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This recipe can easily be made with vanilla extract, if you wish to omit the bourbon. This could also be made into a gluten-free dessert if you make it with gluten-free ginger snaps for the crust.

Yield: 8-10 servings, depending on the size of the slices


  • 2 cups finely crushed vanilla wafers (or graham cracker crackers, or ginger snaps)
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 large ripe bananas
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon whiskey (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon whiskey (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
  • ½ cup roughly crushed vanilla wafers
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon whiskey (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • 1 banana, sliced (for garnish)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan and wrap the outside with aluminum foil. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the crumbs and pecans until they are finely chopped. While the processor is running, stream in the melted butter and pulse until the crumbs are moist and come together. Dump the crumbs into the prepared pan and pat down with your hands. Form the crust with the back of a spoon or a measuring cup, making sure to flatten out the bottom and bring the crumbs up the sides of the pan. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely.
  3. In a small sauce pot, mash the bananas until they are completely mashed and smooth. Add the brown sugar and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes until the sugar has melted and the bananas cook slightly. Remove from heat and add the bourbon or vanilla if using. Mix and allow to cool down completely.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the cream cheese for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Slowly stream in the granulated sugar and continue to cream together for another 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add in the bourbon or  vanilla extract if using. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, mix again. Stir in the banana mixture until just incorporated. Spread the filling over the crust and place in a roasting pan. Pour hot water into the larger roasting pan going half way up the springform pan. Bake in a 350°F oven for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. It may depend on your oven. You’ll know the cheesecake is done when the center is firm and doesn’t jiggle when shaken. If you find that the cheesecake is browning rapidly before being down, lower the oven slightly. Once done, place on a cooling rack and allow to cool down completely. Place in the fridge and chill for at least 8 hours.
  5. In a large bowl add the cold heavy whipping cream. Beat until the cream begins to thicken. Add the powdered sugar and bourbon or vanilla extract if using. Continue to beat until the cream forms soft peaks. Cut the cheesecake into slices and pipe whipped cream onto each slice. Top with a vanilla wafer cookie and a banana slice. Sprinkle the middle of the cheesecake with the crushed vanilla wafers. Serve right away. Store any leftovers in the fridge covered with plastic wrap. Will keep for up to 5 days. Enjoy!!