The most incredible (and easy) Banana Cream Pie recipe with homemade custard filling that holds together perfectly, layered inside a Nilla wafer crust. You’ll never use a box pudding mix again! 

You can browse all of my delicious pie recipes, and be sure to try the Key Lime Pie, Apple Pie, Pecan Pie, or a Lemon Sour Cream Pie.

A slice of homemade Banana Cream Pie on a plate, ready to enjoy.

What I love about this pie:

  • The Filling: To make a truly excellent Banana Cream Pie, the pudding NEEDS to be made from scratch! This recipe if flavorful, holds together, and so velvety smooth.
  • Nilla Wafer Crust really shines in this pie, and reminds me of banana pudding. If you prefer something else, you can use a graham cracker or traditional pie crust.
  • Make Ahead: you can make this beautiful pie 1-2 days in advance, but I recommend reserving the bananas for topping on individual pie slices while serving, rather than inside the pie.

How to make Banana Cream Pie:

Prepare Crust: Add Nilla wafers to a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs (or crush them in a resealable bag, using a rolling pin). Add cookie crumbs to a bowl and stir in melted butter. Press mixture firmly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9” pie plate. Bake crust for 10 minutes, and then allow to cool completely.

Two images showing the ingredients for a homemade graham cracker crust in a mixing bowl, then after it's combined and pressed into a pie dish.

Make Filling: Mix egg yolks and cornstarch in a bowl until smooth. Set aside. Whisk in sugar, salt, and milk in a large, heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until it comes to a simmer.

Two images showing egg yolks and cornstarch in a bowl before and after it's combined.

Temper Eggs: Spoon a big ladleful of simmering milk out of the pot, then very slowly whisk the milk into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly as you pour a slow steady stream, to temper the eggs (warm them up slowly, without scrambling them).

Egg yolks being tempered before adding to a pot of milk to make homemade Banana Cream Pie.

Cook Pudding: Pour the tempered egg mixture into the saucepan, whisking to incorporate. Cook, stirring constantly over medium heat, until the mixture has thickened (thick enough to coat the back of a spoon).

An easy banana pudding in a stainless steel pot.

Strain: Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla extract. Strain pudding through a fine mesh sieve into a storage container. Lay a piece of plastic wrap directly over the pudding to prevent a skin from forming then cool for 30 minutes.

Homemade banana pudding being pressed through a fine mesh strainer before using in a pie.

Layer Pie: Slice bananas into the bottom of the Nilla wafer crust, into an even layer then pour pudding over the top. Cover with plastic wrap again, so a skin doesn’t form, and refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours.

Homemade banana pudding covering up some of the bananas in the bottom of a pie dish with a graham cracker crust.

Whip Cream: Add heavy cream and powdered sugar to a mixing bowl and whip until peaks form. Smooth whipped cream over the top of the old fashioned banana cream pie, or pipe around the edge. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 4-6 hours before serving.

The best Banana Cream Pie recipe, ready to slice and enjoy.

Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:

To Make Ahead: Nilla wafer crust can be made several days in advance, stored at room temperature or in the freezer. Banana Cream Pie can be made 2-3 days ahead, but I recommend adding the bananas while serving the pie, and not placing them inside, so they don’t get brown.

To Freeze: Don’t add bananas, but otherwise make as instructed. Allow the pie to cool completely then wrap in plastic wrap and a layer of aluminum foil and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

More Homemade Pies:

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Recipe

A slice of homemade Banana Cream Pie on a plate, ready to enjoy.
Prep 1 hour 20 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
Refrigeration 4 hours
Total 5 hours 45 minutes
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Ingredients
 
 

Nilla Wafer Crust:*

  • 2 cups Nilla wafers , crushed, (about 60 cookies)
  • cup butter , melted

Filling:

Whipped Cream Topping:

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Add Nilla wafers to a food processor and pulse until crumbs (or crush them in a resealable bag, with a rolling pin). Add cookie crumbs to a bowl and stir in melted butter. Use the back of a measuring cup to press mixture firmly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9'' pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely before adding the custard filling.
  • Banana Pudding: Mix egg yolks and cornstarch in a bowl until smooth. Set aside. To a large saucepan, add sugar, salt and milk to a large, heavy saucepan and whisk to combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until it comes to a simmer.
  • Spoon a big ladleful of simmering milk out of the pot, and very slowly whisk the milk into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly as you pour a slow steady stream, to temper the eggs (warm them up slowly, without scrambling them).
  • Pour the tempered egg mixture into the saucepan, whisking to incorporate. Cook, stirring constantly over medium heat, until the mixture has thickened (thick enough to coat the back of a spoon).
  • Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla extract. Strain pudding through a fine mesh sieve, into a storage container. Lay a piece of plastic wrap directly over the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Allow to cool for 30 minutes.
  • Slice bananas into the bottom of the nilla wafer crust. Pour pudding over the top. Place a small piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding, so a skin doesn’t form. Refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours.
  • Whip Cream: Add heavy cream and powdered sugar to a mixing bowl and whip until peaks form. Smooth whipped cream over the top of the pie.
  • Refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours before serving.

Notes

Crust: You could also use a regular pie crust, or graham cracker crust.
Make Ahead Instructions: Nilla wafer crust can be made several days in advance, stored at room temperature or in the freezer. Banana Cream Pie can be made 2-3 days ahead, but I recommend adding the bananas while serving the pie, and not placing them inside, so they don’t get brown.
Freezing Instructions: Don’t add bananas, but otherwise make as instructed. Allow the pie to cool completely then wrap in plastic wrap and a layer of aluminum foil and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Nutrition

Calories: 325kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 5gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 100mgSodium: 219mgPotassium: 247mgFiber: 1gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 511IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 106mgIron: 0.3mg

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I originally shared this recipe November 2017. Updated November 2019 and November 2023.

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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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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I followed the instructions exactly and this pie was FANTASTIC!! So creamy and delicious! It was a total hit at the party I went to. They couldn’t believe I made the filling from scratch, and I couldn’t believe how easy and quick it was!

  2. 4 stars
    My friends raved about this pie! And we all had seconds! I thought it was good, but very much dominated by the pudding, which was sweet. I wish I had put in more bananas as they got lost in the pudding. I agree with the others about the pudding. I’ve made similar pudding pies and it definitely needed higher heat and more than 5 minutes to reach the initial gentle boil. I also cooked it a bit longer on medium until it started getting even thicker. Watching the video helped to know what consistency was appropriate for the pudding.

    I’ll give it four stars because I can’t give it 3.5. I think it’s a great tasting pie, but from my experience and the comments, the pudding instructions if followed blindly won’t work. If you have experience making puddings, you can adjust as necessary.

  3. I’ve made many banana cream pies over the years and this one was by far the worst end result! I’m not blaming the recipe but for the life of me I don’t know what I did wrong.

    When I went to serve it to our dinner guests, the custard went VERY soft and flowed everywhere. It was firm and set when I put it in the thoroughly cooled pie crust… we all laughed about it and named it banana cream crumble. Any ideas what could have gone wrong?!

  4. I was wondering when I make thus pie instead of the slices of bananas in between layers of custard. Could I not just add mashed up bananas to the custard for a more flavourful tasting pie.

    1. You can…I’m not sure texture sounds appealing…but it would work fine. If you’re looking for a boost of banana flavor you could add banana imitation extract.

  5. 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!

  6. 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

  7. 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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