Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cranberry-Chai Bread

It's been a month since I've updated. The holidays have come and (almost) gone, and I've finally found some time to just sit and write. I am currently at my cabin in northern Wisconsin with my family and boyfriend. All the ground and trees are frosted white, the lake is completely frozen, and the only sign of life is the deer tracks going this way and that. I love it here, it's beautiful, quiet and peaceful- a perfect getaway to write.

I've been wanting to make Chai bread for quite some time. But with a long holiday to-do-list, I kept putting it off. The kitchen was filled with Christmas cookies of all sorts, and even when I had the time to make it, I hardly had the space. Finally, one day last week, I set out to make the bread. It had been hanging over my head long enough, and I couldn't put it off any longer. Now, when it comes to breads, I have a basic recipe which I tweak depending on the kind of bread I want to make. This recipe I developed using applesauce or pumpkin instead of oil. But I didn't want my Chai bread to have either of those flavors. I wanted it to be just Chai- nothing else. So I looked through my very-worn Better Homes and Garden's cookbook, to find a recipe I could tweak. I finally settled on Cranberry Orange Bread. It was very basic and looked easy enough to change the flavors.

I immediately started to mix things together. After I had mixed up all the ingredients, I realized that there was hardly any batter. I read through the recipe again, this time more carefully, and realized that it called for a whole cup of cranberries. No wonder there was hardly any batter! I decided that I would add the cranberries, and hope the Chai-Cranberry combination would turn out in my favor. It sure did! I could hardly wait to try it out once it came out of the oven. It's the perfect cold-weather snack. Warm, sweet, earthy and just a bit tart. The combination of the different flavors couldn't have blended any better! And with a smear of butter, it's just heavenly!

Cranberry-Chai Bread
Makes 10 slices

2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup granulated Splenda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 chai tea bag
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange peel
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup brewed black tea
2 tablespoons applesauce
1 cup chopped cranberries (I used frozen cranberries, chopped them with the food processor, and measured 1 cup)

Sift together flour, sugar, Splenda, baking powder, salt, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and the contents of the chai tea bag.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, orange peel, vanilla, tea and applesauce. Stir into the flour mixture until just moistened.

3. Fold in chopped cranberries

4. Pour into a greased 9x5x3 loaf pan, and bake at 350 for 60 minutes.

5. Remove from the pan, and cool on a rack.

Enjoy warm, with honey or butter.
Wrap in plastic wrap and store in the fridge.

Nutrition Facts per slice
Calories: 136 Fat: 1 g Saturated Fat: .2 g Cholesterol: 21.3 mg Sodium: 312.4 mg Potassium: 22.5 mg Carbohydrates: 31.1 g Fiber: 3.7 g Sugars: 12 g Protein: 3.9 g


  1. Oh wow, I love the idea of the chai spices with cranberry. This is a must try recipe!

  2. Can you cake cupcakes with this recipe?

  3. Yes, absolutely! Although, I think they might be closer to muffins than cupcakes! Just bake them in paper-lined cupcake tins, and start out 25 minutes, adding time as needed.