Banoffee pie

Banoffee pie is a British dessert pie made from bananas, whipped cream and a thick caramel sauce (made from boiled condensed milk, or dulce de leche), combined either on a buttery biscuit base or one made from crumbled biscuits and butter.[1] Some versions of the recipe also include chocolate, coffee or both.

Banoffee pie
A slice of banoffee pie served with ice cream
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Region or stateJevington, East Sussex, England
Created byNigel Mackenzie and Ian Dowding
Main ingredientspastry base or crumbled biscuits, butter, bananas, cream, toffee

Its name, sometimes spelled "banoffi", is a portmanteau combining the words "banana" and "toffee".[2]


Credit for the pie's invention is claimed by Nigel Mackenzie and Ian Dowding,[3][4] the owner and chef, respectively, of The Hungry Monk Restaurant in Jevington, East Sussex, England (now closed).[5] They claim[6] to have based the dessert, in 1971, on a San Francisco recipe, that they could not consistently copy,[7] for "Blum's Coffee Toffee Pie",[8] using Dulce de leche, a soft toffee made by boiling an unopened can of condensed milk for several hours. After trying various changes including the addition of apple or mandarin orange, Mackenzie suggested banana and Dowding later said that "straight away we knew we had got it right". Mackenzie suggested the name "Banoffi Pie", and the dish proved so popular with their customers that they "couldn't take it off" the menu.[9]

The recipe was published in The Deeper Secrets of the Hungry Monk in 1974, and reprinted in the 1997 cookbook In Heaven with The Hungry Monk. Dowding has stated that his "pet hates are biscuit crumb bases and that horrible cream in aerosols".[10] It was Margaret Thatcher's favourite food to cook.[11]

In 1975, a Pecan Bottom Chocolate Toffee Pie with Mocha Whipped Cream at Mecklenburg Gardens, in Cincinnati became popular.[12]

Similar recipes were adopted by other restaurants throughout the world.[9] In 1984, a number of supermarkets began selling it as an American pie, leading Nigel Mackenzie to offer a £10,000 prize to anyone who could disprove their claim to be the English inventors.[13]

The word "Banoffee" entered the English language and became used to describe any food or product that tastes or smells of both banana and toffee.[2] A recipe for the pie, using a biscuit crumb base, is often printed on tins of Nestlé's condensed milk, although that recipe calls for the contents of the tin to be boiled with additional butter and sugar instead of boiling the unopened tin – presumably for safety reasons, as tins of Nestlé Carnation Condensed Milk bear the following warning: "CAUTION - Do not boil unopened can as bursting may occur."[14]

See also


  1. NewsLifeMedia. "Banoffee Pies Recipe". Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  2. "The Free Dictionary Online". Farlax. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
  3. Dowding, Ian. "The Completely True and Utter Story of Banoffi Pie". Ian Dowding. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  4. "Banoffee Pie Recipe". NYT Cooking. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  5. "The joys of jam roly-poly, a very British pudding". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 February 2018
  6. Dowding, Ian. "Consultant chef, writer and the inventor of Banoffi Pie". Ian Dowding. Archived from the original on 25 September 2022. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  7. "Everything you need to know about banoffee pie - from its creator". Great British Life. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  8. "The Completely True and Utter Story of Banoffi Pie". Ian Dowding. Retrieved 21 June 2009.
  9. Cloake, Felicity (26 June 2013). "How to make the perfect banoffee pie". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  10. The Celebrity Cookbook: Kitchen Secrets of the Rich and Famous; Brooks, Marla (1993)
  11. Woellert, Dann (8 June 2020). "Two Cincinnati Pies are Love Children of Blum's San Francisco Coffee Toffee Pie". Dann Woellert, The Food Etymologist. Archived from the original on 16 March 2021. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  12. "Daily Telegraph article about Banoffee Pie reward". 5 May 1994. Archived from the original on 20 June 2009. Retrieved 21 June 2009.
  13. "Nestlé Carnation Sweetened Condensed Milk, 397g : Grocery". Amazon UK.
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