easy banana cream pie

Easy Banana Cream Pie

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Banana cream pie is a classic dessert that has graced American tables for generations. Its creamy texture, combined with the sweet flavor of bananas and a buttery crust, creates a symphony of taste that’s hard to resist. While traditional recipes may call for a homemade custard filling, there’s an easier way to achieve this delightful treat without compromising on taste: using pudding mix.

The use of pudding mix in a banana cream pie is not just a shortcut; it’s a smart and efficient alternative for those who are short on time or may not be as confident in their culinary skills. Pudding mix provides a consistent, foolproof base for the pie filling, ensuring a perfect set and a smooth, velvety texture every time. This approach allows even novice bakers to produce a dessert that tastes as if it came straight from a professional kitchen.

One of the most appealing aspects of using pudding mix is the variety of flavors available. While vanilla is a traditional choice, offering a neutral canvas that complements the bananas beautifully, there are other options such as banana-flavored pudding that can intensify the fruitiness of the pie. French vanilla and even cheesecake-flavored mixes can add a sophisticated twist to the dessert, making it versatile and adaptable to different palates.

The simplicity of the process is another reason why many opt for pudding mix. The preparation typically involves whisking the mix with milk, which then sets into a rich, creamy filling. This eliminates the need for constant stirring over a hot stove, precise temperature control, and the potential for a curdled custard. It’s a stress-free method that yields delicious results, making it ideal for busy individuals or impromptu gatherings where time is of the essence.

Moreover, the convenience of using a premade graham cracker crust cannot be overstated. It serves as a sturdy and flavorful base for the pie, saving the additional steps of making and baking a crust from scratch. The crumbly texture of the graham crackers pairs wonderfully with the smoothness of the pudding and the freshness of the bananas, creating a delightful contrast in each bite.

When it comes to assembling the pie, layering is key. Slices of ripe bananas are placed directly onto the crust before the pudding mixture is poured over them. This ensures that every slice of pie will have a generous amount of fruit. Once the pie is assembled, it’s chilled until the filling is set, which usually takes a few hours. During this time, the flavors meld together, and the bananas infuse the pudding with their natural sweetness.

Topping the pie is the final touch that elevates it from simple to sublime. Whipped cream is the traditional choice, providing a light and airy crown to the dessert. It adds a cool, creamy contrast to the dense filling and can be sweetened and flavored to preference. For a more decorative touch, additional banana slices, a sprinkle of cinnamon, or even chocolate shavings can be added to the whipped cream topping, making the pie as visually appealing as it is tasty.

Serving a banana cream pie made with pudding mix is all about timing. Ideally, the pie should be served within a day of making it, as the bananas will be at their peak of flavor and texture. If left too long, they may begin to brown and soften excessively, which could affect the overall quality of the dessert. However, when served fresh, it’s a showstopper that’s sure to impress.

In terms of customization, there’s plenty of room for creativity. Some might add a layer of caramel or dulce de leche between the bananas and pudding for a decadent twist. Others might incorporate a sprinkle of nuts for added crunch or a dash of rum for a boozy note. The beauty of this dessert lies in its flexibility, allowing each baker to put their unique spin on the classic.

In conclusion, making a banana cream pie with pudding mix is a testament to the ingenuity of modern cooking. It offers a hassle-free route to a beloved dessert, cutting down on preparation time without sacrificing flavor or presentation. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or someone looking to whip up a quick and satisfying sweet, this method is sure to yield a pie that’s both comforting and indulgent. It’s a reminder that sometimes, taking a shortcut can lead to a destination that’s just as delightful as the traditional path.

easy banana cream pie

Easy Banana Cream Pie

Make a delicious banana cream pie effortlessly by combining a pre-made crust, sliced bananas, and instant pudding mix topped with whipped cream.
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Prep Time 13 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chilling Time 4 hours
Course Dessert
Servings 8


  • 1 9″ pie crust baked and cooled
  • 2 bananas plus extra for decorating
  • 2 cups cold whole milk
  • 2 packages instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 3.5 oz each
  • 2 cups frozen whipped topping thawed
  • and divided


  • If making a pastry crust, preheat the oven to 425°F. Roll the pie crust into a 12-inch circle. Line a (9″) pie plate with the pastry and fold the edges under. Crimp as desired. Poke the bottom of the crust with a fork.
  • Cut an 11-inch circle of parchment paper and gently place in the pie crust and fill it with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for crust 15 minutes, remove the parchment and beans/weights and then bake for an additional 12 to 15 minutes or until golden.
  • Cool completely.
  • For the Filling: Slice the bananas and arrange over cooled pie crust.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the vanilla pudding mix and cold milk until smooth. Let rest for 3 minutes to thicken. Fold in 1 cup of whipped topping.
  • Spread the pudding mixture over the bananas. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Top with remaining whipped topping and decorate with banana slices and caramel or chocolate shavings if desired.
  • For a No Bake Graham Crust, combine 6 tablespoons melted butter, 1 ½ cups graham crumbs, and ¼ cup granulated sugar. Press into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate.
  • Chill for at least 15 minutes before filling
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