You know I couldn’t leave you to your Thanksgiving menu without an absolutely epic dessert. If you’ve made any of my pie recipes in the past (my dutch apple is a must) you know that I don’t mess around when it comes to an incredible homemade pie.
For Thanksgiving last year I finally made the most amazing banana cream pie recipe and I couldn’t be more excited to share it with you now. Rebecca and I tested this recipe a few weeks ago and when I say this is pie perfection I truly mean it.
It’s deliciously rich, perfectly sweet and has a peanut butter cookie crust that is everything you need and more. Surprise guests this year with a dessert that’s guaranteed to turn heads and draw people in for seconds!
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What is banana cream pie?
If you’ve never had banana cream pie before OMG get ready to fall in love. Old fashioned banana cream pie is basically a buttery pie crust layered with fresh bananas, a thick vanilla pudding/custard mixture, and topped with whipped cream.
My world’s best banana cream pie recipe jazzes up the traditional version by using an epic peanut butter cookie crust. Plus, we’re skipping the boxed pudding often found in the middle and making our own vanilla filling. SO GOOD.
Tools you’ll need
Making banana cream pie from scratch is a bit of an art and science, so you’ll need the right tools:
- Good whisk
- Large saucepan
- Small pot
- Springform pan or pie pan
- Food processor
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- Pie server
Get all of our go-to kitchen essentials here!
Ingredients in banana cream pie
Homemade banana cream pie may look intimidating to make, but the ingredients are actually fairly simple. You’ll need:
- For the filling: the vanilla custard filling is made with whole milk (or 2% milk), egg yolks, granulated sugar, cornstarch for thickening, salt, bourbon or scotch (optional, but delicious), vanilla extract, and butter. You’ll also need fresh bananas to slice and layer on the bottom.
- For the crust: my special peanut butter cookie crust is made with nutter butters and some melted butter. So easy!
- For topping: skip the cool whip this time — gotta have that fresh whipped cream! It’s made with heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Learn how to make perfect homemade whipped cream here!
- To garnish: I love topping my pie with cute chocolate curls from a dark chocolate bar (use the code ‘AMBITIOUSKITCHEN’ for 15% off), but see below for even more ways to customize.
Make it with different types of crust
Although I’m truly obsessed with the flavor in the peanut butter cookie crust (peanut butter lovers, rejoice) you have plenty of options for making a crust:
- Feel free to use a regular pie crust like my homemade all butter pie crust for a more traditional banana cream pie. Be sure to blind bake the crust first as you will not be baking the pie after adding the filling (like in apple or pumpkin pies). Get all of my tips for doing a blind bake with pie weights or dried beans in this video!
- Try using other cookies for a different flavored cookie crust! Oreo, a vanilla wafer, or a graham cracker crust would be amazing.
A note on substitutions
I know I’ll get a variety of questions like how to make this banana cream pie vegan or gluten free, but unfortunately, this is the only way I’ve tested the pie and it is a tried & true recipe. It is an indulgent dessert that’s perfect for special occasions! I cannot recommend a vegan substitute, but let me know if you have a favorite gluten free crust option that you try.
How to make banana cream pie from scratch
Now that you have all of your ingredients, it’s time to layer this baby up. These are the basics, but be sure to read each instruction in the actual recipe at the bottom of the post very carefully to ensure success:
- Prep your pan. You’ll start by greasing a 9-inch springform pan or a deep dish pie pan.
- Make & add the crust. Next, pulse the nutter butters in your food processor, add melted butter, and pulse again until combined. The mixture will be like wet sand (and this will be your “pie dough!”), and you’ll then pour it into your pan. Press into the bottom and sides so that a nice crust forms — using a small measuring cup can help!
- Bake & cool. Bake the crust for just about 10 minutes, then let it cool completely.
- Mix the filling. While the crust is cooling, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a large saucepan until smooth.
- Heat & add the milk. Add milk to a separate, small pot and bring it to a slight simmer without boiling it. Once it starts to simmer, remove it from the heat and whisk 1/3 cup of hot milk into your egg mixture. Whisk it well so that the milk doesn’t turn the yolks into scrambled eggs! Continue with the rest of the milk.
- Finish the filling. Place the pan over medium heat and keep whisking until the mixture gets warm, slightly boils, and starts to thicken. Pay attention as this can happen quickly. Once it has a custard-like texture, remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla, bourbon & butter.
- Assemble & chill the pie. Add banana slices to the bottom of the cooled pie crust, and then pour the filling on top. Smooth it so that it’s well distributed, then cover with plastic wrap so that it touches the filling and refrigerate for 2-4 hours until cold. That’s right, instead of baking we’re just chilling the pie before serving!
- Add whipped cream & serve. When you’re about ready to serve, make your whipped cream and then evenly spread it all over the cold pie filling. Garnish with chocolate curls or your fav toppings and devour!
Delicious ways to make it your own
Besides choosing your favorite pie crust, you can easily make this banana cream pie your own by:
- Adding a layer of peanut butter to the bottom of the crust before adding the bananas (use the code ‘AMBITIOUS15’ for 15% off my favorite brand, Wild Friends!)
- Dusting the top with cocoa powder
- Drizzling homemade salted caramel on top (my peanut butter caramel would be amazing)
- Sprinkling the top with toasted coconut
How to store banana cream pie
Store any leftover banana cream pie loosely covered with plastic wrap or foil in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Make it ahead of time
You can easily make one or both parts of the banana cream pie 1-2 days ahead of time to save time on the day-of holiday festivities.
- To make pie crust ahead of time: after baking the pie crust, simply store it covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble and chill the rest of the pie.
- To make filling ahead of time: once you’ve mixed the whole filling together, cover the filling with plastic wrap so that the plastic is touching the top of the filling (to prevent air from getting in) and chill the filling in the refrigerator until you’re ready to assemble the pie. You can also make the whipped cream topping ahead of time and store it in an airtight container until you’re ready to add it to the pie!
More holiday desserts you’ll love
- Tony’s Very Favorite Dutch Apple Pie
- Best Ever Healthy Pumpkin Pie
- The Best Tart Cherry Pie You’ll Ever Eat
- Blow Ya Mind Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (gluten free!)
- Damn Good Peanut Butter Banana Cake (gluten free, grain free)
- Deep Dish French Silk Pie with Hazelnut Oreo Cookie Crust
Get all of our delicious dessert recipes here, and all of our Thanksgiving recipes here!
I hope you love this amazing banana cream pie recipe! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!
World's Best Banana Cream Pie
The world's best banana cream pie with a peanut butter cookie crust and a homemade whipped cream topping. This easy banana cream pie recipe is made without boxed pudding and is delicious topped with chocolate curls, toasted coconut, and anything else your heart desires. The perfect dessert for the holidays!
- For the filling:
- 2 cups whole milk (or sub 2%)
- 4 large egg yolks
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon bourbon or scotch (optional, but recommend)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon salted butter, cut into ½ inch pieces
- 2-3 large ripe bananas, sliced
- For the peanut butter cookie crust:
- 20-25 nutter butters*
- ¼ cup melted butter
- For the topping:
- 16 ounces (1 pint) heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- To garnish:
- Dark chocolate for chocolate curls
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray or melted butter. This creates such a gorgeous pie but you can also use a regular deep dish pie pan to make this pie too!
Start by making the crust: Place cookies into the bowl of a food processor and pulse for 1-2 minutes or until cookies are finely crushed. Add in melted butter and process again until well combined.
Dump the mixture into the prepared pie pan and press into the bottom and side evenly. It should come up at least an inch to an inch and a half on the sides. Sometimes I find it helpful to use a small measuring cup to help set the crust firmly and get the crumbs up the side of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes then remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. FYI: The crust will need to be somewhat cool to the touch before you can add the filling.
To make the filling: In a large saucepan, mix the yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt until well combined and thick. It may take some time to get it all combined but the mixture should be silky smooth once you’re done.
Next, add milk to a small pot and bring to a slight simmer. Do not boil the milk. You just want it to start to slightly bubble and simmer along the edges. Remove from heat once simmering and immediately whisk in ⅓ cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture, keep whisking as we don’t want the eggs to curdle! You’ll need to be quick. Slowly whisk in the rest of the hot milk and continue to whisk.
After all the milk is whisked into the pan with the egg mixture, immediately place the pan over medium heat and continue to whisk, ensuring that you get the sides and edges of the pan. Once the mixture starts to get warm and slightly boils, it may thicken VERY quickly so you must pay attention closely. Once the mixture thickens to be custard-like or almost like a thick peanut butter (which shouldn’t take that long), you can immediately remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract, bourbon and butter; stirring until well combined.
Next add banana slices all over the bottom of the pie crust so that they are touching. Pour the filling into the cooled cookie pie crust and smooth the top. Cover with plastic wrap so that it touches the filling and refrigerate for 2-4 hours or until cold.
Once pie and filling are cold and you are ready to serve, make the whipped cream topping: Add heavy whipped cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract to the bowl of an electric mixer (or use a hand mixer!); beat on high until cream reaches stiff peaks. Taste and add additional sugar if necessary and mix once more.
Evenly spread whipped cream over pie filling, then garnish with dark chocolate shavings or dust pie with a little cocoa powder. Serves 9-12, depending on how large you cut the slices. Pie will stay fresh for a few days if properly covered and stored in the fridge.
*See the full post for ways to customize your crust and delicious ideas for toppings!
To store: store any leftover banana cream pie loosely covered with plastic wrap or foil in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
To make pie crust ahead of time: after baking the pie crust, simply store it covered in the refrigerator until you're ready to assemble and chill the rest of the pie.
To make filling ahead of time: once you've mixed the whole filling together, cover the filling with plastic wrap so that the plastic is touching the top of the filling (to prevent air from getting in) and chill the filling in the refrigerator until you're ready to assemble the pie. You can also make the whipped cream topping ahead of time and store it in an airtight container until you're ready to add it to the pie!
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats
For the Banana Cream Pie crust – no mention I can see of the quantity of cookies needed and what does 20-25 nut butters mean in terms of quantity?
Thanks for any direction with this – looking forward to making!
Hi! They’re called “nutter butter” cookies (it’s a brand of peanut butter sandwich cookies). So you need 20-25 individual cookies!
Thank-you for the clarity – I am in the UK so am unaware of this brand and did not realise what they were.
Is there any sub for the nutter butters I’m from Australia they don’t sell them here
I think any peanut butter sandwich cookie should work fine! If not, you could do a graham cracker crust 🙂
We absolutely loved this pie! The custard is delicious! The crust is so easy too! What a fabulous dessert!
I MEAN!!! Absolutely divine. Made it dairy free with almond milk in the filling, miyokos butter in crust and filling, and coconut cream whipped cream. Also tried arrowroot starch in place of corn starch and turned out well. Couldn’t get enough!
Yaaaay so happy that all worked out well and that you loved it, Madeleine!! Thanks so much for leaving a review ❤️
Great recipe! I’ve had a hard time with custards in the past and the cornstarch makes this so much easier. I used some banana liqueur in the custard and whipped cream to bring out more of the banana flavor.
This is absolutely delicious! The nutter butter crust is the best. I am not a baker and found that it was easy to make. My whole family loved it!
This is the best banana pie ever. We made already a second one and taking it tomorrow to my in laws. I was first scared of the custard part but following the recipe step by step made it all super clear and easy. We love it so much. Thank you!❤
This pie was delicious! I made this for Thanksgiving and it was a hit. I was a little worried about making the cream filling but it came together easily. I might try and lightly mash the banana if I make this again rather than just use slices.
SO happy you loved it, Carrie! Bet it would still be delicious with mashed bananas 🙂
Insane, soooo good. And very easy to make!
I just made this pie for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit. I wound up making the crust and filling the night before letting them chill overnight- which I highly recommend if possible to do. I think it really aids in assembling the pie if crust/dish & filling thoroughly chilled. My only issue was the whipped cream- I couldn’t get it thick/fluffy enough. I luckily had DF Redi Whip on hand and it worked out better as everyone could choose how much whipped cream they liked on top. I purposely made sure to keep leftover for today so I could eat the rest! Would 10/10 recommend this one.
SO happy to hear everyone loved it!! Did you use heavy/whipping cream? Glad you had the Redi Whip on hand, though! Thanks so much for leaving a review. Hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving!
Better than I even imagined! I completed the recipe as provided and it was delicious! Definitely a “do again”. Thanks Monique!
hi monique! i am trying to make this recipe right now… i made the filling yesterday and sealed it in the fridge overnight. today, i poured it into the crust with banana slices and i don’t think it’s setting up properly. the filling is kind of like a vanilla soup. i’ll leave it overnight and hopefully it’ll firm up, but any other ideas what the problem could be?
Hi! The filling should be pretty thick before pouring it over the bananas. I’d recommend checking out this video to see what it should look like!
I wanted to make this gluten free and thought I’d just use a gluten free cookie. I couldn’t find any suitable cookie (all were ‘soft baked’). I decided to use Reese’s Puffs cereal instead (a gf cereal but not safe for celiac). I put them in a food processor to make 1.5 cups of crumbs and added 7 tablespoons of melted butter. The crust turned out amazing. I can’t imagine using cookies would be any better. There are other GF cereals you could use. I think the chocolate peanut butter Cheerios could be delicious! This pie is outstanding. Seriously, it would still be delicious with a cardboard crust. The homemade custard and whipped cream are so delicious. Make this pie!
Omg Reese’s Puffs is a BRILLIANT idea! So happy they worked well in here and that you loved this recipe, Cindy!
This was fantastic!! Followed exactly as written with the exception of buying a gluten free crust. I appreciate your detailed instructions of how things should look at each step. Will definitely be saving and repeating! Thank you!
SO glad you loved it, Danielle!
When I first saw this posted on Instagram I knew I had to make it for Christmas Eve. It was so simple and elegant. Everyone loved it. I was a little confused on step 4 and started heating the egg yolk mixture, then realized that wasn’t right. Luckily it still came out great. We’re not big whipped cream fans so I’d cut that in half next time. This is a winner!
SO happy you loved it!! And ooh yes you do *not* heat the egg yolk mixture as you’re stirring it in the pan, but after adding the hot milk you turn the heat on. Sorry if that wasn’t clear!
We made this recipe as written except we used a pie plate instead of a springform pan. It was AMAZING and definitely a keeper that we will make time and time again. We loved the peanut butter cookie crust instead of the more traditional choices. It added an unexpected surprise to a classic dessert. Our entire family raved about it and asked for the recipe. It was the perfect addition to our Christmas menu. Next time we will try it in the springform pan. The only other thing we decided to change in the future was making two pies instead of one.
Oh I am SO glad to hear that you all loved it, Marisa! Thank you!
My sister made this for our family Christmas because we’re both AK fans and wanted to try it. People were going back for seconds and saying it was the best banana cream pie they’ve had! My husband actually said it’s one of the best pies he’s ever had in his life. Peanut butter and banana is my all time favorite combo so I think the crust is what takes this banana cream pie to a whole new level.
😍 SO happy to hear that!! Omg yes it’s one of my fav combos too, so happy you guys enjoyed it!
Made this for Christmas dinner because my granny used to make this for us when we were little. While I’m used to a Nilla Wafer crust, the butter butter was a great substitute. As usual, recipe was clear and easy to follow and end result was super yummy!!!
I’m so happy you tried and loved it! Isn’t the peanut butter banana flavor delicious?!
Holy potatoes this was absolutely one of the most delicious things I have ever consumed. Using the butter butters as a crust was GENIUS. I’ll forever use them instead of graham crackers for everything that calls for a graham cracker crust. Thank you for another amazing recipe!
Oh yay!! Isn’t the PB flavor SO good with the bananas?! I’m thrilled you loved it, Crystal!
Delicious! I halved the recipe for a small pie pan around 6-7″ and made a crust out of digestive biscuits instead (Nutter Butters are hard to find here in Hong Kong). It turned out great, just as expected. I also spread some dulce de leche on top. Thanks for the recipe!
Thanks so much for sharing — that sounds INCREDIBLE with the dulce de leche!!
So delicious! And relatively easy for a pie, I was able to make over my lunch break and throw it in the fridge and it was ready for after dinner. Will definitely be making again.
Made this pie for someone who absolutely loves banana cream pie. I did add about 1/2 tsp of banana extract as I wanted some extra banana flavor. They loved it! Said it turned them into a plate licker and they’ve never licked a plate in their life! Will definitely make again.
Omg AMAZING, I’m so glad they loved it!! Thanks, Kara!
Wow! Best dessert ever! It got rave reviews. The custard is the perfect texture and thickness—not too thick, but holds its shape when sliced. I even messed up the process and it was still great! I accidentally added all the cold milk to the egg yolk mixture. I cooked it, stirring constantly and it was perfect! One addition I made was to add a thin layer of chocolate ganache on the bottom. I also had some salted caramel to drizzle on top. Decadently delicious!
You’re making me want to make this RIGHT NOW 😍 The ganache and salted caramel sound FABULOUS! I’m so glad you loved this recipe. Thanks so much for the sweet review!
Made this tonight with bananas from my mom’s tree. It was marvelous. I would only change the amount of whipped cream, Or make more custard.
Ooh fresh bananas, how fun!! I’m so thrilled you loved it 🙂 Good idea to make more custard + whipped cream next time!
For the cookie crumb, does 20-25 cookies yield 2 cups crumb?
I think it’s around there but I haven’t measured it out — sorry! Watching video in the post might help to see how much it yields 🙂
I love recipe. However next time I’m going to double the filing!
Happy you love it, Margaret! Thanks so much for the review 🙂
Soooo yummy! First time making a banana cream pie and it turned out great! I did not use any bourbon in it
YAY! I’m so glad it turned out amazing! Thanks so much for leaving a review, Natalie 🙂
Would a similar peanut butter sandwich cookie work? I would think so; any recommendations?
I’ve only tried Nutter Butters in here but if they’re a similar texture, they should be ok! Let me know if you have a particular brand that you’re wondering about.
This is indeed the worlds best. I don’t even gravitate towards banana cream pie but I guess I will now! I am a peanut butter fan and the cookie crust is such a perfect match with the banana and cream. I followed recipe as is and used a deep dish pie dish bc I didn’t have the free form. But I want to try the free form next time as it would be pretty to serve.
I made this pie for Father’s Day and everyone loved it! I was a little nervous about making the custard, but your directions were very easy to follow and it came out perfectly. My dad said it was better than a bakery banana cream pie! The nutter butter flavor was subtle, but just different enough to make it different than a regular crust. I will definitely be making this again.
I made this for my husband’s first Father’s Day and he absolutely loved it! Said the nutter butter crust was so good, the pie was sweet but not too sweet. Definitely will make it again for another special occasion.
I’m so glad you both loved it!! Thanks so much, Rebecca 🙂
The yummiest pie!!! Made this for family over the weekend and everyone asked for the recipe! The crust is particularly great. Thank you, Monique!
Woohooo! So glad to hear you all loved it. Thanks for the review!
I made this today. I am reading a detective novel and the main character, a female detective, can’t resist banana cream pie. So my wife and daughter are not home. So I made this. I used a gram cracker crust spread with 4 tsp peanut butter aNd 4 tbsp melted butter. I had an extra banana and put it on top before the canned whip cream. Awesome, 5 stars. Easy as pie to make!
Hahaha that’s fun! So happy you tried it and that it came out amazing!
The title says it all. I recently made this for a bbq and multiple people told me it truly was the best banana cream pie they’ve had.
We just made and ate this delicious pie for my birthday dinner tonight. It was absolutely wonderful! Thanks, Monique, for another amazing recipe!
So happy to hear that!
Made for a friend – used a storebought graham cracker crust and made the whipped cream wjth granulated sugar because I didnt realise i was out of powdered. It turned out beautiful despire my bananas being a little unripe. Neither i nor my friend had had one before but we both loved it and i may try again another time with a homemade crust.
SO happy it turned out great! Thanks for letting me know 🙂
I’m planning on making this very soon and I’ve never made a banana cream pie so we will see if I do the cream portion correctly. Lol I just have a question about the bananas. Do you think it would be just as good if I candied or honey glazed some of the bananas or even all of them? Definitely not an expert on this pie so was just curious what you think
You’re welcome to do that, but it would be an extra step! I personally find the bananas sweet and flavorful enough, as long as they’re ripe. If you give this a try, let me know how it works out for you.
My daughter in law requested banana cream pie for Christmas eve dinner and I found this recipe. With the peanut butter cookie crust I knew this recipe was a winner! My family loved this pie, especially the crust. The custard filling is creamy and very tasty. I already have a request for a second pie!
This is SO GOOD. The way to make custard is different than I’ve done it before and at first, I was worried I was doing it wrong – but it worked perfectly! Thank you.
SO pumped that you are loving this respect!
I used Reese’s Puff cereal for a gluten free crust. Make the same way in the food processor. Turned out perfectly!
Glad it turned out!
In the World’s Best Banana Cream Pie recipe the ingredients for the crust calls for nut butters. I have not heard of nut butters. Where can they be found or is the recipe on your website. I am looking forward to creating this luscious banana cream pie.
Hi! Nut Butter cookies can be found in the cookie section at the grocery store. Hope you enjoy this recipe!
Is there nutrition information on this, or are you afraid to tell us? Haha.
LOL I didn’t calculate nutrition for this one as I want people to focus on the wholesome and delicious ingredients in here (instead of numbers) 🙂 Enjoy
I am SO excited to try this out! My son brought us home a few little banana creme pies from a local fast food place a few days ago and they only made me want a real homemade pie even more! We’re in the middle of kitchen renovations and cabinet refinishing so I can’t make it right now, but as soon as my oven is back in service, this will be the first thing I make! Thanks for sharing!
So easy and delicious! Highly recommend
My son made this dessert for Easter supper. He used 1/4 tsp of banana extract instead of scotch or bourbon. Man oh man! The best I’ve ever eaten. A true winner!
This is just a piece of heaven in your mouth! Plan to make it again today. Also, I have been searching for a great and easy, delicious banana cream pie, which I have successfully found!
Monique is a pro at baking, and she’s cute!
Check out my cute shop on etsy:
I have a wuick question, can I do a different crust than peanut butter cookies?
You could probably use a plain crust. I would recommend my All Butter Crust! Enjoy!
I made the Banana Cream Pie for my daughter-in-law, it was a HUGE it. She could not decide between a Banana or Peanut Butter pie so this was the best of both worlds. The crust was amazing. I will be making this recipe may more times. Try it out you will not be disappointed.