This shockingly easy banoffee pie combines a crunchy graham cracker crust, soft and sweet dulce de leche, thick slices of fresh banana, and a mountain of billowy whipped cream. Everyone who tries a slice is instantly hooked.
Welcome to my 3rd annual Pie Week! For the third year in a row, I’m bringing you dozens of pie recipes, both new and old, just in time for Thanksgiving. I actually kicked things off last week with my all butter pie crust recipe and have 4 new pie recipes for you this week. Want to stay updated? Subscribe to my email (it’s free!) and never miss a recipe. Here’s a trip down memory lane of the past 2 years. 🙂
And I have 4 new pie recipes for you this week, starting with banoffee pie. ‘Tis the season!
What is Banoffee Pie?
Many people don’t quite get it! A popular English dessert, banoffee pie = bananas + toffee. A rich combination of different textures and flavors, banoffee pie combines a cookie/biscuit or graham cracker crust with silky dulce de leche, bananas, and homemade whipped cream. I normally have impeccable self control around all the desserts I bake, but I literally could not put down my fork with this pie. Between the soft, crunchy, creamy, gooey, and sweet– there’s no denying banoffee pie’s allure. You’ll be hooked.
Adding to its appeal, banoffee pie is the EASIEST pie you’ll ever make. The 3 ingredient graham cracker crust is pre-baked, but that’s all the oven time required. Layer the remaining ingredients on top, then refrigerate until ready to dig in.
What is Dulce de Leche?
Dulce de leche is similar to caramel, but a little sweeter and creamier. It’s prepared by slowly heating sugar and milk until everything caramelizes. If we’re getting all scientific, I learned that a lot of the flavor comes from the Maillard reaction. Interesting! Dulce de leche is Spanish for candy made/of milk. There are a few ways to prepare dulce de leche including:
- The classic method of cooking down and constantly stirring milk and sugar
- The shortcut method of cooking sweetened condensed milk
We’re using the shortcut method today, but I included a link to a classic dulce de leche recipe in the recipe notes. Both are delicious!
Dulce de Leche Made from Sweetened Condensed Milk
There are a couple ways you can make dulce de leche from a can of sweetened condensed milk. You can boil it– the actual closed can– in a pot of water for a couple hours or you can pour the sweetened condensed milk in a pie dish and bake it in a water bath. I prefer the oven method because I’ve heard some pretty scary stories about the hot cans bursting open after boiling for so long. Items you need:
- large roasting pan
- pie dish
- 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
- aluminum foil
- Pour the sweetened condensed milk in a pie dish.
- Place the pie dish in a large roasting pan and place the roasting pan in the oven.
- Fill the roasting pan with enough HOT water until it reaches halfway up the pie dish. This is exactly what we do when we bake cheesecake.
- Loosely cover the pie dish with aluminum foil.
- Heat oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Bake until sweetened condensed milk has thickened and caramelized, about 2 hours. Add more hot water after 1 hour, since some of it has evaporated.
All of the “work” is hands-off. After 2 hours, the sweetened condensed milk has turned into golden dulce de leche. Magic. Let the dulce de leche cool, then pour into your pre-baked graham cracker crust. You can make the dulce de leche up to 2 weeks in advance.
After that, we have a layer of banana slices. Have you ever had caramel and banana before? This pie is exactly that, but better. A voluminous mountain of soft homemade whipped cream is the finishing touch! Piled high, this creamy layer balances out all the other textures and flavors in this completely irresistible pie.
Banoffee pie is so simple that you’ll feel like you’re doing something wrong. You’re not– it really is this easy. If pie crust isn’t your thing, banoffee pie is!
- 1 and 1/2 cups (150g) graham cracker crumbs (about 10 full sheet graham crackers)
- 5 Tablespoons (72g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
- 1 and 1/4 cups dulce de leche**
- 2 large bananas, sliced
- 2 cups (480ml) cold heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar or granulated sugar*
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- optional toppings: chocolate shavings, chopped nuts, or toffee bits for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
- If you’re starting out with full-sheet graham crackers, you can use a food processor or blender to grind them up. Or crush them in a zipped top bag with a rolling pin. Mix the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and granulated sugar together in a medium bowl until combined. The mixture will be thick, coarse, and sandy. Press the mixture into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9-inch pie dish. Make sure it is tight and compact. Use the bottom of a flat measuring cup to press it down tightly. Bake the crust for 15-16 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes (and up to 2 days) before adding the layers. Meanwhile, make the whipped cream. (Next step.)
- For the whipped cream: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract on medium-high speed until medium peaks form, about 3-4 minutes. Medium peaks are between soft/loose peaks and stiff peaks and are the perfect consistency for topping and piping on desserts.
- Spread dulce de leche on top of the crust. Arrange banana slices in 1-2 layers on top of the dulce de leche, then spread whipped cream on top.
- Refrigerate pie uncovered for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. Garnish with toppings before serving, if desired.
- Cover and store leftover pie in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Make ahead tip: Cover the baked and cooled graham cracker crust tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before using. Dulce de leche, instructions below, can be made up to 2 weeks in advance. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator. The fully assembled pie can be prepared up to 1 day in advance. Store uncovered in the refrigerator until ready to serve. I don’t recommend freezing the prepared banoffee pie because it doesn’t thaw very nicely, but you can certainly freeze any leftover slices for up to 3 months.
Dulce de leche: You can use store-bought dulce de leche, but I recommend making it at home. You can make it completely from scratch or use a can of sweetened condensed milk. Instructions: Pour the sweetened condensed milk in a pie dish. Place the pie dish in a large roasting pan and place the roasting pan in the oven. Fill the roasting pan with enough HOT water until it reaches halfway up the pie dish. Loosely cover the pie dish with aluminum foil. Heat oven to 350°F (177°C). Bake until sweetened condensed milk has thickened and caramelized, about 2 hours. Add more hot water after 1 hour, since some of it has evaporated. After 2 hours, the sweetened condensed milk has turned into golden dulce de leche. (If not, continue to bake.) Let the dulce de leche cool, then pour into your pre-baked graham cracker crust. You can make the dulce de leche up to 2 weeks in advance.
Bananas browning: Though I haven’t experienced the bananas browning underneath the whipped cream, you can certainly squeeze a few drops of fresh lemon juice all over the banana slices before layering them into the pie. This keeps the banana slices fresh, especially if you’re making the pie a day in advance. With a small amount of juice, you won’t detect the lemon flavor.
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Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.