Why, oh why did this evil drop into my spirit. I’m just going to go ahead and admit I’m not even right for posting this deliciousness. Two of my favorite things in one amazing dessert. *sigh*
Okay, on to the details. This cheesecake is so good Sweeties! I love a cheesecake that’s not too light but not dense, and has a nice creamy texture and a flavor that does not take away from the cheesecake itself. Bananas worked perfectly in this recipe. The flavor is not too over powering and it was easy to incorporate into this solid cheesecake recipe. The real game changer is the vanilla wafer crust. There is only one vanilla wafer we use in the Sweets by Chy kitchen…none other than the Nabisco Nilla Wafers. I can taste an impostor at first bite… 🙂
A few tidbits and tricks:
- I would suggest you read through the full recipe before getting started. That way you know what to expect, and you can ask me any questions if needed. I’m here to help!
- I use mascarpone cheese because it’s delicious and it adds a creamy light texture to the cake. You can usually find it in a container in the deli of the grocery store.
- *In my James Brown voice* Please, Please, Please use heavy duty aluminum foil and wrap the heck out of the springform pan. No one likes a wet crust.
- In my opinion cheesecake tastes better 24 hours after it’s baked. it gives the flavors time to mature and get all friendly…it’s just better this way, trust me. 🙂
- The topping can be done as directed below or you can substitute the vanilla pudding mix with power sugar and add a bit of vanilla extract. The reason for adding powder sugar or vanilla pudding mix is so your whipped cream will be sweetened and is somewhat stabilized. Important: Using instant vanilla pudding mix will yield a yellow topping. If you would like a white topping like the above picture, use powder sugar and 1/2tsp of vanilla extract.
Alright, you got this! LET’S GO!
Banana Pudding Cheesecake
2 cups finely crushed vanilla wafers (measured to 2 cups after crushed)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
3 large ripened bananas
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons of vanilla bean paste or extract (divided)
3 (8oz) block packages cream cheese (room temperature)
1 (8oz) package fresh mascarpone cheese (room temperature)
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs (room temperature)
1 1/2 cups of cold heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup instant vanilla Jello pudding mix or powder sugar
whole vanilla wafers (for garnish)
banana slices (for garnish)
roughly crushed vanilla wafers
Preheat oven to 350F, Grease a 9in springform pan, wrap the outside generously with heavy duty aluminum foil. Set aside.
In a food processor, pulse the cookies crumbs until they are finely crushed. While the processor is running stream in the melted butter and pulse until the crumbs resemble moist sand and come together. Place the crumbs into the prepared pan and pat down with your hands or with the bottom of a small drinking glass, pressing the crust up the sides. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove, allow to cool completely.
In a small sauce pot, mash the bananas until they are completely smooth. Add brown sugar and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat until the sugar melts and bananas have slightly cooked. Remove from heat and add (1 tablespoon) vanilla bean paste or extract, Mix, allow to cook completely.
In mixer, blend cream cheese and mascarpone cheese until light and fluffy. (about 2 mins) Slowly pour in granulated sugar and mix together until fully incorporated. Be sure to scrape down the side of your mixing bowl throughout this process. Add eggs one at a time make sure each one is fully incorporated before adding the next. Add
(1 tablespoon) vanilla paste or extract. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl, mix again. Add the banana mixture until just incorporated. Pour the filling over the cooled crust and place in a roasting pan.
Pour warm water into the roasting pan about half way up the springform pan. Bake at 350F for about 45 minutes to 55 minutes depending on your oven. The cheesecake is done when it barely jiggles in the center when shaken. Once done, turn off oven and let cheesecake “rest” in the oven with the oven door cracked or propped open with a wooden spoon for 1 hour.
After removing the cheesecake from the oven, immediately run a thin knife around the edge of the pan to loosen crust from the sides of the pan as it cools. Place the pan on a wire cooling rack until completely cooled, this may take a couple hours. Release the springform, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate cheesecake for 12-24 hours.
In a large chilled mixing bowl add the cold heavy cream and pudding mix. Using the whisk on your electric mixer, mix for about 2 minutes or until your desired consistency. Spread thin layer of the whipped topping on entire cake, then pipe more on the border of the cake and top with a vanilla wafer and a banana slice. Sprinkle middle of cake with roughly crushed vanilla wafers. REJOICE!
Serve Immediately. Or wait to put fresh banana slices on the cake until right before serving to prevent browning.
*TIP: You can use a little fresh lemon juice on the banana slices to stop browning so your garnish will look pretty if your taking this cake to a party or potluck.