There is a series of books by Jana DeLeon called the Miss Fortune series. Personally, I’m on book #26, but in each book pf the series there is a comedic banana pudding race between the Catholics and the Baptists when church lets out each Sunday. I’d had banana pudding before reading the series, but hadn’t had the desire to perfect it before this recipe. Banana pudding makes my heart sing as it is a perfect dessert that speaks to just about everyone no matter the venue you’re serving it in.

Cheesecake is traditionally round like many cakes and pies, but I HATE the shape and use my square springform pan to make it easier to cut and serve.

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract

  • In a large bowl beat cream cheese until fluffy and completely smooth with NO clumps.
    Add sugar and beat until combined.
    Add heavy cream and vanilla and beat until medium-stiff peaks form. Set aside.

3.4 ounce package instant banana pudding mix
1 cup whole milk

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together pudding mix and milk.
  • Let pudding stand for 3 minutes in the fridge until thickened.
  • Fold into cheesecake mixture until combined.

1 prepared graham cracker crust
3 bananas, sliced, plus more slices for garnish
30 Nilla Wafers

  • Pour half the filling into graham cracker crust.
  • Add a single layer of thick sliced bananas.
  • Top with about 20 Nilla Wafers in a single layer.
  • Pour remaining cheesecake mixture over top and smooth top.
  • Refrigerate until cheesecake is firm, at least 6 hours and up to overnight. (If the cheesecake stills feels too soft to slice, transfer to the freezer for up to 1 hour.)

Whipped topping, for garnish (homemade or store bought)
Crushed Nilla Wafers, for garnish

  • Before serving, top with dollops of whipped topping around the border of the cheesecake.
  • Top each dollop with a banana slice and Nilla wafer.
  • Garnish the whole cheesecake with crushed Nilla Wafers.


Just like most people I have several banana bread recipes, but this one is one of the simplest that makes either a bread or a cake without any modification except baking time!


1 ½ cups flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
2 LARGE eggs
1 ½ cups SMASHED & VERY RIPE banana
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
1 teaspoon DARK rum
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
½ cup finely chopped walnuts
½ cup golden raisins
Powdered sugar, for dusting
FRESH whipped butter, for eating

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Grease 9×5 loaf pan OR 9X9 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  • In a medium bowl beat the eggs with the sour cream, rum, vanilla and banana.
  • In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • At a low speed gradually add the wet ingredients to the butter and sugar until well blended.
  • Gradually add the flour into the mixture until well blended.
  • Foll in the raisins and nuts.
  • Pour into prepared pan, scraping bowl clean.
  • Bake. See below for times.


1 hour 30 minutes until tester comes out clean.
Transfer to cooling rack for 45 minutes.
Turn out onto cooling rack.
Dust with powdered sugar.
Slice and serve with FRESH whipped butter.

Bake 45-60 minutes until tester comes out clean.
Transfer to cooling rack for 45 minutes.
Turn out onto cooling rack.
Dust with powdered sugar.
Slice and serve with FRESH whipped butter.


2 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 LARGE eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cup mashed bananas (about 3 medium)
1 teaspoon butter vanilla emulsion
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Spray large (9×5 inch) loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In another mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar until creamy.
  • Add eggs and mix well.
  • Add bananas, vanilla emulsion and milk, blending JUST until combined.
  • Fold in nuts and chocolate chips with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  • Pour into prepared pan.
  • Bake 1 hour or until tester comes out clean.
  • Let cool on rack 30 minutes before slicing.