This Homemade Banana Cream Pie uses a from scratch vanilla pudding that is poured over ripe banana slices. Chilled and served with whipped cream, this is the ultimate pie recipe.
- From Scratch: This recipe does NOT use pudding mix. It’s all from scratch.
- SUPER Simple: Everything comes together quickly and the flavor is bakery worthy!
- Family Favorite: THE number one requested pie for all of our family events. It’s that good.
Banana Pie was a go-to in our home when I was growing up. Bananas are so inexpensive and my dad was over the moon about pudding. It only made sense that they would combine the two and served it to all of us kids. We loved it.
Flash forward to today, when I had the serious need for pie. No pudding on hand, I decided to give a from-scratch banana pie a go. It was SO easy to make and the flavor was spot on. It was also BETTER than the one I grew up with. Something about a homemade pudding hits different. Smooth, rich with vanilla flavor, and the pop of banana is simply dreamy. This is the best banana cream pie recipe.
What Is Banana Cream Pie Made Of?
Traditional banana cream pie is made of sliced bananas that are placed into a prepared crust. Homemade vanilla custard is then poured directly on top of the bananas creating a creamy perfect pie. I followed this method. Here is what you will need to get started:
- Pie Crust: See below for more details on crust options.
- Milk: Use whole milk. I’ve made this with lower percentage milks and it’s not the same rich finish.
- Sugar: Granulated sugar, just a touch in the filling.
- Cornstarch: This is the secret to a perfectly thick finish. Do not substitute with flour. The results won’t be as firm.
- Salt: This is a flavor enhancer and needed to help boost the banana and vanilla flavors.
- Eggs: Specifically the yolks. If you’d like, you can save the whites to create a meringue! I usually save them to whip up an omelette.
- Butter: The secret to that ultra rich bakery flavor. Unsalted is best, but if you have to use salted just omit the added salt called for in the recipe.
- Vanilla: Always use pure vanilla extract, never imitation.
- Bananas: For a stronger banana flavor make sure to use overly ripe banana slices.
- Whipped cream, optional
This recipe inspired my homemade banana pudding.
What Type Of Pie Crust Is Best For Banana Pie?
There are dozens of variations of pie crusts, but which one is the best for banana pie? Here are a few of our favorite options:
- Vanilla Wafer Crust: My favorite, and the one shared in the recipe card below. I feel like bananas and wafers belong together.
- Classic Pie Crust: A rolled out dough, like the one used in Easy Apple Pie, works for this recipe. However, you want to make sure to bake it fully before adding the toppings.
- Graham Cracker Crust: Another great option is the graham cracker crust! Buttery, bake ahead, and a great go-to for pudding pies.
All three are easy and classics. If you opt for the classic pie crust, I suggest placing a few wafer cookies on top of each pie slice for an extra special treat!
How To Make Banana Cream Pie
Let’s break down, step by step, on how to make banana cream pie with Nilla wafers!
- PREP: Measure the ingredients and prepare your pie crust. I included our favorite vanilla wafer crust recipe in the card below. It takes about 15 minutes to prepare, so make sure you plan that into your bake time.
- PUDDING: Combine the milk, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium heat until thickened making sure to whisk regularly to avoid burning. Lightly whip the egg yolks in a small bowl. Stir a small amount of the heated milk mixture in with the yolks and whisk until combined. This keeps them from scrambling once you add it to the custard. Slowly stir the yolks into the pan with the remaining pudding mixture and cook for two additional minutes; making sure to stir the entire time. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract. Allow to cool slightly.
- BANANAS: While your pudding is cooling slice the bananas and place into the pie plan on top of the prepared pie crust. Pour lukewarm pudding over the bananas.
- CHILL: Cover with plastic wrap and chill 4 hours. Top with whipped cream and enjoy.
Like I said before, this dessert is filled with nostalgia. We serve it for family events and holiday parties. Or sometimes we just make it to share as a family. I love sharing traditions from when I was growing up with my son.
- Pie Dish: Ok, I have an insane amount of pie dishes in my home, however you cannot go wrong with a clear pie plate (affiliate) or white pie dish (affiliate). They both give you a beautiful display and compliment any pie flavor.
- Silicone Spatulas: I have said it before, and will continue to say, I LOVE my silicone spatulas (affiliate). They are so good for so many things, including pie batter.
This easy banana pie is good for up to 4 days if stored properly. I suggest keeping the pie covered and inside the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
Yes! This pie needs to chill for at least 4 hours before serving. It’s best to plan ahead. I like to make mine the day before I plan to serve so it has plenty of time to set and chill.
Yes. You can freeze banana cream pie for up to 2 months. Flash freeze by placing the cooled pie on a baking tray in the freezer for 2 hours. Place in an airtight container, or freezer safe zip top bag, and freeze solid. When ready to serve, remove from the freezer and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes. This makes it sort of like an ice cream pie.
The number one reason this pie will turn out runny is that it was not cooked long enough. You can also see separation in the pudding after chilling if you over whip while cooking.
Banana Cream Pie
- 1 (9") pie crust* baked
- 2½ cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3-4 bananas very ripe
- whipped cream optional
- Measure the ingredients and prepare the pie crust, if making from scratch. I included our favorite vanilla wafer crust recipe in the notes below. It takes about 15 minutes to prepare, so make sure you plan that into your bake time.
- Combine the milk, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook over low/medium heat until thickened making sure to whisk regularly to avoid burning.
- Lightly whip the egg yolks in a small bowl. Stir a small amount of the heated milk mixture in with the yolks and whisk until combined.
- Slowly stir the yolks into the pan with the remaining pudding mixture and cook for a minimum of 2 minutes, or until it begins to thicken; making sure to stir the entire time.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract. Allow to cool slightly.
- While the pudding is cooling, slice the bananas and place into the pie plan on top of the prepared pie crust.
- Pour lukewarm pudding over the bananas.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill 4 hours. Top with whipped cream and enjoy.
Wafer Crust:1 1/2 cups fine vanilla wafer crumbs
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened Mix, press into pie pan and bake at 350 for 8 minutes.