This Old Fashioned Banana Cream Pie is made with a Nilla wafer pie crust, topped with slices of fresh bananas, filled with a smooth, creamy, and dreamy banana cream pie custard filling and then topped with fresh whipped cream and decorated with banana slices! It’s the perfect homemade banana cream pie recipe with incredible texture and flavor.   

When I made my Banana Cream Pie Cookies, I knew I needed to share a banana cream pie recipe soon! Except I really wanted to do an old fashioned banana pie which is custard based. I love how it turned out! If you’re looking for a recipe that uses instant pudding, check out my Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding recipe. 

An Old Fashioned Banana Cream Pie in a white pie plate on a blue striped napkin.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Custard banana cream pie. The banana cream pie filling recipe is made with eggs and extra egg yolks to create a delicious smooth and creamy custard pie filling!
  • Made with real bananas. This banana cream pie with real bananas is so delicious! The fresh bananas on the bottom and on top for decoration add the perfect fresh fruit element. 
  • No pudding. Let me tell you, you can tell a difference with banana cream pie without pudding. There is no instant pudding mix in this old fashioned banana cream pie recipe! All freshly homemade custard! 

Ingredient Notes

Banana cream pie toppings on a white background: heavy cream, bananas, vanilla, greek yogurt, and powdered sugar.
  • Nilla Wafers: You’ll need an 11 oz box of Nilla wafers for the Nilla wafer pie crust. This will yield just shy of 3 cups crushed crumbs.
  • Unsalted Butter: The unsalted butter will be used to make the Nilla wafer crust and some will be used in the banana cream pie filling. 
  • Cornstarch: The cornstarch will help to thicken the banana cream custard pie filling. 
  • Kosher Salt: Kosher salt is coarser than table salt, so the measurements will differ. If a recipe calls for Kosher salt, use 1/4 teaspoon less of table salt per teaspoon of salt. If a recipe calls for table salt, use 1/4 teaspoon more of Kosher salt per teaspoon. 
  • Large Eggs + Egg Yolks: Custard is made with eggs and eggs yolks to provide a creamy, thick and smooth texture. The eggs are tempered (slowly cooked) so no worries about raw eggs! 
  • Whole Milk: Whole milk has a higher fat content, so it will help thicken the banana cream pie filling more than 2% or 1% milk.
  • Heavy Cream: In addition to the whole milk, we’ll use heavy cream (aka heavy whipping cream) to really help develop that creamy flavor and texture in the banana cream pie custard filling. 
  • Bananas: Banana cream pie has a layer of fresh banana slices underneath the pie filling as then topped on top for decoration! The fresh bananas are the perfect element to this custard pie.
  • Plain Greek Yogurt: Adding a little bit of Plain Greek Yogurt to the whipped cream topping will give a bit more body to the whipped cream and provide the perfect depth of flavor. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Make the Nilla wafer crust. Place the Nilla wafers in a food processor and process until fine crumbs. Add the crumbs, 9 T melted butter and a pinch of salt to a bowl. Mix to combine. The texture should resemble wet sand. Press into a 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 350°F for 8-9 minutes. Remove and let cool completely before adding the filling. 
Three photos showing the making of a Nilla wafer banana cream pie pie crust.
  1. Make the banana cream pie custard. In a medium saucepan (not over heat yet), add the 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 1/3 cup cornstarch and 3/4 tsp kosher salt (see Ingredient Notes for how to sub for table salt). Whisk to combine. Add 2 eggs, one at a time. Then add 2 egg yolks. Whisk until smooth. 
A black pot with ingredients used to make a Banana Cream Pie recipe.
  1. Add the cream and milk. While whisking constantly, pour int the 2 cups whole milk and 1/3 cup heavy cream. Place the pan over medium heat and bring to a low simmer, always whisking. Simmer for 1 minute (always whisking). Remove right after the minute is up and add 2 T butter and 2 tsp vanilla extract. Let cool for 5 minutes.
Six photos showing the process of how to make a banana cream pie, all photos are of a black pot on a white background with cream, and butter being added throughout.
  1. Assemble the banana cream pie. Slice 2.5 bananas in circle slices. And layer on the bottom of the Nilla wafer pie crust. Pour the custard through a fine mesh sieve over top the layer of bananas. Spread into an even layer. Take a piece of plastic wrap and press it directly against the custard surface (this will prevent any filmy texture to form) and place the pie dish in the fridge to chill for 2 hours. 
  2. Beat the cream. Add 1 cup heavy cream, 1 T Plain Greek Yogurt, 3 T powdered sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract in a bowl. Beat until stiff peaks. Remove the plastic from the pie and dollop the whipped cream over the chilled banana cream pie custard and slice bananas to decorate. Enjoy! 
A pie crust with sliced bananas in it, then two photos beneath it (left photo) has banana cream pie custard in the crust, and the right photo is the pie topped with whipped cream and banana slices.

Recipe Tips

Don’t simmer the custard for longer than 1 minute. Once you see the bubbles, start the time. The mixture thickens as it simmers. 

Be to make sure not to overcook the custard otherwise it’ll be really stiff once it has cooled and set in the fridge. 

Pouring the banana custard mixture through the fine mesh sieve ensures a very smooth texture.

I used a piping bag with a fancy piping tip to decorate with the whipped cream. You can do this for a fancier look if you’d like. Or you can just spread the whipped cream on top and then decorate with the banana slices. 

If you’d prefer, you can also make this easy banana cream pie recipe with my All Butter Flaky Pie Crust, with my  Biscoff Pie Crust for a hint of spices or with my Graham Cracker Crust.

If you don’t have a food processor for the vanilla wafers, add them to a plastic bag and using a rolling pin to crush the cookies. 

Feel free to sprinkle a touch of cinnamon on top of this best banana cream pie if desired! 

Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing

You can definitely make this classic banana cream pie ahead of time! It needs to chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. But you can chill it longer if needed (up to 2 days prior to serving). Just don’t add the whipped cream and sliced bananas on top until just before serving. 

Store this banana custard pie in the fridge for 3-4 days for best results. Will keep for up to 5 days. 

To freeze, wrap the pie in plastic wrap (without the whipped cream on top) and freeze for up to 2 months. Remove and let thaw in the fridge overnight. 

A banana cream pie in a white pie plate with a slice removed from the pie showing the sliced bananas underneath the custard.

Recipe FAQs

How long does it take for banana cream pie to set?

You should chill the pie for a minimum of 2 hours for the pie to set. You can chill it for longer if you’d like or if needed. 

Is banana cream pie baked?

No. The crust is baked and although the filling is cooked, it’s a chilled pie. The entire pie isn’t baked (the filling isn’t baked either). 

Why is my banana cream pie filling lumpy?

It could be that you let the mixture sit too long on the stove. Another factor could be that you didn’t add the eggs 1 at a time or that you didn’t continually whisk the mixture while adding the cream. Putting the mixture through the fine mesh sieve can also reduce the lumpiness. 

How to keep bananas fresh in banana cream pie?

So the bananas on the bottom of the pie will be just fine! If you’re worried about the bananas on top, then you can slice a lemon and rub it over each side of each slice of banana. Or you can cut the bananas and add them to the top of the pie just prior to serving. 

Whipped cream topped homemade banana cream pie slice on a white plate.

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An old fashioned banana cream pie with homemade custard, topped with banana slices and whipped cream, on a linen striped napkin.
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Old Fashioned Banana Cream Pie

This delicious Banana Cream Pie is made with a Nilla wafer pie crust, then piled with fresh banana slices, and a homemade vanilla custard. We love this pie and know you will too! It's the perfect addition to your dessert table.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients
 

Crust

  • 11 oz box Nilla wafers - finely crust (will yield just shy of 3 cups crushed crumbs)
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter - melted
  • pinch salt

Filling (Custard)

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Assembly

  • 3 medium/large bananas
  • 1 cup heavy cream - cold
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoons plain greek yogurt - optional
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

Crust

  • Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl combine the Nilla wafer crumbs, salt, and melted butter. Stir to combine. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9” pie plate. Bake crust for 8-9 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before filling. 

Filling (Custard)

  • Make the custard: In a medium saucepan (not over heat yet) whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add the eggs, one at a time, then add the egg yolks, whisking until smooth. Pour in the milk and heavy cream, while whisking constantly. Place over medium heat and bring the mixture to a low simmer, whisking constantly. (The custard will thicken as it bubbles.) Simmer for 1 minute (whisking constantly). Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract. Let cool for 5 minutes. 

Assembly

  • Take one banana and slice it in half. Save one of the halves to use as topping. Now take the remaining 2.5 bananas, remove the peel and slice the bananas. Place the banana slices along the bottom of the cooled pie crust. Pour the custard through a fine mesh sieve overtop of the bananas (this step ensures a silky smooth filling). Spread the custard into an even layer. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the custard surface (this will prevent a film from forming) and chill in the fridge for 2 hours, until the custard is cool and has set. 
  • Final assembly: In a large bowl beat the heavy cream, plain Greek yogurt (if using, or can sub sour cream), powdered sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form. Dollop over the cooled custard (or place in a pastry bag with a decorative tip) and pipe on top of the pie. Slice the banana half and place the additional banana slices amongst the whipped topping. Slice and serve.

Notes

Can feed more than 8 people depending on how large you slice the pie.
Be sure to remove the custard mixture from the heat right after the 1 minute mark. Over cooking can lead to the mixture turning lumpy or being too stiff once set in the fridge. 
Store in the fridge for 3-4 days for best results. 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 623kcal (31%)Carbohydrates: 58g (19%)Protein: 7g (14%)Fat: 41g (63%)Saturated Fat: 23g (115%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 186mg (62%)Sodium: 432mg (18%)Potassium: 195mg (6%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 36g (40%)Vitamin A: 1292IU (26%)Vitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 121mg (12%)Iron: 0.4mg (2%)
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Leave a star rating and review on the blog post letting me know how you liked this recipe! Take a picture and tag @saltandbaker on Instagram and Facebook so I can see what you’re making!

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen.