This delicious Banana Cream Pie includes a homemade custard filling that holds together perfectly, layered inside a nilla wafer crust. You’ll never use a box pudding mix again! 

If you’ve been hanging around TBFS for awhile, you know that I have dozens of Homemade Pie recipes.  Don’t ask me to choose my favorite; it’s impossible!  But I will tell you that right now I’m craving all the cream pies: Lemon Sour Cream, Chocolate Cream Pie, and Coconut Cream Pie!

A slice of Banana Cream Pie with nilla wafer crust on a white plate with a fork, a napkin and banana in the background.

This banana cream pie recipe has been a long time coming. Over the years, I’ve tried so many recipes for it, trying to adapt them to my liking, but do you know what drives me nuts? When the pudding/custard part of the pie falls apart as you serve it. The pie looks beautiful, until you start cutting and serving it, and you end up with a sloppy mess. My mom tried this recipe from A Bountiful Kitchen and it’s a winner, (especially with a Nilla wafer crust)!

What I Love About this Banana Cream Pie:

  • The filling: The key to perfect banana cream filling is in the consistency.  If you cook it right, it will thicken to where the banana cream pie holds together well enough to serve it, but the custard is still creamy and soft. Be sure that the filling has thickened in the pan (before tempering it with the egg mixture) and definitely before pouring it into your crust.
  • The crust:  This banana cream pie can be made with a variety of different crusts.  I make it with a wafer crust (essentially crushed vanilla wafers mixed with melted butter) but you could also make it with homemade Graham cracker crust or a pre-baked traditional pie crust.  Whichever crust you choose, I’m begging you to make it from scratch because it will taste so much better!
  • Make ahead of time.  If you’re looking to make this pie ahead of time, it’s easy to do.  Just wait to add the bananas to the top before serving (instead of in the center of the pie).

Banana Cream Pie in a clear pie dish with a dish towel and nilla wafers in the background

How to make Banana Cream Pie:

1. Make the crust.  Crush wafers in a food processor, mix with melted butter, and press into pan.

2. Make the filling. The custard filling is made on the stovetop with milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt, eggs, butter, and vanilla. NOTE: Be sure that the filling has thickened in the pan (before tempering it with the egg mixture) and definitely before pouring it into your crust.

3. Fill half with custard. After you make and cool the custard, layer half of it inside the pie crust, and top it with a layer of sliced bananas.

4. Add sliced bananas.  You can also add bananas to the top of the pie when serving, instead (especially if your making in advance).

An empty nilla wafer crust, and a nilla wafer crust with a layer of banana cream custard and fresh sliced bananas

5. Add the rest of the custard. Smooth the rest of the custard over the sliced bananas. Top the pie with some sweetened, freshly whipped cream. Heaven!

Side by side overhead photos of a banana cream pie without the whipped cream, and then topped with whipped cream and more bananas, with nilla wafers in the background

6. Refrigerate. Make sure to give the pie several hours in the fridge. This is crucial in making sure it sets up properly, and doesn’t get sloppy on you when you cut into it. To store: Cover the pie in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Banana Cream Pie slice on a white plate with fresh banana slices on top of whipped cream.

Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:

To make ahead: This is a great pie to make in advance. You can prepare the nilla wafer crust several days in advance. Then you can finish making the pie and store it in your fridge for 2-3 days before serving.

If you do plan to make this pie a few days in advance, I would suggest NOT adding bananas to the middle of the pie. Instead, add all of the custard to the pie, and refrigerate it. When ready to serve, serve each pie slice with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh bananas sliced on top. This way you don’t have to worry about the bananas getting mushy or brown.

To freeze: Allow the pie to cool complete.  Wrap it in plastic wrap and a layer of aluminum foil and freeze for up to 2 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and serve cold.

CONSIDER TRYING THESE HOMEMADE PIES:

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Recipe

Banana Cream Pie slice on a white plate with fresh banana slices on top of whipped cream.
Prep 1 hr 20 mins
Cook 25 mins
Refrigeration 4 hrs
Total 5 hrs 45 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Ingredients
 
 

For the Nilla wafers crust:

  • 60 Nilla wafers
  • cup butter , melted

For the custard filling:

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 Tablespoons butter , cut into pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 firm bananas , sliced and tossed gently in a little lemon juice

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar

Instructions
 

Prepare the crust*.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9’’ or 10’’ pie plate with cooking spray.
  • Add Nilla wafers to a food processor and pulse until crumbs. (If you don’t have a food processor you can crush them in a ziplock bag, with a rolling pin.)
  • Add cookie crumbs to a bowl and stir in melted butter.
  • Press mixture firmly into the pie plate and up the sides.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before adding the custard filling.

For the filling:

  • Whisk eggs and yolk together in a bowl. Set aside.
  • Add sugar, salt and cornstarch to a large, heavy saucepan and whisk to combine. Add cold milk and stir well.
  • Turn heat on to medium-high and cook, whisking constantly (so that the sugar and milk don’t burn), for 5 minutes.
  • Continue stirring until mixtures comes to a gentle boil. Maintain this gentle boil over medium heat, cooking for 5-7 minutes, until thickened.
  • Add a large spoonful of the hot mixture into the bowl with the eggs, and stir constantly as you add it. This is called “tempering” the eggs. You add the hot mixture a little at a time to the eggs to slowly warm them, without “scrambling” them.
  • Repeat, with several more spoonfuls of hot custard, stirred into the eggs.
  • Add the tempered egg mixture to the saucepan, stirring constantly, until incorporated.
  • Cook, stirring, over medium heat for a few more minutes, until the mixture has thickened.
  • Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla extract.
  • Pour custard into a bowl and lay a piece of plastic wrap onto the top of the custard to prevent a thick film from forming on it as it cools.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • After the custard has cooled, spoon half of it into the cooled pie crust. Add a layer of thinly sliced bananas*. Add remaining custard and smooth into an even layer.
  • Add heavy cream to a mixing bowl and whip until peaks form, then beat in powdered sugar.
  • Smooth whipped cream over the top of the pie,
  • Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 4-6 hours before serving.

Notes

Storing Instructions:  Cover the pie in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 
Make Ahead Instructions: Prepare the Nilla wafer crust several days in advance. The finished pie can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days before serving. If you do plan to make the pie in advance, I would suggest NOT adding bananas to the middle of the pie. Instead, add all of the custard to the pie, and refrigerate it. When ready to serve, serve each pie slice with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh bananas slices. This way you don't have to worry about the bananas getting mushy or brown.
Freezing Instructions: Allow the pie to cool complete.  Wrap it in plastic wrap and a layer of tinfoil and freeze for up to 2 months.  Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Serve cold.

Nutrition

Calories: 467kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 5gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 115mgSodium: 289mgPotassium: 139mgSugar: 35gVitamin A: 850IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 97mgIron: 0.2mg

Did You Make This Recipe?

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Recipe adapted from A Bountiful Kitchen.

Have you tried this recipe?! 

RATE this recipe and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

I originally shared this recipe November 2017. Updated with improved instructions November 2019.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. This recipe FAILED me BIG TIME !! I always like to read any reviews and/or tips from others who try new recipes and go from there. Trying this particular recipe twice proved to be a disaster. After two days in the frig., it never did set up. One another day when I don’t promise a fabulous Banana Pie to ANYONE which might make me look like a fool, I may try this one more time.

    1. I’m so sorry it didn’t work out for you. One piece of advice if you do try again is that the filling really should thicken in step 8 before you ever remove it from the heat and stir in the butter! If you get to that point and cook it and it just won’t thicken, you should add a little cornstarch slurry or an extra egg yolk (tempering it) to the filling. Once it thickens follow the remaining steps and add to your pie shell. I hope that helps!

  2. 1/4 cup of cornstarch is nowhere near enough, I use about half a cup and it turns out much better I also use a 2-2 eggs and egg yolks

  3. To everyone who is having consistency issues, or pudding running after: It is because there is a starch dissolving enzyme in egg yolks, and if you do not hold the pudding at a boil it allows the egg yolks enzyme to dissolve the starch away thus losing the thick custard-like texture.

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