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banana cream pie

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.

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!

If you’re ever looking for other classic pie recipes, you’ll love these lemon meringue pie, cherry pie, blueberry pie, and pumpkin pie recipes!

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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 1x
  • 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

Scale

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 parchment paper, 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!

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Another plus 12 here! I was surprised at lightness of the filling when you ate it. At 75 yrs young I thought my baking days were over but you renewed them for me. Thank you, now onto your next baking recipe. This so much fun & when my family tells me this the best pie ever it warms my heart. Sandra B Sarnia Ontario Canada

    1. I am right with you. At 69 years young, I have friends and family asking for my baked treats, and I have a lot of fun making them. Thanks to Sally.

  2. This banana cream pie is the best ever! I sprinkled cinnamon on the bananas, as you suggested, Sally, and also took your suggestion of using almond instead of vanilla in the whipping cream. My husband says, Best Pie ever!! Thanks Sally!!
    You

  3. Hi Sally! I have a question – I’d like to make this with a thick layer of whipped cream like you do for your coconut cream pie. Should I layer the banana slices under the whipped cream or on top of it? What would you recommend for the texture you are trying to achieve? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Michelle, You can make this pie as written and then instead of just piping a little whipped cream like you see in the photos, you can add a thick layer to cover the entire top!

  4. This pie is SO delicious! I went heavy on the cinnamon and man, did that make it even better. I used Pillsbury frozen pie crust and it turned out really good. Bonus: I won a Pi Day contest at work with this recipe! 🙂 I will definitely be making this again. Thanks!

  5. Great recipe. Custard was perfect. I chose to carmelize the bananas with great results. I used butter, maple syrup and whiskey, ensuring that the alcohol flavour cooked off. Then, lined the crust and topped the pie with them too Thank you for the recipe.

    1. Hi Amber, Baking meringue on top of this pie isn’t ideal since the pie’s filling should not be baked. But you can top the banana cream pie with Homemade Marshmallow Creme (Meringue Frosting). It does not have to bake and it’s delicious!

  6. I would like to top my pie the way your photo shows it. My concern is how do I stop the bananas from turning brown if not covered with whip cream?

    1. Hi Sandra, the decorative bananas on top will start to turn brown if not all eaten when first assembled. You can wait to add the banana slices as you serve (if doing so over a few days) to help prevent that. Enjoy!

    2. I grew up in a household where mom never made pies. Instead sweet yeast dough pastries, strudels and donuts.
      So, I never baked pies. When I read the recipe for this one, it sounded easy and delicious. I thought, I can do that. I used frozen pie dough, and followed Sally’s instruction. My company said it tasted and looked beautiful, it could have won first price in a contest. Custard was right consistency. I tossed the banana slices in a small amount of Sprite, drained it. Never turned brown.
      Next I will make Pond cake with cream cheese.
      Thank you Sally!

      1. We’re thrilled this recipe was a success for you, Karolina!

  7. I made this and it was delicious, but my custard filling was extremely runny 🙁 help? I followed all the steps and chilled it overnight. What did i do wrong?

    1. Hi Emily! If the filling is too runny, the stovetop pudding likely wasn’t thick enough. Did you make any substitutions by chance? Even the smallest? 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.

  8. Can this pie be frozen? We were supposed to have an event today that is postponed till Monday now. Or would it be ok in fridge without whipped topping until Monday from Thursday?

    1. Hi Jennifer, unfortunately, this pie isn’t the best to freeze. The texture is never quite the same. The “freshness” will start to decrease over time if left in the refrigerator for that long. Hope this helps!

  9. Recipe turned out perfect and delicious. The cinnamon really made the pie pop!

  10. i have made this recipe several times since first seeing the online. Although it is an effort, it so much is worth the time and steps. Store bought banana cream pie is always a bit dissapointing, because the stabilizers needed to have a shelf life, always effects the flavor. I do a little “extra” in that I add a thin coat of chocolate on the crust. I add a handful of semi sweet chocolate chips when the baked crust comes out of the oven. The heat will melt the chocolate, and I smooth it out with an offset spatula. I love a lot of whip cream on top, so I do add a tablespoon of corn starch when I whip the cream to stabilize. So yummy and nothing like it at all.

    1. We’re so glad you love this recipe! Your addition of chocolate sounds fantastic.

  11. I always have an issue with the pudding / custard weeping. Does the cornstarch help prevent that?

    1. Hi Maddy, yes, the cornstarch is used as a thickening agent here and should prevent any weeping.

  12. Hi sally, can I stretch this pie to fit a 11 inch pie pan instead of a 9 inch?

    1. Hi Naomi, This pie would be pretty thin as written in a bigger pie pan. We haven’t tested an 11 inch pan so are unsure of the exact quantities you would need. Let us know if you give it a try!

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