These Banana Pudding Brownies are everything brownies should be - they're rich, fudgy and packed with sweet banana pudding and chocolate chunks. All you need is 12 ingredients to bake up this crave-worthy dessert!
After perfecting my Gluten Free Chocolate Chunk Brownies over the last 2 decades, I knew it would make the perfect base for several brownie flavor variations. And once I had the idea to combine two of my all-time favorite desserts, I knew I was on to something.
These brownies are exactly how they sound - this dreamy combo is rich, chocolate-packed, and full of hints of banana from ripe bananas and banana chips (no banana extract here!).
The hardest part of this recipe is simply letting the brownies to cool long enough to slice.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- No instant pudding mix! I do my best to share recipes with you that are made from scratch using real, whole ingredients. Making a banana pudding from scratch without any pudding mix or vanilla wafer cookies is actually easier than you think and only requires 6 simple ingredients.
- Traditional brownies, but with a banana pudding layer swirled in. If you love my Gluten Free Chocolate Chunk Brownies and grew up loving old-fashioned banana pudding, you will LOVE this brownie recipe. It's the ultimate banana pudding brownie recipe and is guaranteed to satisfy a sweet tooth.
- Perfect recipe for gluten-free beginners. If you've recently made the choice to switch over to a gluten-free diet, starting with a simple dessert like these banana brownies is an excellent choice. There are no complicated steps or hard to find gluten-free ingredients - just a ½ cup of gluten-free flour is all you'll need.
Tools You'll Need
- 8-inch square baking pan
- Parchment paper
- 2 medium to large glass bowls (microwave-safe preferred)
- 1 set of dry measuring spoons
- 1 set of dry measuring cups
- 1 handheld electric mixer
- 1 medium whisk
- Butter knife or small off-set spatula
- Cooling rack
The dry ingredient base of the brownie batter is made with a simple blend of gluten-free all purpose flour, cocoa powder, and coarse Kosher salt. I recommend dark cocoa power or Dutch process cocoa.
The wet ingredient base of the brownie batter is made with granulated sugar, light brown sugar, large eggs, and pure vanilla extract.
Melting the unsalted butter and dark chocolate chunks together is the first step in making the brownie batter.
To make a homemade vanilla pudding you'll need: vanilla extract, light brown sugar, 1 large egg, sour cream, cream cheese, a ripe banana, and coarse kosher salt (many ingredients you'll notice are already needed to make the brownie base!).
Chocolate chunks and banana chips are baked overtop the brownies as the final finishing touch.
- Flour options: I made these brownies using gluten free flour, but you can substitute a wheat all purpose flour, if desired. I wouldn't recommend using single gluten-free flours such as almond flour, coconut flour, or oat flour. You'll need a cup for cup gluten free flour blend for best results.
- Chocolate chunks: Either dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chunks are my favorite, but feel free to use what you have! Chocolate chips or even a chopped chocolate bar would work well.
- Butter substitution: If you avoid baking with dairy, swap the unsalted butter with your favorite dairy-free butter substitute, such as Miyoko's Creamery unsalted vegan butter. I have also used melted coconut oil in this recipe. If using coconut oil, I recommend reducing the measurement by 2 tablespoons (so 6 tablespoons instead of a ½ cup).
- Brown sugar substitutions: If you find yourself without light brown sugar, you may use dark brown sugar instead (this will simply add additional moisture and make your brownies more fudgy. You can also make your own brown sugar by mixing regular granulated sugar with about 1 tablespoon of molasses.
How to Make Banana Pudding Brownies
- Make the banana pudding. In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, whisk the cream cheese, mashed banana, brown sugar, egg, sour cream and vanilla extract until smooth and well combined.
Set aside while you prepare the remaining brownie batter.
- Melt the chocolate. Place the butter and ¾ cup of chocolate chunks in a medium glass bowl. Microwave in 60 second internals until melted completely.
- Whisk in the wet ingredients. This mixture should be very smooth.
- Add dry ingredients. Add in the gluten free all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, and Kosher salt. Stir to combine.
- Swirl the banana pudding into the brownies. Spread the brownie batter in the bottom of your brownie pan and dollop with the banana pudding mixture. Using a butter knife or small off-set spatula, gently swirl the banana batter and brownie batter together to create a marble effect. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chunks and the banana chips.
- Bake. Place the banana pudding brownies in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, then allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before placing the pan on a cooling rack to cool completely, about 2 hours.
- Serve. Cut the banana brownies into 12 equal sized squares, then serve as desired.
Banana pudding brownies make a delicious dessert for a special occasion or a sweet afternoon treat any day of the week! Serve alone alongside a tall glass of milk dollop the top of the brownies with whipped cream or cool whip and extra banana chips or fresh banana slices.
The secret to moist brownies with a fudgy texture is using the correct moisture to flour ratio and baking until chewy. Over baking or adding too much flour are common mistakes that can dry out this excess moisture and cause dry brownies.
Chewy, fudgy brownies are higher in fat compared to cake-like brownies. For best results, melt the unsalted butter with the chocolate chips to allow it to blend seamlessly into the batter.
These brownies are best baked on the middle oven rack. Baking on the highest or lowest racks will place the brownies too close to the heat sources and/or highest temperatures and will overcook them.
Tips and Tricks for Success
- Use a ripe banana. If you've baked my Easy Gluten Free Banana Bread or my Chewy Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies, you'll know I always recommend baking with ripe, spotty bananas. This yields the best banana flavor and the best natural sweetness. If you have ripe bananas in the freezer, defrost them 1-2 days in advance in the refrigerator until soft and mash them into the banana pudding as normal!
- Make sure to bring the eggs and cream cheese to room temperature before starting. If you've ever made a recipe that called for room temperature ingredients, there's actually scientific reasoning behind it! For an in-depth, incredible read on the science of baking, check out this post: Room Temperature Ingredients Make a Difference.
More Recipes You'll Enjoy
Banana Pudding Brownies
Banana Pudding Ingredients
- 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 1 each VERY ripe banana mashed
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1 each egg room temperature
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup dark chocolate chunks divided
- ½ cup unsalted butter 2 sticks
- ⅔ cups light brown sugar packed
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 each eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup gluten free all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup dark cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon coarse Kosher salt
- ½ cup banana chips roughly chopped, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
- First, make the banana pudding mixture. Place all banana pudding ingredients into a medium bowl. Whisk together, using a handheld electric mixer on medium speed, until well combined and smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed. Set aside the banana pudding mixture while you make the brownie batter.
- To make the brownie batter, place the butter and ¾ cup of the chocolate chunks in a medium glass bowl, melt together by placing in the microwave for 60 seconds. Stir the mixture, and then place in the microwave for an additional 30-60 seconds to melt completely.
- Whisk in sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract.
- Add gluten free all-purpose flour, cocoa powder and Kosher salt. Stir together until combined.
- Spread in the greased pan, and dollop with the banana pudding mixture. Using a butter knife or a small off-set spatula, gently swirl the banana batter and brownie batter together creating a marble effect. Sprinkle the brownie batter with the remaining chocolate chunks and banana chips.
- Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Place the pan in the refrigerator on a cooling rack to cool completely, about 2 hours.
- Cut into 12 equal pieces before serving.
- If you are not on a gluten free diet, you may substitute regular all-purpose flour
- Be sure your banana is very ripe, but if you cannot wait that long to make this delicious recipe, you may ripen your banana in a 400 degree F oven for about 1o minutes.
- You may bake these brownies in a 9-inch baking pan, but they will be quite a bit thinner.
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