If, like me, you have a never-ending supply of sourdough discard that you hate to waste, this recipe is for you. If you have a reasonable supply of sourdough discard and just love tasty fall muffins, this recipe is also for you. These Sourdough Discard Spiced Pear Muffins were born of a need to use up some of my sourdough discard so it didn't burst out of its container (yet again) and spill all over the shelf of my fridge (yet again) as well as utilize the gorgeous fresh pears I had sitting on my counter. These muffins are spiced with fall-favorites cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and vanilla and topped with just enough coarse sugar to make the tops slightly crackly and thoroughly irresistible.
What kind of pear is best to use?
What kind of pear is sitting in your fruit bowl making pear-eyes at you every time you enter the room? Use that one. This recipe is super flexible for whatever pears you prefer, however, if you are purchasing pears specifically for this recipe, the following three varieties are very common in the US:
- Bartlett – Often green with yellow and red blushing, though you can also find red Barlett varieties as well. This pear is thin-skinned and very sweet. It is generally what I use for this recipe, only because we buy them most often.
- Bosc – Brown with firm skin and lightly sweet. This pear is a great choice if you find that you prefer a bit more bite to your pear as they do not turn to mush as easily as other pears.
- Anjou – Often green, sometimes red. This pear has a firm skin and medium sweetness.
Let's talk about the coarse sugar topping
I love to top these muffins with a bit of coarse turbinado sugar before they bake so the resulting muffin top gets slightly crackly and sparkly. If you do not have turbinado sugar, demerara sugar makes a nice alternative. If you have neither, classic granulated sugar can also be used to create a nice crackly top. If you wish, you can also omit the sugar topping altogether and these muffins are still very lovely.
What tools do I need to make this recipe?
- A cutting board
- A chefs knife or paring knife
- A large mixing bowl
- A medium mixing bowl
- A kitchen scale (for super-accurate measurements) or measuring cups (for less accurate measurements)
- Measuring spoons
- A whisk or fork
- A wooden spoon or rubber spatula
- A standard-size muffin tin (12 muffins)
Are you looking to upgrade to your cooking tools or replenish your pantry? Check out my kitchen tools shop page and pantry staples shop page to find my must-have kitchen tools, pantry items, and other Whip & Wander favorites.
LOOKING FOR MORE BAKING INSPIRATION?
Love this Sourdough Discard Spiced Pear Muffins recipe? Here are some additional sourdough discard recipes and sweet baking recipes that you might enjoy!
- Sourdough Discard Pumpkin Scones
- Sourdough Discard Cranberry Orange Scones
- Sourdough Discard Strawberry Mint Scones
- Sourdough Discard Buttermilk Pancakes
- Hagrid’s Rock Cakes (a British treat similar to a scone)
- Pumpkin Sourdough Bread
Sourdough Discard Spiced Pear Muffins
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 18 minutes
- Total Time: 28 minutes
- Yield: 12 standard muffins 1x
- Category: Breakfast & Brunch
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
These Sourdough Discard Spiced Pear Muffins are spiced with cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and vanilla and have a lightly crackly sugar topping.
- 200 g (about 1 ⅔ cup) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp Kosher salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 264 g (about 1 ½ cups) pear, pitted and chopped into small dices
- 255 g (about 1 cup) 100% hydration sourdough discard
- 4 tbsp (2 oz) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla
- 100g (about ½ cup, tightly packed) brown sugar
- 100g (about ½ cup) granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp Turbinado sugar, to top
- Neutral oil or butter, to grease the pan (I prefer coconut oil, but use whatever you prefer)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 C). Grease a standard-size muffin tin with a light layer of neutral oil or butter and reserve to the side.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg until evenly dispersed. Then add the diced pears, tossing lightly to coat. Reserve to the side.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sourdough discard with the melted butter, stirring with a whisk or fork until combined. Then add the egg and vanilla, stirring to combine.
- Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar to the wet ingredients, mixing well to combine evenly.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, gently folding in with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until just combined with no large dry patches; some lumps are okay. Do not overmix.
- Spoon prepared batter into the reserved muffin tin, dividing evenly among the 12 cups.
- Sprinkle the tops of each muffin cup with a bit of turbinado sugar.
- Bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean.
Nutritional information on Whip & Wander is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.
- Serving Size: 1 muffin
- Calories: 221
- Sugar: 21 g
- Sodium: 132 mg
- Fat: 4 g
- Saturated Fat: 2 g
- Carbohydrates: 42 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 4 g
- Cholesterol: 26 mg
Keywords: sourdough discard spiced pear muffins
Okay I have literally never left a review on any recipe before, and I bake a lot, but I just started venturing into sourdough and I have to say that this is the most delicious muffin I have ever baked! I’ve made them two times now and everybody raves about them. Thank you so much!
I'm so glad you enjoy these muffins, Jane! They are a fall favorite of mine too!
Pat O says
Delicious! Perfect way to use up pears and sourdough discard!
We substituted pears with apples as that's all we had readily and the muffins turned out absolutely delicious.!! What a great way to use up sourdough discard. Fyi we reduced sugars to 70% to avoid the muffins being too sweet and it was perfect for our taste. 🙂 Most folks would be happy with full amounts tho!