Banana cream pie has been my favorite type of pie since I was little, it’s creamy, full of bananas, and this version has a buttery graham cracker crust. Follow our recipe, and tips and tricks for the best version of banana cream pie you’ll ever have.
Everyone is sure to love this Banana Cream Pie Recipe
My favorite pie at the Thanksgiving dessert table is always a banana cream pie. And until this year I’ve always just gone the easy route and used a pudding mix based filling for my banana cream pie. But not any more.
This banana cream pie recipe is made completely from scratch. There are no boxes, no mixes, and no shortcuts. But I promise it’s easy to make!
Now I personally think cream pies are better with a graham cracker crust, and apparently so do the majority of people. I did a poll on my instagram and facebook pages, and with over 300 answers over 75% said that a graham cracker crust was better. So, I stuck with my favorite graham cracker crust.
So you’ll start with a buttery and crunchy graham cracker crust. Then the pie is filled with a homemade creamy pudding, that is cooked on the stove top. Layered with lots of banana slices and topped with fresh whipped cream. This is the banana cream pie of your dreams.
Banana Pie Recipe ingredients
This is a quick overview of the ingredients you’ll need for this banana pie recipe from scratch. Specific measurements and full recipe instructions are in the printable recipe card below.
Choose a Crust for Banana Cream Pie
You’ll start with the pie crust. The pie can be made with a
- traditional pastry crust – You can use a refrigerated pie crust from the grocery store, though I promise homemade is better for this.
- graham cracker crust – For the graham cracker crust, you’ll need graham cracker crumbs, a little sugar, and melted butter. Crush up your graham crackers with a food processor or high powered blender.
- cookie crust options – A cookie crust keeps this pie totally no bake and even easier to make
How to Make Banana Cream Pie from Scratch
- Make the pie crust. For my recipe I use a graham cracker crust, because I love the buttery sweet flavor and crunchy texture. Blend the graham crackers in a food processor, then mix them with sugar and butter. Pour the sandy textured mixture into the pie pan and press it down to cover the bottom and sides of the dish.
- Make the pudding filling. Combine the sugar, salt, and cornstarch in a medium pot and whisk them together. Add in the milk, and whisk it into the mixture. Bring it to a low boil. Once the mixture starts to simmer, lower the temperature and continue to cook it for a few minutes until it starts to thicken.
- Temper the eggs. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl, then add in 1/4 cup of the pudding mix stirring it into the eggs, then another 1/4 cup. Scoop the mixture back into the pudding in the pot and let it come to a low boil over medium low heat.
- Continue to thicken. Once a couple bubbles pop in the pudding, let it keep cooking for a few minutes until the pudding is thickened. The pudding won’t thicken a ton in the fridge, so you want it pretty thick on the stove.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add in the butter, and vanilla and stir them into the pudding.
- Cool. Cover the pudding with plastic wrap, pushing it directly on top of the pudding so it doesn’t get a skin, and place it in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes.
- Fill the pie crust. Spread the sliced bananas into the prepared pie crust. Then cover it with the cooled pudding. Chill the pie for several hours, or overnight.
- Make the whipped cream. Beat the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl with a mixer until stiff peaks form. Then pipe the whipped cream on top of the pie.
Tips for the best Banana Pie
- You can start the pie with any pie crust you prefer. A traditional pastry crust like in my blueberry pie, you only need 1 pie crust. Or a graham cracker crust, like called for in this recipe. A crust made with Nilla Wafers or Golden Oreos would be really delicious too.
- The pudding will thicken as it cooks. Make sure you give it enough time on the stove to fully thicken. It will thicken a bit more as it chills in the fridge, but if the pudding is runny in the pot it will most likely still be runny when cooled.
- You can also use banana extract instead of, or in addition to the vanilla extract for a stronger banana flavor in the pie.
- For a creamier and fluffier pie filling, you can fold 1 cup of whipped cream (1/2 cup whipping cream whipped) into the pudding mixture before adding it into the pie crust.
- Dip your banana slices in lemon juice before layering them in the pie, to keep them from browning when the pie is cut into.
- The filling is a stove top cooked pudding, which can mean it can be a little messy when slicing. For neater slices, throw the pie in the freezer for about 30 minutes before slicing.
How to store Pie with Banana Cream
All cream pies should be kept in the refrigerator. Wrap the pie carefully in plastic wrap in a pie plate, and you can store it in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. The longer it is in the fridge the bananas may get more soft and start to weep some extra liquid out.
Homemade Banana Cream Pie FAQs
Because the banana slices are covered quickly they will not be at high risk for oxidation (this happens with the banana slices are in contact with the air), and should not turn brown.
If you are worried about them turning brown you can brush both sides of the banana slices lightly in lemon juice. The citric acid in the lemon juice will slow down the oxidation process.
There are a few reasons a banana cream pie can be runny, but the main reason is that the custard filling is undercooked. The custard will only thicken slightly more when chilled in the fridge, so continue to cook the custard until it practically reaches the desired thickness.
The biggest culprit behind a cream pie that doesn’t set is an undercooked custard. The custard needs to bubble, and then cook for several minutes until thickened, and almost as thick as you’d want it once chilled. If your custard does not start to thicken after chilling in the fridge (but before spreading in the crust) you can try adding it back into a pot and cooking it longer on the stove to let more liquid evaporate, and help it thicken more.
This pie seems like a lot of steps, but I broke each of them down into really simple steps in the recipe to make this extra easy for you. I promise it’s really not too hard and it’s so tasty!
This banana cream pie is so delicious! It’s loaded with so many bananas, lots of whipped cream and the perfect rich pudding filling. It’s perfect for serving up with Thanksgiving dinner. Or it’s a great refreshing dessert for a backyard barbecue. Or perfect to go with Easter dinner.
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Banana Cream Pie Recipe From Scratch
For the Graham Cracker Crust:
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from 10-12 graham cracker sheets)
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 6 TBS butter (melted)
For the Pudding Filling:
- 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 TBS butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large bananas (sliced)
For the Whipped Cream on Top:
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 3 TBS white granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Graham Cracker Crust:
- If you're using whole graham crackers, blend them up in a high powered blender or food processor, to make a fine crumb.
- Mix together graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a medium bowl.
- Pour in the melted butter and stir well to combine to make a nice sandy like texture.
- Pour the graham cracker mixture into a 9inch pie dish and press down evenly to cover the bottom, and up the sides of the pie dish.
- Put in the fridge until firm, at least 15 minutes.
For the Pudding Filling:
- Add the sugar, salt, and cornstarch to a medium sized pot, and whisk them together.
- Pour in the milk, and whisk it into the sugar mixture.
- Heat the mixture over medium high heat, and bring to a low boil.
- Once bubbles appear, lower the temperature to medium low and cook for another few minutes, while stirring often, until the mixture starts to thicken.
- Whisk your egg yolks in a separate medium sized bowl.
- Add 1/4 cup of the hot pudding mixture to the egg yolks. Whisk it together. Add another 1/4 cup of the pudding to the eggs and whisk it together.
- Scoop the egg mixture back into the pudding mixture in the pot. And let the pudding come back to a low boil over medium low heat.
- Once a couple bubbles pop, cook for a few more minutes as the mixture keeps boiling, until the pudding is thickened.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla, and butter.
- Cover the pudding with plastic wrap, pushing the plastic wrap directly onto the top of the pudding.
- Place in the fridge and chill for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Spread a small amount of the pudding into the prepared pie crust.
- Spread sliced bananas over the top of the pudding.
- Add remaining pudding to the pie crust and cover with plastic wrap again.
- Chill for at least 4 hours, up to overnight.
For the Whipped Cream on Top:
- In a medium or large bowl, add your heavy cream and beat it until stiff peaks are formed. A stand mixer, or hand mixer work best.
- Add in the sugar and vanilla and beat until they're mixed in.
- Top the pie with fresh whipped cream as desired.