to combine. Set aside.
Turtle Sourdough Brownies with Caramel
Pour caramel pecan sauce over cut brownies.
Chocolate Ganache
Ganche Bowl
Place chocolate chips, coconut milk, and butter in a small bowl.
Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and continue to heat in 15 second increments until melted.
Ganache Melted
Stir ganache until smooth.
Turtle Sourdough Brownies cookingwithcurls.com
Allow ganache to cool a bit and drizzle over caramel topped brownies.


The Caramel Sauce is on the thin side, probably better suited for ice cream.  I would suggest serving on a plate or in a bowl with vanilla ice cream!


  1. says

    Oh my! I am drooling big time! Caramel is my downfall! Yum! Yum! Yum! Glad you joined us sharing sourdough recipes! Welcome!

  2. says

    Oh. My. Gosh. That photo wit hall the ooey gooey deliciousness dripping off the cut brownies… holy smokes. That is heaven on a plate. You did an awesome job of describing the brownies, too – and caramel sauce using coconut milk? Holy moly, these may be my new favorites!!!

  3. says

    Oh wow, how interesting! As soon as I saw the title I said, “Those must be tangy brownies!” But you’ve convinced me that a slight tang could mean a delicious brownie. 🙂


  4. says

    Turtle Brownies – OMG these decadent ooey gooey chocolatey bites are calling my name, loudly. Your recipe took brownies over the top, in a good way.

  5. narf7 says

    These look magnificent! I am going to make these with “Audrey” ASAP. Out of all of the sourdough brownies in this challenge, I think you nailed the brief completely :). My husband is going to adore these so hugs from Tasmania Australia from a very happy man 🙂

  6. says

    Oh man!!! Turtle brownies! With coconut carmel!!! These sound so amazing!! And welcome to Sourdough Surprises! We are so excited you are joining us, and can’t wait to see what other delicious goodies you make! 🙂

  7. says

    I love all of your instructional pics! (I’m a visual person and always needs to know if I’m doing it right.) I can’t wait to try these with this taste and texture you described! Pinned (=

  8. says

    Hi Lisa, Just saw this recipe at Cynthia’s Swap N Share Sunday. These look so delicious. I’m not a big brownie fan, but the sauce and toppings make me want to get in the kitchen and bake a batch.

    Thanks so much for sharing,

  9. says

    Coming over from Spatulas on Parade to take a closer look at Sourdough Brownies. OMGOODNESS! Turtle Sourdough Brownies!!! I’ve made all things sourdough — I thought — never brownies. Sounds good!

  10. Jamie @ Love Bakes Good Cakes says

    Idk why, but I have always been afraid of sourdough ….. however, these brownies may have just changed that 😉 Pinning them, Lisa! Thanks so much for sharing at last week’s All My Bloggy Friends! I can’t wait to see what you share this week 🙂


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