Banana Pudding Cheesecake

Banana Pudding Cheesecake: A Nostalgic Twist on a Classic

There’s something undeniably comforting and delightful about banana pudding. Its creamy layers of vanilla pudding, sweet wafers, and fresh bananas evoke childhood memories of potlucks and family gatherings. But what if we took this beloved dessert and elevated it to a whole new level? Enter Banana Pudding Cheesecake – a symphony of textures and flavors that’s sure to become a new favorite for families and individuals alike.

This recipe combines the creamy richness of cheesecake with the refreshing sweetness of banana pudding, creating a dessert that’s both decadent and delightful. It’s perfect for special occasions, potlucks, or simply indulging in a delightful treat. Plus, it’s surprisingly easy to make, requiring no fancy equipment or complicated techniques.

This guide will walk you through every step of creating this delicious Banana Pudding Cheesecake, from preparing the buttery graham cracker crust to layering the creamy filling and delightful banana topping. We’ll also explore some tips and tricks to ensure your cheesecake turns out perfectly every time.


For the Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs (about 15-18 graham crackers)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup melted unsalted butter

For the Cheesecake Filling:

  • 32 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature (4 blocks)
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3-4 bananas)
  • 1 (3.4 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix

For the Banana Pudding Topping:

  • 2-3 large ripe bananas, sliced
  • 1 ½ cups vanilla pudding (instant or homemade)
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional Garnishes:

  • Whipped cream
  • Fresh banana slices
  • Mini vanilla wafers


1. Preheat and Prepare the Pan:

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C). Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

2. Make the Graham Cracker Crust:

  • In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Mix well until the crumbs are evenly coated and resemble wet sand.
  • Press the crumb mixture firmly onto the bottom of the prepared springform pan, ensuring an even layer extends slightly up the sides (about ½ inch). Use a measuring cup or the back of a spoon to achieve a compact crust.
  • Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack while you prepare the filling.

3. Beat the Cream Cheese:

  • In a large bowl using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the softened cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed. This step ensures a smooth cheesecake filling.

4. Add Eggs and Vanilla:

  • Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl again to ensure even mixing.
  • Stir in the vanilla extract and salt until just combined.

5. Fold in Mashed Bananas:

  • In a separate bowl, mash the ripe bananas until smooth. Gently fold the mashed bananas into the cheesecake batter using a rubber spatula. Avoid overmixing to maintain a smooth texture.

6. Add Dry Ingredients:

  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the instant vanilla pudding mix. Gradually add the dry pudding mix to the cheesecake batter, mixing on low speed until just incorporated. Be careful not to overmix, as this can lead to a tough cheesecake.

7. Assemble the Cheesecake:

  • Pour the cheesecake batter into the cooled graham cracker crust. Smooth the top with a spatula to ensure an even layer.

8. Water Bath Magic:

  • To prevent cracks on the cheesecake surface, we’ll use a water bath technique. Wrap the outside of the springform pan tightly with a double layer of aluminum foil, creating a seal to prevent water from seeping in.
  • Place the springform pan on a large baking sheet. Carefully pour hot water (around 1-inch deep) into the baking sheet, ensuring it reaches about halfway up the sides of the pan.

9. Bake the Cheesecake:

  • Bake the cheesecake for 60-70 minutes, or until the center is slightly jiggly but the edges are set. The internal temperature should reach around 150°F (66°C) when measured with an instant-read thermometer inserted near the center.

10. Cool Completely :

  • Leave the cheesecake inside the turned-off oven with the door slightly ajar for about an hour. This allows for gentle cooling and helps prevent cracks.
  • Then, remove the cheesecake from the oven and carefully remove the foil wrap. Let it cool completely at room temperature for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight in the refrigerator. This allows the cheesecake to set firmly and develop its full flavor.

11. Prepare the Banana Pudding Topping:

  • While the cheesecake chills, prepare the delightful banana pudding topping. In a small bowl, whisk together the vanilla pudding (instant or homemade) and powdered sugar until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl, whip the heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract with an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the vanilla pudding mixture until just combined.

12. Layer the Banana Magic:

  • Once the cheesecake is chilled, carefully remove it from the springform pan by releasing the latch and gently pulling away the sides.
  • Place the cheesecake on a serving plate. Arrange the sliced bananas evenly over the top of the cheesecake in a single layer.
  • Spoon the prepared banana pudding mixture over the bananas, spreading it evenly to create a smooth layer.

13. Optional Garnishes:

  • This is where you can unleash your creativity! Here are some ideas for garnishing your Banana Pudding Cheesecake:
    • Classic Touch: A dollop of whipped cream and a few fresh banana slices never disappoint.
    • Mini Wafer Fun: Top with a sprinkle of mini vanilla wafers for a nostalgic touch.
    • Chocolate Drizzle: For a decadent twist, drizzle some melted chocolate or chocolate ganache over the top.
    • Fruity Flair: Add a splash of color with fresh berries like strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries.

14. Slice and Serve:

  • Use a sharp knife dipped in warm water to cut clean slices of your Banana Pudding Cheesecake. Wipe the knife clean between cuts for a smooth presentation.
  • Serve chilled and enjoy the delightful combination of creamy cheesecake, refreshing bananas, and a touch of vanilla pudding in every bite!

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Banana Pudding Cheesecake:

Mastering the Crust:

  • Flavor Boost: For a richer crust, add a pinch of salt or a teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the graham cracker crumb mixture.
  • Nutty Delight: Substitute half of the graham crackers with chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts for a textural and flavorful twist.
  • Pre-Bake Perfection: If you prefer a crispier crust, pre-bake it for 5-7 minutes before adding the cheesecake filling.

Cheesecake Filling Finesse:

  • Creamy Dream: For an extra-smooth cheesecake filling, strain the mashed bananas through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any large chunks.
  • Banana Bonanza: Feeling adventurous? Add a splash of rum or bourbon to the mashed bananas for a boozy twist (be sure to adjust the recipe for adult consumption only).
  • Mix-in Magic: Fold in chopped white chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or even crumbled cookies like Oreos for a delightful surprise in every bite.

Banana Topping Brilliance:

  • Caramelized Comfort: For a touch of caramelized sweetness, sauté the sliced bananas in a pan with a knob of butter and a sprinkle of brown sugar before layering them on the cheesecake.
  • Vanilla Bean Bliss: Elevate your banana pudding by using real vanilla bean extract instead of vanilla extract in both the filling and topping. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean pod for an extra burst of flavor.
  • Fruity Fusion: Add a layer of fresh berries like strawberries or blueberries between the banana slices and the pudding topping for a delightful burst of color and flavor.

Presentation Perfection:

  • Stenciled Surprise: Stencil fun shapes or patterns onto the top of the cheesecake using cocoa powder or powdered sugar for a creative touch.
  • Chocolate Elegance: Pipe melted chocolate or chocolate ganache around the border of the cheesecake for a sophisticated look.
  • Edible Flowers: Add a touch of elegance by garnishing with edible flowers like pansies or violets.

Storage and Serving:

  • Refrigerate Thoroughly: Ensure the cheesecake chills completely in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight, for optimal texture and flavor.
  • Freezing Option: For longer storage, you can freeze the cheesecake (without the topping) for up to 2 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
  • Portion Control: Consider pre-cutting the cheesecake before serving for effortless portion control and a beautiful presentation.

In Conclusion:

This Banana Pudding Cheesecake recipe offers a delightful twist on a classic dessert, merging the richness of cheesecake with the refreshing flavors of banana pudding. It’s a crowd-pleaser perfect for potlucks, family gatherings, or simply satisfying your sweet tooth. With its straightforward instructions and helpful tips, you can recreate this delicious treat at home and impress everyone with your baking skills. So, gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to embark on a delightful journey into the world of Banana Pudding Cheesecake!

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