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!

127 Comments

  1. I made this for my husband’s birthday pie. It turned out great! The filling was so smooth. I made it in a double boiler to prevent scorching . My husband was thrilled with his birthday treat!

  2. Everything tasted great! But I did something wrong with the custard because it came out with a consistency like rice pudding…little chunks in it for some reason. I’m not really sure how to fix that for the next time and would appreciate some help lol

  3. If I wanted a french meringue topping, could I do that? Or would it ruin the custard since I would have to bake it. Thanks for your help!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi SHannon, 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!

  4. I added a small layer of dulce de leche on the bottom and drizzled some over top, turned your 5 star recipe into a 6 star imo

  5. Can I use heavy whipping cream if I can’t find heavy cream?

    1. Absolutely. The two are nearly identical.

  6. Jennifer Esther says:

    Simple recipe, relatively speaking, followed it perfectly and it was scrumptious!

  7. This is a great recipe. Each element is nicely balanced. The crust is light and flaky, and the custard is rich and creamy without being overly sweet. The whipped cream is whipped cream.

    I did half the pie with the suggested cinnamon sprinkle and half without. I preferred it without cinnamon, but my wife absolutely loved the cinnamon side.

  8. Just made this and it turned out fantastic. Thank you so much.

  9. Kelly Lynn Smith says:

    Excellent! I wanted a banana based pudding, so pureed 2 bananas and measured out 3/4 cup. Then only used 1 cup of milk for the pudding. Lots of banana flavor! I’ll try the vanilla as written too when I don’t have so many bananas to use up.

    1. Jill Bohmer says:

      Genius, i never thought of using pureed bananas, very good idea! Yum!

    2. Did you add the pureed bananas to the mixture while it was cooking or afterwards?

      1. Kelly Lynn Smith says:

        I cooked it right into the pudding. 🙂

      2. Kelly thank you!!! Your way worked perfectly and it set up wonderfully.

        I unfortunately tried adding the purée afterwards the first time and it was obviously too soupy (sigh). But now I know!

  10. Great taste! It was the first banana cream pie recipe that I’ve tried that set (the last two were soup), however, it almost seemed a little TOO solid. Maybe I’ll do a bit less cornstarch next time. But I think there will definitely be a next time! I knocked the sugar back by about 2 Tbsp and it was still plenty sweet.

  11. Thanks for the great recipe. Very clear instructions. Taught me a lot just reading the write-up. Tricks I did not know. Will definately give it a try. I may even try to make the crust. Never had any luck rolling it out. Thanks again

  12. Melissa White says:

    Hi Sally,
    I am sorry if you already answered this question but can I double the filling recipe or should I make it twice?

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Melissa, for best results we would make it twice!

  13. Incredible flavor! Relatively easy to make. However, I followed all directions, used fresh, organic ingredients, and the pudding sets up after 4+ hours of cooling but quickly gets runny. Is there a way to fix this once a pie is already assembled?

  14. I followed it verbatim, using my own pie crust recipe… the filling was awful. I tried doing it twice. No dice.

  15. Amazing and simple! I use a Graham cracker crust instead when I make this for others. Everyone has loved this!! Thank you!!!

  16. This was my first attempt at banana cream pie and it was excellent! I followed the recipe exactly as written with one exception – I added one more banana to the pie before adding the pudding. The flavor was incredible. Whipped cream was not too sweet. I will definitely make this one again.

  17. Yablonski Kathy Marie says:

    Pie was excellent. Just a little too sweet for my taste . Will cut the sugar back the next time.

  18. Cindy Gardner says:

    I have made banana cream pies for years but wanted to try this one, too! It didn’t set up as firmly as I would have liked. After each piece I cut, the filling would run out a bit from the pie in the pie plate. Any suggestions? The flavor was lovely!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Cindy! We’re so glad you enjoyed this recipe. If the filling is too runny, the stovetop pudding may not have been 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.

  19. I followed the filling instructions exactly and had no problem with it setting up, delicious! I made a golden Oreo crust instead and it’s delicious. I also didn’t add any sugar to the whipped cream, which cut the sweetness a little. Thanks for the great recipe!

  20. Absolutely delicious! I did make a graham cracker crust, since it is my favorite. The pudding was rich and creamy, outstanding. Made fresh whipped cream for the top. Husband loved it, too. Will definitely make again.

  21. I never even heard of making this pre before my sweet ❤️ asked me to bake him one ‍
    I followed this recipe to the hilt, I have to read it over and over again but then I got in there and did it. 5 people had a slice of the pie.
    They all have me 5 GOLD stars, I thought I should give credits where due.
    Thank you strongly suggest my boy friend said it tastes just like the one his grandma AND mom made

  22. Cindy Gifford says:

    This is my very first time in making this dessert. I love this recipe! Very clear instructions, thank you !

    1. Wow. Made the crust and the custard. Took quite a bit of time, but well worth the effort. The banana flavour really came through even though no banana was mixed in the custard. Chilled the pie overnight and it set beautifully. Forgot to sprinkle on the optional cinnamon and can’t wait to bake another one… But it’ll have to wait till next month lest my ever expanding stomach keeps giving in to all these amazing recipes.

  23. Julie eberlein says:

    Going to make this. Can I make meringue instead of whipped cream?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Julie! 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!

  24. Michelle Hoffman says:

    This Easter I had to improvise my dad’s beloved banana cream pie because I started baking late at night and realized I didn’t have one of the main ingredients–evaporated milk. My old recipe was one from a local lunch lady (she worked at our local school when my dad was a student!). She would bring my dad a banana cream pie every summer to say thank you for the sweet corn he grew. Her’s was perfection every time so as a budding baker I asked her for her recipe. I’ve been trying to get it just like hers ever since. I’ve used SBA’s pie crust recipe for some time now, and when I realized my problem, I looked to see if SBA had a banana cream recipe that would work in a pinch. My dad literally just called to say it was the best banana cream he’s ever had in his life!!!! Thank you for saving Easter dessert and for giving my dad a thrill!

  25. I’ve made this a few times usually very successfully. Today the filling was lumpy. Not scrambled eggs but not very pretty. I strained it and it looks better but not as smooth as in previous tries. Any idea what happened? I also swapped in a graham cracker crust and it’s a family favorite! Thanks!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Dana, We are happy that you have enjoyed this 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!

  26. We have a friend who is always doing small favors for us and won’t let us pay him. When I kept insisting, he asked for a homemade banana cream pie! I’d never made one, besides using store bought graham cracker crust and boxed pudding mix. Tried this recipe and he was thrilled! It was very clearly explained, in the instructions, and it was painless and easy!
    Thank you so much for a delicious way to pay back our friend!

  27. Christie Wills says:

    First off, I should say that I am a Sally super fan. I make tons of the recipes on this site and always have amazing results. This one was my one exception. I have tried making this pie a total of three times (persistent, right?) I keep thinking I must be doing something wrong, because the filling always ends up lumpy. The last two times I’ve tried, it hasn’t set up properly, so I end up with lumpy and watery filling. I’m following the recipe and directions to a T. I SO wanted this to work. 🙁

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Christie! So sorry to hear that you’re having trouble with this 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!

    2. Christie – I am no professional or even very talented home baker. But I’ll give you all my hints for making cream patisserie which is essentially what this filling is. Learn to make this, and you can do astounding things! Sally might find this heretical. Anyway, you don’t have to scald all the milk, we pasteurize now. But it helps to melt the sugar in the milk. Try this:

      Put the butter and vanilla in a little dish or something and set near your stove.

      Take *everything else* but 1 cup of milk and the sugar, throw it all in a blender and blend the heck out of it. Set it near stove, too. Don’t be concerned with air or foam or anything. It’s all cook out. (Don’t pack down your corn starch, BTW, you’ll have too much.)

      Put 1 cup of the milk and the sugar into the pan over medium heat, stir it around so the sugar dissolves and nothing on the bottom burns until you get those bubbles around the edges. Take off the heat.

      Whisk in one hand, just pour the contents of the blender right into the milk with some steady whisk action.

      Put it back on the burner. Here are the tricks: your burner has hot spots, so you don’t just need to keep the whole mass of stuff on the move, you need to move the pot around a little to keep one part from getting too hot. I just keep turning the handle a bit and rotating it a few times.

      Get into the corners, the bottom where it meets the sides, with your spoon or whisk. You don’t have to go super fast as much as steadily keep it all moving.

      You’ll feel it thicken and it’ll happen suddenly. I do mine slowly, over a little less than medium on my range. When it does that, speed up, because the bubble is on it’s way. You might never see the bubble, just suddenly have this thick stuff, more like cake batter, not super thick.

      Get it off the heat fast and dump the butter and vanilla in and beat it around until it’s all incorporated. See, it’s still cooking even off the heat. As soon as my butter is melted I pour it into a strainer over a metal metal bowl (already set up) to help stop the cooking. (BTW, I also use a small amount of almond extract with the vanilla, somehow it makes it all taste more vanilla-y without being too sweet.)

      Don’t forget to plastic cover the stuff and leave it to get to room temp before you fridge it.

      Anyway, I am not good at any baking, this so I made it all simpler and it still works. Then you can add cocoa powder in the mix, throw some plain cocoa butter or chocolate chips in with the butter at the end. Or a raspberry curd after it reaches room temp. Or whatever.

      This stuff makes it look like I know what I’m doing, and it was so worth learning to make just for the look on my grandson’s face.

  28. Allison K Campbell says:

    Made by recipe except made with Splenda and made graham cracker crust. It was absolutely delicious. I also used Splenda when making graham cracker crust. I live with a diabetic and all sugar gets replaced with Splenda. Also since I did not have heavy whipping cream for the filling, I substituted 3/4 cup whole milk, to 1/4 cup unsalted butter. Worked great for filling. But put cool whip on top.

    Still a great recipe. Will use again.

  29. So good! My teenage kids loved it and thanked me for making it. I’m sure I’ll be making this pie many times in the future. I followed the directions exactly, with two exceptions: (1) I used a store-bought graham cracker crust so that I wouldn’t have to heat the oven on a hot day, and (2) I put all three bananas under the filling by layering bananas, filling, bananas, filling. It’s pretty with the bananas on top, but I thought bananas on top would be likely to turn brown if we had leftovers.

  30. Ellen kelley says:

    Delicious and easy! I used a gluten free Graham crust, ready made store bought, and added coconut flakes to the pudding because I love coconut. Thank you for the recipe!

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