This banana pudding cheesecake has it all! A creamy and sweet roasted banana cheesecake batter is baked inside a Nilla Wafer crust and is all topped with banana slices, vanilla pudding, and a mound of soft and fluffy whipped cream.
How to make banana pudding cheesecake
All the elements of a delicious and creamy banana pudding are baked into this cheesecake! Let’s break this down:
Nilla Wafer Crust – It’s not banana pudding without Nilla Wafers and the entire crust is a layer of crushed Nilla Wafers held together by sugar and butter. It’s double the recipe so it can completely cover the bottom of the cheesecake as well as the sides.
Roasted Banana Cheesecake – To boost the banana flavor of this cheesecake, bananas are roasted before they’re mixed into the cheesecake batter. Roasting bananas helps bring out even more flavor and when they’re softened, they easily blend into the batter.
Banana Pudding – To round out this banana pudding cheesecake, a layer of sliced bananas are added on top of the baked cheesecake. They’re then coated in a layer of instant vanilla pudding to bring in that soft and creamy texture.
Soft Whipped Cream – Last but not least, this cheesecake is finished off with a cloud of whipped cream. It’s whipped to soft peaks so it’s extra light and creamy.
For extra pizzazz, top the cheesecake with crushed Nilla wafers and a couple extra slices of banana! And although it’s not traditional to banana pudding, I think a drizzle of butterscotch sauce could really take this over the top in the best way.
How to roast bananas
Whether you have ripe bananas or yellow bananas, roasting will help to bring out even more flavor! Here’s how it’s done:
- Slice – Two bananas are sliced down the center length-wise to create 4 banana halves.
- Sugar – Sprinkle the inside of the bananas with a bit of sugar.
- Place – Flip over the bananas so that the sugared side is facing down and the skins are facing up.
- Bake – For brown speckled bananas, bake for 10 minutes. For ripe bananas, bake for 6-8 minutes. They’re ready when the skins are fully black and juices leak out the sides.
- Peel – After the bananas have cooled, the skins should slip right off! Now the bananas are extra soft and ready to mix in to the cheesecake batter.
My top cheesecake baking tips
- The Cream Cheese – If you can, always try to use Philadelphia full fat cream cheese. It provides the BEST flavor and texture. And this is not sponsored, it’s just the only cream cheese I’ll ever use.
- Room Temperature Ingredients – Before you start, make sure all of the refrigerated ingredients are at room temperature…especially the cream cheese. This prevents lumps and over mixing (adding too much air to the batter can create cracks). To speed up the process, add the cream cheese (still in the wrappings) and eggs to large bowl of warm water. Let it sit for about 30 minutes and your cream cheese will be perfectly softened.
- Low and slow – Always keep your mixer on low to medium-low speed, whether you’re using a hand or a stand mixer (although stand is preferred). This means the mixing process will take a little bit longer, but it also ensures your cheesecake turns out smooth and crack-free.
- Easy Water Bath – Most importantly, always bake your cheesecake in a water bath. Place a roast pan on the bottom rack of your oven and start a pot of boiling water on the stove top. When you’re ready to bake the cheesecake, pour the boiling water into the roast pan and then place the cheesecake on the middle rack above. Baking in a moist environment prevents the cheesecake from drying out and cracking.
- Jiggle Test – To make sure the cheesecake is done, crack open the door and nudge the pan. If the center wobbles like a bowl of milk, it’s not done. If it jiggles like jello, it’s ready.
That’s it! These tips are essential to any cheesecake recipe and will ensure your banana cheesecake turns out crack-free and baked all the way through.
Chilling the banana cheesecake
When the cheesecake is done, turn the oven off and crack open the oven door with the cheesecake still inside. This allows it to come back to room temperature very slowly, while also gently baking the center all the way through.
Leave the cheesecake in the oven for another hour before taking it out. This process prevents the cheesecake from cracking. If you take it out right when it’s done, it will cool too fast. As the cheesecake cools, it shrinks and if this process happens too quickly, a crack will form down the center. Taking it out too soon could also leave you with an under baked center.
After the hour is up, take the cheesecake out of the oven and leave it at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
At that point, it should be firm and cooled enough to add the banana pudding topping. After that’s spread on top, the cheesecake chills for at least 4 hours or overnight. This step is essential to setting the cheesecake all the way through.
Banana pudding cheesecake topping
To transform this banana cheesecake into a banana PUDDING cheesecake, it’s topped with sliced bananas and vanilla pudding before chilling.
To make this super easy, we’re using instant vanilla pudding mix. Simply whisk together the pudding mix and cold milk until it reaches a soft pudding consistency.
Then, arrange banana slices all over the surface of the cheesecake in a single layer.
Top the bananas with the pudding and spread it even. It’s really important that the pudding completely covers every single banana as this will prevent the bananas from browning overnight.
Also, half a small box of vanilla pudding mix is the PERFECT amount of this cheesecake. To accuracy, weigh out half of the grams in the box. Otherwise, eyeballing it should also work.
Feel free to use vanilla pudding, french vanilla pudding, or even banana flavored pudding if you really want to bring home that banana flavor!
Once the cheesecake has chilled, it’s topped with whipped cream and Nilla Wafers.
How to serve banana cheesecake
Once the cheesecake has chilled overnight with the sliced bananas and pudding on top, pile on the whipped cream close to serving. This is to ensure a stable whipped cream topping.
Then, let the cheesecake rest at room temp for about 30 minutes. This helps loosen up the texture so that each slice is extra creamy. Make the slices using a clean large knife. Wipe down the knife between each slice for clean cuts.
How to store cheesecake
Keep this cheesecake in an air tight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for about a week!
For more cheesecake recipes, check out my:
- Peach Cobbler Cheesecake
- Salted Caramel Cheesecake
- New York Style Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Chocolate Cheesecake
Make sure to tag me @butternutbakery on Instagram and leave a review below if you make this banana pudding cheesecake recipe. To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card, the buttons above or below this post, or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!