Easy Banana Cream Pie

CATEGORIES: Kate, Pies and Pastries

Can I share a secret with you guys? Just because something is labor-intenseive or 100% homemade doesn’t mean it’s the best. Making great food doesn’t have to be hard, and sometimes shortcuts are delicious. Let’s stop being martyrs here. I used to think the same way you did. I used to make everything absolutely from scratch. And there are a lot of things I only make from scratch, but if there’s a better, easier way of doing them, I ususally do that instead.

Take, for example, banana cream pie. I used to make it with homemade pie crust and homemade pudding that literally took an hour of stirring over a hot stove. Don’t get me wrong, it was good, but my sister-in-law Emily’s recipe for banana cream pie is awesome. It tastes JUST LIKE Magnolia Bakery’s Banana Pudding (Like, theΒ Magnolia Bakery in New York City).Β And it’s a million times easier than homemade. But you purists out there are questioning me–“Jello pudding? Pre-made graham cracker crust? No stinking way.” To which I say, “Yes way.” Live on the edge here, take it to Easter dinner this Sunday, and be prepared for everyone to love you. Because hey, food is the best way to win friends and influence people! πŸ™‚
Our Best Bites easiest best banana cream pie
The trickiest part of this recipe is the pudding, which isn’t THAT tricky, but you just need to make sure you’re getting two things right: make sure it’s instant pudding and that is the 3.4 oz. package (the 4-serving size.)
4 serving size instant pudding
If you want to play around with flavors, that’s totally fine–I always use vanilla because I hate artificial banana flavor and the vanilla pudding will take on the banana flavors from the bananas, but you can get wild and crazy and use butterscotch, cheesecake, chocolate–wherever your pretty little brain takes you.
You’re also going to need heavy whipping cream, bananas, 2 8-serving graham cracker pie crusts (you could also use chocolate or Nilla wafer if the Spirit moves you), sweetened condensed milk, and powdered sugar.
easiest best banana cream pie ingredients
In a medium bowl, combine pudding mix, cold water,
mixing easiest best banana cream pie ingredients
and sweetened condensed milk.
adding sweetened condensed milk
Mix well and place in the refrigerator to chill for a few minutes. In another bowl, whip 1 cup of whipping cream until soft peaks form.
whipped cream
Slice the bananas (probably 4-5 small bananas or 2 large bananas) and layer them on the bottom of the crusts.
bananas for banana cream pies
Be sure and save the plastic domes that come with the pie crusts–you’ll need them later!
Set aside. Remove pudding from the fridge and gently dollop the whipped cream on top of the pudding.
folding in whipped cream to easiest best banana cream pie
Gently fold the whipped cream into the pudding mixture until well-combined.
folding in whipped cream to easiest best banana cream pie

Now divide the mixture between the two pies.

Easiest and Best Banana Cream Pie filling bananas and banana cream in pie crust dividing pudding mixture among easiest best banana cream pie
Prepare sweetened whipped cream with the remaining whipping cream and 1/3 c. of powdered sugar and spread it on top of the two pies.

easiest best banana cream pie from Our Best Bites

Place the clear plastic shells back on the pies and allow to chill for several hours. This is actually really important–I tried eating it right away once and the pie wasn’t banana-y at all and the moisture hadn’t absorbed into the crust, so the crust just fell apart.

And there you have it–the best AND the easiest banana cream pie you’ll ever have or need!

easiest best banana cream pie

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Banana Cream Pie on table

Banana Cream Pie

  • Author: kate jones
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 pies 1x


  • 1 3.4-ounce package INSTANT vanilla pudding
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 8-serving graham cracker or cookie crusts
  • Lots of bananas (4-5 small bananas or 2-3 large ones)
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar


In a medium bowl, combine pudding mix, cold water, and sweetened condensed milk. Mix well and place in the refrigerator to chill for a few minutes. In another bowl, whip 1 cup of whipping cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
Slice the bananas (probably 4-5 small bananas or 2-3 large bananas) and layer them on the bottom of the crusts. Be sure and save the plastic domes that come with the pie crusts–you’ll need them later!
Set aside. Remove pudding from the fridge and gently dollop the whipped cream on top of the pudding. Gently fold the whipped cream into the pudding mixture until well-combined.
Now divide the mixture between the two pies. Rinse the pudding bowl and beaters and set aside for later.
Place the clear plastic shells back on the pies and allow to chill for several hours. This is actually really important–I tried eating it right away once and the pie wasn’t banana-y at all and the moisture hadn’t absorbed into the crust, so the crust just fell apart.
If possible, immediately before serving, combine the remaining heavy cream and 1/3 cup powdered sugar in the bowl you mixed the pudding in and beat with an electric mixer on high until soft peaks form. Spread over the pies. (If you can’t do this immediately before serving, it’s okay to do the whipped cream step after you put the pudding mixture in the shells.)


Chunky Monkey Variation:

Blend 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter into the pudding/water/sweetened condensed milk mixture (before you fold in the whipped cream). Continue as directed but place in a chocolate cookie crust. Sprinkle with honey roasted peanuts just before serving.


  1. Emily, I thought the very same thing. In fact, I don’t just have one sister in law named Emily, I have THREE!

    I neeeed to make this pie too πŸ™‚

        1. I think they took some of our Emily’s- because I don’t have one either, but I do have an Uncle Bob (and he’s my favorite uncle).

  2. Hey Sara,
    I just stumbled upon your blog! This is Jeff B’s sister, Tara…went to HS with Eric. I hear we’re having boys around the same time. Congratulations! Do you have a personal blog? Tell Eric hi.

  3. Hey Tara! That’s awesome you’re having a baby, and Jeff too. We’ll have to get all these boys together some time. This is the only blog I have for now- keeps me busy enough! Good to hear from ya!

  4. We love this! It is one of our desert staples now. I have never done it with chocolate pudding. Maybe I’ll have to try that. For Easter this year I was thinking of making it without the bananas and putting strawberries on top instead. (with cheesecake flavored pudding.)

  5. I made this last night (for a special occasion? No. To sit on my couch and eat? Yes:) I used vanilla pudding and put in raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries instead of the bananas and popped it in a homemade cinnamon-graham crust and it was awesome!

  6. Katie– I’m stoked my recipe was good enough to make it into your blog! I know this comment is a little late, but better late than never?

  7. There's nothing wrong with things being quick and easy. The banana cream pie looks great and the chunky monkey version sounds good as well.

  8. Oh, Elesa…I don't know! πŸ™‚ Fat free/sugar free puddings are pretty darn good, so it would probably be fine since there's so much sugar in the pie, anyway. But I've never tried it, so I can't say for sure! If you try it and it's fabulous (or not!), let us know!

  9. Great recipe! I particularly loved it with the chocolate pudding. But a word to the wise: Splurge and buy Keebler crusts rather than the cheap store brand. I tried to save a bit by doing the latter and the crust was nasty! At least the filling was delish.

  10. This was really good and super easy and quick. I used french vanilla pudding, shortbread crust, topped with a few extra banana slices, and drizzled with caramel syrup. IThe caramel syrup really gave it an extra "umph"! Thanks for sharing!

  11. I don't know if anyone will see this…but could I use something else instead of Whipping the whipping cream? I live in a dorm, and I don't have a blender, but I really wanted to make my BF this for his birthday πŸ˜› Could i use CoolWhip, or something? THanks if anyone knows!

  12. Hey, Beffy! I've never tried Cool Whip, so I can't say, but it might be worth it to go and get a cheap hand mixer–like, seriously, don't spend more than $7-$10 on it. You'll use it all the time and it won't be the end of the world if it breaks or gets left behind.

  13. I made this for Thanksgiving this year; not very traditional for Thanksgiving but it turned out great!!!! I also have stood over the stove in the past for over an hour making homemade banana cream filling but no longer. When asking the company what kind of pie they wanted everyone asked for Banana cream. I did make this in a traditional pie crust instead of graham, used a deep pie plate so only made one pie. I got compliments from the whole family. Thanks for the recipe!

  14. my husbands FAV pie! I too have slaved for hours making homemade pudding and the works, instant pudding is great and I recently tried a cooked Organic pudding and it was as good as homemade with just a tad more time than instant! Premade graham crusts are not for me though, homemade ones are SO easy and taste SO much better! give a package of graham crackers a whirl in the food processor while you’re melting butter, press it in the pan and bake for 10 minutes, how easy is that?!? I’m going to have to give this a try with my homemade crust πŸ˜‰

  15. Hi Girls!
    Just thought I would tell you that I used this pudding recipe combined with another of your recipes – the coconut strawberry lime shortcake to make trifle.
    I can’t believe what a hit it was at our dinner. My husband especially couldn’t stop commenting on it.
    I used the little coconut donuts that you can get at Walmart for the cake part, just break them up a bit; your vanilla pudding with sweetened condensed milk; the sliced strawberries mixed with lime juice and sugar; and cool whip instead of whipping my own (I was in a hurry).
    I just layered them all in a pretty bowl and topped it with the coconut that was left in the bottom of the donut container.
    The only bad part of all of this is that it disappeared so fast.
    Thanks for all of your great ideas!!

  16. If I want to make one banana cream and one chunky monkey version out of the one recipe for the filling would I still mix in 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter? Thanks!

    1. Honestly it’s been so long since I made that, I’m trying to remember! lol I’m almost sure that was for one pie. I would start with 1/4 cup and add another 1/4 cup if it needs it!

  17. I came across your site today and was quite impressed. I plan to make your banana cream pie and have a question. (You may think it is dumb, but here goes.) I only want to make one pie so would I cut each ingredient in half? *Don’t laugh*

    1. *Not laughing.* Banana cream pie is never a laughing matter. πŸ™‚

      No, really, I’ve thought about doing this before so I only make one pie. The thing that has always held me back is the pudding–it’s so hard to accurately divide the pudding in half, you know? But you sound like you’re a brave woman, so I say go for it. πŸ™‚

  18. I make it basically the same way with instead Banana pudding, I’m curious now how the vanilla would taste, but afraid to loose my banana flavor, have you tried the Banana pudding instead?

  19. I made this with Banana pudding and a Nila wafer crust (I baked it so it wouldn’t get soggy), and it was the first pie to go at Thanksgiving! And that is saying a lot since my in-laws are known for their pies! Thank goodness there was 2 of them! I have also tried this with Chocolate pudding, for choco cream pie, and the cheesecake pudding for a cheesecake pie and they also come out tasty!!


  21. My sister fed this to me tonight and in no time at all, there was absolutely no evidence of any pie on my plate. at. all. Yum-o-riffic!

    1. …now I want to try one Chunky Monkey style, and instead of adding the peanuts, add some Reese’s PB cups, roughly chopped. Oh yeah!

  22. It does not take an hour of stirring over a hot stove to make a scratch Banana Cream Pie.
    My double thick all scratch pie, from the Martha Belle lard crust to the Grandma Lena sweetened whip cream top, takes three repeat plays of Barry White’s All-Time Greatest Hits CD, plus a little more. You can only request this pie once a year at our house, for your birthday. It is a true labor of love. But, as Barry says, “Baby, you can feel the love, and you can taste the love.”

    Big Hint: Use Pillsbury Softasilk cake flour to make things smooth as silk.

  23. I am just wondering if I can use 1 cup milk instead of 1 cup water in the pudding mixture? wouldn’t the milk make it richer and more creamy?

  24. #1 I made this recipe for my boyfriend the first time I cooked a dinner for him when we were dating. He fell in love with it. The only change I made was that since I didn’t have a “pie pan” I made it in a 9×13… So I needed to figure out a crust. I dug in my Grandma’s old cookbooks and paired your banana cream pie filling with a macadamia nut shortbread crust… and HELLO can you say HEAVEN!!

    #2 All the initial comments on this post talking about UNCLE BOB!! Awww… my dad was an Uncle Bob πŸ™‚

  25. I’ve made this pie twice and followed the recipe to the T both times and BOTH times it just wouldnt set despite refrigerating overnight. THe whole pie was just so runny and I really don’t know what I did wrong. πŸ™ It’s really upsetting because the cream tastes so good but it’s just like eating soup out of a graham cracker crust.

      1. oh poo you’re right. =[ I just used the pudding boxes I had sitting in my pantry without checking if it was the one you have to cook. All I checked was the flavor and serving size.
        oh well :\
        better luck next time I guess.
        …third times a charm.

  26. i made one banana creme & one peanut butter (no bananas) with this recipe. I used a lg box of pudding & upped the milk & whipped cream a bit. For the peanut butter pie I used one cup pb, a chocolate crust, & topped with mini Ghiradelli chocolate chips. They were both so good & easy! The banana was especially good the next day. There was a small scuffle between my husband & oldest son over the last pc of PB pie:)

  27. We absolutely adore this pie. It’s super easy and sooo yummy! I do have one question, though… Can you freeze it? We have a small family and by the time we get through the first one, the second one is usually on the verge of yuck.

  28. This is going to sound like a dumb question but, when you say mix the pudding mix, water & sweetened condensed milk…do you mean just mix with a spoon until the dry ingredients are incorporated or beat with a mixer like you would with normal pudding?

  29. I just accidentally used cook and serve Jell-o and its super thin! Is there anyway of salvaging this? Help please quick!

  30. I’m so glad I found your recipe! My mom died suddenly & banana cream pie was the only dessert she knew how to cook -she was truly a tomboy & never bothered with girly things including cooking. Anyway I was truly missing her & since she died while I was young, she never got to teach me to cook her recipe. I used the recipe on the pudding box but it never turned out right, but this one did! I used entire package banana pudding with 8 ounces of sweetened condensed milk (that I previously added a can of water to); with half of a pint of heavy whipping cream. No water or sugar, I was afraid of the pie becoming too sweet or soupy & it turned out nice & thick just like I hoped for. This isn’t exactly like hers but it did make me feel a bit closer to her thanks so much.

  31. Hi! I love this recipe and will be sharing it with the young women on Wednesday. Just wanted to let you know that the link to the sweetened whipped cream is broken!

  32. Try it with Betty Croker chocolate chip cookie as the crust, prepare as directed, divide in half, press into pie dish, bake 375 for 17-20 min, or until edges are brown. Best freaking pie ever! Someone made it for us this way, but used coconut in with the pudding instead of bananas. Didn’t know I liked coconut cream pie until then!

  33. I made this pie yesterday for Easter. Thank you for a yummy and easy recipe! I loved the cream filling and the banana taste was great. I think I’ll try it with a fresh graham cracker crust next time. I also found that there were some hollow spots in the pie because the filling didn’t reach between the bananas. I may pipe the filling in next time. Or I’ll just forget about it next time and have hollow spots again… πŸ™‚

  34. We make super easy individual banana cream pies by crushing a graham cracker in the bottom of a bowl, slicing banana on it, then a single serving of vΓ nilla pudding cup, finish with a squirt of whipped cream.

  35. I make banana cream pie using the instant pudding (same size) and 1/3 cup milk and the rest sour cream. Bananas on the bottom also. It is delicious too!! A favorite in our family. I have never used sweetened condensed milk. Seems like it will be really rich with that and whip cream, but delicious sounding. I will have to try it.

  36. Made this yesterday and everyone loved it! I gave one pie to my parents and the other to a neighbor. My dad loved it so much, he was mad that I didn’t give him both pies lol

    It was delicious and easy to make. I will definitely make this again. Thanks for the great recipe!

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