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Chai Banana Bread with Pumpkin Cream Cheese

Healthy Banana Bread

I can’t keep up with mercurial October…

The month started out amazingly, so I was caught completely off guard when it quickly turned dark and painful without warning. Yet suddenly it changed again. Albeit a colossal cliché, the idea that when one door closes another one opens has proven true for me twice now in three months, most recently this past Tuesday when a door opened I never would’ve expected. Sometimes things really do happen for a reason (I’m full of clichés today).

Going back to the low in between the two highs, this was my coping mechanism last week when I was hurt, angry, and—I’m sorry to say—probably not very fun to be around:

ckose up

Hibernate like a bear… away from other people so they don’t have to deal with me!

And stuff my face with banana bread.

Not sure if bears really eat banana bread when they hibernate. Whatever. In any case, it was actually good timing, since the book manuscript deadline is coming up so there was no time to be social anyway. And hibernating afforded me ample opportunity to throw myself into work, simultaneously writing and experimenting with new recipes for future posts.

Chai Banana Bread

Above, chai banana bread with homemade Pumpkin Pie Cream Cheese.

It’s a cinnamon spicy take on traditional banana bread. (Fun random fact for grammar nerds: chai tea is a tautology, as both words mean the same thing… like pizza pie or fall down.)

Soft, moist, and cinnamony spicy banana bread like you have never had it before. Ingredients: 2 cups mashed banana, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 1/2 tsp...

Chai Banana Bread

  • 2 cups spelt or all-purpose flour (or 2 cups Bob’s gf)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • only if using gf flour, add 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp each: ginger, cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • optional, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 Nunaturals stevia packet OR 1 tbsp sugar of choice
  • 3 tbsp milk of choice
  • 3 1/2 tbsp vegetable or melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (or another liquid sweetener of choice)
  • 2 cups mashed bananas (measure the 2 cups after mashing)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice or white or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine dry ingredients and mix very well. In a separate mixing bowl, combine wet ingredients, then stir into dry until just evenly mixed. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake 35-40 minutes. (If the top is cooked but the inside is gooey, you can put tin foil over the top and continue to bake.) Let cool 10 minutes before slicing. Store leftover slices in the refrigerator or freezer after one day. Makes 10-12 slices. Top with coconut butter, pumpkin butter, or the pumpkin pie cream cheese recipe linked under the third photo of this post.

View Chai Banana Bread Nutrition Facts

Soft, moist, and cinnamony spicy banana bread like you have never had it before. Ingredients to make the recipe: 2 cups mashed banana, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 1/2 tsp...

Link of the Day:

vegan macaroni and cheese
……….Vegan Mac and Cheese

Published on October 17, 2013

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Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
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ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day.

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  1. Abigail Seger says

    This Recipe looks wonderful! I have been looking around for different breakfast recipes and I will definitely try this one!
    One question….The nutrition info is based off of how many servings total?

  2. janae @ bring joy says

    I’m glad things are looking up for you–the funny thing is when things are pretty lame & hard, it makes you long for those simple days when you didn’t know how good you had it, you know?

    I know when I’m feeling surly, there are very few things that are more cathartic than baking. Hope things only get better for you 🙂

  3. Whitney says

    Katie, this looks SO good! What was your inspiration to try it with chai? I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I work with Tipu’s Chai (in Montana) and I’m thinking our “Simple Life” blend would work perfectly for this recipe (it’s just our tea and spices, no sweetener, so it’s great for baking)…would you be okay with you if I tried it with that and cited your recipe (we’d probably post it on our website)? I’d love to give it a try. 🙂 Happy Fall, can’t wait for the book launch!

    • Karen w. says

      I think This is chai flavored banana bread, in other words banana bread with the flavoring a of chai tea, it is not chia banana bread.

  4. Leigh says

    Yum, looks delicious – I’m definitely going to try this out very, very soon. Just a question – is the nutritional information based off of including the walnuts? And do you use almond milk?

  5. Jaya Marina Bhumitra says

    I love that you noted that saying “chai tea” is redundant – as an Indian who knows this, it always drives me a little crazy to hear chai used as a descriptor of tea, when it means the same thing as tea. What everyone considers chai flavor (the spices) is actually what Indians would call masala…when Indians order tea in India, they say “masala tea.”

  6. Sharon says

    Hi, Katie! I love your healthy versions of desserts. I don’t do well with bananas, is it possible to substitute pumpkin or whatever for the bananas? If so, would it still be 2 cups? And are there other substitutes that you would recommend?
    Thanks so much!

    • Sarah says


      I ran out of bananas when I was making it so I substituted at least 1/2 cup of pumpkin. I ended up making mine as muffins because I don’t have a loaf pan, but they were still incredibly moist and wonderful! Also, I made them gluten free too, and they still turned out great (just add an extra 1/4tsp of baking powder because they need more rise)! Thanks Katie!!

      • Sharon says

        Sarah, thank you so much! I am going to try this! And thanks for telling me about the extra 1/4 tsp of baking powder. That is not something i could have ever figured out! So, instead of 2 cups of mashed bananas, you substituted 1/2 cup of pumpkin, right? Again, thanks!

        • Sarah says

          Oh I would still make it 2 cups total. I just had only 1 1/2 cups of mashed banana. Sorry that was confusing! And you’re welcome. But add the extra baking powder only if you’re using gluten free flour! I don’t know about regular flour!

  7. Andy says

    Can’t wait to try this!!!! I hope u feel better soon…..if it’s guy problems, just know that you are such an amazing role model for so many people and just plain perfect in general! if he doesn’t seem to understand that, then he doesn’t deserve your awesomeness!

  8. megan says

    I totally agree with Andy. Also one time I had one of your blog posts open on my computer screen and my older brother came by and goes Who’s that, she’s hot!

  9. Amanda says

    Katie, I love your website and anything pumpkin is awesome. Wanted to find something new to do with my miriad bananas that need baking so this looks perfect. However, in looking over the recipe, I don’t see any chia. Am I missing it, going crazy or is it really not there? Can’t wait to try this anyway.

  10. Heather McClees (@TheSoulfulSpoon) says

    Katie, this is such a great recipe! I’ve been craving a healthy bread lately, and I think this one fits the bill, thank you! I’m so sorry to hear you’re having a hard time right now. I totally get it. Sometimes like just throws us in a funk and we need to hibernate to escape it all. Funny how it can make us work harder and possibly create great food in the process:) I love this recipe! Going to make this soon<3 Hope things get better!

  11. Emily says

    thank you thank you thank you! We just received a massive bushel of bananas and were freezing them cause we had NO EARTHLY IDEA how to use them all. Perfect timing.

    p.s. I’m also on a writing deadline! Solidarity!

  12. Jen @ The Existential Broccoli says

    Sorry to hear you’ve had some rough times this month, Katie. *hugs* Pumpkin-everything sounds like a great cure, though. 😉

  13. Emily says

    I’m sorry you’re having a tough month! another cliché that might help: the has to set before it rises! 😛
    this bread looks really good! and pumpkin cream cheese frosting… yes please!! gimme some!
    ps. i made your black bean brownies today and i swear i nearly died. about half the pan is gone now. no joke.

  14. Annie says

    I was eating a dark chocolate bar while reading your post (I love doing that), and I was so busy laughing at your too-true real humor that I wasnt paying attention to the dwindling length … Next thing I knew, I reached over but suddenly it was all gone! }:#

  15. Danielle says

    Oh man, totally in the same boat as you this month! What a whirlwind! The surprising ups throw me the most I think as I’m still trying to process the lows and they ups are a little distracting…hope things settle down for you soon. Great post today, and looking forward to your book!

  16. Jen says

    This bread is so yummy, very well spiced! I found I had to bake it much longer to get it cooked through, though – at least an hour. At 40 min it was still doughy inside, even the end slices. Didn’t stop me from enjoying it once fully cooked, though!

    • Jen says

      I should note I used Namaste Foods Perfect Flour Blend, which is a GF flour mix that contains xanthan gum. Maybe that affected the cooking time?

  17. Rachel says

    I love chai. Why did I never think of mixing chai and banana? It seems so obvious now; thanks for the fantastic idea!

  18. Lucy @ Bake Play Smile says

    Oh my goodness!! Three of my favourite things… chai, banana bread and cream cheese! This sounds like the most amazing recipe ever! I can’t wait to try it! Funnily enough I am drinking a chai tea at the moment and have just had a banana! xx

  19. Jordan Younger says

    Katie, this looks AMAZING! I usually don’t eat very much bread, but this is a recipe I will absolutely have to try. The spices in it sound to die for. Thanks for inspiring, as always! I recently added you to my blog roll so I keep clicking over and browsing around the site… I could get lost in it for days. You are a HUGE inspiration to me.



  20. JacquieK says

    Oh my! I can’t wait to try this! Gotta get the bananas and wait for them to ripen, but hopefully I’ll be noshing on this soon! Thanks, Katie, for yet any yummy recipe!

  21. Lana Noel says

    This is delicious! I just made it (using Bob’s Red Mill GF AP Flour, homemade almond milk, apple cider vin., 1 T. coconut palm sugar, and 1/4 c maple syrup plus 3 T Yacon sweetener). No nuts. Love this bread. Can’t believe it is GF. I did have to cover with foil and bake another 10 minutes, as has been the case with other GF bread recipes I’ve made. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!! Will definitely make again. Happy Autumn!

    • Lana Noel says

      PS – I wonder if you could replace the banana with applesauce as a variation – and how much – would it be a 1 to 1 ratio?

      • Sharon says

        Lana Noel, I was wondering about the applesauce thingee, too! If anyone else knows, that makes two of us who want to know! Sharon

  22. Fern says

    I made this over the weekend..and it was absolutely delicious. Love the hint of cardamom. I’ve been a non-commenting follower for a long time but this recipe was so good it pushed me to comment!

  23. Jeannie S says

    I baked this for an hour and the bottom of the loaf was still wet. I love the combination of spices, just not sure how to get mine come out like yours.

  24. Ritchie says

    I made this for a family gathering over the weekend, and it was a total hit! Everyone was impressed with how moist it was and loved the extra spices 🙂 I’ll definitely be making this again…and again…

  25. Amy says

    Katie!! You are so awesome! I just made this. Not only was it heaven in a loaf pan but I HAD all the ingredients which meant no store run. You really know what you are doing! Thank you for another yummy recipe!!!

  26. Audrey says

    This was delicious!
    I recently realized the degree of my gluten intolerance, and I’m a broke college kid. To make gluten-free flour I blended my quick oats in my coffee grinder and used 2 cups of that instead. It worked wonderfully! I didn’t use xanthan gum either (it’s pricy and makes little difference). It all worked so well! They rose, browned, and were light and moist. Perfect healthy snack and great for breakfast with coffee 🙂

  27. Aubrey says

    Just made this last night and it is..wait for it………….DELICIOUS!!!!!:) I made it with the pumpkin pie cream cheese and OH.MY.GOODNESS. Thank you so much for the terrific recipe, as always:)

  28. JennyBakes says

    I made this recipe yesterday when we’d stayed in bed too long and we were famished (so I forgot to take any pictures.) I didn’t have enough regular flour so I used 1/2 cup hazelnut and 3/4 cup whole wheat in addition to the rest white, and it was all delicious. Oh and I added chocolate chips because I love the combo. Great recipe!

  29. Kirsten says

    I just made this, happened to have most of the ingredients in my kitchen. I used all natural cane syrup instead of the other sweeteners and it smells and tastes great! Thanks for the recipe Katie

  30. Faiza says

    Just joined your page. Can I use oats flour ( ground oats) in place of regular flour or spelt flour in all the precipices?

  31. Grace says

    This turned out really good! I doubled the recipe and then made one loaf and about 22 muffins out of it. It tastes buttery and spicy but is still vegan! I didn’t have any masala spices other than cinnamom and nutmeg, so I used a couple old chai tea bags that were hanging in the back of my cupboard, ripped them open and added them to the cup of ground flax. I used 2 cups of whole wheat flour, 1 cup of porridge oats, and 1 cup of ground flax. They turned out really nice and I made them just in time for tea! Thanks for the recipe and take care 🙂

  32. Yoyo says

    I just made this for a second time and it came out perfectly! All my friends loved it too. This is my go-to banana bread recipe now. Thanks Katie!

  33. Connie Badstuebner says

    Love all your recipes, will be buying the cookbook when I can. One of my favourite recipes was the Healthy Nutella…It’s absolutely to die for on a toasted slice of banana bread…..I’ve added a different nut butter every time I’ve made your nutella & I can’t pick my favourite, they’re all divine…Keep the recipes coming….<3

  34. Ailish says

    I just made this and my house smells divine! It also tastes as good as it smells. I may have slightly under baked it… or I was impatient and ate it while it was piping hot… but either way it’s really moist and delicious. I made a gluten free version (1/2C brown rice flower and 1.5C white rice flour) and it worked out quite well. Definitely a new favorite 🙂

  35. Rachel says

    This bread is amazing and will make your house smell heavenly! Just FYI, swapped the oil for aquafaba (same amount) and it came out perfectly. In case anyone doesn’t want to use oil or has extra aquafaba they need to use. 🙂

  36. Kathryn says

    I made this recipe as 12 muffins. Since I started egg-free baking I have used ground flax as a binder. I was curious to see the texture of these since they don’t include a classic ‘binding’ ingredient. To my delight they have an excellent crumb. The spices also give them a rich depth of flavour. They are a little too sweet for my liking, so in future I’ll cut the sweetener down. I’ll definitely make these again. Thanks for the great recipe!

  37. Kristen Kemp says

    Do you think the Chai Spice Banana Bread would work in a round 9 or 10 inch or a 8X8 square baking dish? Thank you!

  38. Kristen Kemp says

    Thought I’d try one more time with my question! Do you think this recipe would work in an 8X8 square or 8 inch/9 inch round pan? Thank you!

  39. Yuriy says

    Can I substitute quinoa flour (or other types of flour) for the spelt or all-purpose flour that you use in many of your recipes? If so, what is the substitute ratio?

    • Jason Sanford says

      You will have to experiment, and it will depend on the recipe as to whether it will work at all. But be sure to report back with results if you do experiment!

  40. Tillie Q says

    Hi Katie! I try my hardest to avoid all sugars. Is it possible to make this without the maple syrup? Can I use more banana in its place? Do you have any other substitution suggestions, for this recipe or for others? I was wondering the same thing about your blender muffins as well. Thanks so much!

  41. Gabrielle says

    I was really excited for this but unfortunately it did not work out for me. I followed the recipe as written (w/AP flour) and after 50 mins my tester still didn’t come out clean. Some of your other quick bread recipes instruct turning off the oven and leaving the bread inside, so I tried that with this one too, but it still didn’t help. The loaf was brown all over and cooked on the outside, but sticky and banana-y on the inside. The middle sunk down as well. Sad!

  42. Hope says

    I have been making this recipe for years and love it! Recently, however, whenever I make this recipe the bread comes out almost completely raw, despite cooking it for twice the suggested time above. I’ve checked my oven temperature with a thermometer and tested that my baking soda and baking powder are still good. I am using whole spelt flour. I recently had a similar effect with your chocolate banana bread (which I’ve also been making for years with no problems up until now). Could extra liquid from defrosting frozen bananas be making this dough too wet? Or do you possibly have any other suggestions why this could be happening? Thank you!

    • CCK Media Team says

      Hmmm that’s so strange! Did you recently move to a new area (with a different climate or elevation)? If all the ingredients you are using are the same as they always were, then the only thing it could be is equipment or climate/weather/outside temperature. Such a strange mystery!

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