Sourdough Discard Apple Fritters

Every time I enter a donut shop, I am drawn to the casing with the apple fritters. Generally, apple-based pastries don’t appeal to me, fritters being the exception. It is probably because they are always so ginormous and I just take pleasure in getting things for a good value (more food for less) or maybe its because it has real apples and not just apple flavoring that tricks my mind in thinking it is a healthier alternative. It’s probably both, but needless to say I have extra apples from when I made apple pie, and I am always well stocked with sourdough discard so it is about time I start turning out some apple fritters.

No sourdough? No prob! See the notes below the recipe for a non-sourdough version!

Looking for more sourdough baked goodies? Check these out:

Sourdough Apple Fritters

Small batch apple fritters recipie using sourdough discard. Option to air fry, bake or fry.
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Rest Time4 hours
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pastry, sourdough, sourdough discard
Servings: 4 fritters



  • 100 g sourdough discard or starter
  • 35 ml milk
  • 35 g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 150 g all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 25 g granulated sugar

Apple filling

  • 2 apples
  • 12 g granulated sugar
  • 12 g brown sugar
  • 2 tsp all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/3 lemon juice & zest


  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • pinch salt


Make the dough

  • Pour milk into a microwaveable bowl and microwave it for 30s. Dissolve in sugar, cinnamon and salt. Test the temperature— it should be warm to the touch but not hot. Mix in sourdough discard until it is evenly combined then mix in the egg.
  • Add flour mixture into the sourdough mixture until a sticky dough forms. Add butter and knead for 5-10 minutes until a smooth and elastic dough forms. Cover and let rise for 3-4 hours.

Make the apple filling

  • Slice up apples into small chunks– think the size of almonds and combine with the rest of the ingredients into a small pot or pan. Cook over medium heat until apples are tender and the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat, cover and let cool until ready to use.

Putting it all together

  • Flour your work surface and roll out the dough into a rectangle the size of a sheet of paper. Spread the apple filling on one half of the dough leaving about an inch uncovered around the edges. Fold the other side over. Using a knife, cut the dough into rough chunks.
  • Gather the cut up dough together into a log and divide into 4 even pieces. Take each piece in your hands and squish them together so they hold together and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or baking mat. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes – 1 hour.


  • Air-fryer: Preheat air fryer to 375F by setting it at that temperature and running it for 5 minutes. Air fry dough for 20 minutes on parchment flipping half way.
  • Bake: Preheat oven to 375F and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Fry: Heat up oil in a pot to 375F. Fry fritters, about 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown.


  • Combine the glaze ingredients. Transfer warm apple fritters to a wired rack over a sheet pan and pour the glaze over the fritters. Let set, and enjoy!


Omitting the sourdough

No sourdough? No prob! You can always make a non-sourdough version of the recipe with a few customizations:

  1. Replace the weight of sourdough starter/discard with equal weight flour and water (or a liquid of choice, like milk) ex. replace 60g sourdough discard with 30g flour and 30g water
  2. Increase the amount of active dry yeast you want to use. The amount you increase it by depends on how quickly you want the dough to prove. When just using commercial yeast, I usually expect the dough to double in about 1-2 hours so I would replace every 50g of starter/discard with 3g of active dry yeast. One packet of active dry yeast is about 7g.
  3. Reduce the proof time. This can be tricky. But following the every 50g of starter/discard with 3g of active dry yeast rule, typically the first  long commercial yeast proofing would be about 1-2 hours and the second proofing, is usually about 1 hour. It is better to eye it and see if the dough has risen or not since there are a lot of other factors that could affect your dough (temperature, weather etc.)

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