Homemade Banana Cream Pie

banana cream pie

It is time. Comment and bake challenge coming to life!!!

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway and submitted your recipe earlier this month. This was such a fun experience and I enjoyed reading through all of your favorite desserts and how you make them, too! I feel like we should do this again sometime. Maybe during the holidays?!

The randomly chosen winner was Sara, who asked me to perfect her banana cream pie recipe. This actually made me really happy because I always have trouble with banana cream pie setting up. And if it’s not the thickness issue, it’s the flavor. But this gave me an opportunity to focus this month!

Bakers, welcome to THE banana cream pie recipe.

banana cream pie in a white pie dish

First thing’s first! This is a completely from-scratch banana cream pie recipe. There will be no boxes, zero mixes, zippity zilch shortcuts. Banana cream pie is such a specialty and while I’ve definitely made this delicacy with pudding mixes in the past, we all deserve to try it the homemade way. Because I assure you: you can taste the difference. And it will graciously satisfy your heart, soul, and stomach.

Also, there are a lot of photos in your scrolling future. If you’d like to jump to the recipe, keep scrolling. It’s down there somewhere I swear.

bananas

Let’s walk through this. Start with a pie crust shell. If you have a favorite pie crust recipe you prefer to use, go ahead! The pie crust must be blind-baked before it’s filled because the filling itself will not be baked. The pie will set up in the refrigerator, not the oven. The best way to blind-bake your pie crust is to use pie weights. If the pie weights are left out, the pie crust could shrink. I’m pretty loyal to these ceramic pie weights; they’re inexpensive and get the job done. You can also use dry beans. The Kitchn has a super helpful tutorial if you’re feeling lost.

Alternatively, how about using a graham cracker crust!? This is a much easier option. Make sure you pre-bake it for about 10 minutes at 350°F (177°C), then let it cool completely before filling.

Into the pie shell, we’ll layer banana slices, a sprinkle of cinnamon (unique to BCP but wow!!! It tasted unbelievable in this.), then the homemade pudding filling. I hope you aren’t intimidated by homemade pudding because I promise it’s the easiest stuff! It’s made primarily from sugar, whole milk, cream, and egg yolks. For flavor, we’ll add vanilla and butter. For thickening, cornstarch.

Certainly not diet food, but diets do not belong in pies.

egg yolks in a glass measuring cup

Whisking is the most important part when making pudding. If you know how to whisk, you know how to make pudding.

You’ll mix egg yolks and cornstarch together while you heat whole milk, cream, and sugar on the stove. Once the milk/cream/sugar is pretty warm, slowly stream a little into the egg yolk/cornstarch mixture. This is called tempering. The slow and steady stream of warm milk is bringing the egg yolks up to a very high temperature without fully cooking them. If fully cooked, your pie filling will be scrambled eggs.

Left: egg yolks and cornstarch. Right: warm milk whisked in.

2 images of egg mixture in a glass measuring cup and egg and milk mixture in a glass measuring cup

Then stream the egg yolk mixture back into the rest of the milk/cream/sugar on the stove. Cook on low until it begins to bubble. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and butter, then allow to slightly cool. That’s it! The pudding will be smooth, rich, and silky. As it cools, it will thicken into the perfect texture for the banana cream pie.

My problem in the past has always been a too-thin filling. “Banana cream pie slop” as I’ve always called it. Disappointing to say the least. But this time– by adding a little heavy cream and using 4 egg yolks– the filling is custard-y, yet sturdy.

This is REALLY good vanilla pudding you can use anytime for various desserts. Or eat plain. It’s awesome. ↓

banana pudding in a glass bowl with a spoon

My thing with banana cream pie is that there are never enough bananas! Load ’em in until no more can fit. Then decorate the top of the pie with even more. I love texture in desserts and banana cream pie doesn’t usually deliver on that front. But with lots of banana slices, we’ll get there.

sliced bananas layered into pie dish with pie crust

spreading banana pudding onto layer of sliced bananas in pie dish

I swear cinnamon brings this banana cream pie from good to great.

Spread the vanilla pudding filling into the pie shell, cover with plastic wrap, then chill it for a few hours. At least 4 hours and up to 1 day. Perfect pie for making ahead of time. When ready to serve, decorate with more banana slices and homemade whipped cream. You can decorate it any which way– a thick layer of whipped cream or pipe pretty dollops like I do. I used the Wilton 1M tip to pipe it.

The homemade whipped cream is just heavy cream, a little sugar, and vanilla extract. I feel like this pie would taste amazing with almond extract in the whipped cream too. Try that!

overhead image of banana cream pie

slice of banana cream pie on a black plate with a fork

This homemade banana cream pie is phenomenal. You’ll go bananas for it!! (→ Couldn’t help myself.) A buttery crust, a seriously luscious vanilla pudding filling, big chunks of tender bananas, cinnamon for good measure, and lightly sweetened whipped cream to up the ante. Savor every single bite as it melts in your mouth because you deserve to. Because you made this all from scratch!

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overhead image of banana cream pie

Homemade Banana Cream Pie

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 4 hours
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 hours
  • Yield: 1 9-inch pie
  • Category: Pie
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This homemade banana cream pie is phenomenal. The crust is buttery, the filling is luscious, and the bananas are beautifully tender. All from scratch!


Ingredients

Crust & Filling

  • Homemade pie crust (recipe makes 2 crusts; you can halve the crust recipe or freeze the 2nd half)*
  • 1 and 3/4 cups (420ml) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup (30g) cornstarch
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 bananas
  • optional: sprinkle of ground cinnamon

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons (15g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. The crust: Prepare my pie crust recipe through step 5.
  2. After the pie dough has chilled, preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). On a floured work surface, roll out one of the discs of chilled dough (if you made the entire pie dough recipe– you can freeze the other half of the dough at this time). Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9×2 inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth. Use a small paring knife to trim excess dough off the edges. Flute the edges. Chill the prepared pie shell for 30 minutes. You want it very cold before blind-baking.
  3. Blind-bake the crust: Line the chilled pie shell with aluminum foil, making sure to cover the edges so they do not burn. Fill with pie weights or dried beans, then bake until the pie crust is very lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Remove the foil (and weights) carefully and continue to bake the crust until it is a deeper brown, about 5 minutes more. Transfer the pie shell to a wire rack to cool completely as you prepare the filling.
  4. Make the filling: Combine the milk, heavy cream, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until all the sugar has dissolved, then bring to a gentle simmer, whisking occasionally. Working quickly as the milk mixture begins to simmer, whisk the egg yolks and cornstarch together in a medium heatproof bowl until thick and smooth. Very slowly stream in 1 cup (240ml) of the simmering milk to slightly warm the egg yolk mixture. Then, in a very slow stream, whisk the egg yolk mixture into the pan. While continuously whisking, cook until the mixture is thick and big bubbles begin bursting at the surface, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from heat and whisk in the vanilla extract and butter. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the warm pudding to prevent a “skin” from forming on top. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
  5. Slice 2 bananas and arrange slices into the cooled pie shell. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Spread cooled filling on top. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the filling. Again, to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.
  6. When ready to serve, make the whipped cream: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Spread or pipe onto the chilled pie. Slice 2 remaining bananas and decorate the pie with slices. Slice and serve.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: The pie crust dough can also be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can also blind-bake the crust 1 day ahead of time. Keep covered at room temperature. You can make the filling 1 day ahead of time as well. Make sure you place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the warm pudding before storing in the refrigerator. This is not the best pie to freeze. The filling’s texture is never quite the same.
  2. Special Tools: Pie Weights | Wilton 1M Piping Tip
  3. Time Saving Tip: To cut back on time, try using a graham cracker crust. Make sure you pre-bake it for about 10 minutes at 350°F (177°C), then let it cool completely before filling.

Keywords: banana cream pie, pie

Thank you, Sara, for letting me start from your recipe! ♥

More pie recipes right this way!

154 Comments

  1. I topped the bananas with Sally’s homemade marshmallow cream and torched it to toast the marshmallow. I also used animal cookies for the crust instead of the traditional pie crust, and it was delicious! You can never go wrong with Sally’s recipes!

  2. I love making this pie — it’s become a family favorite. Would you suggest any adjustments for high-altitude baking?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Alyssa, we wish we could help, but we have no experience baking at high altitude. We know some readers have found this chart helpful: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/high-altitude-baking.html So happy to hear your family enjoys this pie!

  3. Can I double this recipe? I want to make a big pie and hopefully have some pudding left to snack on!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Robin, for best results we would make it twice instead of doubling!

      1. That’s a good idea. Thank you!

  4. Ralph Grimshire says:

    Did you put plastic wrap directly on filling when letting it cool? If not there will be a Skin on top

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ralph, correct — you’ll want the plastic wrap directly on the filling, otherwise a film will form.

  5. Stephanie Stephens says:

    Honestly – I’m a huge Banana Cream Pie maker (its my daughter’s favorite pie), but I don’t have one recipe I use, and I tend to just google for a recipe each time (thinking that they can’t be that different), just to remind myself of the proportions. This is the first time I’ve used this particular recipe and it was AMAZING. Honestly the best one I’ve made. I will bookmarking this one for the future!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      We’re thrilled to read this, Stephanie! Thank you so much for giving our recipe a try.

  6. can you add mashed banana to the pudding as well as having the sliced bananas?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lee! The pudding wouldn’t set up properly with the addition of mashed bananas – that would take some testing to get right. Let us know if you try anything. Hope you love this pie!

  7. Can you use caramelized bananas, inspired by your banana pudding?

    1. Hi Sandy! I can’t see why not. Let me know if you try it.

  8. Have you ever added bourbon for flavor?

    1. Hi Laura! I haven’t, but let me know if you test anything. Sounds delicious.

  9. Hi,

    Great recipe the filling with the banana’s and whipped cream were phenomenal! However, my homemade pie crust turned out hard. I followed your recipe for the homemade pie crust, as we do not have vegetable shortening in Australia I substituted Chopa oil solid cooking block which was hard when chilled but melted and in the oven and left tiny holes. When blind I placed a heavy metal weight used for flattening meat patties on the crust which prevented the crust from cooking, so I kept it in the oven longer to make it golden brown when I took off the weight. Were these the issue for my hard crust?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Natasha, we haven’t tried this recipe with the cooking oil block you mention, so we’re unsure if that is the reason for the different results. In the future, we do have an all-butter pie crust that will be suited better for you, if you’re unable to get vegetable shortening. We’re glad to hear you enjoyed the banana cream pie filling!

  10. Love the crust, but help, I could not get the consistency right with the filling! I even tried a second time and it stayed in liquid form. That said, the flavor or the filling was delicious. I just missed something with the timing.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Carrie! If the filling is too runny, it’s likely the stovetop pudding wasn’t thick enough. Did you make any substitutions by chance? Even the smallest? Was it completely cooled and chilled? Make sure it thickens on the stove before removing from heat. Big bubbles will burst on top when it’s ready to come off heat. Thank you for giving this recipe a try, and let us know if we can help to troubleshoot further!

    2. I just watched a couple YouTube videos on how to make custard, that helps a lot.

  11. Love this recipe. I did change one thing. You mentioned bananas. So I took 1/4 of banana and smashed it up and added it to the pudding when adding the egg mixture. Definite banana flavor

  12. Hi! so I’m just using your pudding recipe this time and I’m going to try and 1-1/2 it…I’m making a graham cracker crust, going to drizzle it with dulce de Leche, put the banana pudding on and make a stabilized whipped cream for the top and drizzle that with more dulce de Leche…but I’m making an additional tiny one for my father in law… , I hope I get the conversions right…wish me luck!!

  13. I made this last night with the all butter crust, and wow this is yummy. Still learning how to make pie crust and mine ended up shrinking a bit. Nevertheless, it was delicious. The only thing I would change is perhaps I would reduce the sugar by about 30g, since I prefer less sweetness. Just wasn’t sure how that would affect the custard so didn’t try it this time. Made a couple of changes though:

    1. Didn’t have whole milk, only 1% so I subbed 1/4 cup of the milk for heavy cream instead.
    2. Added cinnamon (like a lot lol), nutmeg and cardamom to the custard, to taste. Probably like 2-3 tsp cinnamon, ~1/2 tsp of the other two. Wow, this made a big difference. It was good by itself, but with spices it was amazing.
    3. No whipped cream on top. To be honest, I don’t really think this pie needs the whipped cream, the custard is luscious enough and I feel like the whipped cream would just distract from the custard/banana flavor.

  14. I have an ever so slightly lumpy pudding (very small lumps), which barely detracts – the recipe, as usual, is amazing – but wondering if I might be messing something up?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Nicole, we’re so glad you enjoyed this pie recipe! When you whisk the egg yolks and cornstarch together, be sure to keep mixing until they are thick and completely smooth. If it’s not smooth in this step it will likely stay a bit lumpy. I hope this helps!

  15. This pie turned out great! I poured it into a graham cracker crust because that was what I was brought up on. Haven’t had banana cream pie in years. I was nervous doing the hot milk into the yolks part cause I have never done that before, but I was very careful! I think its going to be as good as my Grandma used to make when I was little!

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