Cream Cheese Banana Pudding is a delicious rendition of banana pudding with a graham cracker crust, a cream cheese layer, vanilla custard, and of course, bananas!
At most Southern gatherings, there are a few dishes that are sure to grace the table: fried chicken, barbecue, pound cake, chess pie, and banana pudding. And it’s almost sacrilege to mess with any of those recipes. While there may be slight variations, most everybody’s version of each of those favorites is going to be pretty close.
I wanted to test the waters though and see if I could come up with a different version of banana pudding. Not better, as my Homemade Banana Pudding is pretty darn awesome—just different.
What Can You Add to Banana Pudding That’s Almost Perfect As Is?
How about a graham cracker crust?
And then, how can you ever go wrong with cream cheese filling?
Now we’re getting somewhere!
How to Make Cream Cheese Banana Pudding
Start by making a simple graham cracker crust and bake it for about 8 minutes. Then layer a cream cheese filling on top. I wanted to keep it simple and not bake the cream cheese, so I just mixed up a couple of blocks of cream cheese, a little sugar, and vanilla.
You can add as many layers of bananas as you like: one over the graham cracker crust and one in between the filling is what I usually do. And over the bananas I place a layer of crumbled vanilla wafers.
For the custard, I use the same custard recipe that’s in my Homemade Banana Pudding. It’s an old-fashioned vanilla custard recipe that I got from [easyazon_link identifier=”0375400354″ locale=”US” tag=”inasoukit-20″]The Gift of Southern Cooking: Recipes and Revelations from Two Great American Cooks[/easyazon_link], Scott Peacock and Edna Lewis’ cookbook collaboration. I’ve never, ever tasted a more divine custard.
If you’re in a hurry though, you can use a box of vanilla pudding mix and add sweetened condensed milk for some of the milk. It’s not as good as homemade but it will do in a pinch.
For the top layer, I crumble some vanilla wafers and sprinkle them over the custard. And that’s it! You can add a layer of whipped cream over the custard if you like, but I thought that might be a bit much so I kept it simple with just the cream cheese and custard.
This Cream Cheese Banana Pudding is sure to be a hit with your family and friends! If you make it, tag SouthernFoodandFun on Instagram and share your pictures!
- 2 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup melted butter
- 2 8-ounce blocks Philadelphia Cream Cheese
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean
- 12 egg yolks
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1/3 all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 ripe bananas
- 1 box vanilla wafers, crumbled
Preheat oven to 375. Stir together crumbs and sugar. Add melted butter and mix until well-blended. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and spread crumb mixture in the dish to make a crust. Bake about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- In large bowl, beat cream cheese for 5 minutes. Add sugar and beat until light and creamy. Add vanilla and beat until combined.
- Twist the vanilla bean but don’t scrape it and then add it to a medium pot with the milk and 1 cup of the cream. Heat slowly until almost simmering and then cover, remove from heat and allow to steep for 20 minutes.
- Put the egg yolks in a bowl and whisk in the sugar, then the flour and salt. Whisk until completely smooth and make sure there are no lumps hiding in there. Remove the vanilla bean from the milk and slowly whisk the milk into the egg yolks. Then put all of the goodness back into the saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until the custard thickens, whisking constantly. This should take about 3-5 minutes.
- Be sure you scrape the bottom and sides of the pan. After the custard begins to boil, cook for one minute longer and then remove it from the heat. The custard will be very thick. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a large bowl.
Immediately whisk in the remaining 1 cup of cream and three teaspoons of vanilla. Continue whisking until the cream is completely mixed in.
- Spread cream cheese over the graham cracker crust. Sprinkle some vanilla wafer crumbs, then add a layer of sliced bananas. Spread custard over the bananas and sprinkle remaining vanilla wafer crumbs over the top. (You can layer bananas between the graham cracker crust and the cream cheese too.)
In lieu of the homemade custard, use two large boxes of cook and serve vanilla pudding mix. Use sweetened condensed milk for some of the whole milk and add some vanilla.