Banana Pudding Cheesecake Bars are a handheld version of a southern favorite. These cheesecake bars have a nilla wafer crust and a creamy banana flavored cheesecake.
My dad makes the best banana pudding. It is so good that makes you want to lick the bowl when you are finished eating. Combine that creamy banana pudding with rich cheesecake and you’ve got a homerun!
How to make creamy cheesecake:
I think that cheesecake is best when it is extra creamy and there are a few steps that you can take to ensure you get the creamiest cheesecake possible.
- Beat at a low speed. Beating your cheesecake filling at a low speed will prevent air bubbles from forming. It takes a bit longer, but it is worth it in the end.
- Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature. If all of your ingredients are at room temperature they will combine a lot easier and it will prevent lumps from forming.
- Scrape down the bowl. I scrape down the bowl often while making the cheesecake filling. This ensures that everything is getting well combined.
- Don’t over-bake. A lot of times we think cheesecake isn’t done baking because it is still jiggly, but this is when we want to stop the baking process. If you let the cheesecake cool in the oven and then in the fridge, they will set up and be a perfect consistency.
Ingredients for Banana Pudding Cheesecake Bars:
Ingredients for Nilla Wafer Crust:
- Unsalted Butter. I always make sure to use unsalted butter when baking because there is no “standard” for the amount of salt they can add to butter. So if you add salt to a recipe and then use salted butter you could end up with a very salty end product.
- Nilla Wafers. They need to be finely crushed. I always use a food processor to do this.
- Granulated Sugar. We’ll use a small amount of sugar to sweeten up the nilla wafer cheesecake crust.
- Salt. Salt is a must in baked goods. It will help to balance out the sweetness and improve the overall flavor.
Ingredients for Banana Pudding Cheesecake Filling:
- Cream Cheese. The cream cheese needs to be at room temperature to prevent lumps in your cheesecake.
- Granulated Sugar. This will add flavor and sweetness to the cheesecake bars.
- Banana Cream Pudding Mix. This will add the banana flavoring while also helping to make these cheesecake bars extra creamy.
- Eggs. It will be easier to incorporate the eggs into the batter if they are at room temperature.
- Heavy Cream. Heavy cream will help make the cheesecake extra creamy.
- Vanilla Extract. Vanilla is a must in baked goods just like salt. Real vanilla adds a better flavor than imitation vanilla.
How to make Banana Pudding Cheesecake Bars:
Nilla Wafer Crust
STEP 2: In a medium bowl mix the nilla wafer crumbs, melted butter, salt, and sugar until well combined. The mixture should be the texture of wet sand.
STEP 4: Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. It can help to use a cup to press the crumbs tightly.
STEP 5: Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the crust from the oven and allow it to cool completely.
Banana Pudding Cheesecake Filling
STEP 1: Preheat oven to 325 degrees (F).
STEP 2: In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and banana cream Jell-O mix together on low speed until fully combined and smooth. You don’t want to beat the mixture at a high speed and add too much air into it.
STEP 3: Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions.
STEP 4: Add the heavy cream and vanilla. Mix until fully combined.
STEP 5: Gently pour the cheesecake filling into the nilla wafer crust.
STEP 6: Bake the cheesecake bars for 30-40 minutes. The filling should be set, but still a bit jiggly in the center.
STEP 7: Turn the oven off and prop the oven door open and allow the cheesecake bars to cool like this for 30 minutes. Transfer to the fridge until ready to serve.
More Cheesecake Recipes
- Mini Cinnamon Roll Cheesecakes– a homemade graham cracker crust topped with a creamy cheesecake filling and a swirl of cinnamon sugar.
- Roasted Strawberry Cheesecake Bars– a brown butter graham cracker crust and a creamy cheesecake filled that is swirled with roasted strawberries.
- Samoa Cheesecake– An oreo crust with a creamy cheesecake filling and a gooey caramel coconut topping.
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake– An oreo crust with a rich peanut butter filling and a silky chocolate ganache topping.
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Banana Pudding Cheesecake Bars
For Nilla Wafer Crust:
- 5 tablespoons (71 grams) unsalted butter melted
- 2 cups nilla wafers finely crushed
- 4 tablespoons (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For Banana Pudding Cheesecake:
- 3 packages (681 grams) cream cheese room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups (297 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 3.4 ounce box banana cream pudding mix
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1/3 cup (75 grams) heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For Nilla Wafer Crust:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (F). Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper or foil. Set aside.
- In a small bowl combine the nilla wafer crumbs, salt, sugar, and melted butter. Mix until fully combined. The mixture should be the texture of wet sand.
- Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of prepared pan.
- Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the crust from the oven and allow to cool completely.
For Banana Pudding Cheesecake Filling:
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees (F).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and banana cream pudding mix together on low speed until fully combined and smooth.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions.
- Add the heavy cream and vanilla. Mix until fully combined.
- Gently pour the cheesecake filling into the crust.
- Bake the cheesecake bars for 30-40 minutes or until the filling is set, but still a bit jiggly in the center.
- Turn the oven off, prop the oven door open, and allow the cheesecake bars to cool like this for 30 minutes. Transfer to the fridge until ready to serve.