November 30, 2022

Paris Crepe 80903

Do It With Food

Banana Cream Pie – Chelsea’s Messy Apron

This Banana Cream Pie is a show stopper! A buttery graham cracker crust is filled with a creamy banana custard and finished off with sweetened whipped cream.

Try our other favorite cream pies — this Coconut Cream Pie or Chocolate Cream Pie!

Image of a slice of Banana Cream Pie

Banana Cream Pie Recipe

Bananas are quite literally always on our counter — we love them as a quick snack or sliced atop a bowl of Microwave Oatmeal. And we purposely always leave a few to get nice and speckled all over so we can make these beloved Banana Cupcakes or Healthy Banana Muffins.

So it’s about time I added one of our favorite fruits into a creamy, custardy pie! And now this Apple Pie has some serious competition for our household’s favorite pie. This is truly the best Banana Cream Pie!

QUICK TIP

This Banana Cream Pie uses pudding made from scratch! That said, I also share some shortcut options for a quicker prep.

Process shots-- images of the graham crackers being blended to crumbs then sugar, butter, and salt being added to the crackers

No-Bake Banana Cream Pie with Graham Cracker Crust

Most old-fashioned cream pies start with a blind-baked pastry pie crust. That is certainly an option here, but we prefer this pie with a graham cracker crust. (Plus, it’s easier!)

We do recommend baking the graham cracker crust to keep it from getting too soft when the banana custard is added in. That said, if you want a true no-bake banana cream pie, you can skip the bake. Just keep in mind the crust will be a bit softer.

If you do bake the crust, let it cool fully before adding the filling. A hot filling will cause the crust to soften and get soggy.

Process shots of Banana Cream Pie-- images of the crust being baked

Graham Cracker Crust Tips

We wrote an entire post on making the perfect Graham Cracker Crust, and here are a few of our top tips:

  • Blend the graham crackers thoroughly. To ensure there aren’t large chunks of graham cracker in the crust, thoroughly blend the graham crackers until all the crackers are fine crumbs. If you see a chunk or two remaining, add them back and blend again.
  • Let the melted butter cool. Once the butter is melted, it needs to cool back to room temperature. If the butter is hot, it will melt the sugar and crushed crackers, and cause a greasy crust. 
  • To keep the crust from falling apart later, compress the crumbs tightly in the tin. Press with your fingers, or use the base of a flat measuring cup to tightly press the crumbs to a crust.

Process shots-- images of sugar, salt, cornstarch, egg yolks, milk, and heavy cream being whisked together in a pot

The Pudding Layer

The filling is a custard/pudding consistency. It’s thick, rich, and luxuriously smooth with a lovely sweetness and the perfect banana flavor. While custards can be finicky, we have a foolproof method to make this filling as easy as possible! 

How do we make an easy Banana Cream Pie filling? We whisk everything together off heat. The sugar, cornstarch, salt, milk, cream, and eggs all get whisked until completely smooth before adding to the heat. This way we don’t need to worry about tempering eggs (like in our Crème Brûlée recipe!)

Then we slowly heat the mixture while whisking frequently. Once the mixture begins bubbling, a constant brisk whisk will ensure the custard thickens without curdling or scorching.

Process shots of Banana Cream Pie-- images of butter being added to the pot and being whisked into it

What Is Banana Cream Pie Made Of?

  • Egg yolks and cornstarch for thickness
  • Whole milk and heavy whipping cream, which makes up the pudding base
  • Sugar to sweeten
  • Salt to balance and enhance flavors
  • Vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract) adds a lovely flavor to the custard with a slightly stronger flavor and the gorgeous vanilla bean specks throughout the pie
  • Butter helps the mouthfeel and creaminess while also keeping the ingredients from separating
  • And of course…bananas. Unlike when you’re making healthy banana bread and need overripe bananas, we want barely ripe bananas for this pie. They should be firm. 

QUICK TIP

After the custard filling sets, it’s time to make the whipped cream! I share a tutorial on how to make whipped cream here. The sweetened cream is the perfect finishing touch to this pie. A few sliced bananas or sprinkle of candied almonds are a nice (but optional) garnish.

Process shots: layer bananad and spread pudding over; repeat the layers

The full recipe card is below, so here I’ll share the top tips for making the custard part of this pie:

How to make Banana Cream Pie

  • Use a good, sturdy, heavy-bottomed nonstick pot for best results. We need the custard to thicken nicely without burning.
  • Thoroughly whisk together the custard ingredients before adding the pot to the heat.
  • When mixing the custard, we’re looking for large bubbles to begin forming in the center of the pot. Once you see these bubbles, you must whisk briskly and constantly. The mixture should be very thick at this point.
  • As the pie filling is setting up in the fridge, add plastic wrap on the surface of the filling. We do this whenever making a custard or curd (like this lemon curd) to keep the layers from separating or to keep a film from developing.

Images of the dessert chilling and the whipped cream being whisked together and spread over the dessert

Banana Cream Pie FAQs

1How do you keep bananas from turning brown in a Banana Cream Pie?

Cover the bananas fully with cooled pudding. When they’re fully covered, they are far less prone to browning — it’s when they are in contact with air (or heat from a hot pudding layer) that they brown quicker.

You can also lightly brush slices of banana with club soda (NOT tonic water) before adding to the pie.

An Elvis Pie is similar to a Banana Cream Pie, but with a chocolate cream, peanut butter filling, and slices of banana layered in a crust made of graham crackers, peanuts, and pretzels.

The name comes from Elvis Pressley’s reported fondness for those snacks.

3Why is my Banana Cream Pie runny?

The number one reason for a runny cream pie is undercooked pudding.

While the custard will thicken a bit as it cools, it should be quite thick before adding it to the crust. The consistency should be like a thick prepared pudding snack cup before adding to the crust.

4How long does Banana Cream Pie last in the fridge?

This easy Banana Cream Pie will last about 2-4 days, stored in the fridge and covered loosely with plastic wrap. Keep in mind, the crust continues to soften every day it is stored and any exposed banana pieces will turn brown and seep.

We prefer this pie best within the first 24 hours after it’s made.

5How do you make a good Banana Cream Pie?

A good pie isn’t that hard. You just need to pay attention to the details:

  • Good ingredients make all the difference. Be sure to use good, ripe, firm bananas (not speckled or overripe)
  • Pay attention to temperatures. Let the crust cool before adding bananas, let the pudding cool before adding to the crust, and let everything set before adding the whipped cream.

 

Up-close overhead image of the Banana Cream Pie, ready to be enjoyed

STORAGE

Should Banana Cream Pie Be Refrigerated?

Yes! This pie needs to be refrigerated to properly set up. Additionally, any leftovers should be promptly returned to the fridge. Make sure to cover the pie tightly to keep it as fresh as possible.

Can You Freeze Banana Cream Pie?

No, this pie does not freeze and thaw well. The crust gets too soft and the custard can break or seep. Additionally, the bananas will brown and are also prone to seeping.

Image of a slice of the dessert

QUICK TIP

Leave ample time for preparing this Banana Cream Pie Recipe. It needs quite a bit of time to chill and set!

More Favorite Banana Desserts:

Banana Cream Pie

This Banana Cream Pie is a show stopper! A buttery graham cracker crust is filled with a creamy banana custard and finished off with sweetened whipped cream.

Banana Cream Pie

This Banana Cream Pie is a show stopper! A buttery graham cracker crust is filled with a creamy banana custard and finished off with sweetened whipped cream.

Instructions

  • CRUST: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray. Melt 6 tbsp. butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Once melted, set aside to cool for 5 minutes. (Hot butter will cause a greasy crust.) In a blender or food processor, add broken graham crackers and process until they are all fine crumbs (re-blend any large chunks). Measure to get a level 1 and 3/4 cups of crumbs and add to a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup sugar and 1/8 tsp salt to the bowl. Use a spatula to scrape in every bit of butter and mix until well combined.

  • FINISH CRUST: Empty the crumb mixture into the prepared pan. Using your fingers, press the crumbs along the sides of the pan and then press into the bottom of the pan. Use the bottom of a flat 1-cup measuring cup to thoroughly compress the crumbs into a firm crust. Bake for 10 minutes then remove and set aside to fully cool. (You can prepare and bake the crust 24 hours in advance. Cover with plastic wrap and store at room temp!)

  • FILLING: In a medium-sized pot off the heat, combine 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 cup cornstarch; with a whisk. Add in all 4 egg yolks. While whisking constantly, add in 1-1/2 cups milk and then 3/4 cup heavy cream. Whisk until all ingredients are completely integrated. Now add the pot to the heat and turn to just below medium. Whisk occasionally as the mixture warms up and alternate between whisking and using a rubber spatula to scrape around the sides and bottom of the pot to ensure no pockets of cornstarch get stuck.

  • FILLING, CONTINUED: Once you see the mixture begin to thicken, start whisking constantly. Then, as soon as you see bubbles in the center of the mixture, set a timer for 1 minute and whisk constantly (reducing heat slightly if it bubbles up too intensely). Mixture should be thickened substantially (consistency like a pudding cup) After 1 minute, remove from the heat. (See Note 1). Whisk for another full minute off the heat. Then add in the 2 tbsp. butter and whisk until the butter is completely melted. Once butter is melted, add in 1 tsp vanilla and whisk again until completely smooth. Let pudding cool completely before proceeding (Note 2).

  • ADD FILLING TO CRUST: To the completely cooled crust, add in a layer of thinly sliced bananas (using 1 banana to cover the surface). Spoon on half of the completely cooled pudding mixture, spreading and smoothing in an even layer with the back of a spoon. Add another layer of thinly sliced bananas (another 1 banana) and finally, spoon on the remaining pudding, smoothing the top with a spatula. Gently place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface, pressing along the top of the pie to create a seal. (The plastic will prevent a skin from forming on the surface of the pudding.) Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until the filling is fully set.

  • WHIPPED CREAM: Pour 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar (add to sweetness preference; start with 2 tablespoons and add an additional 2 if you like it sweeter), and 1/2 tsp vanilla into a bowl attached to a stand mixer. Whisk on low speed to combine. Gradually increase to high speed until medium-to-stiff peaks form, about 2-4 minutes. Watch carefully to avoid over-beating. Smooth cream over the pie with a spatula. If desired, garnish the top with a few sliced bananas and/or candied almonds. For clean slices, use a sharp knife. I like to run the knife under hot water, quickly dry it off, and then make a cut. Repeat for each cut.

  • STORAGE: Any leftovers should be promptly returned to the fridge. Make sure to cover the pie tightly to keep it as fresh as possible.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Custard notes: The mixture should be thick at this point. Keep in mind the custard will thicken a bit as it cools, but it should be very thick before adding it to the crust. The consistency should be like a thick prepared pudding snack cup.

Note 2: Temperatures: Let the crust cool completely before adding the layer of bananas, let the pudding cool completely before adding to the bananas, and let everything set before adding the whipped cream. If the crust or pudding are warm or hot, they’ll affect the texture of the bananas.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 433kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 147mg | Sodium: 273mg | Potassium: 231mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 985IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 1mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.