One of my all time favorite loaf cakes, this pumpkin chai loaf is a keeper. Baked with olive oil and fragrant chai flavors, this beauty is topped with a fluffy maple and orange cream cheese frosting that will have you going back for seconds. Serve it for breakfast or dessert, I promise it will be a hit and a new seasonal baking favorite.
Chai Pumpkin Loaf with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
For the loaf
1 and 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons chai spice*
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 and 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup olive oil
For the chai spice
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoon ground cardamom
3/4 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6-8 turns of freshly ground black pepper
For the frosting
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
4oz butter, softened
4oz cream cheese, softened
Zest of an orange
Dash of heavy cream
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and line loaf tin with parchment paper and set aside until ready to bake.
In a small dish, combine the chai spice ingredients: cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, and black pepper. You'll likely have extra which can be added to pie crusts, shortbread or cakes.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, chai spice, and sea salt until well combined. Separately, in a medium mixing bowl whisk the eggs and sugar until smooth. Add in pumpkin puree, olive oil, and milk, and mix until a smooth texture is achieved.
Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, gently mixing until combined. Be sure not to over mix, in order to achieve a fluffy loaf. Pour the batter into prepared loaf tin, and bake for 45-60 minutes, depending on your oven. I start checking mine at 30 minutes and will tent with tin foil to prevent browning on the top.
While the loaf is cooking, prepare the frosting. In a stand mixer, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add in sifted powdered sugar, and mix until combined. To finish, add maple syrup and freshly zested orange and beat until fluffy.
Remove the loaf from the oven and let cool entirely. Once cooled, top it with cream cheese frosting and decorate with seasonal fruits, if you'd like.