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, the Magnolia Bakery in New York City). 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! 🙂
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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

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.)

Notes

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.

90 comments

  1. Oh, Elesa…I don't know! 🙂 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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!

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