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This quick banana pudding pie on a vanilla wafer crust is rich, luscious and creamy. A nostalgic no-bake dessert, it’s been a family favorite for generations. Make this easy banana cream pie in just 15 minutes, then chill until set. Serve and enjoy this classic Thanksgiving pie year round.
This quick banana cream pie recipe comes together with just a few simple ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need.
- Cold Milk: Adds rich delicious moisture.
- Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix: It’s what helps us assemble this easy no-bake pie.
- Pure Vanilla Extract: Enhances the flavor of the other ingredients while contributing a delicious bakery aroma.
- Cool Whip (frozen whipped topping): Contributes a delicious creamy texture with an amazing mouthfeel.
- Firm Bananas: The star ingredient of this banana pudding pie.
- Vanilla wafer crust, homemade or store-bought
- Optional – Yellow Gel Food Coloring: I make own my banana cream pies without any food coloring, but many bakers prefer to add just a bit to increase the “banana” color. If you do use food coloring, make sure to use the gel type, not liquid. Liquid food coloring can change the texture and make the filling runny.
🥣 Easy Ingredient Swaps
Missing an ingredient for this no-bake dessert? Before putting on your shoes and heading to the store, check your fridge and pantry for these easy ingredient swaps.
- Dairy Milk: For many recipes you can easily swap almond milk for dairy. But not for this recipe. The pie filling will not set. The Food Network weighs in: Will Jello Pudding Set with Almond Milk?
- Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix: Although you can substitute with instant banana pudding mix, keep in mind that vanilla pudding gives this pie the best flavor. If using instant banana pudding, be sure to add an extra 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.
- Vanilla Extract: If you don’t have this ingredient on hand, just leave it out. And don’t worry. Your banana cream pie will still be delicious!
- Cool Whip: Use Homemade vanilla whipped cream with whipped cream stabilizer. The stabilizer is an absolute must for no-bake pies to prevent a loose runny filling. Bakeries use it for their whipped cream toppings.
- Vanilla Wafer Crust: Banana cream pies also taste delicious with a graham cracker crust or a flaky pie crust.
- Never defrost a tub of frozen whipped topping on the countertop. It will go flat. Thaw the tub of Cool Whip overnight in the fridge.
- How to make this recipe faster: Use a pre-formed crust from the supermarket. Just keep in mind that pre-formed crusts are generally smaller (with shallower sides) than a homemade 9-inch crust. So you may have some leftover filling.
- How to keep whipped cream topping from going flat: If using homemade whipped cream as the topping, use whipped cream stabilizer to keep the topping firm.
📖 Recipe Steps
RECIPE PREP: Make sure the tub of Cool Whip has been thawed in the fridge. Par-bake a cookie crust in a 350°F oven for 7 to 8 minutes until light golden blonde. Cool the crust completely. Slice 1 1/2 bananas into 1/4-inch slices.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together milk, instant pudding mix, and vanilla extract. Keep whisking for 2 minutes until mixture thickens to a pudding consistency. Let the filling set for 5 minutes so it can continue to thicken.
- Add 3 cups thawed Cool Whip to the bowl. (And if using food coloring, add it now.) Gently fold it into the mixture with a rubber spatula. Don’t overmix or the filling will go flat.
- Spoon half the pudding mixture into the pie crust. Arrange an even layer of banana slices over the top. Spread remaining pudding over the bananas. Top the pie with a layer of Cool Whip, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the sides so the luxurious filling is partially visible.
- Freeze the banana pudding pie for 4 to 6 hours, or until set. If frozen longer, defrost 10 to 15 minutes at room temperature so slicing is easier. Before serving, garnish the top with freshly-sliced bananas.
🧑🏼🍳 Recipe FAQ
These are the most commonly-asked questions when making a banana pudding pie, and the best answers for achieving success with this recipe.
To defrost a tub of Cool Whip, transfer it from the freezer to the fridge. An 8-ounce tub will take about 6 hours to defrost. A 16-ounce container takes 7 to 8 hours to defrost. Never defrost it on the countertop. The whipped topping will go flat.
Brush a cold unbaked crust with egg wash (1 egg white whisked with 1 tablespoon water). Bake 3 to 5 minutes in a 350°F oven until dry. The dried egg wash creates a moisture barrier between the filling and the rustic cookie crumb crust.
For visual appeal, I recommend keeping the color a nice soft light yellow. But to deepen up the color just a bit so it looks more banana-like, add just a tiny speck of yellow gel food coloring to the filling mixture. Gently fold it in. Don’t overmix or the filling will lose volume.
Put banana slices in a bowl. Drizzle lemon juice over the slices. This helps prevent the bananas from turning brown and will keep them moist so they don’t dry out. Before adding them to the pie, pat the slices dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
In addition to sliced bananas, drizzle the top of the firmly chilled pie with chocolate syrup. If desired, sprinkle the top with sliced almonds.
In the freezer, homemade banana pudding pie will keep its texture up to 1 week. If tented loosely in foil and refrigerated, a banana cream pie will stay fresh in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Store it on a shelf away from fragrant foods like beans, meat, onion, garlic, etc.
🥧 More Thanksgiving Pies & Treats
If you love banana pudding pie, you’ll enjoy these easy recipes too. Add them to your recipe arsenal. They’re ideal for Thanksgiving and all year round.
- Key Lime Pie
- Strawberry Jello Pie
- Libby’s Pumpkin Pie
- Grandma’s Apple Pie
- No-Bake Fresh Strawberry Pie
- Apple Galette
- Classic Lemon Bars
- Pecan Pie Bars
Rate This Recipe ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Flavor testers said this is the best banana pudding pie they’ve ever tried! It rivals the taste and texture of an old-fashioned banana cream pie that takes much longer to make. They also said it’s 100% better than Marie Callender’s restaurant banana cream pie.
If you agree this recipe’s a keeper, give it a 5-star rating in the comments. Then be a recipe hero. Share it with friends. 📌 Pin it to Pinterest.Print
This is the best recipe for banana pudding pie. This luxurious no-bake dessert is quick and easy to assemble in 15 minutes, then chill to set. Enjoy banana cream pie for summer potlucks, social gatherings, and Thanksgiving dessert.
1 9-inch vanilla wafer crust, homemade or store-bought
- 1 cup cold milk (whole milk or 2%)
- 1 (3.4-ounce) box instant vanilla pudding mix
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups Cool Whip* (frozen whipped topping), thawed
- 1 1/2 medium firm bananas, sliced
- 1 1/2 cups Cool Whip, thawed
- 1 1/2 medium firm bananas, sliced
*Size of Cool Whip for this recipe: One 16-ounce tub or two 8-ounce tubs. A 16-ounce tub yields about 5 cups of whipped topping.
RECIPE PREP: Parbake a homemade cookie crust in a 350°F oven for 7 to 8 minutes until light golden blonde. Cool the crust completely. Or use a store-bought crust instead.
- In a large bowl, whisk together milk, pudding mix, and vanilla extract for 2 minutes to thicken it to pudding consistency. Let the mixture set for 5 minutes. It will continue to thicken. Add 3 cups thawed Cool Whip to the bowl. Gently fold it in with a rubber spatula. Don’t over-mix, or the filling will go flat.
- Spoon half the pudding mixture into the pie crust. Arrange an even layer of banana slices over the top. Spread the remaining pudding over the bananas. Top the banana pudding pie with a layer of Cool Whip, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the sides. We want the filling of the banana cream pie visible.
- Freeze 4 to 6 hours to set. If frozen longer, defrost 10 to 15 minutes at room temperature so slicing is easier. Before serving, garnish the top with freshly-sliced bananas.
Never defrost a tub of frozen whipped topping on the countertop. It will go flat. Thaw the tub of Cool Whip overnight in the fridge.
Yellow gel food coloring: I don’t use any food coloring for my banana pudding pies. However, I know that some bakers do. So if you’d like to gently deepen the color of the filling, add the tiniest bit of yellow gel food coloring (not liquid food coloring) when folding in the Cool Whip. Make sure not to overmix, or the filling will deflate. For the best visual appeal, keep the color a nice soft yellow.
How long does banana pudding pie last? In the freezer, homemade banana pudding pie will keep its texture up to 1 week. If tented loosely in foil and refrigerated, a banana cream pie will stay fresh in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Store the pie on a refrigerator shelf away from fragrant foods like beans, meat, onion, garlic, etc.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Chill Time: 4 Hours
- Cook Time: 0 Minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: No-Bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Banana Pudding Pie, Banana Cream Pie, Banana Pie
Banana Pudding Pie 👉🏻 Join the Convo
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