I love having something bread-y to enjoy for the weekend.

Whether it’s muffins or cake or a dozen croissants — this has happened! — carb consumption is always on my weekend agenda. But seeing as baked goods aren’t exactly what crop tops are made of, I’ve come to rely on banana bread to keep my cravings at bay. Because unlike cookies, candy, or other junk I can consume by the pound, banana bread is a treat I savor.

A little slice here, a tiny nibble there, and a big ‘ole bite for good measure. Banana bread is a grazer’s DREAM, especially when it’s infused with chai tea.

Because it’s Friday and all of our attention spans are zero, I’m going to keep this quick. This is a classic, easy-peasy banana bread, with a few crucial enhancements that make it extra delicious. The first is the use of chai tea, which is the boldest, most flavorful tea ever. The chai’s inherent flavor — cinnamon, cardamon, cloves, YES! — renders a taste that’s akin to spiced banana cake, it’s seriously so damn yummy. And best of all, incorporating the chai tea is SO easy to do. Simply steep melted butter in loose chai tea grinds for about 10 minutes, then thoroughly strain — That’s it!

It’s a small extra step that’s reaps MAJOR results, so there’s nothing not to love.

To balance out the chai taste I added a healthy dose of vanilla extract, which isn’t normally included in traditional banana bread recipes. I also doubled-down on chocolate chunks (duh), used 4 bananas for an ultra moist finish (hell yes), and sprinkled a crispy crumble on top, because TEXTURE.

You guys know I’m a texture freak.

The crumble is one I’ve used before, but it’s so damn tasty I couldn’t resist. Consisting of walnuts, old-fashioned oats, coconut flakes, and fairy dust, it’s another small step that completely transforms this recipe. The crumble gets SO crisp while baking, it’s the perfect foil to the achingly soft, cakey insides. And I love the nutty flavor the crumble adds too, it’s a really nice compliment to the major spice the bread is already packing.

And as if this couldn’t get any better, it also freezes incredibly!! Sliceable even in a frozen state, simply slice and pop in the toaster oven to re-heat. xo

Vanilla Chai Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread

Ingredients:

  • BREAD:
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsps salted butter
  • 4 bags Chai tea, tea leaves removed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 4 bananas, mashed
  • 1 1/2 tsps vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, sifted + more for loaf pan
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 7 oz milk chocolate, chopped
  • Crisco to grease
  • CRUMBLE:
  • 1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 tbsps granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsps all purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 tbsps salted butter, melted
  • 2 – 3 tbsps milk chocolate chunks

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan melt the butter (covered) over medium-low heat. Once melted stir in the loose chai tea leaves, then cover once more and allow to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When ready, strain butter through a mesh strainer.*
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the crumble. Toss all crumble ingredients in a small mixing bowl until well combined, then set aside.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 350F. Amply grease an 8″ x 4″ loaf pan with Crisco, then coat with a film of flour.
  4. Once the chai butter is ready, in a large mixing bowl whisk together the butter and sugar until combined, then add in the eggs, bananas, and vanilla until well mixed. Next, in another mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring gently until the batter takes shape. At this stage simultaneously stir in the remaining chocolate chunks — Do not overmix.
  5. Pour the batter into the greased and floured loaf pan, then top with the crumble. Bake on oven middle rack for 60 – 75 minutes until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. Cool completely, then eat!

You want to separate as many tea grinds from the butter as possible, so you will probably need to strain the butter twice. If a few grinds still slip through, that’s okay!