We love individually sized treats. Not only do they make portion sizes manageable, they avoid the inevitable "He got a bigger piece than me!" argument that is a prominent concern in our household. These vegan and gluten-free chocolate banana cream pies are the perfect goodie to miniaturize because they are rich and filling, yet healthier than most cream pies out there. I used this pie crust recipe, but you can also substitute any that you like! The mini pies are easy to make and they utilize a cupcake pan to result in individual portions. Using coconut milk and maple syrup in conjunction with the chocolate chips makes for a mellow, sweet taste that firms up perfectly with the use of agar flakes. With a few slices of banana on the top and bottom of the pie as well as a swirl of vegan whipped topping (and a few chocolate chips thrown in for decoration) these chocolate banana cream pies are the perfect opportunity to show family, friends, and guests that a vegan, gluten-free dessert can be decadent, delicious, and doable! Read on for a yummy, mini treat that is sure to satisfy your family's sweet tooth.
1. Gather the ingredients.
For the crust:
- 1 cup gluten-free flour, plus up to 1/4 cup extra as needed
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
For the cream pie filling:
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet, but use whatever you prefer, adjusting the amount of maple syrup depending on your chocolate’s sweetness)
- 1.5-2 Tbsp agar flakes (I used 2 Tbsp to make a very firm filling. Using less of the agar flakes will make it a softer, looser filling)
- Vegan whipped cream such as Soyatoo!
- 1-2 bananas
- A few chocolate chips
2. Make the mini pie crust dough.
In a medium bowl, add the flour, xanthan gum, salt, and coconut sugar. Mix well. In a small bowl, mix together the water, liquid coconut oil, and apple cider vinegar. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing until a soft dough forms. You can add up to another 1/4 cup flour if the mixture is very wet.
3. Roll out the dough.
Divide the dough into eight pieces. Flour a countertop and roll out each piece until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Place each piece in a lightly oiled cupcake pan, adjusting until it forms a mini pie crust. Poke a fork in the bottom a few times.
4. Freeze, bake, and let cool.
Place cupcake pan in the freezer for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. When the oven is heated, add the cupcake pan of pie crusts and bake for about 15 minutes, until the crusts start to brown a bit. Remove from the oven and let cool.
5. Make the cream pie filling.
In a medium saucepan, add the chocolate chips, agar flakes, maple syrup, coconut milk. Heat over medium heat until the mixture reaches a simmer. Let the mixture simmer about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the agar flakes have dissolved and the chocolate chips are melted. Remove from the heat and let cool for 2-3 minutes.
6. Fill in the pie.
Slice 1/2 of a banana into thin slices, reserving the rest for topping. Layer a few slices at the bottom of each mini pie. Add the pie filling. Place the filled mini pies in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. You will have plenty of extra cream pie filling. Keep it in the fridge and you can eat it like pudding or jello.
7. Add toppings.
When you are ready to serve, add a layer of vegan whipped cream, topped with another few banana slices and a chocolate chip or two. Bananas tend to brown and get a bit slimy if they are out for too long, so I would slice them just before serving. If you are not planning on serving these at the same time, cover the un-topped pies with plastic wrap and then top when ready to serve.
8. Serve and enjoy.
Serve and delight guests both big and small. To make these mini pies into one regular sized pie, simply roll out the dough in one piece. Follow the same procedure for baking it, but consider adding a parchment paper and beans or some other weight (in addition to poking the bottom with a fork) to keep the crust from puffing up. Follow the same directions for filling and topping, noting that you will use more banana. Enjoy!