With its rich flavor and subtle sweetness, this Banana Cream Cheesecake puts a simple, creamy twist on classic banana pudding. A bit of extra crunch from the light and buttery no-bake crust adds a satisfying complexity to the texture, making this treat versatile enough to fit any occasion.
Easy Banana Pudding Cheesecake
This creamy no-bake cheesecake makes the perfect summer dessert! With a buttery Nilla Wafer crumb crust, this recipe takes classic banana pudding and gives it a little more structure, making it an ideal item for bake sales or book clubs. It’s quick to whip up, with no baking required, but still elegant enough to impress your friends when you set the plate out on the table.
The satisfying creaminess and big banana flavor of this cheesecake make it a total crowd-pleaser. Plus, it’s super easy to add toppings to, so you can go as simple or as decadent as you want. You can even let people add their own!
What You’ll Need
These simple banana cream cheesecake bars call for only 6 ingredients. Exact measurements for everything can be found in the printable recipe card below.
- Nilla Wafer Cookie Crumbs: Break up any larger pieces, but don’t go too small. You want crumbs, not dust.
- Heavy Whipping Cream
- Cream Cheese: Always go for full-fat when you’re making no-bake cheesecake.
- Banana Cream Pudding Mix
Can I Make Another Kind of Crust?
Absolutely! This crust uses crumbled Nilla Wafers, but another classic when it comes to cheesecake is graham cracker crust. Just replace the Nilla Wafer crumbs with graham cracker crumbs and you should be good to go. There are also more creative options, like Oreo cookie crust. Biscoff cookies and gingersnaps also work, and if you want to go really old school, try pure butter shortbread crumbs.
How to Make No-Bake Banana Cheesecake
All you need to make this no-bake cheesecake come together is a stand mixer or electric hand mixer and a fridge! With only 20 minutes of active prep time, getting these bars into the fridge is a breeze.
Crush the Cookies: First, crush the Nilla Wafers, either with a food processor or by placing the cookies in a ziplock bag and grinding them down with a rolling pin.
Make the Crust: Mix the cookie crumbs with melted butter until they form a crumble, then press them into the bottom of an 8×8-inch pan that has been lined with parchment paper. The paper will make it easier for you to lift the whole cheesecake out of the pan after it chills.
Whip the Cream: Beat the whipping cream and sugar together in a large bowl until stiff peaks form, then set the bowl aside.
Mix in the Banana: Beat the cream cheese on medium speed in a large bowl until it’s smooth. Add the instant banana pudding mix a little bit at a time, mixing well between each addition. This mixture will become very thick, so make sure to use a good hand-held electric mixer or a stand mixer.
Combine and Assemble: Add the whipped cream into the bowl with the cream cheese and beat it until everything is smooth. Scoop the cheesecake mixture over the Nilla Wafer crust and spread it out evenly using a spoon or rubber spatula.
Chill: Add a secure layer of plastic wrap over the top of the pan and refrigerate the cheesecake for 8 hours, or overnight.
Serve: Lift the chilled cheesecake out of the pan by using the edges of the parchment paper as handles and cut it into 9 even squares. Top the cheesecake bars with the garnish of your choice and serve.
Tips for Success
This cheesecake is so easy to make, and it tastes great too! Here are a few quick tips to follow so it comes out perfect every time.
- Keep the Bowl Cold: Before you whip the cream in it, try placing the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes so that it’s cold. This helps the stiff peaks form quicker.
- Don’t Skimp on the Chill Time: The chill time is what allows the cheesecake flavors to meld together. The Nilla Wafer crust also softens, which adds butteriness to the texture.
- Use a Warm Knife: If you want really clean squares, try running your knife under hot water and then drying it with a paper towel before you cut the cheesecake into bars. This will stop the cheesecake from sticking as much.
- Bigger Handles Are Better: When you line the pan with parchment paper, make sure you leave enough sticking up over the edges so that you can get a good grip when you lift the bars out. Otherwise, your cheesecake might end up on the floor.
What Toppings Go With Banana Cheesecake?
This simple dessert is the perfect place to let your creativity roam free. Try adding some of these toppings, or put a variety out and let people choose for themselves!
- Whipped Cream: Follow this recipe for sweet and fluffy Homemade Whipped Cream.
- Banana Slices: You can also try other fruits, like strawberries or blueberries. Maraschino cherries will give this dessert a fun banana split vibe.
- Cinnamon: Add a sprinkling of cinnamon over the top, or try nutmeg instead.
- Chocolate Ganache: Whip up a quick ganache to add richness and complexity to your cheesecake.
- Caramel Sauce: Drizzle some salted caramel across the top to help bring out the flavors. You can also try this Sweetened Condensed Milk Caramel, also known as dulce de leche.
How to Store Extras
If you have leftovers or decide to make this cheesecake in advance, cover the bars with plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator for up to three days. Make sure you always serve them chilled, since they’ll get soupy if they’re left out for too long. It’s best if you wait to add any toppings until you’re ready to serve.
Does This Cheesecake Freeze Well?
These bars do great in the freezer. Before you add the toppings, wrap them tightly in plastic and stick them in the freezer for up to 3 months. These cheesecake squares should never be heated, even for defrosting, so thaw them out in the fridge overnight. If you coat them in ganache so that the cream is fully covered, you can even eat them straight out of the freezer for a delicious frozen cheesecake treat!
More Banana Desserts to Try
- 3 cups Nilla Wafer cookie crumbs (approximately one 11-ounce box)
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 24 ounces cream cheese (3 8-ounce packages) softened
- 2 packages instant banana cream pudding mix (3.4 ounces each)
- optional garnish: whipped topping and banana slices
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the Nilla Wafer crumbs and the melted butter. Press the mixture into the bottom of a square 8×8-inch baking pan (a 9×9-inch pan will also work well) lined with a sheet of parchment paper with extra paper sticking up from the edges. Chill the crust in the refrigerator or freezer while you move on to the next steps.
- In a large metal mixing bowl (I like to place the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes so it's cold), with an electric mixer or stand mixer on medium speed, whip the heavy whipping cream and sugar together until stiff peaks form; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer or stand mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the dry pudding mixes a little at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the whipped cream and mix until smooth.
- Spread the cheesecake filling evenly over the chilled crust. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate the cheesecake for 8 hours, or overnight.
- Cut the chilled cheesecake into 9 squares and garnish with whipped topping and banana slices if desired. Serve chilled.
- To Store: Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to three days. Serve chilled.
- To Freeze: Wrap tightly in plastic and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight. OR: Coat completely with chocolate ganache and serve frozen.