Banana Cream Pie | This Old Baker

Banana Cream Pie

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Banana cream pie is a beloved dessert that has graced countless tables, and its combination of rich, velvety custard with the fresh, sweet taste of bananas, all nestled in a flaky crust, is a surefire delight. While the recipe itself is straightforward, the secret to crafting the perfect banana cream pie lies in the subtleties of its preparation and assembly. Here, we’ll explore the art behind making this classic dessert without delving into the specifics of a recipe.

Selecting Your Ingredients

The key to an exceptional banana cream pie starts with the selection of prime ingredients. Bananas should be ripe but not overly mushy—look for bright yellow skins with tiny brown speckles. This indicates they are at their peak of sweetness. For the cream, consider using full-fat options which provide a richer taste and creamier texture. The quality of the vanilla extract will also shine through, so opt for pure rather than imitation vanilla.

Perfecting the Crust

The foundation of any good pie is the crust. Whether you choose a classic buttery pastry or a crunchy graham cracker base, ensure it’s well-baked to provide the structural integrity needed to support the filling. Aim for a golden-brown finish; a crisp crust offers a delightful textural contrast to the soft filling.

Creating a Silky Custard Filling

The custard, a pivotal element of the pie, must be smooth and thick. It involves a delicate process of tempering eggs and carefully heating your mixture to avoid curdling. Consistency is achieved by stirring constantly and gently cooking until the custard coats the back of a spoon. A well-made custard is the hallmark of a great banana cream pie, offering a luxurious mouthfeel and depth of flavor.

Assembling with Care

Once you have your components ready, assembly becomes an act of balance and beauty. Start by layering slices of banana onto the cooled crust, followed by a generous pour of your velvety custard. Repeat the layers if you desire extra indulgence. Allow the pie to chill sufficiently so that the flavors meld together harmoniously.

The Final Touches

For a truly decadent experience, top your banana cream pie with freshly whipped cream. Sweetened just right, it should be light and airy—a cloud-like complement to the dense and creamy layers below. Garnish with additional banana slices or even a sprinkle of chocolate shavings for a visually appealing and flavor-enhanced finish.

Serving Your Masterpiece

To serve, slice the chilled pie with a clean, sharp knife, ensuring each piece holds its shape. The first cut is the deepest, as the saying goes, so take care to make it count. An ideally assembled banana cream pie will hold its layers impeccably, providing a symphony of textures and flavors in every bite.


As with any culinary endeavor, making a banana cream pie is about the journey as well as the destination. Each step, from selecting ingredients to the final garnish, allows for personal touches and creativity. So go forth, experiment with these tips and techniques, and enjoy the ultimate reward—a slice of homemade banana cream pie that’s sure to impress.

Banana Cream Pie | This Old Baker

Banana Cream Pie

Banana Cream Pie is an old-fashioned dessert made with vanilla pudding, sliced bananas, & mounds of whipped cream in a flaky crust!
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Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes
Chilling Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 1 unbaked pie crust what I used or all butter pie crust*
  • optional egg wash: 1 large egg white beaten with 1 Tablespoon milk
  • Custard Filling
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup 30g cornstarch
  • 2 cups 480ml whole milk
  • 1/2 cup 120ml heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup 100g granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons 28g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 yellow bananas not super ripe yet
  • optional: sprinkle of ground cinnamon
  • Whipped Cream
  • 1 cup 240ml cold heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons 15g confectioners’ or granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • At least 2 hours ahead, make the pie dough: Make the pie crust through step 5 according to my directions and video tutorial in my pie crust recipe. Make pie dough in advance because it needs to chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before rolling out (step 2). The recipe makes 2 crusts, and you only need 1 for this pie, so save the other for another pie.
  • Roll out the chilled pie dough: On a floured work surface, roll out one of the discs of chilled dough. Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9-inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is completely smooth. To make a lovely thick edge, I do not trim excess dough around the edges. Instead, fold the excess dough back over the edge and use your hands to mold the edge into a rim around the pie. Crimp the edges with a fork or use your fingers to flute the edges. (Review this how to crimp and flute pie crust page if you need extra help with this step.) If dough is too warm, fluting/crimping will be difficult, so you can always chill it in the refrigerator for 5–10 minutes first. After fluting/crimping the edges, chill the pie dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 5 days. Cover the pie crust with plastic wrap if chilling for longer than 30 minutes. Chilling the shaped dough helps prevent the crust from shrinking.
  • While the crust is chilling, preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Blind bake the crust: Line the chilled pie crust with parchment paper. (Crunch up the parchment paper first so that you can easily shape it into the crust.) Fill with pie weights or dried beans. (Note that you will need at least 2 standard sets of pie weights to fit.) I like to push the weights up against the sides of the pie crust to help ensure the sides don’t shrink down. Bake until the edges of the crust are starting to brown, about 15–16 minutes. Remove pie from the oven and carefully lift the parchment paper (with the weights) out of the pie. Prick holes all over the bottom crust with a fork. If desired for a shiny golden crust, brush egg wash on edges. Return pie crust to the oven and bake for 14–15 minutes, or until bottom has browned. Remove from the oven, and cool on a wire rack completely before filling. You can blind bake the crust up to 3 days ahead of time. Cover cooled crust tightly and refrigerate until ready to fill. (Review this how to par-bake pie crust page if you need extra help with this blind-baking step.)
  • Make the custard filling: Whisk the egg yolks and cornstarch together. (A fork works nicely for this, or a small whisk.) Set aside. Combine the milk, heavy cream, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until all the sugar has dissolved, then bring to a gentle simmer, whisking occasionally. Once simmering, remove about 1/2 cup (120ml) of the milk mixture and, in a slow and steady stream, whisk into the egg yolk and cornstarch mixture. Keep those egg yolks moving so they don’t scramble. In a slow and steady stream, pour and whisk the egg yolk mixture into the pot. The pudding will immediately begin to bubble and thicken. Stand back and use caution as the bubbles may burst. Cook for 1 full minute, whisking constantly.
  • Remove the pan from heat and whisk in the vanilla and butter. You will have about 3 cups of filling. If you notice a lot of little chunks of egg yolk, they may not have been tempered properly. To fix, you can run the warm custard through a fine mesh sieve.
  • Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the warm pudding to prevent a skin from forming on top. Allow to cool for 15 minutes. I do not recommend any longer than this, as it will be too thick to spread neatly into the crust.
  • Slice 2–3 bananas and arrange slices into the cooled pie shell. Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired. Spread custard on top (it’s ok if it is still slightly warm). An offset spatula is helpful for spreading. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the custard; again, to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.
  • When ready to serve, or up to 1 hour before serving, make the whipped cream: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract on medium-high speed until medium peaks form, about 3–4 minutes. Medium peaks are between soft/loose peaks and stiff peaks and are the perfect consistency for topping and piping on desserts.
  • Pipe or spread the whipped cream on top. (I use Wilton 1M tip.) Slice remaining banana and garnish with banana slices and serve pie immediately, or refrigerate for up to 1 hour and then garnish with banana slices and serve. (Best to garnish with banana slices immediately before serving, but whipped cream can go on the pie up to 1 hour in advance.)
  • Slice and serve. Cover leftovers and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
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