Banana cream cheesecake is a tropical lover’s delight. And with this Cheesecake Factory copycat recipe, you can make it whenever the craving hits.
This is more than just your average cheesecake, folks. Believe me, you’ll go bananas over this one. It’s so good, one slice isn’t enough.
The cheesecake filling is smooth and creamy as can be, but that’s not the only thing that makes it extraordinary.
Mashed bananas are folded into the sweet cream cheese, creating a decadent dessert you’ll have a hard time sharing.
Also, it’s surprisingly easy to make! Cheesecakes are notorious for cracking, but this recipe has you covered.
This banana cream cheesecake has long been my favorite at the Cheesecake Factory. So, let’s make it together!
What is Banana Cream Cheesecake?
Banana cream cheesecake is a layered cheesecake served at The Cheesecake Factory. It has a crushed cookie crust at the bottom and a smooth and velvety banana-infused cheesecake filling in the center. Then it’s topped with Bavarian cream and fresh banana slices.
For this recipe, though, you’ll use shredded coconut for the topping instead of Bavarian cream for the ultimate tropical dream.
How to Make Banana Cream Cheesecake
There are a handful of steps involved in this recipe, but trust me, you got this. And I’ll be here with you until the end!
The first step is to preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll bake the cake initially at this temperature for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 300°F, and continue to bake for 75 minutes.
It’s a slow process, but it’s the key to ensuring your cheesecake doesn’t crack.
Next, prepare the crust. Place the cookie sandwiches in a blender and pulse until they’re finely ground. Pour in the butter or margarine and blend again, until it turns into a wet and crumbly, sand-like mixture.
Then, press the crust mixture into the bottom of a springform pan. To get a smooth and even crust, flatten it out with the bottom of a measuring cup.
Refrigerate the pan as you prepare the filling.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until creamy, about 1 to 2 minutes. You can also do this with a wire whisk, but be prepared for a little arm workout.
Beat in the sugar and cornstarch until well-combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after every addition. The batter should be smooth and runny at this point.
Gently mix in the mashed bananas, whipping cream, and vanilla. Use a whisk for this step to avoid overmixing.
Take out the pan from the fridge and pour in the batter.
Bake the cheesecake, first for 15 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then without opening the oven door, reduce the heat to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for another 50 minutes.
Take the cake out and sprinkle the shredded coconut on top, if using. Return to the oven and bake for 25 more minutes.
To test for doneness, give the pan a shake. The sides should be all set, but the center should still wobble.
Let the cheesecake cool completely on a wire rack. Then, loosen the latch of the pan to release the cake. Slide a knife around the edges to detach the cake from the rim.
Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate it before serving. Six hours is okay, but overnight is better.
And there you have it, your very own, Cheesecake Factory-inspired banana cream cheesecake!
Tips for Making The Best Cheesecake
Some folks find it intimidating to bake cheesecakes because they’re prone to cracking. But, as long as you keep the following guidelines in mind, there’s nothing to worry about.
Also, can I just say that, personally, I don’t mind eating a cracked cheesecake? It may not look as good, but it’s just as delightful.
Now, on to the tips:
- Use room temperature ingredients, particularly the eggs and the cream cheese. Room temperature ingredients will blend more easily with each other, creating a smoother batter.
- Take out the eggs and cream cheese 1 hour before preparing the batter. That, or, if you’re as forgetful as me, just microwave the cream cheese on low power for a few seconds. Then, immerse the eggs in hot water for a few minutes to warm them up.
- Use very ripe bananas for maximum flavor. The darker the peel, the sweeter the bananas are, and the tastier your cheesecake will be.
- Use real, full-fat, brick-style cream cheese, not cream cheese spread, for the best texture and flavor. You’re making cheesecake, now isn’t the time to watch calories!
- Do not overbeat the cheesecake batter. Doing so will introduce too many air bubbles into the mixture, which will cause the cheesecake to rise too much while baking, causing cracks. It will then sink drastically once it cools.
- Stop mixing as soon as the ingredients have been fully incorporated. You can use an electric mixer for this, but if you’re worried about overbeating, a wire whisk will also do the trick.
- I like to use either crushed Oreos (regular or golden) or Graham Crackers for the crust. You can also try Nilla Wafers, Speculoos, and gingersnaps for a fun flavor twist.
- If using Oreo cookies, it’s up to you if you want to remove the creme filling or not. If you want your crust sweeter, leave them in. If not, scrape them off.
- Use a springform pan for an easy cake release. Simply loosen the latch, lift out the rim, and voila, your cheesecake is free!
- Don’t overbake the cheesecake, and stick to a low temperature. Low and slow is the way to go for cheesecakes. Baking at a high temperature will cause the cheesecake to crack. so don’t be tempted to increase the heat in an attempt to bake it faster.
- You don’t need to worry about a water bath for this baked cheesecake. If you follow this recipe, that is, to bake the cheesecake at a low temperature for a long period, there’s no need for a water bath.
- Don’t open the oven door, especially during the first hour. Opening the door will alter the temperature in the oven, which can also result in a cracked cheesecake.
- The best way to test for doneness is to stick an instant-read thermometer in the center of the cheesecake. If it read 150 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s all set.
- If you don’t have a thermometer, perform the jiggle test. Shake the pan back and forth. The sides should be set but the center should still be a little wobbly.
- Let the cheesecake cool completely on a wire rack. Then, place it in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap, and let it sit there overnight. Cheesecakes taste better the next day, while freshly baked cheesecakes taste somewhat eggy.
- Pop the cheesecake in the freezer for 30 minutes before you remove it from the pan. This will make the rim of the pan slide off the cheesecake easily.
- If you followed all the steps above and the cheesecake still cracked, don’t worry. That’s what toppings are for:
- Fruits and berries – either fresh or in the form of preserves
- Whipped cream with chocolate or caramel drizzle on top
- Toasted nuts – hazelnuts and macadamias go so well with coconut
As much as you may be tempted, you probably can’t eat a whole cheesecake in one sitting.
So, refrigerate any leftovers for up to 5 days. Be sure to cover it with plastic wrap to keep it from absorbing the odors of neighboring food items.
If you made this cheesecake ahead of a birthday or holiday, you can easily freeze it so it stays fresh. It will be good for up to 4 months.
The key is to wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then place it in a large, freezer-safe bag. Squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing to prevent freezer burn.
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