This easy pie combines two great desserts: banana pudding and pie! The filling only takes a few minutes to make. But you’ll want to chill the pie for a few hours to let the Nilla wafers soften.
Five Simple Ingredients (plus a crust!).
Pie Crust. This pie tastes best with a cookie-crumb crust, like a graham cracker or Nilla wafer. If you bake your own crust, let it cool completely before filling.
Instant Pudding. Two boxes of instant pudding are the key to this quick filling. The filling doesn’t set if made with cook and serve pudding. Use either vanilla or banana-flavored instant pudding.
Milk. Whole milk or 2% milk make the best filling. Nonfat milk or dairy-free milk, like oat or soy, can produce a watery pie.
Heavy Cream. The secret to this pie is whipping heavy cream right into the pudding mixture. It makes the filling light and fluffy. Use either heavy cream or whipping cream. Light cream does not whip up as light.
Ripe Bananas. Ripe bananas, over-ripe, are what you want for this pie. If the bananas are too ripe, they get unappetizingly soft in the filling. (If you’ve got really ripe bananas, make a batch of brown sugar banana bread.)
Nilla Wafers. Taking a nod from banana pudding, this pie includes Nilla wafers in the filling. After sitting in the pudding for a few hours, they get nice and soft. You can put them in whole or break them up.
Whipped Cream or Whipped Topping (optional). A layer of whipped cream or whipped topping makes a nice topping for this pie. If you make your own, you’ll need about one cup of heavy cream. Whip it with powdered sugar and vanilla extract until thick and stiff.
How to Make Banana Pudding Pie.
- Slice and Chop the Bananas. Chopped bananas are mixed into the filling. Since the filling sets quickly, slice the bananas before you make the filling. This way, they’re ready to add to the filling before it gets too thick.
- Make the Filling. Combine the instant pudding with cold milk in a medium bowl. In just a few seconds, the pudding thickens. Stop mixing and scrape the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Sometimes a little pudding mix clings to the bottom of the bowl. If you see clumps of mix, stir the pudding for a few more seconds. Once the pudding is thick and smooth, add the heavy cream. Whip the pudding until it’s light and fluffy. This takes about 45-seconds with an electric mixer.
- Add the Bananas and Cookies. As soon as the filling thickens, stir in the chopped bananas and Nilla wafers.
- Fill the Crust. Spread the filling into the crust. I like to mound it a little higher in the center. If you see a banana slice that’s uncovered by the pudding, spread a little filling on it. This keeps it from browning.
- Chill the Pie. This pie tastes best if the Nilla wafers have a chance to soften. This takes about four hours but I think this pie tastes best the day after making.
- Top with Whipped Cream. Before serving, top the pie with whipped cream. After chilling the pie, spread some whipped cream on top. If you feel like it, decorate the top with a few more Nilla wafers. I never put banana slices on top of the pie because they turn brown very fast, even if coated with lemon juice.
How to Store. (Yes. The bananas turn brown. It’s okay!)
Store leftover pie covered in the refrigerator for up to three days. Just so you know: the bananas darken. I tested this recipe with banana slices that I coated in lemon juice before adding to the pie. They still turned brown and the pie had a weird lemon flavor.
Easy Banana Pudding Pie
For the Filling
- 2 (3.4 ounce boxes) instant vanilla or banana pudding mix
- 1 ¾ cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 medium ripe bananas, sliced
- 10 Nilla wafers
- 1 (9-inch) graham cracker or Nilla wafer crust
For the Topping, optional
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Filling
Whisk together 2 (3.4 ounce each) boxes instant vanilla pudding mix with 1 ¾ cups whole milk until smooth. Scrape bottom of bowl and stir. Add 1 cup heavy cream. Whip with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, about 45 seconds.
Stir in 2 medium sliced bananas and 10 Nilla wafers. Spread filling in a 9-inch graham cracker crust. If any banana slices are visible, spread a little filling over them to prevent browning. Chill pie for four hours.
For the Topping
Combine 1 cup heavy cream with 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Whip until stiff peaks form, about two minutes on high speed. Spread whipped cream over the pie.
Store pie in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Instant Pudding. Use instant pudding. Cook and serve pudding doesn’t work in this recipe.
Whipped Cream. Replace the whipped cream with 2 cups of whipped topping.
Nilla Wafers. If you want, break up a few of the cookies before stirring them into the filling.
Chill Time. It’s important to chill the pie for about four hours before serving. Doing this gives the cookies time to soften.