I’ve found myself smitten with chai tea this winter, unable to resist the warm, aromatic flavors that translate well into pastry (chai spice palmiers) and chocolate (chai rum truffles). The spices work beautifully with banana bread too, imparting a lovely spicy aroma.
Buttermilk and coconut oil lend the banana bread a moist and tender crumb; honey and ripe bananas add just enough sweetness (though I highly recommend the brown butter drizzle!). Serve thick slices with steaming mugs of chai tea for the best breakfast or afternoon treat.
Chai Spice Banana Bread
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- 3/4 tsp cardamom
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
- 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp milk
- Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray. Whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Combine banana, honey, coconut oil, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla bean paste in a medium bowl; add to flour mixture and fold in just until combined. Spoon batter into prepared pan and smooth top with an offset spatula.
- Bake for 30 minutes; rotate pan and cover with foil to prevent over browning. Continue baking another 30 minutes. Bread is done when golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes; carefully remove bread from pan and cool completely.
- For the glaze, cook butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it foams, turns clear, and then turns a deep brown, about 6 minutes. Whisk together brown butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk in a small bowl. Drizzle glaze over cooled bread and let set before slicing and serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days.