The Best Banana Cream Pie

This is the most delicious banana cream pie recipe I’ve ever made! Fresh bananas, creamy homemade vanilla custard, and a perfect vanilla wafer crust make this truly one of the most delicious desserts. I can’t wait for you to make this!

Banana Cream Pie Recipe 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 has a vanilla cookie crust, freshly sliced bananas, and the dreamiest vanilla custard topped with more bananas and a cloud of whipped cream.

Of all the desserts shared on Inspired Taste, this easy banana cream pie 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.

The Best Banana Cream Pie

Key Ingredients

  • Vanilla cookie crust: We make our cookie crust from scratch with salted butter and Nilla wafers (vanilla cookies). You can also use homemade vanilla cookies (recipe coming soon).
  • Bananas: Use ripe bananas that are still firm for this pie. Softened or browned bananas are better left for banana bread.
  • Eggs: I use whole eggs and egg yolks to make the custard for this banana cream pie.
  • Heavy cream and milk: A combination of cream and milk makes this custard truly delicious without being too rich. I also use cream to make whipped cream for swirling on top.
  • Sugar: This sweetens our custard. I use granulated sugar.
  • Vanilla extract: I use pure vanilla extract, but a vanilla bean paste would be delightful!
  • Cornstarch: This helps to thicken our custard.

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 (I use the same trick when making cheesecake). Watch me make the crust in our video — it’s simple.

Making the crust for banana cream pie

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.

How to Make Banana Cream Pie: Adding vanilla custard to the crust with a layer of banana slices

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.

Cutting into homemade banana cream pie

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.
A slice of Homemade Banana Cream Pie

The Best Banana Cream Pie

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

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.

Makes 1 pie, 8 to 10 slices

Watch Us Make the Recipe

You Will Need

Banana 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 milk

Whipped 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

Directions

  • 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.
  • Lumps in the custard: We try to prevent lumps in the custard by slowly tempering the hot milk and cream into the egg mixture. If your custard has lumps, don’t worry! All you need to do is strain the custard through a sieve.Preventing lumps in custard for banana cream pie
  • Do I need to pre-bake the crust? No, we bake the crust filled with the custard before cooling and chilling in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Per Serving Serving Size 1 slice (1 of 10) / Calories 483 / Total Fat 30.4g / Saturated Fat 17.1g / Cholesterol 141.3mg / Sodium 262.8mg / Carbohydrate 49.4g / Dietary Fiber 1.7g / Total Sugars 28.9g / Protein 5.3g
AUTHOR:  Adam and Joanne Gallagher
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12 comments… Leave a Review
  • Cate May 17, 2024, 3:50 pm

    Will make this recipe again. I make nilla cookies as I couldn’t find them in the store. I am finding any store bought processed baked foods (graham crackers and soda crackers for example) are not very good at all. Something is going on with the flour/chemicals they are using. I noticed that some cake mixes have sodium laurel sulfate in them. Perhaps we should shampoo our hair with cake!! As a new subscriber I have made just a few of your recipes especially when I hear Joanne say, “you’ve GOT to give it a try.” You’ve never been wrong!!!

    Reply
    • Joanne May 17, 2024, 5:05 pm

      Hi Cate! Thanks so much for sharing! We are actually working on homemade vanilla cookies and they work beautifully in this pie. The recipe should be posted soon!!

      Reply
  • Pamela December 31, 2023, 11:10 pm

    This is a good recipe. My tart pan is 8″and next time I’ll decrease the Nilla wafers slightly. For an 8″ pan the crust was too thick and took up precious space where bananas and custard could be resting! But the custard is delicious and rich and wicks up the banana flavor when it’s resting. I’ll make this again. It’s impressively beautiful. I’ll adjust the crust a bit, and may use Tahitian vanilla in the custard. I like its floral bent when paired with bananas. Thanks for this recipe.

    Reply
  • Cindy December 23, 2023, 10:28 am

    Hi, was wondering if the custard could be made a day ahead before adding to crust and baking or is it better to make the day of. Thank You.

    Reply
    • Adam December 23, 2023, 5:21 pm

      Hi Cindy, we would recommend that you make the custard and fill your pie ahead of time. You can leave your baked pie in the refrigerator without the whipped cream and extra bananas for a couple of days.

      Reply
  • Conni December 20, 2023, 6:15 pm

    This sounds so easy and has me drooling. I’ll be using my homemade gluten free ginger snaps for the crust as I’ve got a Celiac in the house. Does the custard HAVE to be baked if I just want to make a crustless dessert in glasses or ramekins (no cookies crumbs but layers of banana, custard & cream)?

    Reply
    • Adam December 23, 2023, 5:22 pm

      Hi Conni, for the best results we recommend baking.

      Reply
  • Sue December 20, 2023, 2:21 pm

    I am definitely inspired to make this for my holiday dessert. The only change would be to use graham crackers for the crust over the vanilla wafers. I can’t wait to try this wonderful looking dessert. I am sure it tastes as good as it looks. Thank you for sharing it. Happy holidays!

    Reply
    • Adam December 23, 2023, 5:18 pm

      You absolutely can use graham crackers instead. You are going to love this pie 🙂

      Reply
  • Gerard December 20, 2023, 8:28 am

    Like your recipes, have tried some but trying to get my wife to try now.

    Reply
  • Janice December 19, 2023, 8:47 pm

    Oh my, that’s looks delicious! That pie might just be enjoyed Christmas Day at our house! I like how it turned out in the tart pan, but I don’t have one.

    Reply
    • Adam December 23, 2023, 5:22 pm

      You are going to love this pie. Happy Holidays 🙂

      Reply

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