Banana Cream Pie is the kind of dessert that brings you back to your childhood! Layered with a Nilla wafer crust, homemade vanilla pudding, bananas, and sweetened whipped cream topping, no one can resist this pie!
Banana Cream Pie is one of those desserts that is good any time of year. Any good pie starts with the crust. You could easily use an all butter pie crust for this pie, but nothing quite compliments bananas like Nilla wafers, right? Then comes the filling. It would be easier to use a boxed pudding mix, but homemade pudding is worth the effort. The flavor is unbeatable! Then there’s the topping, a luscious and slightly sweetened whipped cream to finish off this heavenly pie! You can go with a semi-homemade easy banana cream pie, or put in a little extra TLC for a banana cream pie recipe no one will forget!
BANANA CREAM PIE
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How to make banana cream pie
- Use a food processor to transform the Nilla wafer cookies into crumbs. You could also crush them in a resealable plastic bag, but if you’re willing to give your food processor a quick rinse when you’re done, it’s the easiest method.
- Don’t use bananas that are overly ripe. This pie is so creamy that you don’t want the bananas to be mushy. Your best bet is to find yellow bananas that are just starting to brown. Save those overly ripe bananas for a different dessert where the bananas get mashed like some decadent banana bread brownies.
- Take care not to overheat the vanilla pudding. This is the part of the recipe that takes the most attention. The trick with a homemade pudding is to bring the temperature up gradually, always whisk to avoid lumps, and to temper the eggs. All of this is explained in the recipe.
- A thin layer of plastic wrap over the pudding will prevent a skin from forming while the pie chills.
- Finally, using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment is the easiest way to make the sweetened whipped cream. If you wanted to make a little extra for tomorrow’s coffee, I won’t judge.
Banana cream pie not only presents beautifully, but it’s one of those desserts that will put a huge smile on anyone’s face who enjoyed it in their youth. It may seem kind of complicated to make because there is a crust, filling, and topping after all. But, if you take your time with the pudding, it’s really an easy dessert to put together. It’s right up there with Better Than Sex Cake for one of our favorite desserts to share with friends.
Want more easy pie recipes?
- Berry Pie
- Grasshopper Pie
- Creamsicle Chiffon Pie
- Lemon Raspberry No Bake Pie
- Nutella Coconut Cream Mini Pies
- Key Lime Pie Cookie Cups
- More dessert recipes…
Tools used to make this Banana Cream Pie recipe
Food Processor: Slice, chop, and grate anything you need with this food processor. I’ve had this model for years and use it all the time. It’s a great workhorse in my kitchen and I’d recommend it to anyone!
Saucepan: This si my favorite saucepan. It gets used in my kitchen every day. The glass lid even has strainer sides so I even have a colander for pasta!
Pie Plate: A good pie plate is a kitchen essential for any home baker. I really like this plate! It’s a little deeper than your standard pie plate and has a lip that makes decorative edges easy.
Stand Mixer: I don’t know what I’d do without my stand mixer. I use it for just about everything…and I mean everything! Cakes, cookies, mashed potatoes, and shredding chicken!
Banana Cream Pie
- 1/2 cups Nilla wafer crumbs 6 ounces Nilla wafers
- 6 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 egg yolks slightly beaten
- 1 vanilla bean split lengthwise (optional but highly recommended)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3-4 bananas sliced
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
- Banana chips or slices for garnish
Combine Nilla wafer crumbs and melted butter in small bowl. Press into an 8-inch pie dish. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 5 minutes. Allow to cool on wire rack.
Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a 3-quart saucepan. Add in milk and vanilla bean (if using) and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture is bubbly. Continue cooking and stirring for about 10 minutes. The mixture should be slightly thickened.
Temper the eggs by adding a small amount of hot mixture to the egg yolks while whisking constantly. Continue to add small amounts of hot milk mixture to the egg mixture, whisking constantly, until you have a warm smooth mixture.
Add that back into the pan with the hot milk mixture and cook for a couple of minutes over medium heat while constantly stirring. Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla, and stir until everything is fully combined. Remove vanilla bean (but be sure to scrape out as many of the seeds as possible first) and discard pod.
Slice bananas and add to cookie crust. Fill until the top of the bananas are level with the top of the crust. Top with warm pudding, tilting pie dish as necessary to fully distribute the pudding to coat the bananas. There might be excess pudding. Just fill as much as possible without spilling.
Cover with plastic wrap to prevent skin from forming and refrigerate at least an hour.
Whisk heavy cream with powdered sugar until soft peaks form.
Remove pie from refrigerator and top with whipped cream. You can spread it on, pipe it on, or both. Top with additional banana slices or banana chips. Keep pie in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Best if enjoyed on the same day. Bananas will brown and get mushy as time passes.
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