These delectable banana pudding brownies start with a layer of fudgy brownies dotted with chocolate chips and get baked with a banana cream cheese layer with crushed vanilla wafers.
What Are Pudding Brownies?
These banana pudding brownies are much like any other brownie bar. The bottom layer is a dense brownie that uses a limited amount of flour and brown sugar to keep it fudgy. Semi-sweet chocolate chips are stirred into the batter for a double chocolate punch and extra crunch (can't go wrong with either of those, right?)
The banana pudding layer is a simple mixture of cream cheese, instant banana pudding mix, milk, and one chopped up banana. Don't worry if you're not big on cream cheese, the tanginess from it is not that noticeable and is overpowered by the banana.
To finish with a bang, just like any decent banana pudding, the brownies get topped off with some broken pieces of vanilla wafers.
Ingredients You Need
The brownie batter layer and banana pudding layer are mixed separately and then layered on top of one another before being topped with pieces of vanilla wafers and then baked together in the oven. Here's what you need:
For The Brownie Layer
- Light Brown and White Sugars: The white sugar melts down and adds chew to the brownies, while the brown sugar contributes to keeping the brownies fudgy while adding a hint of molasses flavor.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter at room temperature to easily cream it together with the sugars.
- Vanilla Extract: As always, use the pure stuff!
- Eggs: You'll need two large eggs to add structure and moistness to the brownies.
- All-Purpose Flour: I used only ¾ cup for an extra fudgy brownie layer.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: You can use regular or Dutch Process (I recommend the latter!)
- Salt: A pinch to enhance the flavors.
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips: I LOVE the crunch and extra punch of chocolate that the chips add when stirred into a brownie batter.
Banana Pudding Layer:
- Cream Cheese: Let an 8 ounce block come to room temperature so you can blend it up easily.
- Banana Pudding Mix: I used a 3.4 ounce box of instant vanilla pudding mix. Don't follow the directions on the box - follow my recipe below.
- Fresh Banana: I added a chopped up banana to the pudding for extra banana goodness.
- Milk: Choose a dairy milk - non-dairy/plant-based milks won't work well with instant pudding mixes.
- Vanilla Wafers: Broken vanilla wafers get broken up and added to the top. They'll get nice and crispy when the brownies are freshly-baked!
Is your mouth watering yet?! The full recipe is in the card below, so gather your ingredients and get to baking.
If these brownies look intriguing but you don't love the flavor of banana, here are some fun alternatives that you can try.
- Pistachio: Use instant pistachio pudding mix, skip the chopped banana, and add some chopped pistachio nuts to the top of the brownies.
- Vanilla: For some good old-fashioned vanilla, use vanilla pudding mix and skip the chopped banana.
- Double Chocolate: Go ahead, I won't tell anyone. Use chocolate pudding mix, skip the banana, and use extra chocolate chips or crushed chocolate cookies on top.
- Coconut: Use coconut cream pudding mix, skip the banana, and add shredded coconut (and maybe some chopped pecans) on top.
This banana pudding brownie recipe is pretty straightforward and you shouldn't have any trouble with them when following the recipe below as written, but here are a few tips to help you out should you run into any problems.
Don't Overbake: The cardinal rule when baking anything - don't overbake! Since these brownies have two layers and you want the brownie layer to stay fudgy, you want to pull them out of the oven when the edges of the pudding layer are just starting to brown and the middle is just set.
Let Them Cool: Don't even think about attempting to cut these brownies until they are totally cool. They are luxuriously soft and fudgy and will firm up as they cool. Or you can dig in with a spoon if you don't care about having neat cut squares - I won't tell ya what to do.
Don't Use Non-Dairy Milk: Plant-based milks are notorious for 'not working' with instant pudding mixes, so use any dairy-based milk that you want for best results.
Do These Brownies Need To Be Refrigerated?
Because of the cream cheese and pudding layer on the top of these brownies, they will do best in the refrigerator. You can keep them in a sealed container in a cool room for a day or so and they'll be fine, but after that I recommend refrigerating them.
Can I Make These In Advance?
Keep in mind that the vanilla wafers will be crisp and crunchy when the banana pudding brownies are freshly-baked, but they will soften over time. If you want to serve the brownies with nice crispy wafers, make them the same day you intend to serve them.Print
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