Peanut Butter and Banana Cream Pie

Desserts, Pie / Monday, April 6th, 2009


I knew my brain was tired when I misread kola nuts as “koala nuts” a few days ago. I was reading a line of food trivia about their caffeine content. And then I read it again. And then I sat there wondering why koalas have caffeine in their nuts and how it got there. Was it there naturally? Too much Red Bull? And then I read that bit of trivia one more time. KOLA. Kola nuts.

I’m telling you this so that you won’t feel bad when I now tell you about my Epic Flash of Greatness, this Peanut Butter and Banana Cream Pie, the bastard child of this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe (Banana Cream Pie) and this month’s You Want Pies With That? challenge.

Yesssssss! It’s like writing one term paper and turning it in to two different professors. Huzzah!

This month’s YWPWT challenge is to make a “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” Pie based on someone famous, so this is my Hunk-a-Hunk-a Peanut Butter and Banana Cream Pie, based on the Lord of Graceland, Elvis Presley. I started with a vanilla wafer crust, spread on a layer of Dorie’s extra-rich banana cream, cover it in banana slices, spread on a layer of peanut butter cream, pipe on Dorie’s pie topping and sprinkle the pie with two handfuls of chopped peanuts.

For easy slicing, slide the pie into the freezer and then go out and buy all of your friends Cadillacs (like the King!), tease Priscilla’s hair (like the King!), do karate kicks in a sequined jumpsuit (like the King!), grow some muttonchops (like the King!) and only THEN will you be worthy to cut yourself a slice of this pie.

Rich and kitsch. Like the King!

Hunk-a Hunk-a Peanut Butter and Banana Cream Pie

Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Banana Cream Pie in “Baking: From My Home to Yours” and the Peanut Butter Cream Pie in “Bon Appetit”(May 2009)


  • 1 9-inch Vanilla Wafer Crust, baked and cooled (recipe below)
    Banana Cream Filling:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar, pressed through a sieve
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • 3 ripe but firm bananas
    Peanut Butter Cream Filling:

  • 3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup chilled heavy whipping cream

  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

  • 1 cup chopped peanuts
  1. To Make the Banana Custard: Bring milk to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the yolks together with the brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until well blended and thick. Whisking without stopping, drizzle in about 1/4 of the hot milk to temper the yolks. Still whisking, add the remainder of the milk in a steady stream.
  2. Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking constantly, bring the mixture to a boil. Boil, still whisking, for 1 to 2 minutes before removing from heat.
  3. Whisk in the vanilla extract. Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk in the bits of butter, stirring until they are fully incorporated and the custard is smooth and silky. You can either press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the custard to create an airtight seal and refrigerate the custard until cold or, if you want to cool the custard quickly, put the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water and stir occasionally until the custard is thoroughly chilled, about 20 minutes.
  4. When you are ready to assemble the pie, peel the bananas and cut them on a shallow diagonal into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
  5. Whisk the cold custard vigorously to loosen it, and spread about one quarter of it over the bottom of the Vanilla Wafer Crust. Top with half of the banana slices. Repeat, adding a thin layer of pastry cream and the remaining bananas, then smooth the rest of the pastry cream over the last layer of bananas.
  6. For the Peanut Butter Cream Filling: Using a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in vanilla and peanut butter.
  7. In a second bowl, whip cream until firm peaks form.
  8. Fold a large spoonful of whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture to loosen, then fold in the remaining cream in two additions.
  9. Spread peanut butter layer over bananas. Chill at least 3 hours.
  10. To Make the Topping: Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream until it just starts to thicken. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until the cream holds firm peaks. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the sour cream.
  11. To Finish: Spoon the whipped cream over the filling and spread it evenly to the edges of the custard. Serve, or refrigerate until needed.

Vanilla Wafer Crust

  • 6 ounces vanilla wafer cookies (Or, about 4 cups of crumbled cookies to get the required 1 3/4 cup crumbs.)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted (3/4 stick) butter, cut into small pieces
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine the ingredients in a food processor. Blend about 1 minute until you get fine, moist crumbs.
  3. Transfer the crumb mixture to a 9-inch pie pan. Press the crumbs onto the bottom and up the sides.
  4. Bake for about 12 minutes. Let it cool completely on a wire rack before filling.


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72 thoughts on “Peanut Butter and Banana Cream Pie

  1. I'm starting to grow a food baby just looking at those photos. Sounds pretty, awesome though. Any pie is a pie for me. I once posted about a banana cream pie with a gingersnap crust and thought that was pretty clever- adding peanut butter tops that, though.


    1. "Grow a food baby" – that's going to stick with me for a long, long time.

      A gingersnap crust sounds fantastic. Nice choice!

  2. Why didn't I think of adding Peanut Butter???? I might have actually made it if I had! I am so not a banana person. Grossed out by having to cut them up for the boys…but love banana bread….it's a texture thing!

    Anyway…..I am so voting for your pie this month!!!

    I am posting my submission today too! Yours Rocks!!

  3. Oh, yum, this looks so good! I love the pretty whipped cream piping, and adding a layer of peanut butter in there is a phenomenal idea.

  4. This. Sounds. Amazing.

    Unfortunately when I eat bananas it gives my baby an upset belly, so this has to get bookmarked until I’m done with breastfeeding her :(

  5. Damn, Rebecca. Husband saw that and the drool that fell from his dropped jaw pooled on the floor. If anything ever happens to me he's already said he's going to propose a polygamous marriage to you. For my birthday will you make this pie for my husband? And for your birthday, i'll get your husband some computer geek something or other?

  6. You just think you're so clever don'tcha?! You ARE! Love how you piped on the whipped topping, nicely done!

    I didn't make the shrimp burgers last night as all the kids except one had sleepovers at their friends house! Yay, so much easier when there is only one and it was the easier one left home at that. I'm gonna try again on Wed as I already bought what I needed. I'm going to use panko instead of bread crumbs.

  7. great name for a great pie, rebecca! it's gorgeous, and the king was certainly onto something with his love of peanut butter and bananas. really very nicely done. :)

  8. Peanut butter definitely takes this one to the next level. Why don't I ever think of things like that? I would happily lounge in the jungle room with a piece of this. It looks like the freezer trick worked like a charm!

  9. Ooh. I want that. But no one else in my house likes peanut butter and banana together. Did you say this can be frozen?

  10. Holy moly, look at that big fat slice! (Like the king!) Sounds fabulous. I wish you would have posted this earlier, since I feel like my pie could have used some serious mojo, and the addition of peanut butter sounds delicious.

  11. Koala nuts! Hilarious LOL

    That is one gorgeous pie and love the sunglasses in that last pic. I feel Elvis all over that one.

  12. You crack me up! And this pie? Well, I think The King himself would be proud!

    By the way, what tip did you use to get the top of the pie to look so purdy?

    Rich and kitsch pretty much sums this up perfectly. Hey, wouldn't that make a great band name? (tee-hee)

  13. Holy wow….this looks amazing! I love peanut butter and banana. This is going on my "to bake" list.

  14. Holy wow. That pie looks great. Mine was a little … mushier than that. And I love the piped on whipped cream. Next time I'll try that too!

  15. Love it! It looks spectacular. Oh, and I am so having that orzo with spinach and feta for dinner tonight. YUM! Thanks for the idea.

  16. Ok, you've got a winner there, and brownie points for the two-for-one pie! Great job, as usual!

  17. I just knew I would get over here and yours would be the best one of the week…it often happens that way, way way way too often! Wow…Jeff does not like bananas, isn't that wild…I have never known anyone who did not like bananas. Those stars are so perfect…how do YOU DO THAT???? Really lovely with all the little sprinklings, the inside looks wonderful…I so want to be you. Great job…you win this week.

  18. It's two, two, two pies in one. How perfect was that. You couldn't have planned it that way if you had tried. And both (heeHee) of those pies look delicious.

  19. Hummm… I'm not sure if I should tell you or Elvis… that great minds think alike! LOL For I too added peanut butter to the recipe (in a totaly different way).

    Yours is wayyyyy more fancy looking than mine though, and totaly superb! Just like the oh! so mouthwatering ones kept under dinner's glass bells!

  20. Two for the price of one! Perfect…and looking mighty fine, if I may say so. Everything looks uber-delicious. I love the addition of PB!

  21. Girl, I almost put peanut butter in mine! For some reason, when I think of banana, I think of peanut butter. I just love them together. Your pie looks scrumptious. What a wonderful wonderful pie! Absolutely beautiful. Good tip on freezing it first before slicing.

  22. I love the fact that you actually thought to yourself "How come Koala's have caffeine in their nut?" It made me really laugh out loud!

    Your pie is beautiful!

  23. Is that peanut butter or peanut butter cream? If so, what is peanut butter cream? Whipped cream with peanut butter folded in?

  24. we's got a problem here… I don't see a "real" recipe for your version, and I'm just tired enough that I can't figure out the vanilla wafer crust myself… some help here…….

  25. This looks fabulous. I was wondering if you could possibly share the recipe for the peanut butter cream. Many thanks.

  26. It's a good thing I wasn't drinking anything when I read "koalas" and "caffeine in their nuts." It would've come right out my nose!

    What a guilty pleasure of a pie. My son's allergic to peanuts, but I still love them, so I'm typing how wonderful your pie looks with a terrible conscience!

  27. OMG SOme seriously heavy drooling going one here. I so love taht last photo witht he Elvis glasses. I dont want a cadillac- I want this pie. Just a piece because if I had the whole pie, I would eat the whole pie!

  28. Love the way your pie came out… the decorations are beautiful.
    I really had never thought about adding peanut butter but the
    addition sound great!

  29. Your pie is beautiful! I love peanut butter and bananas together. Yum. I liked Dorie's recipe once I got past my frustration of the crust and custard not turning out as good as I wanted. I will conquer this pie!

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