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These death by chocolate brownies are rich, decadent and fudgy and will soothe the chocolate craving for anyone who loves rich, dark, and slightly bitter flavors. These brownies are a soft and delicate treat with a texture almost like fudge cake and can be made even more delicious when topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
This banana-free Death By Chocolate Brownies recipe has been a long time coming, but I am so excited to finally be publishing it today. I know quite a few of you have tried the death by chocolate blender brownies recipe on the site. If you haven’t, you can check out that recipe here (it’s SO easy and delish!). This recipe was shared by my friend Raia from Raia’s Recipes a couple of years ago and it quickly became the top recipe on my website. Not only is it super easy to make, but it is unbelievably delicious. Whenever you get the hankering for brownies you can whip up a batch in no time flat.
All that said, it turns out there are quite a few people out there who have banana allergies or sensitivities. Since the base of the original death by chocolate blender brownies was bananas, there were a lot of people who couldn’t partake in them. I received a lot of comments and messages inquiring if there was a way to make them without bananas, but since bananas are the core base of that brownie recipe, it was really hard not to use them and get a decent tasting result.
Banana Allergies and Sensitivities
It’s estimated that 0.1 – 1.2% of the population experience severe banana allergy. With a severe allergy, symptoms may include swelling of the lips and tongue, wheezing, cramps, and diarrhea, typically immediately or very soon after eating the fruit. Some people may also develop itchy skin and rashes from touching the peel or the fruit itself.
It is thought that an allergy to the banana is caused by the protein called chitinase. This protein is also present in two other fruits, avocados and kiwis, so it’s likely that those who have reactions to bananas also have reactions to those two fruits as well. Also, latex can also be a trigger for those suffering from banana allergies, as it has been found that around 45% of latex allergy sufferers also being allergic to bananas. This is due to the fact that there is naturally occurring chitinase in the sap of the rubber tree which is used to make latex. (source)
Even though that percentage of the population is rather small, I was pretty surprised that so many people told me about their issues with bananas. And keep in mind that the number mentioned above is those with true, diagnosed allergies. Sensitivities to bananas, and any other food for that matter, can exist in a broad spectrum of severity. I had no idea that sensitivities to bananas were so common, but I took to the kitchen to try to come up with a replacement. And that is how this recipe was born.
Death By Chocolate Brownies, Version 2 – Banana Free!
These Death By Chocolate Brownies are so super soft and fudgy, they’re almost like fudge cake. When you take them out of the oven you’ll need to let them cool for a little bit before you cut them, just because they are so moist (also, the toothpick test may not always be accurate for this recipe because of this). So don’t be alarmed if you try using a toothpick and it doesn’t come out clean after the full baking time. 🙂
You can serve these Death By Chocolate Brownies warm, at room temperature, or even cold. The texture of the brownie changes depending on the temperature, but they are delicious no matter how you serve them. When they’re warm their little soft and gooey like a fudge cake. When they’re at room temperature they’re a little more solid but still super fudgy.
When they’re cold they really set up more like a traditional chocolate fudge. When they’re cold they’re pretty easy to transport, so you could cut them up and little chunks and take them with you to the office for a mid-afternoon snack or dessert after lunch. If you want to serve them room temperature or warm, they don’t transport as well just because they get so soft.
What I really love is that they are just the right amount of sweet. You get a lot of the natural bitterness from the cacao powder and chocolate chips coming through and it plays off the sweetness nicely. If your crowd likes things on the sweet side, you might add an extra bit of sweetener of your choice.
Add In Some Fun & Customize the Recipe!
I kept these Death By Chocolate Brownies really simple with just an added sprinkle of chocolate chips on top, but you are welcome to stir in some chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans would be absolutely amazing!), shredded coconut, or whatever other stir in sound delicious to you at the time.
These Death By Chocolate Brownies are naturally gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy free. Make sure that if you use chocolate chips and have dairy sensitivities that you check to make sure there’s no dairy is used. I use Lily’s brand chocolate chips because they are sugar-free and dairy-free, but Enjoy Life is also another great brand that is very allergen friendly.
I also used erythritol and stevia to sweeten this recipe, because those are the two sweeteners that work best for me right now. You are welcome to substitute the erythritol for any granulated sweetener of your choice. I did not try making these brownies with a liquid sweetener, like honey or maple syrup, but I think that it would work just fine. You may need to add a tiny bit more flour to account for the increase in moisture. If you experiment with liquid sweeteners let me know how they turn out so I can make some notes in the recipe for other readers.
Lastly, these brownies taste pretty amazing on their own, but if you really want to take it up a notch and make it extra special try topping it with some creamy vanilla ice cream and maybe a drizzle of hot fudge or this coconut Magic Shell. Best of all, the brownies are super easy to make so if you need a last-minute dessert to please a crowd, this might be the one for you.
An IMPORTANT Note About Coconut Butter
Raia’s original brownie recipe used a blender, which was super fast and easy. That said, since this recipe uses coconut butter as its base, using a blender can be problematic. If your ingredients are not all at room temperature and your coconut butter is not warm, you will end up with one big mess in your blender. To keep people from wasting money on seized up ingredients in the bottom of their blender, I figured a bowl with a mixer (either hand or stand) would work better (and trust me, it did!).
Now, in regards to coconut butter, listen up! Whenever I refer to coconut butter in my recipes, it means the product that is super finely ground coconut meat, which has a consistency similar to a nut butter. It’s not referring to coconut milk or coconut cream (the liquid beverage-type products), and it’s not referring to those vegan “butters” that often use coconut oil in them.
You cannot substitute dairy butter for coconut butter, nor can you substitute coconut oil for coconut butter. Please read this post where I talk about coconut products in detail and clear up the common confusion with ingredient names.
Also, the texture of the brownies may vary depending on the brand(s) of coconut products you use. I have found in my years of cooking that there can be a big difference between brands of coconut products and how they work in recipes. For this recipe, I used Nikki’s Coconut Butter and Tropical Traditions Coconut Cream Concentrate (aka coconut butter) because those are the two I had stocked up in my pantry during recipe development.
Okay, enough talking! Who wants brownies? Let’s dive into the recipe below.
- 1½ cups coconut butter, very warm (this is important, see notes below - I use Nikki's Coconut Butter or Tropical Traditions Coconut Cream Concentrate)
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- ⅓ cup erythritol or granulated sweetener of your choice (I like Anthony's brand or NOW Foods brand)
- ⅛ tsp granulated stevia (I like Sweetleaf brand or NuNaturals brand)
- ¾ cup of milk of your choice (I use almond or coconut -- or a blend of both)
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 3 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup cacao powder (I like Viva Naturals brand, Terrasoul Superfoods brand, or Navitas Organics brand -- can also use cocoa powder in the same amount)
- 1-2 tsp Dandy Blend or organic Instant Coffee (totally optional, but really powers up the chocolate
- ½ cup chocolate chips (I like Lily's brand or Enjoy Life brand)
- ½ cup chopped nuts (optional)
- IMPORTANT: Make sure all of your ingredients are room temperature. This is critical to making sure the recipe works. Since coconut butter can be finicky and seize up if it gets too cold, making sure it and all of your other ingredients are warm is very important!
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease a pan liberally with coconut oil (or oil of your choice). I use glass Pyrex baking dishes. Use an 8"x8" baking dish for thicker brownies or an 11"x7" baking dish for thinner brownies.
- Heat your coconut butter over medium-low heat until very warm. It should be VERY smooth and liquidy.
- While the coconut butter is heating, place your eggs, erythritol, stevia, milk, sea salt, and vanilla in a large bowl.
- Stir your cacao powder and Dandy Blend or Instant Coffee (if using) together in a small bowl.
- Add dry mixture to wet mixture and blend until smooth.
- With the mixer running on low, slowly pour in the warmed coconut butter until combined.
- Pour batter into greased pan.
- Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes until the center gently springs up at the touch. Remember the toothpick test won't work well with this recipe as the batter remains very moist, even after baking.
- Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before serving. You can serve warm, but the brownies will crumble a bit as you take them out of the pan. Still delicious though.
- For an even more decadent treat, top with a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream.