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.

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

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

How To Make Chai-Spiced Banana Bread

how to make chai-spiced banana bread

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

how to make chai-spiced banana bread

Incorporating well after each addition.

how to make chai-spiced banana bread

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

how to make chai-spiced banana bread

Whisk well.

how to make chai-spiced banana bread

Add the dry mixture to the butter mixture.

how to make chai-spiced banana bread

Mix to blend.

 and mix to blend.

Add the mashed bananas, sour cream and vanilla.

how to make chai-spiced banana bread

Mix well.

how to make chai-spiced banana bread

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

how to make chai-spiced banana bread

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

More Banana Recipes You Might Like

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

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  • 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, 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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  • Delicious flavor with the cardamom and other warm spices. A real treat with afternoon coffee or tea and an excellent hostess gift at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Of all the banana breads, I highly recommend this chai inspired one.

    • — JoAnn Wagner on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Jen, this is by far the tastiest banana bread I have ever had. I’ve made it a couple times already this winter. And my husband who is not a big fan of banana loaf said I can make this anytime. The spices in it just add so much flavor. I strongly suggest that people try this and make no changes to the recipe.

    • — Debbie Chiet on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • This is the only banana bread recipe I’ve made for the last few years. Everyone I make it for loves it. The chai spice adds such an amazing flavor.

    • — Angela on January 28, 2021
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  • Best Chai spice mix I have come across. Really goes well with banana. Have made the loaf and also made into muffins. Muffins came out great . Both really freeze well. Toasting slices of the loaf really brings out the flavors. Found the chai mix was more prominent in the muffins, which is good.

    • — Clara on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this banana bread gluten free. It is so delicious and moist. Gotta love all the spices that go into it!!

    • — Jamie Coppola on January 28, 2021
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  • Love the hint of spice in this delicious banana bread. My husband loves banana bread and has asked me to only make this one from now on. As usual, thanks for such great recipes!

    • — Anna on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • I’m someone who can never get enough spices, so for me this recipe was perfect. This banana bread is the best I’ve ever made. It was so yummy and turned out great. Another wonderful recipe as usual.

    • — Veronica on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • Do you think I could substitute a can of pumpkin for the bananas in this recipe?

    • — Susan on January 26, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Susan, If you want to incorporate pumpkin, I’d recommend going with my pumpkin bread recipe. Hope you enjoy if you try it!

      • — Jenn on January 26, 2021
      • Reply
  • The chai-spiced banana bread is so good! I am lazy and mix the ingredients in the order listed with a wooden spoon in the same bowl and it still turns out great. I was wondering if you’ve ever made a rum cake? I think the flavors of the chai-spiced banana bread would make a great rum cake. Thanks for all of the great recipes and instructions.

    • — Yvonne on January 18, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Yvonne, So glad you liked this. I do have a rum cake. Here’s a link to it. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on January 18, 2021
      • Reply
  • I have baked this banana bread recipe several times and it is really wonderful and so full of flavor! Can I bake it as muffins instead? If so, how many muffins should it yield, and what oven temperature and time would you advise?

    • — Lenore on January 11, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Lenore, Glad you like this! Muffins will work and it should yield 12. I’d bake them at 350 and check them for doneness at 25 minutes. Please LMK how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on January 11, 2021
      • Reply
      • I just baked this banana bread – soooo moist and delicious, perfect with a cup of tea on a snowy day!

        • — Marianne on January 28, 2021
        • Reply
  • This is so good! I have made several batches, put in the smaller bread pans and gave away for gifts to family and friends this year. Everyone loves it and I have shared your recipe with them as everyone asks! I love your recipes they are consistently delicious!

    Happy New Year!

    • — Beth W. on December 29, 2020
    • Reply
  • Five stars for this delicious bread, which goes very quickly in our home! Delicious! Thank you Jen for making so many around the world happy in the kitchen!

    • — Damienne Dunham on December 8, 2020
    • Reply
  • I had some “dead” bananas that I wanted to use up and I’m so glad I made this. I easily threw it together on a Saturday morning, with kids tugging at my leg trying to drink my coffee while it was still hot. This was very tasty with the right kind of spice and it made the house smell like fall. Thanks Jenn!

    • — Kristyn Cardosi on December 6, 2020
    • Reply
  • Can I use milk or half & half in place of sour cream? I would use Greek yogurt but I’m out of that too ugh. I wanna make this so bad! Thanks!!

    • — Jackie on December 2, 2020
    • Reply
    • You’re right that Greek yogurt would work, but unfortunately, milk or half and half won’t work. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on December 2, 2020
      • Reply
  • Absolutely delicious. Make exactly as written. I use freshly ground spices, which I think makes a difference. My new go-to banana bread.

    • — Altitudemama on November 3, 2020
    • Reply
  • This is excellent. I’ve had 1 slice and I can’t imagine ever baking any other banana bread moving forward. Thanks for this, and for all the other outstanding recipes!

    • — Laura Kobylanski on October 19, 2020
    • Reply
  • Made this today. So good! So moist. This recipe is a keeper.

    • — Cathy on October 17, 2020
    • Reply
  • I love the flavour of this recipe, but I keep finding the loaf comes out too dense (almost bordering on not cooked in the middle). This is quite frustrating because I always check by poking it with a skewer, and don’t take it out of the oven until the skewer comes out clean.
    I’ve tried increasing the temperature in the oven, but I just started to burn the top of the loaf.

    Does anyone have any advice? I really want to get this recipe perfect because it tastes so good!

    • — Mary on October 1, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Mary, sorry you’re having a problem with this! Are you making any adjustments to the recipe?

      • — Jenn on October 1, 2020
      • Reply
  • This is our go-to banana bread recipe. It’s the perfect moistness and texture and the mix of spices takes it to a whole other level of deliciousness!

    • I forgot to add that we use 2/3 the amount of sugar and that’s the perfect sweetness for us.

  • The best banana bread!- enjoyed by all

  • Lovely! Enjoyed by all.

  • Delicious!! This is, by far, the best banana bread recipe I have ever made. The spices are subtle, but seem to be a perfect match for this recipe. I added just a bit more cinnamon since my family loves it, and about 150g of sugar, since we prefer a less sweet bread. Thank you so much Jenn for sharing your delicious recipes! Every one I have made so far has been wonderful! Blessings to you and your family!

    • I would love to add a photo but I do not have Instagram or any of the other social media. Regretfully this also precludes me from being able to enter your contests. I have made so many of your recipes now and I love them all as they are. But I also enjoy tweaking recipes to my personal taste or to the taste of someone I am baking for. This banana bread is wonderfully moist and has a lovely flavor. I made it in a baking pan that has eight mini loaves. It was exactly the right amount of batter which makes this great for gift giving. I plan to make it again but I am going to hopefully give it a spicier flavor using a homemade blend of chai spice that is specifically for tea or coffee. I would not make it different in any other way because it is nearly perfect. Again it is a matter of personal taste.

      • — Sherry on November 20, 2020
      • Reply
  • Great recipe. The bread was super moist and had great flavor. I didn’t have eggs so used “chia” eggs instead. Also subbed plain yogurt for the sour cream. Came out awesome!

  • Wow! If you’re looking for a delicious, moist, easy banana bread look no further! This was fabulous! Don’t be afraid of the spice – it’s quite subtle, but if you want to increase the amounts it would also work. Otherwise I won’t change a thing! I’ve found the banana bread recipe I’ve been searching for all these years!

  • Flipped over this recipe, best ever.

  • I made King Arthur Flour’s banana bread ( recipe of the year 2018) but I used your Chai banana bread recipe. I used 1& 1/2 cups of banana and 1/2 cup sour cream. I used all the chai spices and it came out beautifully.

    • — Virginia Lehner
    • Reply
  • My favorite banana bread recipe! Absolutely delicious.

  • This looks so yummy – I am wondering if doubling the recipe is recommended? I want to make a few loves for gifting this upcoming Mother’s Day. Thank you in advance.

    • Sure, Faye, you can double this. Hope your recipients enjoy!

  • Delicious! I made it in my Instant Pot. I put the batter into a sprayed 8-inch bundt pan, covered with a piece of paper towel and loosely covered with foil. 1 cup of water and the trivet. High pressure for 60 minutes, 10-minute natural release then quick release, rest in pan 10 minutes and turn out onto a cake plate. We ate our first slice while it was still warm – yum!

    • Teresa, You’ve inspired me to make it in my Instant Pot. Now I’m so excited and will make it! Thank you for your detailed instruction, too!

      • — Janet Klein on January 21, 2022
      • Reply
  • Fantastic recipe Jenn! It’s a favourite! Kids tuck in before it’s cooled. I have to substitute non-dairy ingredients and it’s perfect with same measurements. Thank you! Your recipes are consistently on rotation in our house.

  • Made this last night. Wonderful!!

  • I am assuming I need to use room tempature butter?

    Thank you!

    • Yep, thanks for catching that. 🙂

  • I just baked this bread as a thank you to a friend. It smelled wonderful baking and it made a pretty loaf. Got good compliments, too.

  • I feel like I’m doing the twelve days of Jenn’s baking and my coffee group is loving it as are my friends. Quick question as my second loaf of yummy chai spiced banana bread is in the oven. I had to replace your old 9×5 loaf pan and all the newer pans are non-stick with the information on the label saying not to use non-stick cooking spray. I know your recipes call for that. Is spray needed on these new pans? I used butter and flour on my new non-stick pan. I hope it will be easy to remove. Your chocolate marble banana cake was also delicious, along with the sour cream chocolate chip bundt cake, which will be going to a Chanukah party. I thought I’d fill the center with gelt or dreidels!

    • Hi Ilene, I use nonstick spray on my pans but it’s fine to use butter and flour instead. Hope everyone enjoys the banana bread!

  • I made this recipe and the banana bread was moist and delicious. The spices were a nice addition but I think I will try making it again with double the spice because I do love me some Chai flavours.

  • I’ve baked this one a few times now and it’s the best tasting banana bread! Even my 7 year old daughter loves it. thank you Jennifer

  • Y’all this is the only banana bread recipe I use now! Interesting substitution note… I love to substitute half the overripe bananas for pumpkin puree in the fall 🙂 it’s lovely! I’ve also done the substitutions with vanilla yogurt when I was out of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt. All work wonderful. I think I’ve even added a Tish of lemon juice to the Greek yogurt to make sure it still had that sour cream Tang. I find that while always wonderfully moist sometimes it’s good to make sure it has cooled completely so that it can condense down before serving. I took this to a church potluck right out of the oven and it was still warm and crumbled too much trying to cut it up and serve.. I also double all the spices… Because when fall is your favorite time of year there’s never too much spice LOL

  • Can I use salted butter instead? I don’t have any unsalted.

    • Hi Lynda, While it varies by brand, most salted butter has approximately 1/4 tsp. salt per stick, so you can use the salted butter and reduce the salt in the recipe as needed. Hope that helps!

  • Excellent! Was a bit concerned about the different spices but with all of the great reviews I decided I needed to try this recipe. I was not disappointed. Made it yesterday and all of it is gone today.
    Why do some sweet breads get a bit sticky on the top after covering? I have had that happen sometimes. This bread did not.

    • — Patricia Smith
    • Reply
    • Glad you liked this, Patricia! Quick breads may get a bit sticky on top because when you cover them, you’re trapping moisture inside the foil or plastic which can add that little bit of stickiness.

      • Thank you.

        • — Patricia Smith
        • Reply
  • This banana bread got great reviews from my friends when I took it as a house visit offering. It has a good spice flavor and held its freshness for several days wrapped in foil. I like the recipes I find on this blog a great deal. Thanks for sharing this one.

  • Absolutely wonderful and moist!

  • SO GOOD. Best banana bread I’ve ever tasted, my mom seconds that. Really perfect. super moist. We like it best cold out of the fridge – its almost like banana bread fudge. Cannot go wrong with this recipe. Thank you Jen!

    Cooking notes:
    1) I’ve made it twice – both times (for my oven), I had to cook it an extra 10-15 minutes (with some foil on top at the end). When testing to see if its done, the tester never comes out “clean”, but its done and holds together nicely.
    2) Second time I made it I doubled all the spices, just because… it was good that way, too.
    3) for sugar sensitive people: I also only used half the sugar both times. It was delicious. I might try even going lower next time
    4) for Gluten sensitive people: I used a general purpose Bob’s Redmill gluten free flour and it came out perfect

  • This is sooooo good!! Ran out of butter so used half coconut oil and used yogurt instead of sour cream and it still came out amazing. Definitely one of those recipes where I would fully either vitamix or electric mix the bananas before mixing them in, comes out so smooth and fluffy!

  • This is my first recipe review ever. But this banana bread is THAT good. I write to express my adoring thanks to Jenn Segal, for I can always produce superb meals by following her creative suggestions. That said, I especially want to enthusiastically recommend her awesome Chai-spiced Banana Bread. Hers is the first that is truly moist! I have made this over and over because I love the unique flavor; and as a gift, my friends are always delighted with how delicious it is. Great news too is that it freezes well. “Once Upon a Chef” always makes me look good.

    • This was lovely, I made it this afternoon was able to whip it up in about 15 minutes and stick it in the oven. I ran out of AP flour so I subbed in 1/3cup rolled oats, which gave it a nice texture. 60 minutes was a bit long but that could have resulted from the substitution.

  • This chai-spiced banana bread is so delicious. Whenever I have over-ripe bananas, my family asks me to make this recipe. No more basic banana bread for us.

  • I am so happy! (Dance of Joy!) I lost my old recipe when I moved a few years ago and have tried a couple dozen recipes that just didn’t cut it. I just finished eating a couple of warm slices of the loaf I just baked and I am as happy as a clam! Success 😂

    • It’s Sarah again, I’m baking two loaves now! I am so tickled to finally have a really, really great recipe for Banana Bread again! Funny thing, when I first saw the recipe, I thought it was Banana CHIA Spiced Bread…got the clue that no Chia seeds are involved. Well, I threw some into the last 1/3 of the batter for one side of the pan. I liked it! It had a little tiny crunch to it. I’m adding it to both loaves today. Adds protein, minerals and lots of minerals. I also lightly toast pecan halves and break them gently with my hands and stir them in last. Sooo yummy. If you haven’t tried this recipe…you should! My small town TN Library does not have the book, so I put in a Library Loan request yesterday. I can’t wait to drool over the pages. I should weigh myself before and after. Haha. Not really. Jenn’s recipes are healthy and satisfying. I don’t do much snacking aside from dried fruits and nuts (and now this bread). Hope you try it! Peace…

  • I adore this recipe! This bread has it all. Wonderfully moist, the right amount of spices to make it interesting yet allowing the banana flavor to come through. This now rivals pumpkin bread for me!

  • This is my new favorite banana bread recipe. I keep whole cardamom pods in an old pepper grinder, and the aroma of fresh ground cardamom filled the kitchen. The bananas measured 1 1/4 cups, so I reduced the sour cream to keep the liquid ratio the same. I used an 8 x 4 pan, since I wanted a taller loaf, and added 5 minutes to the bake time. This is a wonderful recipe, with or without the chai spices, but I highly recommend the chai-spiced version!

    • I’m making 2 batches for friends. Can I bake them at the same time? I’ve always baked them separately but I’m running short on time. Love this recipe thanks.

      • — Theresa on February 17, 2021
      • Reply
      • Sure Theresa, that should work. They may take a minute or two extra in the oven but keep a close eye on them. Hope your friends enjoy!

        • — Jenn on February 17, 2021
        • Reply
  • Hello, If I wanted to make this into a cake, what size pan and what cooking time would you recommend. Also, what kind of frosting would you suggest? Or just a dusting of powdered sugar? I’d like to enter into a family baking contest that’s coming up. Thank you!

    • Hi Lisa, I’d recommend an 8 or 9-inch square baking dish. Baking time will be different so keep an eye on it. A cream cheese frosting like the one from this recipe would be nice; simple powdered sugar would work nicely too. Hope everyone enjoys!

  • I made these as muffins, halved the recipe and amended the sugar for 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/8 cup white sugar but kept the spices the same amount as the full batch – baked for 5 minutes at 425°F then lowered to 350°F for 16-20 minutes, half recipe made 8 Muffins filled to the top. Turned out really tasty, flavourful and balanced! Thanks Jenn.

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