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  • Writer's pictureAudrey Locy

Dirty Chai Loaf with Espresso Glaze

The best drink at coffeeshops, now made into a fluffy, decadent loaf cake for any occasion, morning or evening! My Dirty Chai Loaf is full of those warm chai spices you love with the bold kick of espresso you need! Topped with a sweet, creamy espresso glaze, you are in for quite a treat!

A dirty chai is my absolute favorite drink to get at coffeeshops! Chai is that drink that makes you feel warm and cozy inside, hot or cold, and adding espresso makes it even more rich and inviting. A dirty chai has this deep flavor that I thought would be amazing as a baked good. I have had spiced cakes before but nothing that truly reminded me of a classic dirty chai. So, I went on a quest to make the perfect dirty chai loaf cake. This was a long journey, my friends; very long. My recipe actually started off completely different, with different methods, ingredients, and, of course, outcomes. Eventually, after several tries, the loaf cake with the perfect flavor and texture emerged from my oven screaming "eat me, eat me!"

The spices I chose for this recipe were your classic chai spices; cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, clove, and allspice. Not only are spices great ways to flavor dishes and baked goods, but they have a ton of health benefits as well. The spices in my Dirty Chai Loaf help aid digestion, regulate blood sugar, are strong antioxidants, and improve cardiovascular health; just to name a few! I used whole cardamom and clove and ground it myself because those two spices are more fragrant ground fresh from whole seeds. However, pre-ground is fine as well!

The issue that kept arising before this final recipe was the texture of the loaf. It kept coming out dense and chewy. But eventually I tried adding whipped aquafaba as a way to make the batter fluffy. IT WORKED! The batter was super airy just as if you added whipped egg whites! All of the tiny air bubbles made the texture of the loaf perfect! For those who don't know what aquafaba is, it is the chickpea water that comes from canned chickpeas! Sounds strange, I know, but the texture mocks that of egg whites and you can whip the chickpea water just as you can eggs to create a "mock-meringue." Just chill the aquafaba in a glass bowl in the freezer for a few minutes before whipping. Once the aquafaba doubles in size, add your cream of tartar and whip until slightly stiff peaks form. And there you have it, an airy vegan meringue!

The glaze is my favorite step in the recipe! Just mix together confectioners sugar and espresso until a super thick glaze forms. Start with adding very little espresso to the sugar and work your way up until the consistency is what you want. If you want a glaze that looks like mine add minimal espresso so the glaze is super thick. It should have some difficulty pouring off the whisk.

And when you serve up slices of this decadent loaf, don't forget a hot cup of Dirty Chai on the side! Bon Appétit!

Dirty Chai Loaf with Espresso Glaze

Prep time: 25 min Cook time: 55 min

Total time: 1 hr 20 min

Cuisine: Vegan

Servings: 8

Category: Bread, Dessert, Breakfast

1/2 cup oat milk, or other alternative

1 tea bag of chai tea

3/4 cup espresso

2 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup aquafaba, chilled

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

2 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar, granulated

2 Tbsp cornstarch

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp ginger, ground

1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground

1/4 tsp cardamom, ground

1/4 tsp clove, ground

1/8 tsp allspice, ground

For Icing:

2 cups sugar, powdered

1-2 Tbsp espresso


1. Preheat oven to 350°F (~175 °C)

2. If using an espresso machine, pull shots of espresso until you have desired amount and set aside to cool. If using instant espresso, mix together the espresso and set aside.

3. Heat milk in the microwave or a pot until steaming. Steep the chai tea bag in the milk for at least 5 minutes and set aside to cool.

4. Measure out aquafaba from a can of chickpeas, place the liquid in a large bowl, and put into refrigerator to chill.

5. Grind spices if you have whole seeds and mix together all dry ingredients except the cream of tartar in a large mixing bowl.

6. Once espresso and steeped chai milk is slightly cooled, mix together with oil and vanilla.

7. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.

8. Whip the chilled aquafaba with a mixer until the liquid doubles in size. Then add the cream of tartar to the mixture and whip until soft peaks form.

9. Fold in the whipped aquafaba to the batter slowly as you don't want to destroy the air in the aquafaba, but DO NOT over mix!

10. Place batter into a 10x5 bread pan and bake for 55-60 minutes.

11. For the icing, mix together powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon of espresso to start. You can add more espresso to thin out the icing to your preference.

12. Once the bread is completely cool, you may ice the top.

13. Slice and enjoy!

14. To store, place in an airtight container, in the fridge for up to three days. After that it can be frozen for up to 3 weeks.

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