Indulge in this luscious New York-style banana cream cheesecake with a buttery vanilla wafer crust and smooth, tangy cream cheese filling studded with bananas and brightened with lemon zest. This show-stopping cheesecake needs to chill overnight, allowing the flavors to meld beautifully. It makes the ultimate special occasion dessert yet is easy enough for beginners to master.
Learn step-by-step how to make this crowd-pleasing banana cheesecake at home, complete with a handy ingredient list, directions for the crust and filling, baking times and chilling tips. Find out just how delicious cheesecake can be when bananas and cream cheese meet.
Can I use regular graham crackers instead of vanilla wafers for the crust?
Yes, you can substitute regular graham crackers in the same quantity as the vanilla wafers. Simply pulse them into fine crumbs in a food processor before adding the melted butter.
Do I need to use a water bath when baking the cheesecake?
No water bath is needed. The slow bake at a low temperature after initially setting the structure at a higher temp prevents cracking.
How long does the baked cheesecake last in the fridge?
Properly stored leftovers will last 3-4 days refrigerated. Cover the cooled cheesecake tightly before refrigerating.
For the crust:
- 140g (5oz) gluten-free vanilla wafers or regular vanilla wafers, crushed into fine crumbs
- 57g (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake filling:
- 680g (24oz) full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 170g (3/4 cup) mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium)
- 120ml (1/2 cup) heavy whipping cream
- 10ml (2 tsp) vanilla extract
- 2 tsp grated lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- Make the crust: Process vanilla wafers in a food processor or blender until finely ground. Add melted butter and pulse until combined. Press crumb mixture firmly into the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan. Set aside.
- Make the filling: Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- In a small bowl, mash bananas with a fork until mostly smooth. Add mashed bananas, heavy cream, vanilla, lemon zest and salt to the cream cheese mixture. Beat on medium speed until fully incorporated and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. (Source: Ineskohl.info)
- Pour filling into prepared crust. Smooth the top with an offset spatula. Place cheesecake pan on a baking sheet.
- Bake at 175°C (350°F) for 15 minutes. Without opening the oven door, reduce oven temperature to 93°C (200°F) and bake for 70-75 minutes longer or until edges are set but center still jiggles slightly.
- Cool cheesecake completely in pan on a wire rack. Cover pan tightly and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight before serving. Garnish slices with whipped cream if desired.
- Let all ingredients come to room temp for the smoothest, creamiest texture.
- Mix the filling well to properly incorporate air and prevent cracking.
- Run a thin knife around the cooled cheesecake to help it release cleanly from the pan.
- Garnish with extra banana slices, chocolate shavings, nuts or whipped cream!
- For easy cleanup, line the pan with parchment paper before adding the crust.
Enjoy this rich and creamy New York style banana cream cheesecake! The banana and lemon zest add a delicious fresh flavor. It’s perfect for a special occasion dessert. Letting it chill overnight allows the flavors to develop fully. Serve chilled with sweetened whipped cream on top if desired.