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Best Banana Cream Pie Recipe

After numerous attempts, this recipe clearly emerged as our Best Banana Cream Pie winner. If you want a Banana Cream Pie with a velvety custard, is loaded with bananas, and has a flaky crust, this is it.

best banana cream pie

This recipe is long overdue. I just needed to breathe a bit after cranking out pies up to my cowlicks before finally finding the one. The one we all unanimously agreed was the best.  I’ll say this: a banana cream pie showdown is not boring. At. All.

For the past many years, I’ve tried to whip up the banana cream pie that would be reminiscent of Hubby’s favorite childhood pie. He’d often get a hankering for the banana cream pie that Chef-Grandpa made on special occasions.

We’re not talking pudding mix fillings and pre-packaged crusts.

This is the real deal…

best banana cream pie 3

I tried recipes galore. I went the pudding mix filling route once; it wasn’t horrible, but homemade is always noticeably better.

I tried a recipe from LA Times that promised to be similar to the one Chef-Grandpa used. And several others in between. All no-goes.

Needless to say, it celebration time when this Best Banana Cream Pie landed in our mouths. A little bit of glorious.

best banana cream pie 2

This banana cream pie is for purists. There’s no drizzly ganache, caramel, or other add-ins.

This pie is all about the velvety, luscious cream custard and bananas.  Pure, unadulterated banana yum.

best banana cream pie 4

The best placement for the banana layer is in between two layers of custard.

It keeps the bananas from turning brown. That’s a very good thing.

An all-butter pie crust is the best kind of crust for this amazing pie.

banana cream pie 3

I’ll stop talking so you can get baking.

Enjoy!

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Best Banana Cream Pie Recipe

This Best Banana Cream Pie boasts a velvety, creamy, delicious custard that is loaded with bananas and only bananas. The all-butter crust is light and flaky and a perfect match for this pie. Give yourself enough time to pre-bake crust and let it cool before adding filling. The filling also needs time to chill.

Yield: 8

Ingredients

Scale
  • For the Crust:
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 TB granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp table salt
  • 8 TB cold butter, cubed and chilled
  • 46 TB ice water
  • For the Filling:
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 TB graulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 1 rounded TB cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp table salt
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 TB unsalted butter, cut in half
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ripe but still firm bananas
  • For Topping:
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 2 TB confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Make the Crust: In a food processor, blend flour, sugar, and salt together until combined, 5 seconds. Add cold butter and pulse about 10 times or until it resembles coarse crumbs. Transfer to a bowl. Sprinkle 4 TB ice water in, stir, and press dough together with a rubber spatula until dough comes together. If needed, add 1 TB ice water at a time until dough comes together. Turn dough onto plastic wrap, flatten into 4 inch disk, and wrap tightly. Chill 1 hour.
  2. Let chilled dough sit at room temp for 10 minutes and preheat oven to 375F with rack on lower middle position. Roll dough into a 12 inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Loosely roll dough around rolling pin and gently unroll it onto a 9 inch pie plate, with excess draped over edges. Gently press dough into plate and tuck/crimp edges. Cover and place in freezer 30 minutes.
  3. Line edges of cold crust with foil to prevent burning and fill inside of plate with pie weights (I use a bag of beans in oven-proof bag) Bake 25-30 minutes. Remove weights and foil. Continue baking until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
  4. Make the Filling: In a medium saucepan, whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk in evaporated milk, egg yolks, and milk until smooth. Bring to simmer, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and becomes smooth, several minutes. Off heat, whisk in butter and vanilla extract. Let mixture cool to warm, stirring often with wooden spoon, 5 minutes. *Do not stir again after this.
  5. Pour half of warm filling into cooled pie crust. Slice bananas and lay over filling. Spread rest of warm filling over bananas. Lay plastic wrap over surface of filling and chill until set, at least 4 hours to overnight.
  6. Topping: In a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip the cold heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until foamy, 1 min. Increase to high speed and whip until stiff peaks form, 3-4 minutes. Spread or pipe whipped cream over chilled pie. Keep pie chilled until ready to serve.
  • Author: Chew Out Loud
  • Category: dessert

Source: Chew Out Loud, adapted from Cooks Illustrated Cookbook

Pies, Pies, Pies! Here are our tried and true family+friend favorites:

1. Chocolate Mocha Cream Pie. This is a seriously silky, creamy, luscious pie. It’s on my list of guest-pies; fabulous and easy enough to make for all my friends.

Chocolate Mocha Cream Pie 3

2. Best Apple Pie with Flaky Butter Crust. So darned good, I’d eat this all year round. My 12-year-old nephew decided to make this for his family. Guess what he’s known for now?

3. Blueberry Pie with Flaky Butter Crust. I see my pattern here. I’ve got a thing for all-butter crusts. They simply taste so much better than shortening. This is a blueberry lover’s dream come true.

Blueberry pie butter crust

4. Who said a pie has to be round? This Berry Pie Bar  recipe is super easy and potluck friendly. It’ll disappear quick, so save yourself a few!

Very Berry Pie Bars 3

Did you make this?

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25 comments

    • Sue

    I’m not a pie novice and even though I have my favorite recipes I’m always up for taste testing a recipe that claims to be the best. I made this pie yesterday and unfortunately I found the filling to be a rubbery texture and very off-putting. Perhaps it’s the “rounded” tablespoon of cornstarch. Sorry but I’ll stick with my tried and true filling that I’ve been making for years that get rave reviews.

    • diane harris

    Does anyone know if this pie can be made with no crust? Or an easy gluten free crust? wondering if crushed gluten free cookies and butter might work, similar to a cheesecake crust?

    • Kendall

    Wow. Loved this. It set up great and no problems with the recipe. Banana Cream Pie is my favorite and I will keep this recipe.

      • chewoutloud

      Yippeeee, Kendall!! So glad you loved this…awesome job! Thanks for coming over and letting us know. Happy new year! 🙂

    • EMMA

    Thank you for the recipes, I find your recipe very interesting.

      • chewoutloud

      You’re so welcome, Emma! Thanks for coming by today and Merry Christmas 🙂

    • kellyrcarver

    Hi! I made this pie for Thanksgiving. Very yummy, but my custard didn’t set on the first attempt either. I had to remake it and just thought I’d mention that I had to let it simmer/bubble for close to 5 minutes before it thickened. You really just have to keep stirring and wait, wait, wait. The thickening happened suddenly, not gradually. That being said, the custard losing some of it’s strength the longer it stays in the fridge. This is a pie best eaten same day. It will still taste good but will lack some of the smooth, thick custardy goodness you’re expecting if eaten next day.

      • chewoutloud

      Hi, Kelly! So glad you guys thought the pie was yummy! 🙂 You’re absolutely right, it takes the full 5 minutes of stirring and simmering to fully thicken. For us, the custard stays thick for days in the fridge, covered, chilled. But, if yours seems to lose thickness as the days go by, you can add more cornstarch to the custard mixture (before the stir/simmer part.) That will definitely ensure a thick set pudding. Thanks for coming over and happy holiday season 🙂

    • emily

    Hi. We’re making this right now. I’m concerned about my glass pie pan going from freezer to heated oven. Doesn’t that cause them to shatter? Thanks!

      • chewoutloud

      Emily, the 30 minutes in freezer shouldn’t affect the pan that much. If you’re worried, though, you can certainly use ceramic or metal pie pan too 🙂 Hope you love this pie as much as we do; thanks for being here today! 🙂

        • emily

        I only have glass. I’ll let you know if it breaks. Thanks!

    • Kathy Donaldson

    I made this last night..Awesome!!

      • chewoutloud

      Yippeeee, Kathy! So great to hear you liked it 🙂

    • Joann

    My custard did not set either. Followed this recipe exactly.

    • Cloudt

    The custard for the Banana cream pie is not the conventional way of doing it. Mixing it without tempering the milk makes it lumpy with bits of yolk I had to strain the mix. Normally I bring the milk to a slow boil and mix the egg yolks and cornflour together in another bowl. I add a little of the hot milk and blend then add to the rest of the milk and put back on heat to thicken.

      • chewoutloud

      Hi, Cloudt! I’m so sorry your yolks and milk got lumpy. That hasn’t happened whenever I’ve made this pie, but I wonder if you continue to whisk vigorously (without stopping) on a super low heat, with milk/yolks completely blended first…just until simmer and thickened…if that would make a difference? (It is not supposed to get to the point of cooking the yolk/milk mixture where it would get lumpy.) Again, I’m sorry it didn’t work this time; I have definitely tried a bunch of ban-cream pie recipes, and this Cooks Illustrated one is the favorite. It sounds like your tempering method works well for you, which is wonderful. Hope you can find something here at COL that works great for you 🙂 Thanks for coming over today! 🙂

        • Cloudt

        And the custard didn’t set so I don’t know what went wrong with this recipe. I followed it exactly except for having to put the liquid through a sifter as previously mentioned 🙁
        I do a coconut cream pie and make a creme anglaise but this just looked so good I thought I’d give it a try. But thanks anyway for sharing I’m sure other people had success with it.

    • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    It does looks pretty amazing. I love how velvety it is. And also the creamy custard. This is surely a flavorful dish with overloaded bananas.

      • chewoutloud

      Thank you for the kind comment, Maureen! 🙂

        • Lyssa

        Made this for my father for his birthday. Banana creme pie is his favorite and this recipe did not disappoint! This was my first time making a pie and it turned out great, no problems at all. Thank you so much! Cannot wait to try more of your recipes 🙂

          • chewoutloud

          Fabulous, Lyssa; way to go! So sweet of you to make this for your dad; happy birthday to him 🙂 Thanks for coming over to let us know you guys like this pie!

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