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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  • erica

    Loved this!! I used greek yogart instead of sour cream.

  • Maia

    This is an excellent recipe! I am enjoying a slice now with a cup of tea. I sprinkled some chopped walnuts on top for an extra crunch. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!

  • This is the best banana bread I have ever made! Very moist, and light! I will definitely make it again.

  • Jenifer Harman

    This is indeed a good recipe. The following day I sauteed a slice in a frying pan with a little smart balance. Yum!

  • Donna

    This is absolutely the best banana bread I have ever made. I have strict instructions from my husband and kids to never make any other kind.

  • Sarahjones

    Have made this many times I love it!

  • Beela

    Don’t have sour cream, any substitute for it. Love ur recipes. Thanks

  • Danita

    Made this yesterday afternoon and the house smelled like Fall. I omitted the nuts and made my own allspice mixture by combining equal parts ground clove, cinnamon and nutmeg. The bread was moist and delicious.

  • daymel

    What can I say – so far all the recipes are perfection ! However, I added 1/2 cup dry coconut and dark chocolate chips !!

  • Heather Winfield

    Great recipe, and I loved it! I also used nutmeg instead of cardamom, and upped the cinnamon. Still turned out tasting fantastic. :)

  • Sharyn

    Love, Love. Love this recipe.
    We always end up with overripe bananas that I freeze and use for baking. I’m really glad that I do.
    I left out nuts (not everyone is a fan). Warm with a cup of tea and I am transported to my peaceful place.
    Keep the recipes coming.

  • Rebekah

    Made this for a meeting at work. Everyone loved and it one colleague keeps asking me to make it again!

    I didn’t have a loaf pan, so I made it in my bundt cake pan. Came out perfect!

    Love this site! Love the pictures for each step!

  • Grace

    This bread is the best banana bread I’ve ever had! I wouldn’t change a thing!

  • Charlene Wheeler

    Mmmmmm. Chai anything!

  • Love, love, love this recipe. I’ve always got a freezer full of over ripe bananas (I’m very frugal) so I know I can throw this recipe for company anytime. Everyone raves!

  • Abby

    I didn’t realize how expensive it would be to buy cardamom, but it was worth it for this recipe! I’ve been holding on to some overripe bananas in the freezer and was waiting for the right recipe to use them in. This was definitely it!


    i made this today. So YUMMY!!!!!!!

  • Esther

    Love, love, love this recipe! This banana bread is the best. So moist and flavorful. I have made this several times now.

  • Elizabeth

    Can’t wait to try this recipe. I love banana bread and chai spices, so I’m sure it will be great. Thanks for the wonderful expertise and recipes!

  • Carol

    This is our favorite banana bread. So moist–added a little more cardamom (since its our favorite)–and wonderful with a cup of tea or coffee. No sour cream? Yoghurt works well too.

  • Jessica Ford

    I have made this recipe over and over again. My family loves it. Delicious!!

  • Angela

    Another recipe for my ripe bananas. Awesome!

  • Judy

    I didn’t know one can freeze bananas. How many people is this cake for? ?

    • Jenn

      It depends, Judy…my family of four goes through it pretty quickly :)

  • Theresa

    I used to have a favorite banana bread recipe…until I tried this one. Absolutely delicious! I used yogurt instead of sour cream since that’s what I had and it tuned out great! My old recipe has now been replaced :)

  • I have loved your recipes since I happened upon you a couple of years ago. This is certainly no exception. I made it last night after everyone was asleep and the house was filled with such a wonderful aroma that I was sure was going to wake everyone, including the neighbors! By the time the kids and I left for school (them) and work (me) we had only a tiny slice remaining.

    With your consent, I would love to share this on my blog!

    • Jenn

      Hi Christina, I’d be honored to have you share it on your blog. So glad your family enjoyed it!

  • Abby

    Delicious as-is! Very moist and just enough spice. I look forward to stockpiling enough overripe bananas so I can make it again!

  • Barbara

    Delicious! Made for the first time today and loved it. Will be one of my main go-to banana bread recipes in the future. The only substitute I made was using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour to make it gluten-free. I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised, since I didn’t expect it to be very good with the gluten-free flour :)

    • Jenn

      Good to know it worked with the gluten-free flour. Thanks, Barbara!

  • Rebekah

    LOVE this recipe. I make it once a month and I have a friend at work that begs me to make it all the time! Best banana bread recipe. I have also made it with margarine instead of butter and it makes it more fluffy!

  • dv

    Hmm.. I dont know what happened but my banana bread never cooked properly on the inside and
    overcooked on the outside

    I did use chia seeds and a bit of apple sauce to replace the eggs..did that screw it up?

    • Jenn

      Hi Daisy, It was definitely the apple sauce. The bread won’t rise and bake properly without the eggs.

  • Andrea

    We love this recipe! We are big fans of quick bread and this is now my husband’s favorite. I divided the batter into two pans instead of one – it baked a little more evenly for me. The first time I only made it into one loaf and it took a lot longer to bake in the center, but the top was browning faster than I wanted it to, so now I make two smaller loaves and only fill both pans half-way full. Delicious!

  • Paula

    Sounds luscious! Buy the needed cardimom at a spice shop or a natural foods store that sells spices by the pound and get just the amount you need. It is much cheaper that way.

  • Suzanne

    I came across this recipe last week and have been “stewing” a bunch of bananas with much anticipation. I did add some ground black pepper for a little more chai heat. The only thing it was missing was a glob of honey-mascarpone smeared on top. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Anne

    the best so far

  • Anne

    This is the best banana bread I ever made. thanks

  • Sandy

    Hi Jenn,
    I just wanted to say that I LOVE your site. This is the third recipe I’ve made (I also made the morning glory muffins and chocolate chip scones) and all three were EXCELLENT! I definitely plan on making more of your awesome recipes. Thanks for doing what you do! :)

    • Jenn

      So glad you’re enjoying the recipes, Sandy :)

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