How To Make Banana Cream Pies

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Easy step-by-step recipe on how to make banana cream pies for your loved ones at home.

What happens when you squeeze yourself into a poorly crafted fruit pie costume? A. You can no longer fit a banana cream pie in your mouth, B. You become the world’s first man-shaped banana cream pie mascot or C. You write and publish a blog post on how to make banana cream pies because you know people will want to read it.

World’s Best Banana Cream Pie (with peanut butter cookie crust!)

The world’s best banana cream pie with a peanut butter cookie crust and a homemade whipped cream topping. This easy banana cream pie recipe is made without boxed pudding and is delicious topped with chocolate curls, toasted coconut, and anything else your heart desires. The perfect dessert for the holidays!PREP TIME2 HOURS COOK TIME30 MINUTES TOTAL TIME2 HOURS 30 MINUTES

You know I couldn’t leave you to your Thanksgiving menu without an absolutely epic dessert. If you’ve made any of my pie recipes in the past (my dutch apple is a must) you know that I don’t mess around when it comes to an incredible homemade pie.

For Thanksgiving last year I finally made the most amazing banana cream pie recipe and I couldn’t be more excited to share it with you now. Rebecca and I tested this recipe a few weeks ago and when I say this is pie perfection I truly mean it.

It’s deliciously rich, perfectly sweet and has a peanut butter cookie crust that is everything you need and more. Surprise guests this year with a dessert that’s guaranteed to turn heads and draw people in for seconds!

homemade banana cream pie on a plate

What is banana cream pie?

If you’ve never had banana cream pie before OMG get ready to fall in love. Old fashioned banana cream pie is basically a buttery pie crust layered with fresh bananas, a thick vanilla pudding/custard mixture, and topped with whipped cream.

My world’s best banana cream pie recipe jazzes up the traditional version by using an epic peanut butter cookie crust. Plus, we’re skipping the boxed pudding often found in the middle and making our own vanilla filling. SO GOOD.

crust for banana cream pie in a springform pan

Tools you’ll need

Making banana cream pie from scratch is a bit of an art and science, so you’ll need the right tools:

  • Good whisk
  • Large saucepan
  • Small pot
  • Springform pan or pie pan
  • Food processor
  • Spatula
  • Stand mixer or hand mixer
  • Pie server
spreading banana cream pie filling into a pie crust

Ingredients in banana cream pie

Homemade banana cream pie may look intimidating to make, but the ingredients are actually fairly simple. You’ll need:

  • For the filling: the vanilla custard filling is made with whole milk (or 2% milk), egg yolks, granulated sugar, cornstarch for thickening, salt, bourbon or scotch (optional, but delicious), vanilla extract, and butter. You’ll also need fresh bananas to slice and layer on the bottom.
  • For the crust: my special peanut butter cookie crust is made with nutter butters and some melted butter. So easy!
  • For topping: gotta have that fresh whipped cream! It’s made with heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract.
  • To garnish: I love topping my pie with cute chocolate curls from a dark chocolate bar (use the code ‘AMBITIOUSKITCHEN’ for 15% off), but see below for even more ways to customize.
topping an easy banana cream pie with whipped cream

Make it with different types of crust

Although I’m truly obsessed with the flavor in the peanut butter cookie crust (peanut butter lovers, rejoice) you have plenty of options for making a crust:

  • Feel free to use a regular pie crust like my homemade all butter pie crust for a more traditional banana cream pie. Be sure to blind bake the crust first as you will not be baking the pie after adding the filling (like in apple or pumpkin pies).
  • Try using other cookies for a different flavored cookie crust! Oreos, vanilla wafers and graham crackers would be amazing as a banana cream pie crust.
the best banana cream pie topped with chocolate shavings on a platter

A note on substitutions

I know I’ll get a variety of questions like how to make this banana cream pie vegan or gluten free, but unfortunately, this is the only way I’ve tested the pie and it is a tried & true recipe. It is an indulgent dessert that’s perfect for special occasions! I cannot recommend a vegan substitute, but let me know if you have a favorite gluten free crust option that you try.

How to make banana cream pie from scratch

Now that you have all of your ingredients, it’s time to layer this baby up. These are the basics, but be sure to read each instruction in the actual recipe at the bottom of the post very carefully to ensure success:

  1. Prep your pan. You’ll start by greasing a 9-inch springform pan or a deep dish pie pan.
  2. Make & add the crust. Next, pulse the nutter butters in your food processor, add melted butter, and pulse again until combined. The mixture will be like wet sand, and you’ll then pour it into your pan. Press into the bottom and sides so that a nice crust forms — using a small measuring cup can help!
  3. Bake & cool. Bake the crust for just about 10 minutes, then let it cool completely.
  4. Mix the filling. While the crust is cooling, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a large saucepan until smooth.
  5. Heat & add the milk. Add milk to a separate, small pot and bring it to a slight simmer without boiling it. Once it starts to simmer, remove it from the heat and whisk 1/3 cup of hot milk into your egg mixture. Whisk it well so that the milk doesn’t turn the yolks into scrambled eggs! Continue with the rest of the milk.
  6. Finish the filling. Place the pan over medium heat and keep whisking until the mixture gets warm, slightly boils, and starts to thicken. Pay attention as this can happen quickly. Once it has a custard-like texture, remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla, bourbon & butter.
  7. Assemble & chill the pie. Add banana slices to the bottom of the cooled pie crust, and then pour the filling on top. Smooth it so that it’s well distributed, then cover with plastic wrap so that it touches the filling and refrigerate for 2-4 hours until cold. That’s right, instead of baking we’re just chilling the pie before serving!
  8. Add whipped cream & serve. When you’re about ready to serve, make your whipped cream and then evenly spread it all over the cold pie filling. Garnish with chocolate curls or your fav toppings and devour!
slice of banana cream pie on a plate

Delicious ways to make it your own

Besides choosing your favorite pie crust, you can easily make this banana cream pie your own by:

  • Adding a layer of peanut butter to the bottom of the crust before adding the bananas (use the code ‘AMBITIOUS15’ for 15% off my favorite brand, Wild Friends!)
  • Dusting the top with cocoa powder
  • Drizzling homemade salted caramel on top (my peanut butter caramel would be amazing)
  • Sprinkling the top with toasted coconut

Banana Cream Pie

This banana cream pie recipe makes a great pie. This pie is one of the yummiest things on earth.

Gallery

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Recipe Summary

Cook:25 minsAdditional:1 hrTotal:1 hr 40 minsPrep:15 minsServings:8Yield:1 9-inch pie

close up view of a slice of banana cream pie garnished with almond slice on a plate with a fork

Ingredients

Decrease Serving8Increase ServingAdjustOriginal recipe yields 8 servingsIngredient Checklist

  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (9 inch) baked pastry shell, cooled
  • 4 bananas, sliced

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Directions

Instructions Checklist

  • Step 1Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  • Step 2Combine sugar, flour, and salt in a saucepan. Gradually stir in milk. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens. Continue to stir and cook for 2 more minutes, then remove from the burner.
  • Step 3Place egg yolks in a medium bowl. Whisk in a small amount of hot mixture, then immediately add egg yolk mixture to remaining hot mixture.
  • Step 4Return the saucepan to the burner and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 more minutes. Remove the saucepan from the stove; stir in butter and vanilla.
  • Step 5Fill pastry shell with sliced bananas. Cover with pudding.
  • Step 6Bake until filling sets, 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Step 7Chill pie for 1 hour before serving.

Banana Cream Pie Recipe

This is the ultimate banana cream pie; rich, silky, and indulgent yet so light and dreamy. Full of banana flavor with no artificial ingredients, you’ll love the creamy, crunchy, light and fluffy elements working together in each bite!

A slice of banana cream pie on a painted porcelain plate

A flakey homemade butter crust holds creamy vanilla custard with fresh bananas above and below all topped with a giant mound of whipped cream! This pie is hard to beat and will be a home run even if you’re not a big banana fan!

HOW TO MAKE BANANA CREAM PIE

A photo collage showing the steps to make banana cream pie
  1. For the pie crust; preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a food processor, combine flour, sugar and salt. Whiz together. Grate in chilled butter and drizzle in ice cold water. Mix using a fork.
  2. Roll the pastry dough into a ball. Wrap it in plastic wrap or a ziplock bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. With a rolling pin, on a well-floured surface, flatten out into a circle at least 1 inch larger than the pie pan, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough so it doesn’t stick to the board. Fold the dough in half and ease it into the pie pan without stretching at all and unfold to fit the pan. With a small sharp paring knife, cut the dough 1 inch larger around than the pan. Fold the edge under and crimp the edge with either your fingers or the tines of a fork.
  4. Dock your pie crust. Add tin foil to keep your pie crust propped up. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.
  5. Make the egg wash by mixing the egg and a dash of heavy cream together. Take out the tin foil and brush the crust with the egg wash.
  6. Now dock the pie crust with a fork or sharp knife and add a tent of foil around the sides. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 then reduce temperature to 375 degrees and bake until the center is golden. Once the center is golden, remove the pie crust from the oven and set aside
  7. For the Filling; whisk the dry ingredients together add milk and whisk again. Cook over medium-high heat until thickened while whisking continuously.
  8. Slowly drizzle a cup of the hot milk mixture into the beaten eggs to temper them. Add the egg mixture back into the pot while whisking and cook on medium an additional 2 minutes.
  9. Stir in butter and vanilla then mix until dissolved. Cover and chill to bring to room temp.
  10. For the Whipped Cream Topping; add heavy cream, sugar and vanilla to a stand mixer. Whip on high until you reach soft peaks. Add the whipped cream to the top of the pie and smooth slightly.
  11. Add a thin layer of custard to the base of your cooled pie shell. Slice bananas and place on bottom.
  12. Use the rest of the custard filling to fill the pie shell, and whipped cream and more bananas on top.

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