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Chai-Spiced Banana Bread

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Infused with cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and allspice, this chai-spiced banana bread is a lovely twist on basic banana bread.

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.

“This is my favorite banana bread recipe on your site! I think the spices and the sour cream really make it great! I served it at a get together and got so many compliments on it…Yum!”


What You’ll Need To Make Chai-Spiced Banana Bread

Bread ingredients including sour cream, vanilla, and eggs.

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

Step-by-Step Instructions

Bowl of creamed butter and sugar.

Begin by creaming the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time.

Egg in a bowl of creamed butter and sugar.

Incorporating well after each addition.

Electric mixer in a bowl of yellow creamed mixture.

In a separate large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and spices.

Bowl of unmixed dry ingredients.

Whisk well.

Whisk in a bowl of dry ingredients.

Add the dry mixture to the butter mixture.

Wet and dry ingredients in a bowl.

Mix to blend.

 and mix to blend.

Add the mashed bananas, sour cream and vanilla.

Bananas, sour cream, and vanilla in a bowl with dough.

Mix well.

Bowl of chai-spiced banana bread dough.

Transfer the batter to a greased 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan.

Loaf pan of chai-spiced banana bread dough.

Bake for 60-70 minutes. Let cool in the pan for about ten minutes.

how to make banana bread

Then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

chai spiced banana bread

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Chai-Spiced Banana Bread

Infused with cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and allspice, this chai-spiced banana bread is a lovely twist on basic banana bread.

Servings: One 9 x 5-inch loaf


  • 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled off with a knife
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas, from 2-3 bananas
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease a 9 x 5-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.
  5. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The bread can be frozen for up to 3 months. After it is completely cooled, wrap it securely in aluminum foil, freezer wrap or place in a freezer bag. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (12 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 slice (without nuts)
  • Calories: 232
  • Fat: 11g
  • Saturated fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 32 g
  • Sugar: 19 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Sodium: 271 mg
  • Cholesterol: 56 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  • A reliable recipe – baked in exactly the time listed and has nice crumb / texture. But flavor warm from the oven was lacking — not enough banana flavor as “banana bread” and not enough depth of spice to be “chai spiced”. Will try letting it cool completely and then toast a slice, per the alternative “best served” recommendation in the recipe.

    • — MNCook on October 18, 2023
    • Reply
  • Wow, bananas and chai spices are a revelation. The spices really compliment the banana. I substituted 1/2 of the white sugar with brown sugar and added 1/8 tsp nutmeg because I love nutmeg. I also made 12 muffins instead of a loaf, and baked them at 350 for 25 minutes; they were perfect. I think you could do so much with the spice mix – add it to a pumpkin bread recipe, pancake or waffle batter, French toast custard, or hot chocolate.

    I think this would also be amazing with maple flavoring instead of vanilla or with some peach preserves. So many yummy possibilities!

    • — Kim Howard on September 24, 2023
    • Reply
  • Jen, can you remind me of the approximate baking time for small (3×5 1/2 in.) loaf pans? I believe I read that somewhere but can’t find it. I’m keeping bake temperature at 350. Thanks

    • — Ilene on September 2, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Ilene, I’d start checking them at about 35 min. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 4, 2023
      • Reply
  • This is my family’s favorite banana bread. It’s phenomenal as is. The last time I made it I though I made some subs to make it healthier for my kids to take to school for snack time, and it still turned out great. Reduced the sugar by 1/4 cup, subbed in half whole wheat flour, and used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, I baked them as mini muffins for about 14 minutes. The kids love them!

    • — Amber L on August 26, 2023
    • Reply
    • I forgot to say I also used coconut oil instead of butter!

      • — Amber L on August 28, 2023
      • Reply
      • I was trying to figure out what to use in place of butter. I wasn’t sure whether oil would work. I gathered that it did!

        • — Kat Heller on November 4, 2023
        • Reply
  • Just made this with gluten-free flour. My guests said it was the best banana bread they have EVER had – and they had no idea it was gluten-free! Bravo. I am now scouring the site for more great recipes 🙂

    • — DIVONA on August 19, 2023
    • Reply
  • Is there anyway to use zucchini instead of banana in this recipe? Like a zucchini chai bread?

    • — Amy on July 23, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Amy, I’d actually use this zucchini bread recipe and instead of using the cinnamon and nutmeg it calls for, use the spices in this banana bread (but double them as the zucchini bread recipe makes two loaves. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on July 25, 2023
      • Reply
  • I am very anxious to make your banana bread recipe however I do not have cardamom. What can I use as a substitution? Thank you!

    • — Torontogal on July 6, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi, Cardamom really adds that distinct chai flavor. You can leave it out or use more cinnamon instead. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on July 7, 2023
      • Reply
      • Thanks Jenn…I looked for it at my local grocery store and it was $12.99 ! I will make your recipe as you suggested and add more cinnamon. Thank you for your quick response! Your recipes are alway a hit around here!

        • — Torontogal on July 7, 2023
        • Reply
      • Hello. Do you think chai mix will work??

        • — Jenny C on December 3, 2023
        • Reply
        • Hi Jenny, as long as it doesn’t contain sugar, I think it should work. Please, LMK how it turns out!

          • — Jenn on December 4, 2023
          • Reply
  • Another yummy recipe…. next time I might add a handful of dark chocolate chips!! Great way to use up ripe bananas… always looking for new ways to bake them up! (definitely add the walnuts… )

    • — Kimberley on May 29, 2023
    • Reply
  • This is my favorite banana bread recipe on your site! I think the spices and the sour cream really make it great! I served it at a get together and got so many compliments on it. It is moist, but not too dense and has great flavor. Yum!

    • — Cindy Brown on April 23, 2023
    • Reply
  • This is by far the best recipe I have used for banana nut bread ever!! Highly Recommend.
    Followed the recipe exactly, no modifications were needed.

    • — SHyde on December 31, 2022
    • Reply
  • what do you think about adding raisins, i am thinking soaked overnight in rum

    • — Lovell Taylor on December 29, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure, Lovell, that will work. Just make sure you drain them well so they don’t add more moisture to the batter. Please LMK how it turns out!

      • — Jenn on December 30, 2022
      • Reply
  • Could you make this in a 8 x 8 pan for squares

    • — Lorna Donaldson on November 15, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure, Lorna, that should work. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 16, 2022
      • Reply
  • This is by far the best banana bread recipe I have ever tried.

    I followed a tip from another commenter and made this as muffins, at 375F for 20-25 min and it was phenomenal. This will be my go to from now on.

    Thank you for a great recipe!

    • — Jessi on April 21, 2022
    • Reply
  • Loved these! I made a half batch, subbing sour cream for regular cream with a drop of vinegar as that was all I had on hand. My all-spice had also run out so I added a tiny pinch of nutmeg for deepness of flavor. I toasted the walnuts for a few minutes before chopping them up, they stayed nice and crunchy.

    Since I made a half portion it made sense to bake them in a cupcake tin, which yielded 11 small cakes. I baked them for 20 minutes at 175C, which was perfect – they turned dark golden and stayed moist and fluffy on the inside.

    Everyone was grabbing seconds and thirds, they were that good! Thanks Jen!

    • Excellent recipe! After many trials of different banana bread recipes, I think this will be my go-to. I was heavy-handed with the spices, and could not find allspice so I subbed with ground cloves and freshly grated nutmeg. I don’t think it tastes distinctly like chai, but the spices complement the banana flavour beautifully.

      • — Emily on January 14, 2024
      • Reply
  • Baked this evening- house smells amazing!!! My college age daughters Love this version of banana bread (they have 1/4 of a loaf in their freezer – only taking out a bit at a time). This will be one loaf of many while they are home for break. Thank you!

  • The absolute best banana bread! I do add walnuts as suggested in the notes. I sometimes make this recipe as muffins when heading out on a road trip or camping, just easier to grab. Set your oven 25 degrees hotter than what the recipe calls for and bake for less time, start checking at 13 minutes. But whatever you do, don’t alter the recipe, it is perfect.

  • Just took this out of the oven, waited 10 min. Couldn’t stand it any longer & cut a 1” square from a corner and tasted it and OMG!!! Delicious, light and FANTASTIC!!! Thank you for the great recipe, Jenn. And, I know my husband will love it, because he’s not a chocolate aficionado(an unfortunate genetic anomaly, which our son, thankfully didn’t inherit😉😂).
    I made a little mistake in adding an ingredient out of order, which could have gone either way—made it a dismal failure or added to the success. Seems to have been an asset, rather than a liability. WHEW!!!
    Again, thank you for another sensational recipe, Jenn! Wishing you and yours a wonderful New Year!

  • Thank you so much for a wonderful recipe! I found your website yesterday and can’t wait to make your dishes!
    I just made banana chai bread and instead using regular sugar I used coconut sugar. It came out perfect and whole house smells amazing! Cardamom is such a great addition! Thank you!

  • can we replace the spices with actual ground up chai tea bag leaves mix?

    • Hi Elle, I wouldn’t recommend it — sorry!

  • I made a vegan version by replacing the butter with 1/2 cup of cultured unsalted vegan butter. The eggs I replaced with 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce + 2 tsp ground flax and however much water it took to get to 1/2 cup. I replaced the sour cream with vegan sour cream and reduced the sugar by 1/4 cup. As long as your bananas are truly (over)ripe, you can get away with less sugar. The bread turned out great! Texture was moist but the bread sliced cleanly and didn’t fall apart. This will be a fall go-to recipe!

  • Turned out amazing ! One of the best I’ve eaten tbh. It crumbled a bit from the bottom while getting it out of the pan. Was kind of caramelised and took some technique to slice it without it falling apart but otherwise it was fab 👌🏻Thanks

    • Hi Jenn. Is there a healthier alternative to the butter and sugar in this recipe which won’t alter the original taste ?

      • Hi Charmaine, You could replace the butter with coconut oil and reduce the sugar by 1/4 cup (please keep in mind that I haven’t tried it with these changes). If you try it, please LMK how it turns out!

  • Incredible! I have made this for friends and they all are amazed by the flavor and moistness of the bread. I agree, I daydream about it and on rough days I pop one in the oven to turn the day around. I’m even printing it out for my kids and putting it in a binder of “mom’s recipes” so they can take my recipes to college and beyond. A real keeper!!!!!

  • Hi, Jenn – I baked the muffins for about 27 minutes and they came out great (checked with a toothpick). I’ve made them several times using two different ovens and 25-27 minutes seems to work perfectly. I also make them gluten-free using Cup4cup multipurpose flour. Everybody loves them!

  • Hi Jenn – if I make this recipe as muffins, how long do you recommend they bake for? 20 minutes?
    This really is the best banana bread and so easy to make!

    • Hi Catherine, So glad you like this! For muffins, I’d start checking them for doneness at 25 minutes. Please LMK how they turn out!

  • Hi Jenn
    Can we substitute yogurt for sour cream in this recipe?

    • Sure – hope you enjoy!

  • Oh Jenn – this chai spiced banana bread is amazing!! The first time i made it (several years ago), I had to run out and buy cardamom. Since then, I make sure there’s always cardamom in my spice cupboard, and my kids and I root for the bananas to brown quickly! 🙂 We also love your chocolate banana bread and “regular” banana bread – but the chai spiced is our favorite.

  • I LOVE this banana bread. It’s so easy to throw together and the chai spices are a delightful update. No-one can ever quite guess what sets this bread apart and it never lasts more than a few days in my house. Thanks Jenn for another fool proof and delicious recipe.

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