Indulge in the creamy and fruity goodness of Strawberry Banana Cheesecake Salad! Made with cream cheese, pudding mix, cool whip, fresh strawberries, and bananas, this dessert is a perfect blend of flavors and textures.
Easy to make but even better, this bowl of lusciousness is sure to impress your taste buds and make your dessert table shine!
Note: that links to products you find in this post are Amazon affiliate links which means I do make a small amount of money when you click and make purchases.
Craving the flavor of cheesecake but want a no-fuss solution that doesn't require an oven?
Our Strawberry Banana Cheesecake Salad makes a great dessert recipe to satisfy your cravings!
Made with simple ingredients, it's the perfect option for an easy, no-bake dessert for busy weeknights. It's also a winner for potlucks and family gatherings.
Keep reading as share with you the step-by-step recipe and different variations you can try along with our best tips and tricks! This delicious dessert surely will be a hit at your next gathering or as a sweet treat for yourself.
Ingredients for Strawberry Banana Cheesecake Salad
Let's take a closer look at the simple ingredients in this cheesecake fruit salad recipe.
- Cream cheese: It provides a creamy and tangy base to the dessert while adding richness, depth of flavor, and a smooth texture to the dessert.
- Powdered sugar: AKA confectioners' sugar, it's used to sweeten the cream cheese and create more balance in the salad. It dissolves easily and helps to achieve a smooth consistency in the cream cheese mixture.
- Vanilla extract: Vanilla extract adds a warm and aromatic flavor to the cream cheese mixture. Adding just a touch to the base of the recipe gives it that "baked" cheesecake flavor and enhances the overall flavor of the dessert.
- Cheesecake pudding mix: Cheesecake pudding adds an additional layer of cheesecake flavor and really takes the flavor up a notch!
- Milk: When combined with the cheesecake pudding mix it creates a creamy and luscious texture in the dessert.
- Cool Whip: Lightens and stabilizes the cream cheese mixture, creating a super fluffy texture. It adds a light and airy quality to the dessert.
- Lemon Juice: Just a tablespoon or two will help prevent the fruit from browning in the salad.
- Strawberries: Fresh strawberries provide a burst of natural sweetness and tanginess to the salad along with a beautiful red color to the dessert.
- Banana: Bananas are always a winner especially paired with strawberries in the cheesecake pudding base!
- Graham cracker crumbs: Graham cracker crumbs are used on the top of the salad to mirror the graham cracker crust of a traditional cheesecake. They add a crunchy texture and are super pretty sprinkled on top!
Be sure to see the recipe card for the quantities of each ingredient.
- Cream cheese: Full-fat cream cheese is ideal for a super indulgent flavor but you can use reduced-fat or light cream cheese to save some calories.
- Powdered sugar: In a pinch granulated sugar works as a substitute. The only issue is it may not dissolve as easily as powdered sugar. Mixing longer will help to incorporate it into the mixture better.
- Vanilla extract: Vanilla bean paste or vanilla powder are potential substitutes for vanilla extract. Alternatively, you can skip the vanilla altogether.
- Cheesecake pudding mix: You can also use vanilla or white chocolate pudding mix as a substitute.
- Cool Whip: Homemade whipped cream can be used instead of Cool Whip.
- Lemon Juice: You can use prepared lemon juice from a bottle instead of fresh lemon juice if it's easier.
- Strawberries: You can use frozen strawberries that have been thawed but make sure to thaw and drain them thoroughly before adding them to the salad. However, using frozen strawberries may make the whipped topping a bit pink.
- Banana: Frozen bananas can be used if you can't find fresh ones but make sure they are completely thawed and patted dry before use.
- Graham cracker crumbs: Crushed vanilla wafers, shortbread cookies, or even crushed Oreos are all great substitutes for the crust-like layer.
This recipe requires only basic kitchen equipment. To make it, you will need:
- Mixing bowls: You will need a few of them. One for the cream cheese mixture, one for the pudding mixture, and one to toss the fruit with the lemon.
- Hand mixer or stand mixer: I prefer my hand mixer for this recipe as it is easier to move from bowl to bowl.
- Spatula: A spatula is ideal for scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl and ensuring that all the ingredients are well-mixed and incorporated.
- Measuring cups and spoons: Accurate measurements are important in baking and dessert recipes, so you will need measuring cups and spoons to measure the ingredients properly.
- Cutting board and knife: Use a cutting board and knife to prepare the strawberries and bananas.
- Serving bowl or dish: To present the Strawberry Banana Cheesecake Salad on the table.
- Plastic wrap or foil: Plastic wrap or foil may be needed to cover and refrigerate the finished salad for chilling and setting.
It's important to ensure that all the equipment used is clean and in good condition to maintain food safety and the quality of the finished dessert.
How to Make Cheesecake Fruit Salad
Now that you have gathered all your ingredients and needed equipment, it's time to get started!
- Start by using an electric mixer at medium-low speed to mix the cream cheese and powdered sugar.
PRO TIP: It is important to start with room-temperature cream cheese so that you have a nice smooth base to work with.
- In a second bowl, prepare the cheesecake pudding according to the package directions. I like to use the electric mixer on low but you can also use a whisk for this part.
- Once the pudding is nice and thick, combine it with the cream cheese mixture and mix until fully combined.
- Finally, gently fold in the whipped topping being careful not to over-mix. Over-mixing may cause the whipped topping to deflate. Once the whipped topping is incorporated set it aside to work on the berries.
- In a separate bowl, toss the berries and banana together with the lemon juice. This step will prevent the bananas from browning.
- Gently fold them into the cheesecake base.
PRO TIP: I like to reserve a few strawberries and bananas for the top of the dessert.
- Lastly, sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs on top. This step is optional but is reminiscent of a cheesecake crust so I never skip it!
- Chocolate lovers: For a chocolate twist, use chocolate pudding or garnish with chocolate shavings or cocoa powder on top for a rich and decadent dessert.
- Berrylicious: Craving more berries? Add blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or a combination of berries for a burst of fruity flavors in your salad.
- Tropical twist: Add some diced pineapple and shredded or toasted coconut flakes for a tropical twist to the salad. It will add a hint of sweetness and a touch of exotic flavor to your dessert.
- Nutty delight: Crushed nuts, such as pecans, almonds, or walnuts, work added to the graham cracker crumbs or sprinkled on top for a crunchy and nutty element to the dessert.
- Lemon zing: For more lemon flavor, add some freshly grated lemon zest or a splash of lemon juice to the cream cheese mixture for a tangy and refreshing twist to the salad.
Store this cheesecake salad in the fridge for 2-3 days. The length of time it lasts depends on the freshness of your ingredients and how it's stored.
For best results, cover it tightly with plastic wrap or foil or keep it in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out or absorbing any funky odors from the fridge.
Keep in mind that the salad's texture and taste might not be as good after the first day or two. I find the fruit gets too juicy and the whipped cream softens. So, it's best to enjoy it within the first 24-48 hours for the yummiest results.
When preparing the salad ahead of time, mix up each part and then store the cream cheese mixture, Cool Whip, and fruit separately. Finish assembling the salad just before serving.
And always trust your instincts and follow food safety practices to keep your salad fresh and safe to eat. If it looks, smells, or feels off, it's better to toss it to be safe.
Expert Tips and FAQS
I am so excited for you to try my quick and easy strawberry banana cheesecake salad. Remember these tips when you go to make it for the first time:
- Properly soften cream cheese: This ensures a smooth and creamy texture in your dessert.
- Use fresh and ripe fruit: Since this salad relies on fresh strawberries and bananas for its natural sweetness and flavor, it's crucial to use ripe and fresh fruit for the best results.
- Chill before serving: To allow the flavors to meld together and for the salad to set properly, it's essential to chill it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.
- Do not overmix the whipped topping: Gently fold it in to prevent deflating.
- Don't forget to garnish: Remember to put some strawberries and bananas to the side when you're mixing so that you can put them on top before serving.
Yes! You can use frozen strawberries just make sure to thaw them and drain any excess liquid before adding them to the salad. Please note this may change the color of the base slightly.
Yes, you can customize this recipe by using other fruits that you prefer, such as blueberries, raspberries, or peaches.
Yes, you can use regular whipped cream instead of cool whip. Just make sure to whip the cream until stiff peaks form before folding it into the cream cheese mixture.
Yes, you can make this salad ahead of time. Simply prepare the recipe as instructed, cover it tightly with plastic wrap or a lid, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before serving. However, it's recommended to add the graham cracker crumbs on top just before serving to keep them crunchy.
More Easy Dessert Recipes
Did you try this recipe? Please leave a star rating in the recipe card right below! You can also write a review in the comment section further down the page I always appreciate your feedback. And don’t forget to tag me @freshcoasteats in your photos on social media, I'd love to see your results!
Strawberry Banana Cheesecake Salad
- Hand mixer or stand mixer
- Cutting board and knife
- Serving bowl
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 package cheesecake pudding mix
- 1 ¼ cups milk
- 1 8 oz. cool whip
- 1-2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 quart strawberries hulled and halved
- 2 ripe bananas sliced
- ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
- In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy.
- In a separate bowl, prepare the cheesecake pudding mix by combining it with milk using an electric mixer or whisk following package directions. Once fully mixed, add it to the cream cheese mixture and beat until well combined.
- Fold in the cool whip into the cream cheese mixture gently, until fully incorporated. Set aside.
- Toss the prepared strawberries and bananas in lemon juice to prevent browning in the salad.
- Gently stir in the sliced strawberries and bananas into the cream cheese, pudding and whipped topping mixture, reserving a few slices for garnish.
- Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over the top of each bowl, and garnish with reserved strawberry and banana slices.
- Chill the Strawberry Banana Cheesecake Salad in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.