When I used to be a research and development chef, part of my duties was to feed the company. It could be a challenge coming up with a different breakfast, lunch, and dessert every day for 40 employees but I loved it. One of everyone's favorite desserts was a banana pudding that was as easy to make as it was delicious. It's been a while since I made the dessert so I decided to revisit this recipe but this time I was making it just for me! To give the classic pudding an update, I added cheesecake to the mix to transform it into a banana cheesecake pudding. Layers of cheesecake pudding, fresh banana, and graham crackers come together to make one delicious treat!
Banana Cheesecake Pudding
- 2 ½ cups whole milk
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 large egg yolks
- 12 ounces cream cheese softened
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 20-30 graham crackers
- 5-6 bananas sliced
- Whisk together 2 ½ cups whole milk with ½ cup sugar, ¼ cup cornstarch, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Slowly bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently.
- Whisk the egg yolks and slowly pour in the milk mixture, whisking constantly. Make sure not to add the milk too fast or the eggs will scramble. Bring the mixture back to the stove and heat until thickened over low heat whisking constantly, about 4-5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the cream cheese and vanilla until the cream cheese has melted. Transfer to a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap, letting the plastic wrap directly touch the pudding. Let cool.
- Whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and whip until combined.
- Assemble the pudding. Spread ½ of the pudding in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish or into individual cups. Lay half of the graham crackers on top in an even layer followed by half of the sliced banana. Spread the remaining pudding followed by the remaining graham crackers and bananas. Finish with whipped cream. Let chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. Before serving, sprinkle crumbled graham crackers on top if desired.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
What's great about this banana cheesecake pudding parfait is that it's super easy to make but it looks like you spent hours preparing it. This is also a no-bake dessert, which means no need to turn on the oven on a hot day! All you have to do is make the cheesecake pudding and create the layers.
To make the pudding, whisk together the milk with sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium pot. Heat the milk over medium heat until it starts to simmer. Don't boil the milk or it can curdle.
Once the sugar has dissolved, slowly, and I mean SLOWLY, pour the milk into the whisked eggs. The trick behind this method called "tempering" is to raise the temperature of the eggs slow enough that it doesn't cook. When everything is well incorporated, bring the pudding back to the stove and heat until it becomes thick. Finish the pudding by stirring in the vanilla and cream cheese and let it cool completely.
Now time to assemble the pudding! If you don't want to make one large tray, you can make individual cups. Start by spreading half of the pudding in the bottom of the vessel followed by the graham crackers. Don't worry if the crackers break since they will be held together by the pudding.
Next, place the sliced banana in an even layer on top. Follow the bananas with more pudding, graham crackers, and a final layer of bananas. Top with whipped cream and let the banana cheesecake pudding chill for at least four hours.
When you're ready to serve, top with graham cracker crumbs and get ready to wow your guests.
I mean, considering how little work this required, how beautiful are these parfaits? Not to mention the fact that they are so creamy, rich, and just darn addicting. I had to share this dessert with my friends because I couldn't stop eating the whole pan. One of the best desserts of the summer? Without a doubt!
For more banana inspiration check out this black sesame banana cake!