Banana Cream Cheesecake Bars

Banana Cream Cheesecake Bars Recipe


For the Crust:

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the Cheesecake Filling:

  • 3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2-3 bananas)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon banana extract

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Garnish:

  • Banana slices
  • White chocolate shavings
  • Caramel drizzle


Prepare the Crust:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C).
  2. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides for easy removal.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and granulated sugar. Mix until well combined.
  4. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan.
  5. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then remove it from the oven and set it aside to cool.

Make the Cheesecake Filling:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar together until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Mix in the mashed bananas, vanilla extract, and banana extract until well combined.
  4. Pour the cheesecake batter over the cooled crust and spread it evenly.

Bake the Cheesecake:

  1. Bake the cheesecake for 45-50 minutes, or until the center is set and slightly jiggly.
  2. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight, to fully set.

Make the Whipped Cream Topping:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract together until stiff peaks form.
  2. Spread the whipped cream evenly over the chilled cheesecake.

Garnish and Serve:

  1. Before serving, garnish with banana slices, white chocolate shavings, and a drizzle of caramel sauce.
  2. Cut into bars and serve.
  3. Enjoy your delicious Banana Cream Cheesecake Bars!

Achieving the perfect Banana Cream Cheesecake Bars requires attention to detail and a few insider tips. Here are 20 secrets to help you make the most delicious and visually appealing bars:

  1. Use Ripe Bananas: Make sure your bananas are ripe with brown spots for maximum sweetness and flavor.
  2. Properly Soften Cream Cheese: Let your cream cheese come to room temperature before mixing to avoid lumps in the filling.
  3. Room Temperature Eggs: Use room temperature eggs to ensure they incorporate smoothly into the batter.
  4. Mix the Crust Well: Combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar thoroughly to ensure the crust holds together well.
  5. Press Crust Firmly: Use the back of a spoon or a flat-bottomed glass to press the crust mixture firmly and evenly into the baking pan.
  6. Cool the Crust: Allow the baked crust to cool completely before adding the cheesecake filling to prevent it from becoming soggy.
  7. Avoid Overmixing: When preparing the cheesecake filling, mix just until combined to avoid incorporating too much air, which can cause cracks.
  8. Scrape the Bowl: Frequently scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl to ensure all ingredients are evenly incorporated.
  9. Banana Extract: If you don’t have banana extract, you can use a bit more vanilla extract, but the banana flavor will be less intense.
  10. Pre-Bake the Crust: Baking the crust for 10 minutes before adding the filling ensures a firm base that won’t fall apart.
  11. Use Fresh Lemon Juice: A small amount of fresh lemon juice can brighten the flavor of the cheesecake and balance the sweetness.
  12. Water Bath: Baking the cheesecake in a water bath helps to prevent cracks by providing even heat distribution and adding moisture to the oven.
  13. Don’t Overbake: The cheesecake should be set around the edges but still slightly jiggly in the center when you take it out of the oven. It will continue to set as it cools.
  14. Cool Gradually: Allow the cheesecake to cool gradually in the oven with the door slightly open to prevent cracks from a sudden temperature change.
  15. Refrigerate Overnight: Let the cheesecake bars chill in the refrigerator overnight for the best texture and flavor development.
  16. Stabilize Whipped Cream: Adding a little gelatin to the whipped cream can help stabilize it, keeping it fluffy and preventing it from weeping.
  17. Chill Mixing Bowls: Chill the bowl and beaters before whipping the cream for a quicker and more stable whipped cream.
  18. Piping Bag: Use a piping bag to spread the whipped cream topping for a neat and professional look.
  19. Garnish Just Before Serving: Add banana slices, white chocolate shavings, and caramel drizzle just before serving to keep them fresh and appealing.
  20. Sharp Knife: Use a sharp knife dipped in hot water to slice the bars cleanly, wiping the knife between cuts.

Most Popular Questions and Their Answers Related to Banana Cream Cheesecake Bars

  1. Can I use a different type of crust?
    • Yes, you can use other types of crusts like vanilla wafer crust or even an Oreo crust for a different flavor profile.
  2. Can I use frozen bananas for the filling?
    • It’s best to use fresh bananas, but if you use frozen, make sure they are thoroughly thawed and drained of any excess water.
  3. Can I substitute the cream cheese with a low-fat version?
    • Yes, but the texture and richness may be slightly different.
  4. What if I don’t have banana extract?
    • You can skip the banana extract, though it adds an extra layer of banana flavor.
  5. How do I know when the cheesecake is done baking?
    • The center should be set but still slightly jiggly. It will firm up as it cools.
  6. Can I use a hand mixer instead of a stand mixer?
    • Yes, a hand mixer works well for this recipe.
  7. What can I use instead of powdered sugar for the whipped cream topping?
    • You can use granulated sugar, but powdered sugar blends more smoothly and keeps the whipped cream stable.
  8. How long do I need to refrigerate the cheesecake?
    • At least 4 hours, but overnight is best for the flavors to develop and for the cheesecake to set properly.
  9. Can I freeze the cheesecake bars?
    • Yes, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and foil, and they can be frozen for up to 2 months.
  10. Can I use pre-made whipped cream instead of making my own?
    • Yes, but homemade whipped cream offers a fresher taste.
  11. Can I add other fruits to the filling?
    • Yes, you can add other fruits like strawberries or blueberries, but it may change the texture slightly.
  12. What’s the best way to slice the bars cleanly?
    • Use a sharp knife dipped in hot water and wiped clean between each cut.
  13. Can I make this recipe gluten-free?
    • Yes, use gluten-free graham crackers for the crust.
  14. Can I use a different sweetener instead of granulated sugar?
    • Yes, but substitutions like honey or maple syrup will change the texture and flavor slightly.
  15. How can I prevent cracks in the cheesecake?
    • Make sure not to overbeat the eggs and bake the cheesecake in a water bath.
  16. Can I make this recipe dairy-free?
    • Substitute the dairy products with dairy-free alternatives, but it will change the texture and flavor.
  17. How should I store the cheesecake bars?
    • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  18. What can I use if I don’t have a 9×13-inch pan?
    • You can use a different-sized pan, but adjust the baking time accordingly.
  19. Can I add nuts to the crust or filling?
    • Yes, adding chopped nuts to the crust or filling can add a nice texture and flavor.
  20. Can I make these cheesecake bars without a crust?
    • Yes, but the crust adds a nice texture contrast to the creamy filling.