Why You Need To Try Banoffee Pie Before You Die

Sweetened condensed milk is one of those canned oddities some bakers and home cooks are afraid to use. But for those who are in the know, an ode to condensed milk's sweet, silky flavor wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility. It's one of those special ingredients unmatched in its signature sweet taste and syrupy texture. From adding it to coffees to having it serve as the core ingredient of many dessert staples, like key lime pie or traditional flan, sweetened condensed milk is the lifeblood of many of our favorite indulgences.

Out of the many desserts that use the oft-misunderstood condensed milk as a central ingredient is Banoffee, or Banoffi, pie. (And if you haven't tried Banoffee pie before, add it to your bucket list, pronto.) A popular, ever-evolving British dessert, Banoffee pie has become an absolute go-to dish for people worldwide. With its many textures and satisfying flavor combinations, Banoffee pie is a must-try before you die — and for good reason.

Banoffee pie is just that good

There's a lot of taste jam-packed into a slice of Banoffee pie. Its crust is typically made up of a cinnamon graham cracker base. Subtly sweet bananas and delicious dulce de leche toffee serve as a custard-inspired filling, and it's all topped off with a pillowy layer of whipped cream. Considering the Banoffee pie recipe is generally relatively easy to follow, it's only one more reason that baking it to try a slice (or two, or three) is a must.

The name "Banoffee" is a combination of the words "banana" and "toffee," according to author and chef Ian Dowding. According to a post written by Dowding himself, the version of Banoffee pie we know and love today is due in part to Dowding's own attempts in the 1960s to play upon an earlier version of the dessert, originally called Blum's Coffee Toffee Pie. The previous iteration of the dish, like Banoffee pie today, contained toffee in its filling. Per Dowding, the problem with Blum's Coffee Toffee Pie was that achieving the right toffee consistency with its specific ingredients — butter, sugar, and cream — was next to impossible. 

Upon suggestion from his sister, Dowding came to a solution: Boiling cans of sweetened condensed milk in water could make for a very soft and easy-to-make toffee filling, one 10 times easier to produce. That version of the dessert quickly gained popularity, evolving into the Banoffee pie we know and love today.