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Vegan Banana Cream Pie: A Dairy-Free Dream

Delicious vegan dessert without dairy doesn't have to be complicated. We made this sweet, no-bake tofu banana cream pie with a graham cracker crust in under 40 minutes from start to finish. 

Sweet, dreamy, and fruity - Banana cream pie is one of my favorite desserts, but as the name suggests, the original recipe is full of cream and butter. 

Silken tofu is a velvety soft, Japanese-style tofu that adds a creamy element to many dishes. Fresh banana slices, silken tofu, and full-fat coconut milk blend to make a banana pie filling that is creamy and sweet enough that everyone will enjoy. 

This pie doesn't need baking, so you can quickly whip it up in record time with just a few ingredients.

Read below for directions on assembling the graham cracker crust, pureeing your banana filling, and making a rich coconut whipped cream to dollop on each luxurious slice.

How to make dairy-free banana cream pie

From start to finish, it takes 40 minutes to make this easy banana cream pie. No-bake pies make a fantastic dessert for a dinner party when you're short on preparation time. 

Ingredients

For your graham cracker crust:

  • 1 ⅓ cups graham cracker crumbs, finely ground
  • ⅓ cup of unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 5 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 6 Tbsp dairy-free butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 to 2 ripe bananas, sliced and peeled

For your vegan banana cream pie filling:

  • ¾ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup coconut milk, full-fat
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • 2 packages of extra-firm silken tofu
  • 2 large bananas, peeled and mashed
  • ½ tsp sea salt, finely ground
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

For your creamy pie topping:

  • 2 (14-oz) cans of full-fat coconut milk 
  • ⅓ cup + 2 Tbsp confectionary sugar
  • Any sweet garnishes of your choice

 Building your pie crust

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly grease your 9-inch pie dish with coconut oil and set aside.
  2. Using a small-sized mixing bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and coconut flakes until well combined.
  3. Pour in the melted dairy-free butter or margarine and stir until the mixture begins to clump together. Press the graham crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared pie plate.
  4.  Place in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
  5. Remove the pie plate from the oven. Transfer the dish to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
  6. Thinly slice the bananas. Place a layer of fresh banana slices in the bottom of the pie crust before filling.

Preparing your banana filling

  1. Place a small-sized saucepan over medium-low heat. Place the maple syrup, coconut milk, and corn starch in the pan and mix well. 
  2. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes while stirring often, or until the mixture is slightly thickened and reduced. Stir in your coconut oil and remove the saucepan from the heat.
  3. Place tofu, bananas, sea salt, and vanilla extract in a blender and process until creamy. Scrape down the sides of the blender with a spatula a few times between processing.
  4. Pour in the slightly cooled coconut-maple syrup mixture. Blend until the combination is a smooth and creamy texture.
  5. Pour your filling into the cooled pie crust, on top of the banana slices.
  6. Place the banana pie in the refrigerator to cool. The banana cream pie sets fully in 3 to 6 hours.

Whipping up your coconut cream topping - right before serving

  1. Place both cans of coconut milk, mixing bowl, and whisk attachment from your standing mixer in your refrigerator for a minimum of 8 hours, up to overnight.
  2. Remove all items from the fridge. Work as quickly as you can while the ingredients are still cold. Attach the mixing bowl and whisk attachment to the standing mixer right before preparing the whipped cream.
  3. Puncture a hole into the coconut milk cans with the pointed end of a can opener. Drain and discard the watery liquid from the cans. You can also save it for smoothies.
  4. Once the fluid is fully drained, open the cans. Scoop out the coconut fat and drop into the chilled mixing bowl.
  5. Whip the coconut fat at high speed for 15 to 20 seconds, or until smooth.
  6. Add the confectionary sugar and mix for 20 seconds more. Start at low-speed and increase to high until the sugar is just incorporated. (Do not overmix!)
  7. Slice your pie, and dollop a generous amount of whipped cream on top. Add any other toppings you'd like. 
  8. Serve, and enjoy your eggless banana cream pie!

Vegan banana pudding pie: Tips + FAQ

Vegan pie toppings

This banana cream pie is so delicious on its own it doesn'tneed any extra toppings, but they make a fun addition to the dish, along with the whipped coconut cream we've included in the recipe.

You can top your vegan banana cream pie with extra banana slices, flaked coconut, or dairy-free dark chocolate shavings.

Premade crust

Our graham pie crust is ridiculously easy to make, but if you're short on time or ingredients, they sell vegan cookie pie crusts at most supermarkets. 

If your premade pie shell needs baking, bake it in the oven according to package directions, filled with pie weights. Once your shell bakes thoroughly, remove the weights and let it cool. Then, add your banana cream filling and continue according to our directions. 

Gluten-free pie options

You can effortlessly adapt this recipe for people with gluten sensitivities and allergies. Replace your graham cracker crumbs with gluten-free graham, and voila, you have a gluten-free banana cream pie!

You could also omit the crust altogether for a banana cream custard that is entirely gluten-free.

Silken vs. firm tofu

Silken tofu is a super soft, creamy protein used to replace cream and milk in desserts, salad dressing, and plenty of other recipes. 

Firm tofu is a pressed soybean curd block. It makes an excellent protein to use in stir-fries and other dishes where you want the soy to retain its shape. It's often a replacement for animal protein, namely meats. 

Firm and extra-firm tofu need to be pressed before preparation and cooking to remove some water and give a deliciously crispy result. 

Silken tofu doesn't need pressing, as it is incredibly soft and will crumble to pieces. For a recipe like this one, you want to maintain the water content of silken tofu; that's what gives our vegan banana cream pie a beautiful velvety texture. 

Can I use light coconut milk instead?

Light coconut milk is quite different in texture from the full-fat variety. We recommend using full-fat for the best results. 

You could use light coconut milk for the vegan banana cream pie center, but the consistency will be a little thinner. Give your pie a bit of extra time to set if you're using light coconut milk. 

For the whipped coconut cream, you cannot substitute light milk. When you refrigerate the can of coconut milk, the fat separates from the liquid. We pour off the liquid because only the coconut fat whips up properly. 

Light coconut milk won't separate as the fat content is too low - omit the whipped coconut cream if you cannot use full-fat coconut milk. 

Is vegan banana cream pie good for you?

Though the calories and sugar levels are high, the ingredients' quality in this dessert makes it healthier than the original. 

Coconut oil is full of healthy fats that promote brain health and excellent cholesterol levels. Coconut milk is an excellent source of several vitamins, minerals, medium-chain triglycerides, and healthy fatty acids. 

Although we wouldn't recommend consuming this pie daily, you'd be better off indulging in this banana cream pie rather than the non-vegan version. 

Final notes: The best no-bake banana cream pie recipe

This vegan banana cream pie will wow your friends and family; no one needs to know how easy it is to make!

Silken tofu lightens up the recipe by replacing milk, cream, and butter with better vegan options.

Like the classic version, this banana cream pie is still high in sugar, fat, and calories. Consume our banana cream pie in moderation like any other dessert. 

Try switching it up by adding fresh, in-season fruit, like raspberries and strawberries. 

Bon appetit!

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