Banana Pudding Cheesecake
This recipe transforms the classic layered dessert into a show stopping cheesecake! Banana pudding cheesecake features a Nilla Wafer crust and a creamy filling that’s made with instant banana pudding mix.
Old-fashioned banana pudding got a makeover in this decadent cheesecake recipe!
To preserve the classic flavor combination of bananas and Nilla Wafers, I incorporated plenty of both into this cheesecake. Instead of a traditional graham cracker crust, this cheesecake recipe uses Nilla Wafers.
The creamy cheesecake filling is made with both instant banana cream pudding mix and mashed bananas. There’s no shortage of banana flavor here!
If you’re looking for a more unique cheesecake recipe to serve at your next dinner party or holiday gathering, this banana pudding cheesecake is bound to be a winner.
Ingredients for This Recipe
Like my other homemade cheesecake recipes, this banana cheesecake calls for basic ingredients. I’ve provided a full ingredient list with measurements at the end of this post, but I wanted to quickly touch on the main ones you’ll need to have on hand.
- Bananas: The riper the bananas, the better! You will need about 2 large bananas to get 1 cup of mashed banana for the cheesecake filling.
- Nilla Wafers: Instead of using traditional graham crackers for the crust, you will be using Nilla wafers. Make sure to finely crush them with a blender or food processor.
- Pudding Mix: To really amp up the banana flavor in this cheesecake I used one 3.4 ounce box of instant banana cream pudding mix. If you can’t find the banana cream pudding flavor, regular banana or even vanilla pudding mix will work as well.
- Cream Cheese: Make sure to use full-fat bricks of cream cheese.
- Sour Cream: Breaks up the heaviness of the cream cheese and creates a smoother, creamier filling. If you don’t have any on hand, you can replace it with plain Greek yogurt.
- Eggs: Bring the eggs to room temperature before beginning the recipe. If you forget to do so, simply place them in a bowl of warm tap water for about 5 minutes.
How to Make Banana Pudding Cheesecake
This recipe has three main components: the Nilla Wafer crust, the banana cheesecake filling, and the optional toppings.
First, you’ll need to prepare and pre-bake the crust:
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C)
- Prepare your pan: Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper.
- Make the crust: Add the Nilla Wafers to a food processor and pulse until they’re the texture of fine crumbs. Combine the Nilla Wafer crumbs and sugar in a bowl. Stir, then add the melted butter until all of the crumbs are moistened.
- Press the crust into the pan: Firmly press the mixture into an even layer in the bottom of the prepared pan. I like to use the bottom of a measuring cup to firmly pack it in.
- Bake: The crust will only need to bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly while you prepare the filling.
Next, you’ll make the cheesecake filling:
- Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil: This will be used later to create the water bath.
- Make the cheesecake filling: Add the cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat just until smooth. Add the mashed banana and sour cream to the cream cheese, then mix until combined. Add the sugar, pudding mix, and vanilla. Do NOT prepare the pudding mix as instructed on the package; it gets added to the cheesecake filling as a dry ingredient. If needed, stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice to ensure everything is well combined.
- Lightly beat the eggs & add to the filling: Crack the eggs into a smaller bowl and lightly beat them before gently mixing them in. This will ensure that you don’t overbeat the eggs, which can cause your cheesecake to crack.
Finally, you’re ready to assemble and bake the cheesecake:
- Wrap the springform pan: Wrap the outside of the cooled springform pan with two to three layers of foil. I also place it inside an oven bag with the sides folded down. This may seem like a lot, but it helps to ensure that no water seeps into the bottom of your pan. Trust me, you don’t want that to happen!
- Bake the cheesecake: Pour the cheesecake filling into the springform pan and smooth it out. Add the boiling water you prepared to a large roasting pan, then carefully place the cheesecake pan into the water bath. Transfer the roasting pan to the oven and bake the cheesecake just until the edges are set but the center remains a little wobbly.
- Cool in the oven: At this point, you’ll need to turn the oven off and crack the door. Let the cheesecake sit in the oven for another hour before removing to a cooling rack. This will ensure that the cheesecake finishes baking and prevent any sudden temperature changes which can cause it to crack.
- Cool completely and chill: Let the cheesecake rest on your counter until it’s fully cooled, then refrigerate for an additional 5 hours before serving. The cheesecake will continue to firm up as it cools and chills in the fridge.
Once the cheesecake has chilled, slide a knife around the edges of the pan before releasing it.
At this point, you can serve the cheesecake as is or you can garnish it. I topped this cheesecake with my homemade whipped cream, some sliced bananas, and Nilla wafers. Feel free to get creative with your cheesecake and decorate it however you like though!
Can This Recipe Be Made in Advance?
Absolutely! The banana pudding cheesecake can be prepared up to four days in advance and stored, covered tightly, in the fridge until ready to serve. I recommend waiting to add the toppings until you’re ready to serve and slice the cheesecake.
What Type of Pudding Mix Is Best?
You’ll need to use instant banana cream pudding mix in this recipe. If you can’t find banana cream, instant banana pudding or even vanilla pudding mix may be substituted.
Do NOT use cook and serve pudding mix in the cheesecake filling. You must use instant pudding mix.
- Make sure all of your ingredients (cream cheese, sour cream, eggs, etc.) are at room temperature before getting started! This will ensure that the cheesecake turns out smooth and creamy.
- The riper your bananas, the better! I suggest using bananas that have lots of brown specks all over them. If your bananas are not ripe enough, place them in a brown paper bag for 1 to 2 days to speed up the process.
- Don’t skip the water bath! This helps the cheesecake bake gently and evenly so that it’s smooth, creamy, and doesn’t crack.
- To keep cheesecake slices neat, dip a sharp knife in hot water, pat dry with a towel, and then slice!
More Easy Cheesecake Recipes to Try!
Banana Pudding Cheesecake
Nilla Wafer Crust
- 3 cups whole Nilla wafers crushed (180 grams; 1 ⅔ cups crushed)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled (70 grams)
Banana Pudding Cheesecake Filling
- 32 ounces brick-style cream cheese softened to room temperature (4 blocks; 905 grams)
- 1 cup mashed ripe banana (2 large ripe fresh bananas; 250 grams)
- ½ cup full-fat sour cream room temperature (115 grams)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
- 1 (3.4 oz) box dry instant banana cream pudding mix (NOT cook & serve)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 cups whipped cream or whipped topping (homemade or store-bought)
- 1 to 2 bananas sliced
- 10 to 20 Nilla wafers
- To make the crust: Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C).
- Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Crush the Nilla wafers in a food processor or blender until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Alternatively, you can place them in a sealed ziplock bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
- Combine the crushed Nilla wafer crumbs and granulated sugar in a medium-sized mixing bowl and stir until well combined. Add the melted butter and mix until all of the crumbs are moistened.
- Scoop the mixture into the prepared 9-inch springform pan and firmly press it down into one even layer.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and set aside to cool while you make the filling. Keep the oven temperature at 325°F (163°C).
- To make the cheesecake filling: Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil for the water bath before getting started with the filling.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese on low-medium speed until smooth (about 1 to 2 minutes).
- Add the mashed banana and sour cream and mix until fully combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Then, add the granulated sugar, banana cream pudding mix, and pure vanilla extract and mix until well combined (about 30 to 60 seconds).
- In a separate small mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add the beaten eggs to the mixing bowl with the cheesecake filling and mix on low speed until just combined. Use a rubber spatula to turn the filling a few times to make sure everything is fully mixed together. Set aside.
- Secure the bottom of the springform pan with 2 to 3 layers of aluminum foil to prevent water from entering the pan while baking. Place the wrapped springform pan in an oven bag and roll the sides down (this will ensure that no water gets into your pan!).
- Pour the cheesecake filling into the springform pan and smooth it out into one even layer.
- Add the boiling water you started before the filling to a large roasting pan until it is about 1-inch deep. Carefully place the wrapped springform pan into the roasting pan.
- Transfer the roasting pan with the cheesecake to the oven and bake for 70 to 80 minutes or until the edges of the cheesecake are set and the center is still slightly jiggly. Turn the oven off, crack the oven door slightly, and allow the cheesecake to cool in the warm oven for 1 hour.
- After the cheesecake has cooled for 1 hour in the oven, remove it from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, cover tightly and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 5 to 6 hours or overnight.
- To assemble the cheesecake: Once the cheesecake is completely cooled and chilled, run a thin knife around the outside of the cheesecake to loosen it from the pan. Carefully release the springform pan.
- Decorate the cheesecake with a generous amount of homemade whipped cream, sliced bananas, and Nilla wafers.