Banana Cream Pie – A classic dessert featuring rich, velvety, creamy layers of homemade custard and banana slices in a buttery homemade pie crust. Hands down the best holiday pie for absolute indulgence! And as a bonus, I added a no-bake version. Oh yes!
Trust me, you’ll forget the boxed pudding mixes and cheesy shortcuts with this made-from-scratch banana cream pie recipe because it is so much better than the artificially-flavored concoctions. Real ingredients mean real flavor, and the little extra time it takes is so worth it.
Oh, and please put the diet and calorie counting aside when you dig into this deliciousness just for once. Heck, one slice may not be enough. But I won’t judge you, friend, because I know the feeling. 😁
Homemade Is Best
Easy Homemade Banana Cream Pie Recipe
You have the option to go with a baked, no-bake, or store-bought pie crust. Whatever suits you. I love a homemade pie crust because it’s so buttery and flaky. I also found layering the banana with the velvety, luscious custard keeps them beautiful.
The luscious cream filling in this recipe is a showstopper. At first, it was too thin. But then I added heavy cream, and now it’s perfect for coating the banana slices. Its custardy flavor hits the spot every time.
- Crust – You may use my homemade pie crust recipe here or take the shortcut with store-bought pie crust. Don’t want to heat up the oven? I also have the no-bake version made with crushed graham crackers, melted butter, and sugar. Hassle-free and equally delish. 😉
- Thickeners – Cornstarch and eggs thicken the filling just as they would in a custard. At the same time, the egg yolks add a rich and creamy flavor minus the “eggy” taste.
- Dairy – Whole milk, heavy cream, and butter create the perfect consistency of the pie filling while adding a creamy flavor. It’s neither thin nor thick, just right.
- Bananas – But, of course, it won’t be a banana cream pie without the star of the show. I suggest using ripe but not overripe bananas for this recipe.
- Whipped Cream – Did you know you can make whipped cream from scratch? And you only need three ingredients – heavy cream, confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla extract. And it’s stable enough to be piped on top of the pie to make it more appealing. 😉
How to Make Banana Cream Pie
Make the Pie Crust and Bake
- Grease the Pan – Butter or spray a 9-inch pie pan with a removable bottom – ensuring it has been generously greased. Set aside.
- Pulse – Place flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor and pulse a few times to mix the ingredients.
- Add Butter – Throw in butter and pulse until rough dough forms.
- Add Eggs – Then add eggs a little at a time – pulse until the dough barely comes together.
- Knead the Dough – Remove the dough and place it on a work surface – knead just enough to incorporate all the flour, working the dough as little as possible.
- Form a Dough Ball – Do not overwork the dough; otherwise, it’ll be tough. When it’s ready, the dough will be barely moist and come together into a ball.
- Make the Crust – Lightly press the dough into the prepared pie pan – working from the center until the bottom and sides are evenly covered with pastry. Again, be very gentle when pressing your dough into the pie pan. (Photos 1-3)
- Freeze – Place the pie pan in the freezer and freeze for at least 30 minutes; this helps prevent the crust from lifting. If you are in a rush, then bake with beans to prevent rising.
- Preheat the oven to 400℉/205℃ and place the rack in the center of the oven.
- Bake – Bake crust for 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust is dry and golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside. (Photo 4)
- Crush the Graham Crackers – Blend graham crackers in a food processor. You can also place them in a large resealable plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin until finely ground.
- Combine – Add butter, vanilla, sugar, and nutmeg to a small bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined and crumbs slightly come together.
- Press onto Pie Pan – Press the graham mixture evenly onto the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. You may use the back of a cup to press it down.
The Cream Filling
- Dry Ingredients – Add dry ingredients to a saucepan (cornstarch, sugar, and sugar). Stir until combined.
- Wet Ingredients – Whisk milk, heavy cream, and egg yolks in a medium bowl.
- Combine – Gently whisk the wet ingredients into the saucepan until the sugar dissolves, and there are no lumps.
- Simmer – Place the saucepan on the stove at medium-high heat, constantly stirring until it starts to bubble. (Watch it so it doesn’t burn.)
- Cook for 7-10 minutes or until the mixture has thickened.
- Butter and Vanilla – Stir in the butter and vanilla until thoroughly blended.
- Cool – Pour in a bowl, then cover the surface directly with plastic wrap. Allow it to cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until ready to use.
Assemble the Banana Cream Pie
- Arrange Bananas and Pudding – Arrange the sliced bananas on the crust and pour the pudding over them. Place the pie in the refrigerator until the pudding has set, about 3 hours. (Photos 5-7)
- Whip the Cream and powdered sugar for 5 minutes or more until it becomes light and fluffy, with soft peaks.
- Flavoring – Add ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract, then continue whipping until you have stiff peaks.
- Finishing Touches – If desired, decorate the edges of the pie with whipped cream. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve it, then top with sliced bananas and sprinkle with almonds. (Photo 8)
- Chocolate Indulgence – Add about 4 ounces of melted semi-sweet or dark chocolate to make a chocolate-flavored filling. Cocoa powder works, too. However, you might need to add a tad more sugar since cocoa powder is slightly more bitter than chocolate compounds.
- Peanut Butter Crust – I love peanut butter on banana bread. Have you ever tried it? Now imagine how good the no-bake crust would be if you replaced the graham crackers with peanut butter cookies. Oh yeah!
- Fruity Sensation – You’ll love it, too, with other fruity combinations such as strawberry, pineapple, and mango.
- Toppings – Aside from whipped cream and banana slices, you can also garnish this cream pie with toasted nuts, like pecan, walnut, cashew, almond, and maraschino cherries. Shaved chocolate, fruit bits, and coconut flakes are also excellent choices.
- Diary-Free – For a dairy-free version, replace the butter with melted coconut oil, the whole milk with coconut milk, and the heavy cream with coconut cream. Banana coconut cream pie, anyone? I’m drooling already.
Tips and Tricks
- If you like your pie filling a little more slurpy, you can reduce the amount of cornstarch by a tablespoon. If you like it firmer, add a tablespoon of cornstarch.
- Bananas with firm yellow skin with a slight green tint on the stem work best for this recipe because they don’t get mushy on you. Of course, the riper the bananas, the sweeter the pie.
- Keep an eye on your cream filling while it’s cooking. It can boil over before you know it, so you need to constantly stir it until it thickens.
Pro Tip: Just a little salt sprinkled on the crust before you add the bananas will ramp up the flavor and balance the pie’s sweetness.
You can make the pie crust dough ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Or you can also assemble the pie a day early to give it enough time to set in the fridge. Don’t add the whipped cream and toppings just yet. Cover the surface of the custard filling with a cling wrap to prevent forming a crust on top. Then, when you’re ready to serve it, add the whipped cream and decorate.
Serving and Storage Instructions
This banana pudding is best served chilled because it has time to set and let all the flavors meld. I suggest refrigerating this pie for at least 6 hours for the best results.
Store leftover banana cream pie (if you have any) in an airtight container or wrap the pie pan loosely with plastic wrap. It will last refrigerated for up to four days. In the heat of the summer, I love to freeze banana cream pie. It should last three months if you wrap it well in freezer wrap.
When you’re ready to serve, remove the pie from the freezer 10 minutes before, so it’s not brick hard, then dig into a mouthwatering banana ice cream pie. Or you can thaw it completely overnight in the fridge before serving.
I would say yes because it uses thickening agents like cornstarch or flour, which are essential to puddings. Custard filling, on the other hand, only uses egg as the thickening agent. However, both of them have milk and heavy cream.
Yeah, bananas can get pretty ugly when exposed to air. That doesn’t make them bad, just ugly. I can handle ugly. All it is is an enzymatic reaction in the bananas when the air hits them. Oxidation produces melanin, which causes the brown color.
First, wait as close as possible to when you’re going to serve it to assemble the dessert to peel and slice the bananas.
Second, completely coat the sliced bananas with some of the custard.
Third, you can toss the slices with a squeeze of lemon juice to slow down the process.
Of course, you can do all three.
It’s either your filling has too much liquid or is undercooked. If it’s too much liquid, just add more cornstarch and let it cook to thicken the mixture. Or add some whipped cream to the custard mixture and whisk until you get the desired consistency. You can also easily fix undercooked cream filling by putting it back on the stove and letting it boil while stirring continuously. Keep whisking for another 1-2 minutes without turning off the heat. Then cool and refrigerate.
What to Serve with Banana Cream Pie
This drool-worthy dessert is the perfect ending to a classic Southern meal of fried chicken, mashed red potatoes, mustard greens, and easy coleslaw. And don’t forget a steaming cup of chai tea latte to top it all off.
More Fabulicious Banana Recipes to Try
- Banana Fritters
- Pumpkin Banana Bread
- Banana Pancakes
- Moist Banana Cake
- Banana Zucchini Bread
- Banana Pudding
This melt-in-your-mouth Banana Cream Pie is a crowd-pleaser. And I’m sure you’ll go bananas over it! Are you thinking of adding something like pineapple or coconut to this already awesome recipe? Let me know below.❤️
Watch How to Make It
This blog post was originally published in November 2017 and has been updated with additional tips, new photos, and a video.
Banana Cream Pie
- 1½ cup (180g) all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup (45g) powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 9 tablespoon (125g) unsalted butter, very cold (or frozen) and cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 cups (250g) graham cracker crumbs (8 ounces)
- ½ cup (120g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup (55g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
- 1-1½ teaspoon (5-7.5g) nutmeg
- ⅓ cup (45g) cornstarch
- ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (500ml) whole milk
- ½ cup (120ml) heavy cream
- 4 large egg yolk
- 1½ teaspoon (7.5ml) vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3-4 large bananas, ripe but not overly so
- 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
- 2 tablespoon (15g) confectioner's sugar
- ½ teaspoon (2.5ml) vanilla extract
- Butter or spray a 9-inch pie pan with a removable bottom, making sure it has been generously sprayed. Set aside.
- Pulse flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor a couple of times to mix ingredients.
- Throw in butter and pulse until rough dough forms.
- Then add eggs one a time and pulse until the dough barely comes together.
- Place dough on a work surface – knead just enough to incorporate all the flour, working the dough as little as possible. (Do not overwork it, or it’ll be tough.)
- When it’s ready, the dough will be barely moist and come together into a ball.
- Lightly press the dough into the prepared pie pan – working from the center up until the bottom and sides are fully covered with pastry – again, be very gentle when pressing the dough into the pie pan.
- Place the pie pan in the freezer for at least 30 minutes (or longer); this helps prevent the dough from lifting- if you are in a rush, then bake it after loading it down with beans to prevent rising.
- Preheat oven to 400℉/205℃ and place the rack in the center of the oven.
- Bake the crust for 20-25 minutes or until it's dry and golden brown. Set aside.
No Bake Crust
- Blend graham crackers in a food processor or place them in a large resealable plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin until they are finely ground.
- Put the crumbs in a small bowl with room temperature butter, vanilla, sugar, and nutmeg. Thoroughly mix until fully combined and crumbs slightly come together.
- Press mixture evenly onto the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. You may use the back of a cup to press it down.
- Mix dry ingredients (cornstarch, sugar, and sugar) in a saucepan.
- Whisk milk, heavy cream, and egg yolks in a medium bowl.
- Gently whisk the liquid ingredients into the saucepan until the sugar dissolves, making sure there are no lumps.
- Heat the saucepan on the stove on medium-high – constantly stirring until it starts to bubble.
- Cook for 7-10 minutes or until the mixture has thickened.
- Add the butter and vanilla and thoroughly combine.
- Pour in a bowl, then cover the surface directly with plastic wrap. Allow it to cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Arrange the sliced bananas on the crust and gently pour the pudding over them. Refrigerate until the pudding has set, about 3 hours.
- Whip the cream and powdered sugar for 5 minutes or more until it becomes light and fluffy with soft peaks.
- Add ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract, then continue beating until thoroughly whipped.
- If desired, decorate the edges of the pie. Refrigerate and let it cool. When ready to serve, top with sliced bananas and sprinkle with almonds.
Tips & Notes:
- If you can, or it’s your first time making the dough, go with a pie pan with removable sides. It makes it easier to cut and remove the pieces and serve.
- Placing the pie dough in the freezer before baking to firm the crust up and prevent it from buckling or shrinking. But if you don’t have time and you need to bake it right away, cover the crust with a piece of waxed or parchment paper and fill it with dried beans or oven-safe pie weights.
- After you’ve baked and removed the crust from the oven, make sure to cool it on a rack while prepping the cream filling.
- Don’t leave the cream filling on the stove unattended. It can start to boil quickly, and you need to be constantly stirring it until it thickens.
- The best place for the banana layers is between two pudding layers because this prevents the bananas from turning brown. And it also adds a rich texture to this pie.
- Cover the pie with plastic wrap and chill it for at least 4 hours up to 1 day before serving it. This is to allow all the flavors to blend.
- You can make the pie crust dough ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Please keep in mind that the nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary significantly based on the products used in the recipe.