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Gluten-free Banoffi Pie - World's Most Delicious Dessert

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Is Banoffi Pie the world's most delicious dessert? Some people think so. I certainly do. Check out my recipe for gluten-free Banoffi. Will it be your favourite?

So often I look down a menu in a restaurant and all I see are things like Sticky Toffee Pudding, Apple Pie and Custard and most delicious of all Banoffi Pie. But I'm gluten-free!

I can't eat any of these! There's no fruit salad or fresh fruit, and usually my only choice is ice cream but even this has its dangers because so many commercial ice creams contain things like flour, barley, malt - all no-no' if you're living the gluten-free life.

I won't go into the ins and outs of gluten and how it affects people who are intolerant to it. If you need to know ask a doctor or check out a reputable medical site on the web.



Banoffi Pie
Credit: Edinburgh Blog 2009 Banoffee pie at A Room In Leith restaurant, Edinburgh accessed 20th August 2014.

Banoffi Pie - Where Did it Come From?

Ian Dowding and Nigel Mackenzie were chef and owner of ″The Hungry Monk″ a restaurant in Jevington, East Sussex. Originally known as 'Banoffee Pie', Dowding and Mackenzie claim to have invented this delicious dessert in 1972, adapting it from an American dish known as ″Blum's Coffee Toffee Pie″. The original Blum's Coffee Toffee Pie used smooth toffee with a topping of coffee-flavoured whipped cream. Dowding made his soft caramel toffee from boiled condensed milk, which gives a slightly different type of toffee. Dowding's newly invented dessert proved extremely popular and soon appeared on menus in restaurants all over the world.

When, in the 1990s supermarkets started selling it, calling it ″American Pie″, Nigel Mackenzie offered a large reward to anyone who could find a recipe for Banoffi Pie published before 1972. No one offered any evidence, so Mackenzie put up a blue plaque telling the world The Hungry Monk restaurant was the birthplace of Banoffi Pie.

What follows is my adaptation to make the recipe gluten-free. It is very different - I've substituted cream for condensed milk mainly because we prefer it that way. Also, Nigel boils his condensed milk, unopened in the tin, in a saucepan of water for several hours. I haven't got that sort of time to spare, and as Nigel warns it could be dangerous if you forget to top up the water in the pan.

He says: ″It is absolutely vital to top up the pan of boiling water frequently during the cooking of the cans. 3 hours is a long time and if they are allowed to boil dry the cans will explode causing a grave risk to life, limb and kitchen ceilings.″

So this is my version ...

Seriously good! Gluten-free baking
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This is one of the best gluten-free cookbooks I've found so far.

Ingredients for Banoffi Pie Base

  •  250 g (2 cups) plain all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 50 g (¼ cup) castor sugar
  • 125 g (1 cup) butter - cut into squares and kept cool


To Make the Pastry

  1. Mix the flour and sugar together
  2. Add the butter and with cold hands mix quickly to make a pliable dough.
  3. Roll out and line a well-greased baking pan with pastry - you'll want it about 5 mm thick. Chill for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  4.  Heat oven to 180 degrees C (160 degrees fan) / 375 degrees F, Gas Mark 5.
  5. Bake pastry case blind - I use baking beans for a really crisp base. Allow pastry case to cool thoroughly before adding filling.

Ingredients For the Filling

  • 125 g (1 cup) castor sugar
  • 250 ml (1 cup) double cream
  • 4 small bananas - sliced lengthways and brushed with lemon juice
  • lemon juice to brush on


To Make the Filling

  1.  Melt the sugar in a pan and allow to caramelize slightly
  2. Pour on the double cream and slowly bring to the boil. Let it boil until the mixture is reduced to a thick consistency. Leave to cool for about five minutes.
  3. Place sliced bananas in pastry case.
  4. Pour caramel cream over the bananas and allow to cool completely

 To Serve:

  •  1 teaspoon finely powdered instant coffee (We like our coffee flavour fairly strong. You can use more or less as you like.)
  • 300 ml (1½) whipped cream


Optional Extras:

  • a handful of white chocolate shavings
  • a few pecan nuts
  • a few Physalis


  1. Mix the powdered coffee with the whipped cream and pour over the bananas.
  2. Garnish with chocolate shavings, pecan nuts, Physalis, or anything else you fancy.

Perhaps it's not a true Banoffi Pie but we like it, and hope you will too.



The Hungry Horse Has Gone but the Recipe Lives On

Unfortunately, for lovers of true Banoffi Pie The Hungry Monk closed down in 2012 after more than 40 years.  Ian Dowding has posted his recipe online at The Hungry Monk website to ensure the survival of his most delicious original recipe.

More Gluten-free Recipes

Check out these gluten-free recipes on Infobarrel: 


Gluten Is My Bitch: Rants, Recipes, and Ridiculousness for the Gluten-Free
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(price as of Oct 6, 2014)


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