There’s nothing like classic Banana Cream Pie, especially when it’s easier to make!  This recipe includes a buttery graham cracker crust, luscious vanilla pastry cream and plenty of bananas.  Top with homemade whipped cream for an impressive dessert that may be made entirely in advance!

Banana cream pie with serving on a plate nearby

** This recipe was originally published in January 2015. I’ve simplified the recipe by eliminating a component and updated the photos.

When it comes to dessert, pies are the way to my family’s heart. They’re always chosen for family gatherings, holidays and even birthdays.

I enjoy making pies with traditional pie crust like strawberry rhubarb and pumpkin, but sometimes I want something simpler.

That’s where graham cracker crust comes in. It comes together in under 10 minutes, and it’s perfect in recipes like key lime pie and this Banana Cream Pie.

The simple things are often the best. ๐Ÿ™‚

Banana cream pie with a linen alongside

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • This banana cream pie has a buttery graham cracker crust, luscious vanilla pastry cream filling and plenty of bananas!
  • This is a crowd pleasing dessert that’s perfect for any occasion.
  • There are a couple of components to this recipe, but they may all be done in advance.
  • The crust may be made gluten free, and the pastry cream may be made dairy free according to instructions in the ingredient notes below.

Recipe ingredients

The great part about this banana cream pie recipe is that it doesn’t take a lot of fancy ingredients. They’re all easy to find, and you probably have most of them on hand already.

Banana cream pie with graham cracker crust ingredients

Ingredient notes

  • Bananas. Be sure to use bananas that are ripe but firm. Brown, spotted overripe bananas will be too soft and mushy, which would affect the texture and color of the filling.
  • Milk. I recommend using whole milk for richness. If you are following a dairy free diet, coconut milk would be a great alternative.
  • Butter. For a dairy free option, try substituting the butter with vegan butter.
  • Graham cracker crumbs. Make a gluten free graham cracker crust by using gluten free graham crackers. Simply process them in a food processor until finely ground.
  • Whipped cream. I did not include the whipped cream ingredients in this recipe as they’re included in a separate post. See my recipe for Homemade Whipped Cream for more information.

How to make this pie

This banana cream pie with graham cracker crust is very easy to make by pie standards. Unlike my pumpkin pecan pie, there is dough to roll out — the ingredients are simply mixed together and pressed into the pie plate.

The filling is pastry cream, which requires having all of your ingredients at the ready as the recipe comes together quickly.

The pastry cream must be tackled first as it requires chilling for a minimum of two hours. Pro tip: make the pastry cream 1-2 days in advance.

Collage of pastry cream prep and whisked egg yolk and sugar mixture
Hot milk added to egg yolk mixture and finished pastry cream in pot
Straining pastry cream through sieve and chilling in bowl over ice bath
How to make a graham cracker pie crust collage
Pressing graham cracker crust into pan and baked crust collage
Add bananas to pastry cream and decorated banana cream pie collage
  1. Fill a large bowl with ice, and add enough water to fill the bowl halfway. Place a medium bowl in it with a fine mesh strainer nearby along with a piece of buttered wax paper. Set aside.
  2. Place the sugar and egg yolks in a medium bowl and whisk until well incorporated. Add the cornstarch and and whisk vigorously until smooth.
  3. Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium low heat until just before it begins to boil (it will be smoking). When the milk is hot enough, add 1/3 of it to the egg mixture in a slow steady stream while whisking constantly to temper the eggs. Once 1/3 has been added, add the rest while whisking constantly until combined.
  4. Place the mixture back in the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly to prevent lumps, until the mixture begins to boil. Continue to cook for another minute until very thick. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla and softened butter.
  5. Strain the pastry cream through the sieve into the bowl over the ice bath using a rubber scraper to gently press it through as needed.
  6. Cover the pastry cream with the buttered wax paper to prevent a skin from forming and allow to cool at room temperature. Once cooled, place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours and up to 2 days in advance.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a pie pan with butter or cooking spray and set aside. Melt the butter in a medium bowl for one minute or until melted.
  8. Add the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and pinch of salt, and stir well until the crumbs are coated with the butter.
  9. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie pan and press an even layer from the middle out to the corners and up the sides. This can be done easily with the bottom of a measuring cup.
  10. Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool slightly on a wire rack.
  11. Gently toss sliced bananas into the chilled pastry cream until completely coated, reserving some for the top if desired. Pour into the pie crust and spread evenly. From here, chill for about 30 minutes.
  12. Pipe the whipped cream decoratively around the edges and in the center (I used a 1M tip), or simply spread it over the top. Garnish with sliced banana just before serving, if desired. Enjoy!
Banana cream pie in pan with whipped cream and bananas on top

FAQs

What is pastry cream made of?

Pastry cream includes eggs, sugar, milk, butter and a thickener such as cornstarch or flour. For a dairy free option, substitute the milk with coconut milk.

How long can you keep pastry cream in the fridge?

Pastry cream will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator, so it’s a great make ahead recipe.

What can I substitute for graham cracker crust?

The graham crackers may be substituted with ground Nilla wafers, gingersnap cookies, and gluten free graham crackers.

Why does my graham cracker crust crumble?

A graham cracker crust will be crumbly if it is not moist enough. If it’s well coated with melted butter, it will hold together when you pinch it together with your fingers.

How do you keep bananas from turning brown in banana cream pie?

Use ripe but firm bananas for your banana cream pie, and make sure that they’re completely covered by the pastry cream filling for best results. Even then, the bananas will brown after a day or so, so be sure to assemble the pie the day that you plan to serve it. Although the bananas will brown after a day, the pie is still safe to eat within 3 days.

How long does banana cream pie last?

Banana cream pie is best enjoyed within 3 days.

Recipe notes

  • Pro tip:ย  Make the pastry cream and whipped cream up to 1-2 days in advance.ย  The whipped cream will separate, so just whisk a bit before serving the pie!
  • If you’d like to decorate the pie in advance, be sure to use this Stabilized Whipped Cream recipe by Spruce Eats to ensure that the whipped cream holds its shape.
  • Store leftover banana cream pie in the refrigerator and enjoy within 3 days.
  • Nutrition information does not include the whipped cream as it is included in a separate post.
Slice of banana cream pie on a white plate

More banana recipes you’ll love:

If you make this recipe I’d love to hear from you!  Leave a comment and rating below, or tag me @flavorthemoments on Instagram!

Banana cream pie with serving on a plate nearby

Banana Cream Pie

Banana Cream Pie is an easy graham cracker crust filled with luscious vanilla pastry cream, plenty of bananas and topped with homemade whipped cream. It's a crowd pleasing dessert that may be made entirely in advance!
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole milk for dairy free option, use canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened (use vegan butter for dairy free)

For the crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs substitute with ground gluten free graham crackers for a gluten free crust
  • 1 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted

Assembling the pie:

  • 3 large bananas ripe but firm, sliced into 1/4" rounds (save half a banana to decorate the top if desired)
  • Homemade whipped cream

Instructions 

  • Fill a large bowl with ice, and add enough water to fill the bowl halfway. Place a medium bowl in it with a fine mesh strainer nearby along with a piece of buttered wax paper. Set aside.
  • Place the sugar and egg yolks in a medium bowl and whisk until well incorporated. Add the cornstarch and and whisk vigorously until smooth.
    Collage of pastry cream prep and whisked egg yolk and sugar mixture
  • Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium low heat until just before it begins to boil (it will be smoking). When the milk is hot enough, add 1/3 of it to the egg mixture in a slow steady stream while whisking constantly to temper the eggs. Once 1/3 has been added, add the rest while whisking constantly until combined.
  • Place the mixture back in the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly to prevent lumps, until the mixture begins to boil. Continue to cook for another minute until very thick, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla and softened butter.
    Hot milk added to egg yolk mixture and finished pastry cream in pot
  • Strain the pastry cream through the sieve into the bowl over the ice bath using a rubber scraper to gently press it through as needed.
  • Cover the pastry cream with the buttered wax paper to prevent a skin from forming and allow to cool at room temperature. Once cooled, place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours and up to 2 days in advance.
    Straining pastry cream through sieve and chilling in bowl over ice bath
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a pie pan with butter or cooking spray and set aside. Melt the butter in a medium bowl for one minute or until melted.
  • Add the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and pinch of salt, and stir well until the crumbs are coated with the butter.
    How to make a graham cracker pie crust collage
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared pie pan and press an even layer from the middle out to the corners and up the sides. This can be done easily with the bottom of a measuring cup.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool slightly on a wire rack.
    Pressing graham cracker crust into pan and baked crust collage
  • Gently toss sliced bananas into the chilled pastry cream until completely coated, reserving some for the top if desired. Pour into the pie crust and spread evenly. From here, chill for about 30 minutes.
  • Pipe the whipped cream decoratively around the edges and in the center (I used a 1M tip), or simply spread it over the top. Garnish with sliced banana just before serving, if desired. Enjoy!
    Add bananas to pastry cream and decorated banana cream pie collage

Notes

  • Pro tip:ย  Make the pastry cream up and whipped cream up to a few days in advance.ย  The whipped cream will separate, so just whisk a bit before serving the pie!
  • If you’d like to decorate the pie in advance, be sure to use this Stabilized Whipped Cream recipe by Spruce Eats to ensure that the whipped cream holds its shape.
  • Store leftover banana cream pie in the refrigerator and enjoy within 3 days.
  • Nutrition information does not include the whipped cream as it is included in a separate post.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice, Calories: 347kcal, Carbohydrates: 45g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 128mg, Sodium: 209mg, Potassium: 302mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 27g, Vitamin A: 601IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 96mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Tried this recipe?Mention @flavorthemoments or tag #flavorthemoments!

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