Chai Spiced Banana Bread


Chai is the actual word for tea in many countries but when we say chai in the States, we’re usually referring to Masala chai, which is a smooth and calming beverage made of black tea, milk and fragrant Indian spices. Its flavor goes beautifully with banana bread, so I’ve taken one of my favorite banana bread recipes and subtly infused it with warm chai spices like cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and allspice. It’s wonderfully moist and aromatic — a sophisticated twist on basic banana bread.

As with all banana bread recipes, use very ripe bananas for the most intense banana flavor and a texture that mashes easily.

Begin by creaming the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, incorporating well after each addition. Be sure they aren’t too cold, or they’ll cause the butter mixture to curdle.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spices.

Add the dry mixture to the butter mixture and mix to blend.

Beat in the mashed bananas, sour cream and vanilla until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.

Transfer the batter to a greased 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan, and bake for 60-70 minutes.

Let the loaf cool in the pan for about 10 minutes.

Then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

Enjoy! Or if chai’s not your thing, you might like these recipes:

Banana Honey Nut Muffins
Banana Coconut Bread
Basic Banana Bread
Chocolate Banana Bread

Chai Spiced Banana Bread

Print Recipe
Servings: One 9 x 5-inch loaf


  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled off with a knife
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas, from 2-3 bananas
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl or electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, incorporating well after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and beat gently until just combined. Add bananas, sour cream and vanilla and mix on low speed until just combined. Gently stir in nuts if using.
  4. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake until deep golden brown and cake tester inserted into center comes out clean, 60-70 minutes. Let rest in pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack to cool completely. This bread is best enjoyed warm out of the oven or toasted.


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  • I love the blend of spices in this. I bet it tastes awesome! Your step by step pictures are so nice!

  • Liesel

    Wow! I love a cup of chai in the afternoon as a pick-me-up and I love banana bread, so I can’t wait to make this recipe. Thanks, Jenn, for a creative twist on banana bread!

  • Do you think it would still work if I substituted nonfat or lowfat (think Greek) yogurt for the sour cream?

    • Jenn

      Hi Melissa, I do think low fat Greek yogurt would work. Please let me know how it comes out if you try it.

    • Kylie

      I substitute plain non or low-fat greek yogurt for sour cream all the time when baking and it always turns out great

  • LindaK

    Made this for breakfast today – delicious, moist, and wonderful combination of flavors. Big hit….thank you

    • Jenn

      So glad, Linda. Thanks for letting me know!

  • Judy

    Made this bread on Friday night. By Saturday, I had eaten half of it all by myself. Gave the other half to my neighbors! It was really delicious. Will definitely make it again. Thanks for a wonderful recipe. My first time using cardamom. Have to say … interesting … especialy getting the seeds out of the pods. Fun!

  • Glenda

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS SOUNDS DELISH!!!!

  • Pam

    Made this over the weekend and it was a huge hit!
    Next time, I will make 2 loaves, as everyone wanted more!

  • Liesel

    Made this yesterday afternoon and served to my family this morning for breakfast. Love the smooth texture (I left out the nuts) and the subtle yet complex flavors of all the spices! The spices seem to mellow and balance out the banana flavor so nicely. I will add this to my regular rotation. Thanks, Jenn!

  • LaDonna Hopkins

    I will be making the Chai Banana Bread !! This sounds SCRUMPTIOUS !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • This is amazing!! Love the step by step pics..made it easy for my daughter to follow along with.

  • Selma. Tannenbaum

    A great way to use those over ripe bananas. Freezes well too.

  • NKRak

    My son started me on chai tea and this would be great to try!

  • Delene

    We are all such chai fans in our house–I simply can’t wait to try this!

  • Susan

    I love chai spice but not a big fan of banana..what could I subsitute for banana?

    • Jenn

      Hi Susan, I’m afraid there’s no good substitute for the banana in this recipe, but you might check out my zucchini bread and try adding the same mix of chai spices.

  • Mike Arnts

    Between my love of Chai and my love of banana bread this has got to be a winner. Can’t wait to try it out.

  • Cynthia

    Two of my favorite things – chai and banana bread! Given my love for your prior loaves (banana, pumpkin, etc.), I’m sure this will also be decadent. Can’t wait to try it (though I don’t think I’ve ever had a reason to by cardamon in the past).

  • Tom M.

    Great idea to use chai.

  • Sharon

    My husband ate 2 loaves before they finished cooling!! Guess he liked (loved) the recipe.

  • Ellen

    In recent months I have been craving (and, therefore, making) lots of banana bread, but my recipes seem to be falling short. I cannot wait to try this one!

  • Theola Johnson

    I was going to make this today, but I don’t have any cardamon, so will have to wait couple more day ‘when I go to town, my banana’s will be riper too. Thanks for sharing and I hope I have a chance to win a cutting board. ☺.

    Theola from Iowa

  • Sherrie

    My family loves banana bread, but I never thought about putting chai spice or sour cream in the batter. This sounds like recipe made in heaven! Off to buy some bananas. :)

  • This is an Awesome Loaf. The exact mixture of spiecs make this extremely enjoyable with your favorite warm beverage.

    Simple enough for a Dad to make for the gang on Satueday

  • Miriam

    My partner usually refuses to eat banana bread – but really liked this one! Thanks a lot!

  • Emily

    I love your recipes! I made this for the family and it was a huge hit. Everyone asked when I would make it again. This is definitely going into the “will make again and again” folder!

  • Karen

    I have not made these yet. I will be making this recipe soon and just know I will love the spice combination. I am looking forward to my bananas hurrying up to ripen now. Thank you again for your innovativeness!

  • pattybee

    Sounds like a great combination! Having overnight company soon. Might be a delicious offering for breakfast.

  • Marcia

    I love chai tea so must try this

  • daphna

    This looks incredible! I love how you do the step by step photos. This is my favorite recipe site. I wish you had more gluten free recipes, my son in on a GF diet and would love to make him delicious things like this

  • I love baking bread at home. This bread is super delicious with tall the spices! I love the banana in it that makes the bread soft and moist.

  • LindaK

    This was a huge hit with both family and friends! The chai spices are perfect with the bananas. YUMMM

  • Chai spices are a nice addition to the standard banana bread.

  • Emily Pedersen

    This was beyond amazing!! I have this recipe on my fridge to share with friends when they come over.

  • Karen Murray

    I absolutely love this twist on a beloved family favorite. The seasoning is just right! My hubby, who is not a fan of chai tea, gobbled it up!
    I know oven temps vary, but I will go with 65 or 70 minutes baking time next time I make this. I wooden pick tested it at 60 and the pick came out clean, but as it cooled it sunk a little. (Still totally edible, though!)
    Thanks, Jenn, for another winner!

  • Ceej

    I made the chai banana bread yesterday and it is wonderful. Great flavors and very moist.

  • Patricia West

    This Chai Banana Bread recipe was delicious. I made a homecooked meal every Sun. for Mom (who is bed-ridden). She loved the Bread…gave her half the loaf. Thanks so much, Jenn, for your great and easy recipes.

  • Amy Flick

    I’ve had this recipe bookmarked ever since you published it. Now I have the ripe bananas to make it with and here we go!

  • I’m looking forward to trying this recipe, sounds very good and moist.

  • Carissa

    This was amazing! I made it over the weekend and it was absolutely fabulous!

  • Ceej

    Made the Chai Spiced Banana bread yesterday for the first time. Nice flavors and very moist!

  • Sharon

    Loved loved loved this banana bread. Thank you!

  • Angela Willis

    My husband spent some time in East Africa when he was young and their chai is made with cloves. So I added a little clove and ground coriander (b/c I love how it marries so well with all the other spices you put in this recipe and how it smells like oranges)… its in the oven now, and smells delicious!

    Thank you!

  • Amanda

    Chai! Genius! We used Greek yogurt with super-moist (and protein-rich) results, too.

  • Sherrie

    What a fabulous twist on banana bread! I’m going to try this recipe today.

  • Kathy

    I made this and my 4 granddaughters who aren’t fond of bananas loved it. They requested that I make it for them again.

  • Made this for a weekend trip. Great flavors, and it was wonderfully moist!

  • supriya

    I tried this recipe out today and it was magnificent..I had never heard cardomom in banana bread and I was a little skeptical and it was soooo good. The sour cream gave the bread a nice moistness.

  • Amy Flick

    I was so excited to try this but then I was scared off by the cost of a jar of cardamom. Yikes! But all is not lost: I just discovered my Sunflower Market has cardamom in its bulk spice section. I only have to buy what I need. How great is that?

  • Dani

    Whenever my husband is out of town I enjoy cooking so a) I have something productive to do with my time and b) I think it’s nice for him to come home to home cooked meals and baked goods after eating out all week. I’ve been excited to make this bread since it popped up in my email and with hubby out again it was time to try it out. And it was delicious! Of course I didn’t have all the ingredients needed, I was short on sugar so I improvised with 1/2 c. white sugar and 1/2 c. brown sugar. I also did 3/4 tsp of ginger ON ACCIDENT. I don’t know if you can mess this bread up. Hubby comes home tomorrow and I can’t wait for him tor try it!

  • Linda

    This is a delicious recipient…thank you.

  • Teresa McDaniel

    What a wonderful twist on an old reliable recipe. Thanks for the great recipe.

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