Sourdough Maple Pecan Cookies

Sourdough maple pecan cookies are perfect for fall and the holiday season. The maple flavor stands out and perfectly complements the nuttiness from the pecans. The cookies themselves are soft, which contrasts the crunchiness from the pecans. They are finished with a sweet maple glaze. If you prefer crisp and crunchy cookies, you have to try my maple pecan shortbread cookies, which is one of my most popular recipes.

I love that these cookies have an extra bit of nuttiness that comes not only from the pecans, but also from the flavor of browned butter. I love adding brown butter to my cookies. It adds more depth of flavor and makes for extra tasty cookies. I also used this technique in my white chocolate macadamia sourdough cookie recipe, my brown butter sourdough chocolate chip cookie recipe and my pumpkin sourdough cookie recipe.

Sourdough Maple Pecan Cookies with maple glaze on a wire cooling rack.


Flour: Use all purpose flour for these cookies. You can also substitute one cup of the flour for bread flour for even chewier cookies. I do not recommend whole wheat flour as this tends to dry out the cookies. If you do choose to use it, I recommend whole wheat pastry flour and use no more than 25% of the total flour. 

Salt: Fine sea salt or iodized salt is fine. 

Baking Soda: This helps the cookies rise and contributes to the browning of the cookies. 

Butter: Unsalted butter makes it easier to control the salt, but I occasionally use salted butter if it’s what I have on hand. I actually think it just makes the cookies even better and more flavorful!

Brown Sugar: We use only brown sugar because it has a richer flavor and adds moisture to the cookies. I don’t recommend using granulated sugar. 

Maple Syrup: This is where most of the flavor comes from. Please don’t use a maple flavored syrup or the flavor won’t be right. Pure maple syrup works best. 

Vanilla Extract: I love adding vanilla to almost all my baked goods because it just adds a subtle but delicious extra flavor. 

Sourdough Discard: These cookies work well with either active starter or sourdough discard. The discard itself is not needed for leavening so you can use either. 

Chopped Pecans: This recipe calls for raw pecans but you can use roasted, or toast them yourself for an extra flavor boost. 

Powdered Sugar: We use powdered sugar, maple syrup and butter for the maple glaze. If you have salted butter, I recommend using it. Otherwise just add a pinch of salt to the glaze.

Sourdough maple pecan cookie ingredients in individual mixing bowls and measuring cups.

How to Make Sourdough Maple Pecan Cookies

Combine the Dry Ingredients

Sourdough maple pecan cookie dry ingredients in mixing bowl being whisked with a fork.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.

Brown the Butter

Brown butter in medium saucepan with wooden spoon.

We only brown part of the butter for this recipe. If you brown all of it, it removes too much moisture and the resulting texture is a bit too dry.

Add the Rest of the Wet Ingredients

Red rubber spatula mixing in the wet ingredients for the maple cookies in the same saucepan that the butter was melted in.

Mix in the remaining wet ingredients.

Add the Dry Ingredients

Mix in the dry ingredients until just combined.

Stir in the Pecans

Maple pecan sourdough cookie dough in bowl with wooden mixing spoon.

Roll and Portion the Cookie Dough

Sourdough maple cookie dough balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

The ideal size for these cookies is about 1-1/4 inches in diameter for each cookie dough ball.

Bake the Cookies

The finished cookies should be fluffy and have a very slight golden appearance.

Make the Maple Glaze

In a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. Be careful not to overheat the butter or it will explode in the microwave. If the butter is not completely melted after 15 seconds, stir it until all the butter has melted.

Add the remaining ingredients and whisk til thick and smooth.

Drizzle the glaze over each cookie and allow the glaze to completely set before serving the cookies.

Sourdough Maple Pecan Cookies with maple glaze on a wire cooling rack.

How to Serve

You can serve them:

  • Serve these cookies cold or at room temperature.
  • While you certainly can microwave them for 5-10 seconds, the glaze will melt and the cookie will look quite messy.
  • These taste great served with vanilla ice cream.

How to Store

Store these cookies in an airtight container or on a plate wrapped in plastic wrap. Alternatively, you can store them in a gallon plastic bag. I recommend using the cookies within 3-5 days for best results. 

How to Freeze

Portion out the cookie dough balls as directed. Then, place them in an even layer in a gallon zip loc bag. Freeze completely, then you can let them stack on top of each other. When ready to bake, add 3-5 minutes to the baking time.

Can I Make these Vegan?

Yes! You can substitute dairy-free butter such as Earth Balance, but skip the step in which you brown the butter. Vegan butter does not brown like regular butter does.

You can also use egg replacers for the eggs. I have noticed that the egg replacer tends to make the cookies dry out faster so it is extra important to store these cookies in an airtight container and consume within 3 days for best results. 

How to Fix Dry Cookies

I love to use my bread in a bag trick to restore dried out cookies. If you notice the cookies begin to dry out, simply place them in a zip loc bag with a slice of sandwich bread and leave them overnight. They should be softer in the morning. 

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also enjoy:

Maple Pecan Shortbread Sourdough Discard Cookies

Sourdough White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

Sourdough Maple Pecan Cookies with maple glaze on a wire cooling rack.

Sourdough Maple Pecan Cookies

These sourdough maple pecan scones are delicious and flavorful. The sweet maple flavor perfectly complements the nuttiness from the pecans.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24
Calories 212 kcal


Dry Ingredients

  • 2⅓ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Wet Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup sourdough discard 100% hydration


  • cup chopped pecans

For the Maple Glaze

  • 1 tablespoon salted butter (or unsalted +1 pinch of salt)
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350℉.
  • Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and nutmeg in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside. 
  • Over medium heat, melt 8 tablespoons of butter, stirring constantly.
  • Once melted, increase the heat to medium-high and continue to stir constantly until the butter becomes golden brown and develops a nutty aroma. 
  • Remove from heat and add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Stir until melted. 
  • Mix in the brown sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla with a rubber spatula and stir until fully incorporated. 
  • Allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes, then stir in the egg and sourdough discard. 
  • Pour the butter mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until well mixed and dough comes together. 
  • Stir in the chopped pecans until fully incorporated. 
  • Roll the cookie dough into 1¼ inch diameter balls and place on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving 2 inches between each cookie.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 12-14 minutes or until the cookies are slightly golden.
  • Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

To Make the Maple Glaze

  • Melt the butter in small bowl in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. If the butter is not completely melted, stir until all the butter is melted. Do not overheat.
  • Add the maple syrup and powdered sugar and whisk until thick and smooth.
  • Drizzle the glaze over each cookie and allow the glaze to fully set before serving.


Calories: 212kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 2gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 128mgPotassium: 68mgFiber: 1gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 194IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 23mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Cookies, Fall Desserts, Sourdough, Sourdough Discard
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    1. Hi Treasure,
      You can definitely chill the dough if you would like but you don’t need to. I have made them both ways and they both turned out great. Some people like to chill their dough for several hours or even a day or two ferment the dough with the starter. This will produce a more sour flavor in the cookies. I hope this helps!

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