Vegan Bread Recipes: Sugar-Free Cardamom Bread

September 12, 2016
One of the reasons I think I'm good at baking--besides genetics--is that, unlike cooking, it relies on precision. One quickly learns that a "pinch" of salt is really just that, and you better have the right sized fingers to avoid an unpalatable cake. The time-tested example of cakes being more than the sum of their parts is an absolute truth; when parts, in specific and scientifically-based proportions, are combined, they create something entirely different and amazing. #synergy This recipe represents a milestone in my baking life because it's one of the first times I've rougely experimented with a baking recipe. Usually, I can make a handful of substitutions to a preexisting mix with success, but this bread/cake was a much looser interpretation. I've been on a real cardamom kick these days, a newly acquired taste post-Ayurvedic cleanse, and since September hit, I have been wanting to welcome fall (helloooo, fall! please show up soon; you forgot to visit the east coast...) with something warm and cozy-like. But for some reason, so many of the cardamom loaves and cakes I researched as bases read as overly complicated flavor-wise; they featured citrus or carrots or bergamot or--the list goes on. I'm also being very conscious of my sugar intake, which added to the challenge of finding something sans the requisite addition of sugar, be it white/granulated or something similar, like honey or maple syrup. I decided to not call this recipe a "cake" because I did, in fact, succeed in cutting out added sugar, in both practice and theory. This bread is hardly a sweet at all: just enough sugary-ness to balance out the spiciness of the other ingredients. For me, this pseudo-dessert is just right, and if my lucky streak with experimentation continues, it may even coax a brisk autumn chill out of Mother Nature.
Vegan Bread Recipes: Sugar-Free Cardamom Bread

Vegan Bread Recipes: Sugar-Free Cardamom Bread

Recipe Type: Breakfast Sweets
utensils YIELDS 12 pieces
herb graphic for recipe card
  • 2 flax eggs
  • 2 medium ripe bananas (about 1 cup mashed)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Scant 1 cup chai-infused milky tea
  • 1/2 cup cashew cream
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup chick pea flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup raw pistachio meats, whole or chopped
  • sprinkle of unsweetened coconut flakes
        graphic for recipe card


1. To make the cashew cream, soak 1 cup raw cashews in water overnight. Drain, and blend in a processor until smooth. For this recipe, I wouldn't add customary mix-ins so as to not mess with the flavor combination.
2. To make the milky tea, steep two tea chai teabags in a standard mug and add milk until very light in color. (I used Tazo's Vanilla Carmel Chai, but a plain chai would also do.) Let it cool to room temperature.
3. Add the vinegar to a 1-cup measuring cup, and fill the rest with the prepared tea. Set aside. (This is a form of buttermilk.)
4. Mash the bananas in a small bowl with a fork until almost smooth. It's okay if there are some lumps, but try to minimize big pieces.
5. Combine flax eggs, banana, cream, vanilla, and coconut oil in a bowl; stir well. Add spices and flour, and stir until well mixed. Add milky tea last.
6. Pour batter into a loaf pan and spread evenly. Top with pistachios and coconut.
7. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes. A knife should come out clean when it's ready, and the top will be medium-brown in color.
8. Let cool before slicing, and enjoy!

Also by Jennifer: Roots and Herbs Spiced Garlic Soup

Related: Raspberry Rhubarb Bread Pudding

Vegan Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

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Photos: Jennifer Kurdyla

Features Editor Jennifer Kurdyla is a New York City girl with Jersey roots and a propensity for getting lost in the urban jungle. An experienced publishing professional, yoga instructor, home chef, sometimes-runner, and writer, she adopted a vegetarian lifestyle in 2008 and became vegan in 2013. She has written for The Harvard Review Online, The Rumpus, and Music & Literature and maintains a wellness-based website, Be Nourished, which features original writing and recipes. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram @jenniferkurdyla, Twitter @jenniferkurdyla, and Pinterest.


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