Why Americans should get their hands off our Banoffee Pie

Brits don’t pretend they invented the pecan pie or the chocolate chip cookie, so Americans should give credit where credit is due: Banoffee Pie is BRITISH!

Banoffee Pie being made
Banoffee Pie being made

Banoffee pie is an English dessert pie made from bananas, cream and toffee from boiled condensed milk (or dulce de leche), either on a pastry base or one made from crumbled biscuits and butter. Some versions of the recipe also include chocolate, coffee or both. Its name is a portmanteau constructed from the words “banana” and “toffee”.

The finished product!

This pie was inadvertently invented by a couple of British chefs by amending an unreliable American recipe with soft toffee made by boiling an unopened can of condensed milk for several hours. After trying various changes, including the addition of apple, mandarin orange, and even liquorice(!), banana was tried – and the creators immediately knew they were on to a winner! Hence, the naming of the new dessert with the portmanteau “Banoffee Pie”, as it effectively just added banana to what was already a toffee sweet.

Banoffee Pie
Banoffee Pie

There is so much fun to be had when eating Banoffee Pie. It’s one of those desserts that just looks and tastes dirty – but isn’t that the whole point of eating it? If we wanted something healthier, maybe we’d only eat the banana, but gobbling down a dessert with added sickly toffee is a perfect way to end a fulsome meal, if you ask me! Latterly, I have seen many smaller, bite-sized portions of Banoffee Pie being served in cafés, and these look so cute that you’re almost guilty to begin eating them!

But what we can all agree on is that this is one of the top desserts in the UK and in Europe. In fact, even Americans have now adopted Banoffee Pie and try to claim it as their own, but there’s no denying that it’s a typically British invention – even if we did stumble across its recipe by accident!

13 thoughts on “Why Americans should get their hands off our Banoffee Pie

  1. Banoffee is English? Why did I think it was Italian? When it comes to British food, my mind stops at Fish & Chips & Sheperd’s Pie. Of course, you have your marvellous scones.


    1. Banoffee does sound Italian, Rajiv! 😀 And yeah fish and chips and scones are typically British! Can you get scones in India? What’s the closest thing to it over there?


    1. Yep, the situation of ownership with Banoffee Pie is a bit like Pavlova – the Kiwis and the Aussies both claim it for themselves! But Banoffee is delicious, you are correct 😛


  2. this sounds like something i could eat a bucket full of. i’ve been to london once, for a week. i ate a lot of things there but not this. i don’t think i came across this dessert at all. or maybe i just wasn’t aware of it. nobody ever told me about this dessert before. not even my cousin who lives there and took me around the city! sigh..


  3. I grew up in the US, and I moved here to the UK in 2003. I had *never* heard of banoffee pie until I moved here, and saw it on menus for countless “American” restaurants.

    I have still never seen it in my trips back to the US, but I do still often see it on American menus here in the UK. I also see Halloumi on the menus of UK Mexican restaurants (spoiler alert: Halloumi is Greek, and Greece is nowhere near Mexico.)

    I don’t think the Americans are trying to claim banoffee any more than the Mexicans are trying to claim Halloumi. I think that restaurant owners are lazy and often don’t research properly.


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