Banana Pudding Cheesecake Bars
Banana pudding, with its rich, creamy banana flavor, gets a makeover in these Banana Pudding Cheesecake Bars! These are just about the tastiest squares on the planet, and once you get a bite of them, you’ll agree! Tried and tested plenty of times, if you love banana pudding and cheesecake, these tasty bars will be a new favorite!
It’s no secret that I love desserts, and both cheesecake and banana pudding are right at the top of my list. So I thought, why not combine these amazing flavors? So I did! These Banana Cheesecake Bars feature a nutty cookie base made with either ginger snaps or vanilla wafers, and then the filling is packed full of banana flavor.
Banana Pudding Cheesecake Bars
When my daughter Abby made these for us, we couldn’t believe how creamy and cheesecakey these bars were. We served them at a dinner party with this pork and slaw, and our guests raved about them. By the way, this is also a refrigerator dessert, meaning that once the crust has been baked, you don’t need to do any more baking, which is perfect for summer (but any season, really).
You can even make the cookie base the day before, so this banana dessert has plenty of time to set up in the fridge.
Super easy and always delicious, this is the perfect year-round dessert. I love it during summer, but it’s also a deliciously different holiday dessert. I’ve even served it at Easter brunches!
Why I love this recipe
- It combines the best of banana pudding with cheesecake and is so delicious!
- This is a great make-ahead dessert recipe, and it goes from fridge to table.
- You can switch up the flavors – see all my suggestions below!
Gather these ingredients
- Ginger snaps – Or vanilla wafers. You’ll need a 17-ounce box or a family-size package.
- Ground pecans
- Sugar – Granulated white sugar.
- Salted butter
- Cream cheese – You’ll need 4 8-oz boxes of full-fat cream cheese, softened.
- Light brown sugar
- Heavy whipping cream
- Sour cream
- Vanilla bean paste – Or vanilla extract.
- Lemon zest – From a fresh lemon.
- Instant banana pudding mix – A 3.4-ounce package.
How to make Banana Pudding Cheesecake Bars
Start this recipe the day before so that the crust has plenty of time to cool and so that the filling has at least 8 hours in the fridge to set up.
- Preheat your oven to 350-F and line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper so it hangs over the sides. Lightly spray the parchment with nonstick cooking spray.
- Combine all but ½ a cup of the gingersnap crumbs, pecans, ⅓ cup of white sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, and the melted butter in a bowl. Mix well.
- Transfer the crumb mixture to the prepared baking dish and press the crumbs into the dish with the back of a measuring cup of large spatula.
- Bake the crumb layer for 10-12 minutes or until fragrant and lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before adding the filling.
- Beat the softened cream cheese, remaining salt, lemon zest, and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or with an electric hand mixer. You want the filling to be smooth and with no lumps.
- Combine the heavy whipping cream, sour cream, vanilla and pudding mix in another bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Slowly pour the cream mixture into the cream cheese mixture and mix until smooth and creamy.
- Pour the filling onto the prepared and cooled crust, spreading it to the edges.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight to set up.
- Garnish with dollops of whipped cream and the reserved crumbs if desired, then cut into squares and serve!
Tips & substitutions
- To make the cookie crumbs, add them to a food processor and pulse until they have the texture of coarse sand.
- You can use any flavor pudding in this recipe.
- Don’t care for nuts? Skip them, or try the recipe with ground walnuts or your favorite nuts.
- You can cut the bars and then garnish them, or spread the whipped cream in a layer over the top and sprinkle with reserved cookies and then cut them.
This is such a great dessert and it goes so well with so many dishes! I have served it poolside with tasty BBQ dishes like Hawaiian BBQ Chicken, but it’s also fabulous with middle-of-winter meals like slow cooker pulled pork chili and classics like my favorite tuna noodle casserole.
Keep any leftover Banana Pudding Cheesecake Bars in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Check out these awesome cheesecake recipes while you’re here
- Cranberry Cheesecake Bars
- Strawberry Cheesecake Parfaits
- Lemon Cheesecake Mousse
- Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake
Get the Recipe:
Banana Pudding Cheesecake Bars
- 17 oz package Ginger Snap cookies, or vanilla wafers, coarsely chopped into crumbs (texture /thickness of coarse sand)
- ½ c coarsely ground pecans
- ⅓ cup white sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾ cup salted butter, melted
- 4 8 ounce full-fat cream cheese, softened
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream, cold
- ½ c sour cream or creme fraiche
- 2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 3.4 ounce instant banana pudding mix (powder only)
- Whipped cream to serve
- 1 9x13 baking pan
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9x13’’ baking dish with parchment paper, enough to hang over the sides, and lightly spray the walls of the pan with nonstick spray.
- In a bowl, mix together all but ½ cup of the gingersnap crumbs, pecans, ⅓ cup white sugar, salt, and melted butter. Transfer to a 9x13’’ pan. Flatten and press the crust into the pan using the back of a measuring cup. Bake for 10-12 minutes until fragrant and lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before adding the filling.
- In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, salt, lemon zest, and brown sugar until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, add the heavy cream, sour cream, vanilla, and pudding mix. Whisk to combine, then slowly mix it into the cream cheese mixture. Mix until smooth and creamy. Pour onto the cooled crust, spread to the edges, carefully cover the pan with plastic wrap, and transfer to the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.
- To garnish, dollop with whipped cream and sprinkle with any remaining cookie crumbs.
The bars can be garnished individually with dollops of whipped cream and a sprinkle or crushed cookies OR the whipped cream can be spread into a single layer on top and sprinkled with cookies.
You can use any pudding mix that fits the season, classic vanilla, banana cream, even pumpkin!
Hello and welcome to my home and table!
I’m Sandy—lover of food, family, cooking, THE BIG BOARD, travel, and bringing people together. Through great recipes and connection around the table, we become better, stronger, and more courageous people. Feasting on Life is real, and every time we do it, we grow a little more. Read more...