This creamy banana pudding cheesecake is made with real bananas and crunchy vanilla cookies, topped with fluffy whipped cream, more cookies, and caramel!
Why You’ll Love This Banana Pudding Cheesecake Recipe
- Banana pudding flavor. This cheesecake is a banana lover’s dream! It’s made from layers of velvety cheesecake filled with banana slices and vanilla wafer cookies, baked in a crunchy vanilla wafer crust.
- Rich and creamy cheesecake. My cheesecake recipe is ridiculously soft and creamy, hitting the perfect balance between sweet and tangy.
- Fluffy whipped cream. You’ll finish off this dessert with a layer of pillowy whipped cream. It’s super quick to make from scratch!
If you love banana desserts like this banana blondie cheesecake, you’re going to go bananas for this banana pudding-inspired recipe! And if you’re after a classic cheesecake recipe, give this sour cream cheesecake a try.
Before we dive into how to make the best banana cheesecake ever, I’ve included some quick notes on what you’ll need. Remember to scroll to the recipe card below the post for the full recipe amounts and instructions.
- Vanilla Wafer Cookies – You’ll need two cups of crushed Nilla wafers (or similar) for the crust, plus additional whole cookies to rim your springform pan. Coarsely chop extra cookies to layer into your cheesecake.
- Butter, Sugar, and Salt
- Cream Cheese – Make sure to use the cream cheese that comes in bricks and not the spreadable kind. Full-fat cream cheese will yield the creamiest cheesecake.
- Sour Cream – You’ll want your sour cream and cream cheese at room temperature before you start.
- Eggs – Also at room temperature.
- Bananas – You can use one large banana or two smaller bananas, sliced thinly.
- Whipped Cream – Make your own homemade whipped cream topping with heavy cream and powdered sugar, or use store-bought.
- Garnish – Extra vanilla wafers for decorating, and caramel sauce for drizzling.
How to Make Banana Pudding Cheesecake
While there are a few steps involved to make this delicious and creamy baked cheesecake, you’re going to be thrilled with how easy it actually is! This banana pudding cheesecake is the kind of dessert that looks show-stopping on a plate, but comes together quickly.
- Make the crust. Start by combining the crust ingredients, and press the mixture into a 9” springform pan. Line the sides of the pan with whole-wafer cookies. Afterward, par-bake the crust at 350ºF for 8-10 minutes, until it’s lightly golden.
- Prepare the cheesecake filling. While the crust bakes, beat together the cream cheese and sugar, followed by the sour cream and vanilla. Finally, beat the eggs into the filling one at a time. Be careful that you don’t overmix!
- Assemble. Layer your cheesecake ingredients in the prepared crust, starting with half of the cheesecake filling topped with chopped wafers and sliced bananas. Spread the remaining filling over top.
- Bake. Bake the cheesecake in a water bath at 350ºF for about one hour. The edges of the cheesecake should be set, with a slight wiggle in the middle when it comes out of the oven.
- Chill. Afterward, allow the cheesecake to cool at room temperature, then cover and refrigerate it overnight.
- Make the whipped cream. In a cold bowl, beat heavy cream with powdered sugar into stiff peaks.
- Add the topping. Take your cheesecake out of the fridge, release it from the springform pan, and then pipe or spread the whipped cream over the cake.
- Garnish and enjoy. Tuck a few extra vanilla wafers into the whipped cream and give the cake a drizzle of caramel sauce. Then, dig in!
Tips for the Best Banana Cheesecake
Below are my secrets to the best banana pudding cheesecake that turns out crack-free and perfect, every time:
- Use room temperature ingredients. Let your refrigerated ingredients like cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs come to room temperature before you start. For the creamiest cheesecake, make sure to use full-fat ingredients.
- Bake in a water bath. Wrap the bottom of your springform pan tightly with a double layer of foil and place it into a larger pan filled with about 1” of boiling water. The water bath helps steam the cheesecake as it bakes, and prevents cracking.
- To tell if your cheesecake is done, use the jiggle test! Give the pan a gentle nudge in the oven. If the center jiggles like jello and the edges look set, the cheesecake is done. If it wobbles loosely, it needs a bit more time in the oven.
- Let the cheesecake cool completely. After baking, let the cheesecake cool at room temperature for at least one hour before you move it to the fridge. It will need to chill for at least 4 hours, or ideally overnight.
- Make this cake the day before. This banana pudding cheesecake is a perfect dessert when you’re entertaining. Not only can you make it ahead, but you actually should.
- For easy removal, run a knife around the edge of the pan to help loosen the cheesecake from the sides.
- Leave the whipped cream for last. Wait until you’re ready to serve the cheesecake before you top it with whipped cream. The longer the whipped cream sits, the softer it gets.
- If you don’t have a piping bag, use a Ziploc bag with the corner snipped off to pipe the whipped cream over the cake. Works like a charm! Of course, you can always spread the whipped cream over with a spatula, too.
How to Serve Banana Pudding Cheesecake
Make sure that your banana pudding cheesecake is well chilled before slicing and serving! I love this cheesecake topped with whipped cream and caramel sauce, but you can absolutely serve it topped with vanilla frosting instead. Or, try a layer of salted caramel, as I do in my salted caramel cheesecake recipe. You can even sprinkle on some puffed caramel corn as a garnish.
Serve slices of banana cheesecake with a scoop of easy homemade ice cream for extra indulgence! For clean slices, wipe down the knife in between each cut.
How to Store
- Fridge. If you’re planning to store this banana pudding cheesecake, I recommend refrigerating it airtight before adding the whipped topping. It will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge. If you store your cheesecake with whipped cream, make sure to still cover it tightly (note that the whip will soften after a day or two).
- Freezer. Store the unfrosted cheesecake airtight and keep it frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw the cake in the fridge before adding the whipped cream and serving.
More Cheesecake Recipes to Try
- Pecan Pie Cheesecake
- Mini Cheesecake
- Potluck Cheesecake Dessert
- The Best No Bake Cheesecake
- Key Lime Cheesecake
- Sugar Cookie Cheesecake Bars
The best banana pudding cheesecake made with real bananas and crunchy vanilla cookies, topped with fluffy whipped cream, more cookies, and caramel!
For the Crust:
- 2 cups crushed vanilla wafer cookies (approximately 60), plus 17 more to rim the pan
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Cheesecake:
- 4 (8- ounce) blocks cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup sour cream, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 12 coarsely chopped vanilla wafer cookies
- 1 large, or 2 small bananas thinly sliced
Whipped Cream Topping:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 10 vanilla wafer cookies to decorate
- ¼ cup caramel sauce to drizzle
Make the Crust:
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- In a large bowl combine the crushed vanilla wafer cookies, melted butter, sugar, and salt. Stir to combine.
- Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9- inch springform pan. Press the 17 whole vanilla wafer cookies around the sides of the pan.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly golden, and set aside while you make your cheesecake.
Make the Cheesecake:
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed, until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Turn the mixer to low and add the sour cream and vanilla; mix well, scraping sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until mixed. Don’t over mix. Pour half of the cheesecake over crust and spread evenly.
- Sprinkle the coarsely chopped vanilla wafer cookies evenly on top of the cheesecake, and top with the sliced bananas. Spread the remaining cheesecake on top, and spread evenly.
- Double wrap the bottom of the springform pan with foil, sealing it tightly to prevent water from getting into the pan.
- Place the springform pan into a larger pan and pour very hot water into the pan, until it’s 3/4- inch deep, careful to make sure the water level doesn’t come up higher than the foil.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes or until the center is almost set. The center will still jiggle while the edges will be set.
- Carefully run a knife around the rim of pan to loosen cake. Allow the cheesecake to cool at room temperature for at least an hour, then cover and transfer into the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight.
Topping and Assembly:
- When you’re ready to serve the cheesecake, pour heavy cream into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
- Add the powdered sugar and mix on medium-high speed for approximately 2 minutes, until cream is thickened and stiff peaks form.
- Release the sides of the springform pan, and pat dry with a paper towel if any condensation has built up.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a large tip with the whipped cream. Artfully pipe the whipped cream on top of the cheesecake. Alternately, you can simply spread the whipped cream on with a spoon or offset spatula.
- Place the remaining 10 vanilla wafer cookies into the whipped cream and drizzle with caramel sauce, if desired.
Cheesecake can be stored airtight before topping with whipped cream for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
If storing with the whipped cream on top, cover tightly and refrigerate. Please note the whipped cream will deflate, and become soft the longer it is stored.
- Serving Size: 1 Slice
- Calories: 550
- Sugar: 49.5 g
- Sodium: 493.6 mg
- Fat: 26.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 75 g
- Protein: 6.5 g
- Cholesterol: 123.2 mg
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