I’m starting to think of the cupcake as a a medium which can be molded into any flavor combination you might imagine.  With the combination of cake, filling, frosting and garnish, the options are endless.  To this end, I’ve created a menu of cupcake flavors for my coworkers to choose from when their birthday rolls around.  Some of the flavors on the list are actual recipes I have saved somewhere, but many of them are simply a vague idea that popped into my head while I was writing the list.  Not a problem until someone actually chooses the banana cream pie cupcakes and I’m like okay, how do I make this flavor happen?

That was exactly the case with these banana cream pie cupcakes.  I considered making mini pie crusts using the cupcake wells, but then technically it wouldn’t have been a cupcake so I nixed that idea.  Ultimately I decided on a vanilla bean cake as a base with a complimenting flavor.  I used the cone method to fill each cupcake with some banana slices and a scoop of vanilla pastry cream (be still my heart) and then topped them with a whipped cream frosting.  Finally, I used little rounds of pie crust to garnish the cupcakes.   It may be tempting to skip these but I think this is an essential touch to really mimic the flavor profile of a banana cream pie.  The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and I’m so glad I had a chance to make these.  Stay tuned for more great cupcakes coming your way – the January birthday honorees all made excellent selections!


For the pastry cream:
2 cups half-and-half
½ cup sugar, divided
Pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
3 tbsp. cornstarch
4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the cupcakes:
3 cups cake flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
16 tbsp. (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1¼ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

For the whipped cream:
1¾ cup heavy cream
6 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract

To assemble:
60 banana slices (about 3 bananas), plus more for topping if desired
1 batch pie dough
1 large egg beaten with 1 tbsp. water


  • 01

    To make the pastry cream, heat the half-and-half, 6 tablespoons of the sugar, and the salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat until simmering, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.  Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until the sugar has begun to dissolve and the mixture is creamy, about 15 seconds.  Whisk in the cornstarch until combined and the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 30 seconds.  When the half-and-half mixture has reached a simmer, slowly add it to the egg yolk mixture to temper, whisking constantly.  Return the mixture to the saucepan, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Return the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until a few bubbles burst on the surface and the mixture is thickened and glossy, about 30 seconds.  Off the heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla.  Strain the pastry cream through a  fine mesh sieve set over a medium bowl.  Press plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.

  • 02

    To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt.  Whisk together and set aside.  Add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the bowl of the mixer with the butter and discard the pod (or reserve for another use.)  Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light and creamy in color.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for one more minute.

  • 03

    Add the sugar to the butter mixture, ¼ cup at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition.  Mix in the eggs one at a time until incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition.  Combine the buttermilk and the vanilla extract in a liquid measuring cup.  With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the wet ingredients, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for 15 seconds longer.

  • 04

    Divide the batter between the prepared paper liners, filling each about 2/3 of the way full.  Bake 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.  Replace paper liners and bake remaining batter as before.

  • 05

    To fill the cupcakes, use the cone method to hollow out the center of the cupcakes (I prefer the paring knife method for these cupcakes).  Discard the cones.  Place a single slice of banana inside of each cupcake.  Top with a small spoonful of the pastry cream and another slice of banana on top of that.

  • 06

    To frost the cupcakes, combine the cream and confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whip on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, being careful not to over-beat.  Blend in the vanilla extract.  Transfer the whipped cream to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip (I used a large unlabeled star tip).  Pipe a swirl of whipped cream on top of each cupcake.

  • 07

    To finish, preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.  Roll out the pie dough on a lightly floured surface and cut out small decorative rounds with a cookie cutter.  Transfer the rounds to the prepared baking sheet and brush lightly with the egg wash.  Bake about 15 minutes, or until light golden brown.  Let cool completely.  (The pie dough rounds can certainly be made in advance and stored in an airtight container.)  Just before serving, top cupcakes with a round of pie crust and an additional banana slice, if desired.


  • Sara

    Wow! Those sound delicious, but they really caught my eye because they are so beautiful! Where did you get the cake cups?

  • You’re a dream co-worker! How sweet of you to make all these yummy cupcackes!:) I’m trying to figure out how to make an Irn Bru {weird, Scottish soda} cupcake for my brother-in-law! I’ll keep you posted if it’s a success or not!:) Have a great weekend, Annie!

  • Sarah Bulmer

    These are adorable! I always love your presentation. So fresh and so clean clean. Love the paper liners, too.

  • Anonymous

    I wish I could remember! I bought them so long ago. I looked in all my usual places online but wasn’t able to find them anymore.

  • Rachel

    Wow oh wow. I had spent the past two weeks looking for banana cupcakes on the internet to make for a friend’s birthday- then you post this. Heaven! And I agree with Sara, the cake cups are beautiful.

  • Angel

    Great minds think alike. I just made these tonight. I used Martha’s roasted banana cake, nilla wafer crust, pastry cream filling, your whipped cream topping & a caramelized banana on top! Love it!

  • Julie

    it is 4:58 a.m. and my mouth is watering!

  • They look too gorgeous to eat. Just beautiful! Great flavour combination too. Thanks for the filling tip, I am off to look at it now.

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    These are so freaking cute! I just want to squeeze them!

  • Nicole

    I like that you even added the pie crust to the cupcake. My dad would love this cupcake!

    The baking liners you choose are always so cute. Do you happen to have a favorite online supplier?

  • Beautiful photo! I love banana anything so these are going at the top of my “To Make” list.

  • So true! Cupcakes can be ANYTHING! These look gorgeous and delicious!

  • Azuki Gorriz

    I love it! looks yummy, I’m gonna try those one for sure.
    Thanks for sharing it n_n

  • These are too cute for words! Even though I’m not a huge banana cream pie fan, I don’t know that I could turn one of these down.

  • These look delicious! I love how you continue to develop new cupcake flavors! With your ability to match compatible flavors and components, the possibilities ARE endless!

  • Kristineskitchen

    These look beautiful! I love the way you included a little pie crust round on top. I can’t wait to make these!

  • Judi Kahler

    How did you keep the bananas from browning?

  • Shobithasuresh

    this is absolutely amazing. I have a cupcake fever. I want to keep baking ’em every day

  • Anonymous

    I hope it’s not inappropriate to declare my love for you. These look AWESOME!!!

  • Anonymous

    I put the slices on just before serving. You could try brushing with a bit of water mixed with lemon juice, but I’m not sure that would be totally effective.

  • Anonymous

    Please see the FAQ page where I’ve listed my favorites.

  • Anonymous

    These remind me of Spring!

  • I adore banana cream pie, it’s one of my favorites! Turning it into a cupcake it a brilliant idea :)

  • These look amazing!!

  • Laura
  • Judi Kahler

    I was also thinking of lemon juice. :-)

  • So creative! I love banana cream pie so I will definitely be looking for an excuse to make these!

  • Oh my gosh! Anything with pastry cream is okay in my book! These look out of this world!

  • Coby

    Those are adorable and look amazing! Seriously, I am cupcake-challenged. I cannot make cupcakes to save my life! Not from scratch, not from a box. How hard can it be, right?

    I will just look at the pretty pictures of yours and drool.

  • Ummm, I wish I was your coworker so I could sample these! I love banana cream pie, but it never even crossed my mind to make a cupcake version. These look delicious!

  • Thimbleanna

    Oh Yum! Those cupcakes look amazing. Thanks for being so creative! (hmmm, do you by any chance have a cupcake in your repertoire that can match the Bride’s Cupcake at Flying Cupcake?)

  • joyce

    its my birthday today and i love banana cream pie! i’m definitely making these. thanks annie!

  • Anonymous

    I love the addition of the crust!

  • ooohhh sounds delicious! look beautiful as well – as usual great flavour combo!

  • ohhh sounds delicious! beautiful too – as usual great flavour combo

  • I definitely agree with you about cupcakes being a medium which can be molded into any flavor combination. The possibilities really are endless, as I’ve found since beginning a board on Pinterest dedicated exclusively to cupcakes. These, of course, just got pinned.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not familiar with Flying Cupcake or the Bride’s Cupcake. Give me more details and I’ll see what I can do.

  • ummmmmmm…..yum. I miss your cupcakes. But I miss you more. :(

  • Cluttercafe


  • I’ve been on a banana kick lately. Can’t imagine how wonderful these are! That crust garnish is freaking adorable, btw.

  • These are soo cute, and seem like they would be mildly sweet. I’m tired of over-sugared desserts.

  • Thimbleanna

    Hi Annie,
    They’re a cupcake shop with three locations – 715 Mass. Ave. and 5617 N. Illinois in Indy, and 831 S. Rangeline Rd. in Carmel. Lots of people rave about the Bride’s cupcake — it’s basically an almond flavored vanilla vanilla cupcake. I’d love to be able to make them at home!

  • Brooke

    Oh my goodness… You combined 2 of my most favorite things!!! Can’t wait to try these!!

  • Carolyn S.

    OMG Annie! You really outdid yourself! I am sure you hear this all the time (as do I) but where do you find the time! But I get it because – I like you love baking, so I just make time for it.. it’s “me” time :)

    These look wonderful, thanks for sharing! Isn’t it fun bringing all these treats to work!

  • Dj @ BakingPerfection.com

    I can’t wait to try this! Your picture is amazing! It made me happy!! Thanks for this post!

  • Jsg341

    They look so delicious! I would love to be your co worker!

  • Rachel Willen@FoodFix

    These look so sunny and spring like…just the thing to brighten my day…Yum…I’m in that winter mood…considering there is 6 inches of snow on the ground outside my window right now! I’ve been making confits…confit garlic, onions, onions and fennel, turkey legs….a low, slow oil poaching process that gives you beautiful results and confits that have a long, long shelf life in the fridge…looks like I’ll be housebound and cooking this weekend…think these cupcakes would lift our spirits!

  • These are so adorable! You would definitely be most valued employee at my job with your birthday cupcakes!

  • Tiffany

    Where did you get those adorable liners??? And how do you keep the liners liners so clean looking after baking? Mine always darken and the patterns aren’t even visible anymore

  • Amy

    OH. MY. GOODNESS. You just became my favorite blogger!!!!!!!!!! These look SOOO delicious! I am not a cupcake fan (although, my husband could eat some for breakfast, lunch & dinner) but I am DEF going to try these. Banana Cream Pie is my absolute favorite dessert! *drool* Thanks, Annie… for your continuous wonderful creations. Keep them coming!!! :)

  • Catherine

    This sounds wonderful Annie. I am so glad your coworker picked it as well!

  • 100% making these! Thank you for sharing!

    : ))

  • You are a cupcake-GENIUS. Seriously– me thinks you need a publishing deal!

  • Tiffany | Peanut Blossom

    I loathe bananas with such amazing intensity and yet that photo makes me want to lap those cupcakes up and lick my fingers. Gorgeous, sunny, and so delightfully cheerful. Lucky birthday recipient (who I assumes loves bananas!)

  • Anonymous

    Tiffany, please see the previous comments for the discussion of where the liners might be available. As for keeping them looking bright, that all has to do with the quality of the liner you buy. Many that are widely available (such as Wilton) may look cute initially but won’t be visible after baking.

  • Jen

    Looks like they worked out just fine though, and super cute to boot!

  • Sylvie77

    I’d love one of those right now as a Sunday afternoon treat.

  • Joti

    Do you have to refrigerate these if not eaten right away because of the cream?

  • Anglin

    Just a comment on how much I love your blog. I have been reading for about a year now and I have tried many of your recipes. I have come to have deep trust in you as a cook and baker – when you say something is ‘amazing’, it truly is. This is not always the case with other blogs/recipes. A couple of weeks ago I wanted to make a baked macaroni dish. I had 5 recipes to choose from which all looked delicious. Finally it dawned on me – I should always choose your recipes. You put the same amount of thought, care and time into cooking that I do and you have great taste. Of course the macaroni was a winner! (It was supposed to be the ‘kid food’ at a dinner party and the adults couldn’t stop eating it! Thanks for all you do to make this blog spectacular. It’s my favourite for good reason.

  • Anonymous

    Anne, thank you very much for your sweet comment. I truly appreciate it. I do spend a lot of time testing, tweaking, and presenting the recipes so that they will be something you can trust so I’m glad that you think I’m meeting this goal. Thanks for reading!

  • Anonymous

    Please see the FAQ page regarding food storage. Thanks!

  • These look so cute! Definitely must give these a try!!

  • What gorgeous cupcakes! We tend to eat embaaaaarrassing amounts of banana pudding during the summer at our family get-togethers – I can’t wait to try these out on the family, I know they’ll adore them!

  • Okay, I’m going to break away from my peanut butter fixation and try these! I think I can already taste them. Beautiful!

  • these look incredible!!! i love the cupcake liners and the photo is gorgeous:)

  • Ela

    Is it All Purpose Flour or Cake Flour which one did you use? In the ingredients it says all purpose flour but in the instructions it says cake Flour.

    I’m one of those who agree with the other posters that you’ve got a great taste and your presentation of food is awesome! I’m greatful that you’re honest and straight forward with your postings on how the food really taste. I’ve already deleted some blogs that post great photos but when you try the recipe it tastes “blah!” It’s so misleading and waste of money and energy. Thank you and keep up the good work!

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, I’ve corrected that discrepancy now. Thanks for your kind words!

  • Emily

    where do you get your cupcake holders? they seem to look really durable and cute!

  • I’m afraid to admit the amount of banana cream pie we eat around here. These cupcakes look so very tempting!

  • these look so yummy! I wish I wan’t doing the dairy free thing right now!! Might have to tinker with these. :)

  • These look amazing! Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  • Gaby

    Made these.. were so yummy! The only problem I had was with the banana slices, do you have a trick to make ’em last longer without turning brown? Thank you :D

  • Anonymous

    Supposedly you can brush them with lemon juice but I didn’t want mine to taste like lemon. I just added them immediately before serving.

  • jemape11emegan

    Maybe try baking them inside the cupcake? I’ve done this with nutella and peanut butter cupcakes and it turns out great! You don’t get to see the banana with the presentation, but it would be a fun surprise inside!

  • annieseats

    That wouldn’t really have the same effect since the bananas in banana cream pie should be fresh, not baked, and baked bananas will turn brown and change texture anyway.

  • Carm

    I just made these the other week and they were a HUGE hit! Thanks for sharing!

  • Sweettee112297

    I was wondering, could I use the pastry cream recipe used in your actual banana cream pie recipe instead of the one listed here?

  • CassidyCakes

    im going to use a banana chip.

  • michelle

    this might sound silly of me but what is half and half? is it a type of cream?

  • annieseats

    Half milk, half cream. Google for more info.

  • Those look wonderful! They sound just like banana cream pie with all the components. I would love to dive right into one of these!