Who else looooved those little chocolate pudding snack packs in their lunch box in elementary school? You have me a lunchables and one of those chocolate puddings, and I was a happy camper. Clearly I ate super healthily when I was younger, right? Oops. But one thing I loved even MORE than those little chocolate puddings? When my mom would make one of my all-time favorite desserts WITH chocolate pudding: Chocolate Banana Cream Pie.
When I was growing up, you couldn’t go wrong with this dessert that combined three of my faaaavorite things: chocolate pudding, bananas, and graham crackers (for the crust). My mouth is watering just thinking about it, it’s fiiine. We made it for Easter, Thanksgiving, my birthday (which was usually only a week or so after, Easter, ha!), or any occasion whatsoever…I never got tired of it. PLUS it was just about the easiest thing ever to make, so even at a young age I had mastered it. Pre-made pudding mix from the box, dumped into a pre-made graham cracker crust (or, you know, sometimes I’d get fancy and make the crust from graham crackers myself, taking all of an extra 2 minutes to crush them up), with sliced bananas and cool whip on top. The early days of (not yet) real food with dana, LOLZ.
Soooo wait lemme lemme upgraaaade (Beyoncé voice, duh).
This past Thanksgiving we were of course having the dilemma of what many desserts to make to round out the meal. We had Apple Crisp, Pumpkin Pie, and were looking for something chocolatey…and I remembered this Chocolate Banana Cream Pie that I probably hadn’t made in 10 years. Because I wouldn’t touch those old ingredients we used with a 10-foot pole now (let’s be honest, there isn’t anything real IN those ingredients), I made a few simple switches and it came out even BETTER than I remembered: a dark chocolate pudding made with coconut milk and my favorite grass-fed, gut-healing gelatin from Vital Proteins, homemade coconut whipped cream, and the traditional graham cracker crust.
Honesty alert: you guys KNOW I’m not a good baker. So the first time I made this, I used one of the pre-made gluten-free graham cracker crusts I saw at Whole Foods. Results? Delicious. The next time I made it, I did a homemade graham cracker crust with some GF graham crackers. Could I have made my own graham cracker crust from scratch? Probably by following someone else’s recipe (like this one) because lord knows I cannot come up with my own (I’ve tried and failed many times), but I hadn’t found one that would hold together without totally crumbling. So…grocery store shortcuts for the win! You could also do a raw, nut-based crust like this one, or substitute your favorite pie crust recipe. NOTE: If you’re baking a pie crust for this recipe, make sure it’s completely cooled before you put the filling in!
You do you, friends. It’s gonna be deeeelicious however the
cookie graham cracker crumbles.
Wondering why I’m using Vital Proteins gelatin and collagen in a bunch of my recipes? Check out more here. Spoiler alert: they’re superfoods for your gut, skin, nails, hair, bones, the whole dang shebang.
- 2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbles
- 2 Tbsp ghee, melted (add about 1 tsp extra for greasing the pie crust)
- 14 oz. (1 can) full-fat coconut milk
- ¼ cup almond milk
- 1-1/2 tablespoons Vital Proteins pasture-raised gelatin
- ¼ cup cocoa powder, sifted
- ½ cup dark chocolate chunks (about 80g - i used 70% dark chocolate)
- 2 Tbsp coconut sugar (*for dark chocolate taste. Add 1-2 Tbsp extra for a sweeter flavor)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ⅛ tsp sea salt
- 2 bananas, sliced
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated for 8 hours or overnight
- Grease the bottom of a pie pan with about 1 tsp melted ghee. Then, make the pie crust: pour the graham cracker crumbles into the prepared pie pan, then drizzle with the 2 Tbsp melted ghee. Mix it up with your hands, then press the crust into the bottom and sides to form an even crust. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine 4 tablespoons of the coconut milk with the gelatin and set aside to allow it to bloom.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the rest of the coconut milk with the almond milk, cocoa powder, dark chocolate chunks, and coconut sugar.
- Bring the saucepan to a boil (this should take about 10 minutes), stirring every few minutes, then remove from the heat. Pour in the vanilla, then gradually whisk in the gelatin-coconut milk mixture. Use an immersion blender to pulse a few times and make sure everything is well mixed up.
- Allow the chocolate mixture to cool for a few minutes, then carefully pour into the graham cracker crust. Allow it to cool for another 5-10 minutes, then then top with a piece of unbleached parchment paper. Gently press the parchment paper into the top of the pudding from the middle to the edges of the pie, to prevent the pudding from forming a “skin”. Refrigerate for 4 hours.
- After putting the pie in the fridge, stick a metal bowl (I use the base bowl of my stand mixer) in the freezer to chill.
- When the pudding is chilled and firm and you’re ready to serve, pull off the parchment paper. Top the chocolate pudding with a layer of sliced bananas.
- Next, make the coconut whipped cream: Pull your bowl out of the freezer and fit it on your stand mixer (or pull out hand mixer). Open your refrigerated can of coconut milk and scoop the hard cream part off the top into your chilled bowl. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form (about 5 minutes).
- Spread the whipped cream evenly over the pie. If desired, serve with a nut butter drizzle and extra chocolate shavings. Devour!
Love this recipe? Check out these using Collagen and Gelatin too!
This recipe is sponsored by my good friends at Vital Proteins! All thoughts and opinions are my own (*snape voice*) oooobviously.