This is my favorite banana cream pie recipe! Fresh bananas, creamy homemade vanilla custard, and the perfect vanilla wafer crust make this taste like classic banana pudding turned into pie — it’s delicious.
Watch the video
Banana cream pie is a classic American dessert, and after falling in love with this recipe, I see why! Our recipe for banana cream pie includes a vanilla cookie crust, freshly sliced bananas, and the dreamiest vanilla custard, all topped with more bananas and a cloud of whipped cream. It’s my new favorite dessert, and I cannot wait for you to try it!
Of all the desserts shared on Inspired Taste, this easy banana cream pie recipe is my favorite! It’s banana pudding in a pie, and I love it! More desserts we love include our easy carrot cake and this fresh strawberry pie.
There are 5 dreamy layers in this banana cream pie:
- Buttery vanilla cookie crust with salted butter and Nilla wafers (vanilla cookies).
- Silky smooth vanilla custard made from eggs, cornstarch, sugar, vanilla extract, heavy cream, and milk.
- Two layers of sliced fresh bananas make this the best banana cream pie! One layer of bananas nestled underneath the vanilla custard, adding banana flavor, while more banana slices sit under the whipped cream.
- Light and airy whipped cream sweetened with powdered sugar and vanilla swirled on top like a cloud. Bonus points if you shave dark chocolate on top!
How to make banana cream pie
This vanilla cookie crust for our pie is a breeze, with just two ingredients: melted salted butter and crushed Nilla wafers (vanilla cookies). The two are combined and then pressed into a tart pan with a removable bottom. A tall glass is my secret weapon for a perfectly packed crust. Watch me make the crust in our video — it’s simple.
The vanilla custard is easy, too! I whisk together egg yolks, whole eggs, sugar, cornstarch, a pinch of salt, and a generous teaspoon of vanilla, and then slowly whisk in a mixture of hot milk and cream.
Slowly whisking the hot liquid into our egg mixture is called tempering. By slowly pouring the hot liquid in a steady stream while whisking like crazy to keep the eggs happy, we prevent scrambling the eggs. Again, you can see how easy this is by watching me make banana cream pie in our video.
After heating the custard over low heat for a few minutes, it thickens and is ready for the pie. Just before pouring it in, I add a layer of sliced bananas to the bottom of the pie — these turn our vanilla custard into banana scented vanilla custard (so delicious).
Bake banana cream pie in a 275 °F oven for about 30 minutes. Then cool to room temperature and refrigerate overnight. Patience is key here. The night in the refrigerator means the bananas can meld and mingle with the custard, making the pie taste incredible.
It’s the next day and time to finish our pie! I layer more sliced bananas over the custard and then swirl on whipped cream. And since I love chocolate, I also shave some dark chocolate on top. This banana cream pie is a must-make! It’s so darn good.
Make ahead and storing tips
- Making banana cream pie ahead: You can make banana cream pie a day or two before you plan to serve it, but remember that the bananas will start to brown and lose their fresh texture over time. It’s still delicious within that timeframe, but beyond that, the pie won’t be quite as good.
- Here’s a tip for longer shelf life: To keep your pie looking and tasting its best, wait to add the second layer of bananas and whipped cream until the day you’re serving it. The custard covers the first layer of bananas, so it holds up much better.
- Storing leftovers: Store any leftover banana cream pie in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 2 days. We don’t recommend freezing it, as the custard and bananas might not hold up well to thawing.
How do I prevent the bananas from browning?
Don’t worry about the first layer of bananas — they are nestled between the crust and custard. The longer the pie sits in the fridge, the more the second layer of bananas (below the whipped cream) will begin to brown. You can toss those bananas in a little orange juice to slow browning, but honestly, as long as the pie is enjoyed within a day or two, you should be fine.
How do I keep the custard from getting lumpy?
Prevent lumps in custard by slowly tempering the hot milk and cream into the egg mixture. Then, when thickening the custard on the stove, use low heat and stir. If your custard has lumps, don’t worry! If you watch our video, you can actually see a few small lumps in my custard. This is fine and won’t ruin the final dish (promise). If it’s really lumpy (like in the photo below), all you need to do is strain the custard through a sieve.
Why is my filling runny?
If your custard is runny, you likely did not cook it long enough for the cornstarch to thicken properly or did not chill the pie long enough. Make sure that you cook the custard over low heat until it thickens. Then, after filling and baking the pie, cool it to room temperature and chill it in the fridge overnight.
Do I need to pre-bake the crust?
You do not need to pre-bake the crust for our easy banana cream pie recipe. Instead, we bake the crust filled with the custard in a 275 °F oven for about 30 minutes before cooling and chilling in the refrigerator.
Easy Banana Cream Pie
Our easy homemade banana cream pie recipe calls on a simple vanilla cookie crust, fresh sliced bananas, sweet and creamy vanilla custard, and enough whipped cream to make you do a happy dance. Of all the classic desserts on Inspired Taste, this easy cream pie with fresh bananas is our favorite!
We recommend cooling the baked pie to room temperature before chilling it in the fridge overnight. The night in the refrigerator helps the custard set and gives the bananas time to infuse the custard with banana flavor.
Watch Us Make the Recipe
You Will NeedBanana Cream Pie
10 tablespoons (140g) salted butter, melted
2 ⅔ cups (310g) crushed Nilla Wafers, one 11-ounce box, see notes for substitutes
4 to 5 medium bananas
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
4 tablespoons (32g) cornstarch
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch fine sea salt
1 cup (235ml) heavy cream
1 cup (235ml) whole milkWhipped Cream Topping
1 ½ cups (355ml) heavy cream
2 tablespoons (14g) powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dark chocolate, optional for grating on top
- Make the Crust
1Preheat the oven to 275 °F (135 °C). Choose an 8-inch or 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom (false-bottom pan). Lightly coat the bottom and sides with cooking spray or grease with butter.
2Use a food processor or a Zip top bag and a rolling pin to crush the Nilla wafers into fine crumbs. You are looking for the texture of coarse sand.
3Melt the butter and pour it into a mixing bowl with the crushed wafers. Stir until the crumbs are moistened.
4Press the crumb mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom and sides of the tart pan using your fingers. To pack the crumbs down even more and create a smooth crust, use a tall glass or measuring cup to press the mixture inside the pan. To help prevent the crust from crumbling later, run a spoon along the edge where the bottom and sides meet to smooth out any bumps and create a rounded edge. See Joanne do this in the video.
- Make the Custard
1In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, salt, and vanilla until everything is well blended and smooth.
2In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup of cream and 1 cup of milk over medium heat until it gently simmers. Look for tiny bubbles just breaking the surface.
3While continuously whisking the egg mixture in the bowl, slowly drizzle in a small amount of the hot cream and milk mixture. Keep whisking as you gradually add more of the hot liquid until everything is combined. Now, carefully pour all the contents of the bowl back into the saucepan.
4Turn the heat to low and cook, while whisking, until the custard thickens to the consistency of runny pudding, about 5 minutes. If your custard becomes lumpy, push the lumpy custard through a mesh strainer, see our troubleshooting tip in the article.
- Bake the Pie
1Thinly slice two bananas and line the bottom of the crust. Pour the warm custard over the bananas, letting it settle around them naturally. You can gently shake the pan to help the custard fill any gaps.
2Place the pie in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes. When gently nudging the pan, the custard should be slightly jiggly in the center (think a gentle wave). Don’t worry if you see a few cracks on top, that’s normal.
3Let the pie cool completely at room temperature. Then, cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate it overnight.
- To Finish (the next day)
1Remove the pie from the tart pan and place onto a serving platter.
2Use a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer to beat 1 ½ cups of heavy cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla until medium peaks. When holding up a whisk or spatula, the tip of the peak should barely flop over.
3Slice two more bananas and cover the top of the pie with them.
4Cover the bananas with the whipped cream, swirling it like a cloud. Use a fine grater or a vegetable peeler to shave dark chocolate on top. Serve and enjoy within 2 days. Store leftover banana cream pie in the refrigerator.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Unsalted butter: To use unsalted butter, add 1/4 teaspoon of fine salt to the butter as it melts.
- Cookie crust substitutes: Nilla wafers are a classic vanilla cookie widely sold in the US. If you cannot find them, try another vanilla cookie, shortbread cookies, or animal crackers in their place. For a different flavor, use graham crackers or ginger cookies. Chocolate cookies will also work for a chocolate crust.