The Sourdough School – Cookbook Giveaway

Enter our US giveaway to win one of three copies of The Sourdough School: Sweet Baking: Nourishing the Gut & the Mind by Vanessa Kimbell.

The Sourdough School: Sweet Baking is a valuable guide to exploring the techniques and ingredients involved in successful sweet sourdough baking. This book is a companion to the bestselling The Sourdough School, but focuses on sweet recipes that are gut-friendly and rely on natural sweetness where possible.

Classic recipes and new ideas for flavor combinations offer bakers an alternative method of baking. If it rises, it can be made with sourdough. Also featured are recipes for jams, syrups, and cultured butters to accompany your bakes.

Vanessa explains too how sourdough helps to maintain the health and diversity of your gut microbiome. New studies are unveiling links between the microorganisms in our gut and our mood and behavior, and Vanessa is at the forefront of sourdough research. While this is a beautiful baking title it is also an education in the science of sourdough.

The author begins with botanical blends that were inspired by standing in a field of grains and reflect the way the grains grow naturally. Wild oats, brome grasses, poppies, fragrant herbs, and more are featured in the blends shared. With stunning imagery and Vanessa’s vast knowledge, this is a wonderful introduction and study of sourdough.

Special thanks to Kyle Books for sharing the following recipe with our members and providing three copies of this title in our giveaway below.

Carrot & walnut cake
Add this recipe to your Bookshelf (click the blue +Bookshelf button).

Serves 10

Diversity score:
Ingredients 21 + Diversity muesli 30 + Botanical blend 18 + = 69 

The Gut Factor Increases levels of polyphenols
Suggested Botanical Blend No. 7: Spiced or No. 9: Eastern
Probiotic: Probiotic cream frosting

Most problems in life seem smaller when faced with a pot of tea, a slice of cake and time to chat. Here, I’ve combined Earl Grey with walnuts and a malt frosting for a gut microbiome-friendly version of a carrot cake. Black tea is a powerhouse of polyphenols like catechins, theaflavins and arubigens. These antioxidant compounds help prevent oxidative stress in the cells, which can also help mood and attention span. Studies show that the polyphenols in tea can help reduce the risk of stroke and cardiovascular diseases, as well as having antidepressant properties. Walnuts are also a source of polyphenols and ellagic acid, which is metabolised by gut microbes into anti-inflammatory compounds. One study suggested that the undigestible fibre in walnuts provides food for bacterial species in the gut that promote health and reduce inflammation.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the starter, oil, syrup, orange zest, tea and sugar until smooth. In a separate bowl or small jug, beat the eggs until frothy, then stir them into the mixture. Add the orange juice, grated carrot and walnuts. Add the flour, vanilla powder and nutmeg and stir, ensuring everything is fully incorporated.

Grease 3 x 20cm (8-inch) round cake tins with butter and dust with muesli. Divide the mixture evenly between the tins, cover and leave overnight on the work surface. In the morning, the cakes will be risen to double their previous size. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.

Bake the cakes for 20–25 minutes, or until they are light golden and a skewer inserted into the sponge comes out clean. Turn off the oven, open the oven door and leave the cakes in the oven for 5 minutes to dry. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins.

While the cakes are cooling, make the frosting. Place the butter, malt, labneh, vanilla extract and orange zest into a bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a paste. Now whisk using a hand or electric whisk until smooth and thoroughly blended.

Once completely cool, spread a third of the icing on one cake, place a second cake on top and spread with another third of the frosting. Place the remaining cake on top and spread with the remaining third of the frosting. Decorate with chopped walnuts and drizzle with date syrup. Eat fresh.

Starter Sweet or Sour


  • 200g bubbly, lively starter or discard (page 114; see schedule)
  • 150g sunflower oil
  • 5 tablespoons date syrup
  • zest of 3 oranges and juice of 1 orange
  • 100ml Earl Grey tea 
  • 100g soft light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 200g carrots, grated
  • 100g walnuts, finely chopped
  • 500g Botanical blend nos. 7 or 9, or stoneground wholegrain flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons Ndali vanilla powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • butter, for greasing
  • 3 tablespoons Diversity muesli (page 58), with fruit removed

For the probiotic cream frosting

  • 150g Cultured butter, at room temperature
  • 40g malt (optional)
  • 1kg Malted orange labneh (page 76), at room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons Ndali vanilla extract
  • zest of 2 oranges

To decorate

  • 50g walnuts, chopped
  • 3–4 tablespoons date syrup

DDT 22–23°C (72–73°F)


Day 1-9pm – Refresh starter (first build)
Day 2-8am – Refresh starter (second build)
           8pm – Mix dough and return the starter to the fridge (unless you are proceeding to a third build). Prove overnight.
Day 3-9am – Bake  
         11am – Decorate

Special thanks to the publisher who is offering three copies of this book to members in the US. Entry options include answering the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won’t be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post and this forum post. Once you log in and enter your member name you will be directed to the next entry option – the blog comment. After that, there are additional options that you can complete for more entries. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on April 26th, 2021.

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Post a comment


  • sarahawker  on  October 14, 2020

    Sounds so odd, this may be the one: Chamomile & honey sourdough fizz

  • youarebecauseyoueat  on  October 14, 2020

    Too good! Can’t decide between Morello Cherry Shortbread or Chocolate Tangerine and Pistachio Cakes.

  • matag  on  October 14, 2020

    Morello cherry shortbread

  • DarcyVaughn  on  October 15, 2020


  • debbiehb  on  October 15, 2020

    sweet sour dough starter

  • youngsvnnhrs  on  October 15, 2020

    Sourdough vanilla ice cream

  • sunnystreet1967  on  October 15, 2020

    I’d like to try the Chocolate Chip Biscuits. Thanks for the giveaway!

  • VictoryChristmas  on  October 15, 2020

    The Moroccan labneh sounds amazing

  • dbranigan27  on  October 15, 2020

    I would try the Honey, orange & dukkah sweet pappardelle.

  • roxlet  on  October 16, 2020

    Sweet sourdough starter

  • LeMinou  on  October 17, 2020

    Morello cherry shortbread

  • MrKaplan  on  October 17, 2020

    Carrot & Walnut cake

  • dwager  on  October 17, 2020

    Sourdough *ice cream*?? Gotta try that!

  • Grywhp  on  October 17, 2020

    The ice cream!

  • clairew137  on  October 18, 2020

    Morello Cherry Shortbread

  • LittleIndiana  on  October 18, 2020

    I would try the Chocolate, tangerine & pistachio cakes (found on page 3). The youngest loooooves pistachios. We all love chocolate! Tangerines are a nice twist on the typical orange seen everywhere else.

  • Siegal  on  October 18, 2020

    Live sourdough donuts

  • KevinSeattle  on  October 19, 2020

    I would probably make the brioche first.

  • LaurenE  on  October 19, 2020

    Morello cherry shortbread

  • stepspior  on  October 20, 2020

    Honey, orange & dukkah sweet pappardelle

  • ravensfan  on  October 20, 2020

    Chocolate & raspberry porridge breakfast pots

  • Lora724  on  October 20, 2020

    Chocolate chip biscuits.

  • Sanyo12  on  October 21, 2020

    Base blend no. 7: spiced

  • Lkitchings  on  October 22, 2020

    Malty chocolate labneh

  • t.t  on  October 23, 2020

    Sourdough jalebi

  • kmn4  on  October 23, 2020

    Morello cherry shortbread

  • amylou61  on  October 24, 2020

    I’d try the Sourdough kisses

  • Dannausc  on  October 26, 2020

    Malted orange labneh

  • EmilyR  on  October 26, 2020

    Sourdough vanilla ice cream

  • Shelmar  on  October 26, 2020

    Honey, ginger, and orange syrup

  • banba1  on  October 27, 2020

    Sourdough vanilla ice cream sounds intriguing!

  • Laura1  on  October 27, 2020

    Carrot & Walnut cake

  • moralla  on  October 28, 2020

    Blackberry & cultured cream mini cakes

  • vhfvhf  on  October 29, 2020

    Cultured cream

  • jshippee  on  October 29, 2020

    Malted orange labneh, though I have no idea what spray malt is.

  • gilmonster  on  October 30, 2020

    sourdough donuts

  • NaomiH  on  October 30, 2020

    Diversity pikelets

  • BMeyer  on  October 31, 2020

    basic sourdough

  • JessHeilman  on  November 2, 2020

    Malted orange labneh

  • leilx  on  November 2, 2020

    Cherry and earl gray kvass

  • linmulholland  on  November 3, 2020

    tortas de aceite!

  • PeavineBlues  on  November 6, 2020

    Base sourdough brioche

  • Shelley.b  on  November 6, 2020

    Fresh fruit compote

  • Leonard5854  on  November 8, 2020

    Carrot & walnut cake

  • RickPearson54  on  November 9, 2020


  • cgertum  on  November 11, 2020

    carrot and walnut cake

  • rrwrites  on  November 12, 2020

    Morrocan labneh

  • HomespunHouse  on  November 13, 2020

    Carrot & Walnut Cake

  • RSW  on  November 16, 2020

    Honey, orange & dukkah sweet pappardelle

  • nvernon  on  November 19, 2020

    Malted orange labneh

  • rubytue  on  November 22, 2020

    I want to try “Blackberry & cultured cream mini cakes”

  • sequoia55  on  November 24, 2020

    sweet sour dough starter

  • jluvs2bake  on  November 25, 2020

    Mulberry galette

  • Redmoose31  on  November 27, 2020

    carrot and walnut cake

  • ChicagoJen  on  November 29, 2020

    I’ve been wanting to make my own yogurt.

  • lpatterson412  on  December 1, 2020

    Raspberry slices!

  • jawmonkey  on  December 13, 2020

    It would be neat to make cultured butter.

  • auntietina  on  December 16, 2020

    Morello cherry shortbread

  • Luro496  on  December 16, 2020

    cherry shortbread!

  • JEWGAL777  on  December 18, 2020

    Chocolate chip biscuits

  • Leonard5854  on  December 19, 2020

    Carrot and walnut cake

  • Emwitting  on  December 20, 2020

    Base blend #9 and instructions for what to do with the yummy sounding base blends

  • leroykm909  on  December 21, 2020

    I’m a bread baker. Enough said!

  • rdunsmore  on  December 22, 2020

    Morracan labneh

  • choppergirl  on  December 24, 2020

    Malted orange labneh

  • CatsintheKitchen  on  December 30, 2020

    very interesting flavors! I’d go with the Morello Cherry Shortbread.

  • FireRunner2379  on  January 1, 2021

    I would make the Chocolate brownie cake first.

  • HLadd  on  January 3, 2021

    Fig and walnut slices

  • Dhasenkampf  on  January 14, 2021

    Honey, orange & dukkah sweet pappardelle

  • Etrnalhope  on  January 19, 2021

    Not sure if this counts, but anything with Base Blend No. 3. I just signed up for a CSA grain share and also have dried herbs from a medicinal herb share and have a bag of dulse I want to figure out how else to use, just odds and ends that this seems to incorporate!

  • YumYum21  on  February 12, 2021

    carrot and apricot doughnuts

  • sarahteertzah  on  February 25, 2021

    Chocolate chip biscuits!

  • avonleajules  on  March 19, 2021

    Chocolate chip biscuits

  • Karla123  on  March 24, 2021

    Chamomile & honey sourdough fizz

  • aesop  on  March 31, 2021

    YUM!!! Carrot & Walnut Cake!

  • redcurrant  on  April 14, 2021

    Carrot and apricot donuts

  • Shelley.b  on  April 16, 2021

    Morrell cherry shortbread

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