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.