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How To Make Herman Cake + Starter Recipe

Herman Cake + Starter Recipe

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This friendship cake is easy and lovely to share with your friends!

  • Yield: 1 cake 1x




  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup active sourdough starter

Cake Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Herman sourdough starter
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)


Making the Herman Starter

  1. In a large non-metallic bowl, mix 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, and 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons).
  2. Gradually stir in 1 cup whole milk until smooth and lump-free.
  3. Cover the bowl loosely with a clean dish towel or plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature (around 70°F or 21°C) for 24 hours.
  4. For the next 4 days, feed the starter daily by adding 1/2 cup each of flour, sugar, and milk to the mixture. Stir well, replace the cover, and let it ferment at room temperature.
  5. By the fifth day, the Herman starter should be bubbly and have a pleasantly sour smell, indicating it’s ready to use.

Making the Herman Cake

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix 2/3 cup vegetable oil, 2 large eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1 cup Herman starter until well combined and slightly frothy.
  3. Gradually pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients, stirring gently until a smooth batter forms. Optional: fold in 1 cup each of chopped nuts and raisins.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a 9×13 inch baking pan or two 9-inch round cake pans.
  5. Pour batter evenly into prepared pan(s) and smooth the top with a spatula.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes (9×13 inch pan) or 25-30 minutes (9-inch round pans) until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
  7. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


  • Once cooled, feel free to dust the top with powdered sugar or drizzle on a simple glaze made from 1 cup of powdered sugar mixed with 1-2 tablespoons of milk.
  • Serve your Herman cake alongside a cup of coffee or tea, and savor the delightfully tangy, sweet, and tender result of your baking adventur
  • Author: Natasha Krajnc
  • Cuisine: American