How to make THE perfect Banana Cream Pie! My recipe is made with a creamy vanilla pudding, flavored with a thick layer of bananas, served on a crisp vanilla wafer crust and topped off with a fluffy crown of homemade whipped cream! Recipe includes a how-to video!
If you just so happen to be scrambling last minute for something completely perfect and delicious to make for Mother’s Day, this Banana Cream Pie is it.
The filling is silky smooth and made completely from scratch (NO pudding mixes or pre-made mix here) and incredibly flavored with a layer of sliced bananas (oh, and I’m going to tell you how to keep them from browning, too). The topping is my simple, thick and fluffy homemade whipped cream (please skip the Cool Whip for this one!).
While I have a few crust options you can choose from for your own banana cream pie, I strongly recommend you try it with the vanilla wafer crust. It pairs perfectly with the banana flavor, and I have a feeling Mom will love it, too.
For the Crust:
For today’s Banana Cream Pie recipe, I opted to use a vanilla wafer cookie crust. I love the way the banana flavor pairs with the cookie flavors (like banana pudding!), but I do have a few other options you can check out:
- Graham Cracker Crust — Bake according to instructions and allow to cool.
- Easy Pie Crust Recipe — this is a classic, nearly fool-proof pie crust. Blind-bake according to recipe instructions then allow to cool before filling.
- You can also try the macadamia graham cracker crust that I use in my Coconut Cream Pie. A fun twist on the traditional!
If you opt to use a store-bought graham cracker crust (the kind sold pre-made in tins, usually sold near pudding mixes) keep in mind these are much smaller and more shallow than the pie plate that I used here, and you’ll have a lot of filling left over.
How to Make Banana Cream Pie
Banana cream pie is easy to make. Each step below corresponds to the numbered step-by-step photo above.
- Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt in saucepan. Add egg yolks, milk, and heavy cream and whisk until well-combined.
- Cook over medium heat and whisk constantly until mixture is thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
- Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla extract until butter is melted and mixture is smooth.
- Pour through a fine mesh strainer to remove any possible lumps.
- Let filling cool. Cover with plastic wrap so it doesn’t develop a thick film on the surface.
- Once cooled, pour half of banana cream pie filling into prepared graham cracker crust.
- Layer evenly with bananas. To keep the bananas from browning, dip them in lemon juice and pat them dry before layering in the pie.
- Top with remaining half of filling.
- Top with homemade whipped cream. Chill for several hours before slicing and serving.
Easy as pie 😉
I was a little worried when making this recipe that the layer of (just two!) bananas in the center wouldn’t be enough to give this pie an adequate banana flavor. I was wrong. After chilling for a just few hours in the refrigerator, the banana flavor permeates the rest of the pie and it takes on a very distinct banana flavor.
More Pies to Try!
Check out some of my favorite Pie Recipes!
Be sure to check out my video at the bottom of the recipe! If you enjoy watching, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel where I’ve already uploaded over 100 recipe videos that you can watch for free!
Banana Cream Pie Recipe
- 65 vanilla wafer cookies
- 3 Tablespoons brown sugar firmly packed
- 7 Tablespoons salted butter melted
BANANA CREAM PIE FILLING
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (150g)
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1 ½ cups milk (355ml)
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream (355ml)
- 3 Tablespoons butter cut into pieces (softened)
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 bananas
- ¼ cup lemon or lime juice
HOMEMADE WHIPPED CREAM
- ¾ cup heavy cream very cold (175ml)
- ¼ cup powdered sugar (30g)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C).
- Place wafer cookies in the basin of a food processor and pulse until mixture is nothing but crumbs²
- Add brown sugar and pulse until combined.
- Add crumbs to melted butter (in a medium/large bowl) and stir until mixture is evenly combined and crumbs are moistened.
- Transfer crumbs to a 9 ½” pie plate and use the clean bottom of a measuring cup to tamp crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate to form the crust.
- Transfer to 350F (175C) oven and bake for 13 minutes. Prepare your banana cream pie filling while your pie crust cools completely.
- Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium-sized, heavy duty saucepan until combined.
- Add egg yolks, milk, and heavy cream and whisk until all ingredients are combined.
- Place saucepan over medium heat and use a whisk to stir constantly until the mixture comes to a simmer/begins to bubble (this can take 10 minutes or so, do not crank the heat above medium or you can ruin your filling).
- Once simmering, continue to whisk constantly and allow to bubble for 1 minute. Once 1 minute has passed, immediately remove from heat and add butter, 1 Tbsp at a time, whisking until melted and combined after each addition.
- Whisk in vanilla extract.
- Pour banana cream pie filling through a fine mesh strainer into a large heatproof bowl. Cover surface with plastic wrap (make sure the plastic wrap is covering the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming) and allow to cool for 20 minutes.
- Once cooled, pour half of pudding mixture into your prepared pie crust and spread evenly.
- Slice 2 bananas and dip each slice in lemon or lime juice³. Gently pat dry and place bananas in an even layer over the first layer of pudding. Top banana slices with remaining pudding and smooth with spatula.
- Cover the surface of the pie with plastic wrap and transfer to refrigerator. Chill at least several hours.
- Once you are ready to serve (or several hour before serving), prepare whipped cream. Combine heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl (preferably a metal bowl that you’ve chilled in the refrigerator or freezer for 10 minutes) and use an electric mixer to beat until stiff peaks form⁴.
- Dollop or pipe⁵ whipped cream over chilled pie and slice⁶ and serve. Enjoy!
- If desired, serve topped with homemade whipped cream and pipe or dollop whipped cream
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
Instead of the homemade pudding mix would an instant pudding mix work to with this recipe? If I were to try it how much would I need?
Hi Britney! It definitely won’t taste as good, but it could work I suppose. 🙂
After serving this pie, I was told it was the best banana cream pie the people I was serving had ever had — and it is their favourite dessert! Making it twice in three days upon request.
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Wow, that’s wonderful to hear David! Thanks for trying our recipe and sharing it with your friends. Enjoy 🙂
Hi just want to say everyone I make this pie for absolutely loves it. I have a question, I will be making 2 of these as xmas gifts. I do not want to use my glass 9.5″ pie plates because they are for family members that are not local. I bought Hefty EZ Foil Aluminum 10″ Pie Baking Pans with Lids and I was just wondering if you had a any suggestions as far as adjusting the amount of ingredients for the crust and pie filling for a 10″ pie pan instead of 9.5″?
Hi Catherine! You should be fine to just use the recipe as is. The 10″ is only a little bit bigger so an alteration would probably be more difficult than it’s worth. That’s a great gift! I hope everyone loves them! 🙂
Should it have been firm before I put it in the pie crust? I’m worried it’s too runny. It’s definitely not a “pudding” while I’m letting it chill. Any thoughts on if it will turn out or how I can fix it? 🙈
Hi Megan! You can actually see the consistency in the video. It is supposed to be pudding-like when you pour it into your crust. I’m not sure there’s a way to fix it if you’ve already assembled the pie. 🙁 It may have needed to be cooked a bit longer. 🙁
It came out great! Thank you for the recipe, Sam.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it so much, Alan! 🙂
When should the pudding firm up? Upon chilling?
Hi Megan! It will become more firm as it chills, but it is still a pudding and will maintain that softer, pudding-like consistency even after chilling.
Question, the 3 tablespoons of butter that we whisk into the filling once its removed from the heat, is that salted or unsalted butter?
Hi Catherine! I use unsalted but if all you have on hand is salted that should work as well. 🙂
I just finished this pie and cut my first slice after letting it sit in the fridge overnight—omg. So good, SO good, SO GOOD!!! The custard was divine; it got so thick towards the end of cooking I was so worried I was letting it go too long, but I told myself to trust the recipe and sure enough, once it chilled, it turned out perfectly. I used an extra banana since I like a lot of fruit, and I n my pie pan, three bananas ended up being exactly enough to make a banana layer with no gaps in it, which is what I wanted. I used oat milk instead of cow’s milk and also substituted in a little coconut cream that was in the fridge waiting to be used up for maybe half of the heavy cream, and the subtle coconut flavor works really well in the end dish. I think you could easily make this recipe with full coconut cream if you’re, say, lactose intolerant, and it wouldn’t suffer for it at all.
I also made your homemade vanilla wafer recipe for the crust, and it turned out INCREDIBLE! Sooo good; so crispy, so flavorful. I ended up having to bake the crust a few minutes longer than 13 to get it to a nice golden brown, but I always have to do that with my oven. One thing that would be nice to have in the written recipe is a note of how thick a crust we want. I had extra (I toasted the leftovers on a sheet pan for 5 minutes and sprinkled them on top at the end for a little decoration), so I just kind of eyeballed mine, and it definitely turned out too thick—still delicious, but the ratio of filling to crust was slightly off. Overall, though, an awesome recipe! Will definitely be making this again!
I am so glad you enjoyed it so much, Erica! Thank you for your feedback using different milk and cream. 🙂
This recipe is perfect. I LOVE it!! The homemade pudding is just divine. The only things I did differently were not dipping the bananas and using 2 layers of bananas. The bananas stayed in tact and weren’t unappealing looking. I did one layer of sliced bananas in the middle and another layer on top of the pudding/underneath fresh whipped cream. So, I used a total of 4 bananas.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it so much, Heidi! 🙂
Miriam Rose Blanar
I accidentally used 5 whole eggs instead of just the yolks. Do you think the pie will still taste ok?
I’m not sure how it will turn out. 🙁
Miriam Rose Blanar
It actually turned out amazing! My husband loves it so much!
That’s awesome! I’m glad it turned out. 🙂