Posted by Grace Massa Langlois on Wednesday, 11th July 2012

A couple of weeks ago one of my regular visitors, Ela, reached out with a special request, “Can you feature a copycat recipe for The Cheesecake Factory Fresh Banana Cream Cheesecake?” Ela couldn’t have reached out at a better time because I was planning to feature a recipe for Banana Cream Pie. I was a bit concerned because we don’t have a Cheesecake Factory in our area (unfortunately no taste testing to be able to match the flavours and texture) but after visiting their site and reading the description I was confident I could prepare the various elements of the dessert.

A close up, cropped photo of Banana Cream Cheesecake with layer of Bavarian Cream and decorated with Whipped Cream on a white cake stand with a black background.

I’m really happy Ela made the request because this isn’t a typical cheesecake; it’s topped with a layer of luscious Bavarian Cream. For those of you who have never tried Bavarian Cream it’s very similar to pastry cream but rather than being thickened with flour or cornstarch it’s thickened with gelatin. Essentially it’s a crème anglaise (pouring custard) thickened with gelatin and just prior to setting up heavy cream is first whipped to a soft peak and then folded into the custard.

A photo of three mini banana cheesecakes decorated with whipped cream on pastel coloured mini cake stands displayed on a rectangle-shaped, black slate tile.

Like crème anglaise extreme care must be taken when cooking the custard to prevent the eggs from curdling. The custard must be cooked over a low flame and must never boil. The custard is ready when it’s thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon and reaches a temperature between 80° C to 82° C (175° F to 180° F). Immediately after adding the gelatin the custard is typically cooled down quickly over an ice water bath before folding in the whipped cream.

A photo taken looking down on a Banana Cheesecake on a white cake stand.

Bavarian Cream or Crema Bavarese in Italian (or Bavarois) is usually flavoured with vanilla or liqueur. Popular variations incorporate fruit purée. If served as a dessert the Bavarian is classically set in a large fluted mold. But it can also be served in glasses with a medley of fresh fruit.

A photo of Bavarian Cream garnished with mixed fruit in a glass.

My daughter, Liana, was invited to a dinner party at the home of her boyfriend’s parents and she wanted to bring the cheesecake for dessert. Although I’d made more than one I was hesitant because I didn’t have a chance to try the cheesecake before sending it along.

An up-close photo of Philadelphia Cream Cheese Cheesecake flavoured with Bananas.

Was I successful in matching The Cheesecake Factory flavours and textures? I haven’t a clue! But I’m hoping Ela will be kind enough to report back once she’s had a chance to try the recipe.

A photo of four mini gourmet cheesecakes on pastel-coloured mini cake stands displayed on a dark wooden board.

As for how the cheesecake was received? Elisabeth, the hostess, was kind enough to send a message, “Hello Grace and thank you so very, very much for the wonderful cheesecake you made for our dessert last night! We all agreed it was the best cheesecake we’ve ever eaten. Really!  It was so light, unlike most cheesecakes, and the banana flavour was a delightful and delicious change.”

Close-up photo taken looking down on Banana Cream Cheesecake.

Believe it or not I didn’t try the cheesecake until yesterday. I froze the smaller ones until Liana’s schedule freed up to photograph the cheesecakes. And I think she was finally able to set aside the time because her boyfriend, Chad, was eager to dive in, again.

A photo of a 7-inch Banana Cream Cheesecake and four mini banana cream cheesecakes displayed on various mini cake stands.

Unfortunately you can’t really see how creamy the texture is in the images because the cakes were still frozen. Let me assure you the texture is very creamy. I did miss one element when I was trying to match The Cheesecake Factory Banana Cream Cheesecake, the crust should have come up the sides of the cake. I will definitely do this the next time I prepare it because the three creamy layers needs the textural contrast the crust provides.

A photo of a slice of Banana Cream Cheesecake.

And I might also add a nutty flavour to the crust, either toasted macadamias or the classic pairing of walnuts. To make the dessert extra special, I would serve the cheesecake slices with caramelized bananas.

A photo of three mini cheesecakes on mini cake stands.

I’ve made quite a few cheesecakes in the last little while, Mango Cheesecake, Chocolate Chip Cheesecake, Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake and now this Banana Cream Cheesecake. You can’t go wrong serving cheesecake for dessert, it’s a definite crowd pleaser. The best part about them is their versatility. The flavour possibilities are endless and so are the crust variations.

Up-close photo of Fresh Banana Cream Cheesecake with Bavarian Cream and decorated with freshly whipped vanilla bean-cream.

What’s your favourite cheesecake?

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Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Cakes & Cheesecakes, Custards, Creams & Mousses, Dolci alla Frutta, Fillings, Frostings & Dessert Sauces, Fruit Desserts, Mini Desserts, Pastry Doughs & Batter, Piccola Pasticceria, Recipes, Ricette di Base, Torte

Comments (35)

35 Responses to “Banana Cream Cheesecake”

  1. Ela Says:

    Oh wow! That looks terrific! I’ve been waiting for this recipe since you mentioned that you’ll be posting it here. Your photos are making my mouth water just thinking how delicious Banana Cream Cheesecake is, (my favorite!) I need a special occasion to make this and share it with family. With just my husband and myself at home, this will be too much for us. I still have some pieces of chocolate cupcakes in the refrigerator we have to finish. But I assure you I’ll be making this soon and let you know how it goes. By the way, can I substitute the unflavored gelatin for gelatin sheets when making the Bavarian Cream? I would love to have your recipe for the small ones too. Thank you so much.

  2. Grace Says:

    Ela definitely replace the powdered gelatin with sheets, works like a gem, bloom first in cold water for about 15 minutes, squeeze out the excess water and then dissolve over low heat (and when adding to the batter strain through a sieve). I just posted the measurements for the moulds used in the comment section. The batter makes 1 9-inch or 1 7-inch plus 4 4-inch but you could easily use the batter to make about 8 or 10 small 4-inch cakes. The small cakes only took about 35 minutes to bake, make sure to test at the 30-minute mark as long as the cakes are set around the edges with a slight wobble in the centre they’re done. Be sure to bake in a water bath too. Looking forward to your feedback. By the way I froze these the smaller cakes and they were absolutely fine. Do not assemble until you’re ready to serve and make sure you assemble when both layers are frozen (much easier) and then allow to thaw in the refrigerator. By the way, very important to strain the filling through a sieve (a bit of a pain but worth it for the smooth, creamy texture). Really hope you enjoy and if you add nuts to the crust let me know what you think. By the way, my sisters stopped by tonight and they were both anxious to try the cake. When we were sitting down enjoying a slice with coffee I thought it may be nice to sprinkle some of the crust between the payer of Bavarian and Cheesecake for a wonderful textural contrast.

  3. Lauren at Keep It Sweet Says:

    These look unbelievable! I’ve been wanting to try stabilized whipped cream for a while, will definitely try your recipe!

  4. Grace Says:

    Lauren I was so happy when I found this technique, saves me from rewhipping all the time or having to decorate right before serving, real time saver.

  5. Mary Anne Says:

    These are amazing. What sizes did you make them? I love the little ones :)

  6. Grace Says:

    Mary Anne, I made 3 sizes, 9-inch, 7-inch and 4-inch. The batter makes enough for either one 9 by 2 3/4-inch or one 7 by 2 1/2-inch plus four 4 by 1 3/4-inch. For the Bavarian Cream layer, the moulds used for the 9-inch is 7-inch or 8-inch, for the 7-inch cake I used a 5-inch bowl with straight sides and lined the bowl with clear plastic wrap (coming up and over the sides – easy removal), making sure to smooth out any creases before filling and for the mini 4-inch cakes I used my tart rings (without bottoms) 3.15 inches – Please note I always line moulds with acetate paper for easy removal but you could also use parchment paper. And the freezer is your best friend when assembling these types of cakes. Reading through this message, I think I’ve elaborated too much, sorry!

  7. Kristiina Says:

    Wow this cheesecake looks delicious :) My favorite cheesecake is a classic: cherry! I would love to see a new spin on it!

  8. Grace Says:

    Hi Kristiina and thank you. My kids and entire family is crazy for no bake cherry cheesecake, for years and years that was all I could bring for dessert and if I didn’t well let’s just say they weren’t very happy with me. Leave it with me and hopefully I can come up with something special, did you have anything in mind? Any flavours that appeal to you? Baked or no bake?

  9. Ela Says:

    Grace, do you think we can just make a high parchment paper collar around the springform pan, follow your instructions in baking and chilling the cheesecake. When the cheesecake is set, top it with the Bavarian Cream then chill/freeze again until set. So when you release the pan the Bavarian Cream will be on top of the creamcheese already. Not sure if it will work, what do you think?

  10. Grace Says:

    Ela that would definitely work, I didn’t do it that way because if you notice the Bavarian layer on the Cheesecake Factory cake doesn’t go rim to rim leaving a space for the whipped cream, but doing it the way you’ve suggested would cut out a lot of the steps. Just make sure to tightly secure the collar. The only thing that concerns me is how it will look if you take the crumb up the sides and believe me with this much cream in the layers you need the crumb for a bit of contrast.

  11. lyly Says:

    Grace, I’ve never tried Banana cheese cake. Yours looked declicious. Thank you for sharing. Wish you have a nice weekend.

  12. Grace Says:

    Have a wonderful weekend too Lyly

  13. Amy @ fragrantvanillacake Says:

    These are some magnificent looking cheesecakes! I love the idea of a banana cream cheesecake, this is 100x better than the version I had at Cheesecake Factory years ago! Would love a large slice of this and seconds :)!

  14. Grace Says:

    You are so sweet Amy, thank you!

  15. Elyse @The Cultural Dish Says:

    Omg these look so beautiful! Your pictures are perfect as always and this recipe sounds so scrumptious!

  16. Sandra Says:

    This is beautiful Grace and the mini’s are just too cute for words. You should never worry about your desserts being well received, you nail them every time. I also think macadamias would be very tasty in the crust next time.

  17. Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen Says:

    Oh man…this cheesecake looks unbelievably good! :)

  18. Poornima Says:

    Dear Grace,

    I stumbled upon your site quite by accident yesterday when I was looking for a recipe (don’t remember what it was) and since then I have been hooked. I was up half the night going through your previous posts. You write so well and you come across as such an incredibly lovely person. And the recipes are to die for….I have never, ever seen such lovely desserts on any food websites. You truly have a gift. I tried to buy your cookbook but my card is acting up, I will be buying it tomorrow and can’t wait to read it. I am madly forwarding your site to all my friends. I am from India and we do not get some of the more exotic ingredients here but I am going to try every single one of your recipes that I can. Do keep up the lovely work, your site is a joy.


  19. Grace Says:

    Welcome Poornima and thank you so much for your kind words, you’ve put an extra spring in my step this morning. Have a wonderful day!

  20. Nicole Says:

    Wow! Stunning cheesecake!! I have never tried the Banana Cream Cheesecake from the Cheesecake factory yet, I usually go for the coconut. I think I need to give this one a whirl – especially making them into the mini cakes – super cute!!

  21. Grace Says:

    Thanks Nicole, I like making mini desserts if I’m hosting a dinner party, also great if you’re a small family because these freeze wonderfully.

  22. Jennifer Says:

    ONE WORD! WEEESDKASOSNJKFJSDBSJBDJS! Okay, maybe that is not a word…but, how else to describe a Masterpiece? Thanks for creating this!

    P.S. I saw the remarkable height of the cream layer and thought– I have found a baker with no time for games!

  23. Grace Says:

    Thanks Jennifer

  24. Annette Miles Says:

    I would like my bite now please? As usual beautiful presentation!

  25. Grace Says:

    Thank you Annette. I was just visiting my brother in the US and visited the Cheesecake Factory for the first time. I didn’t leave enough room for dessert and missed my chance to sample their cheesecake. I’ve been kicking myself ever since because I never thought to bring a slice home to enjoy later. I may be heading back soon and it’s the first thing on my list, need to try a slice of their Banana Cream Cheesecake, one thing is for sure it looked absolutely amazing! Thank you for saying the presentation was beautiful but I didn’t do it justice, next time though…

  26. Brekell Says:

    For the instructions for the cream, can you explain #10 please??

  27. Brekell Says:

    So these directions only make 1 9inch cheese cake. In order to make it stacked, like yours, we need to make 2 more?

  28. Grace Says:

    Hi Brekell These directions make one complete 9-inch cheesecake, basically you’re starting with the crust, then cheesecake filling and then you’re going to stack the bavarian filling layer on top, and ending with decorating with the whipped cream. In your previous comment are you referring the cream filling or the bavarian cream layer?

    I will assume you are referring to the Bavarian Cream:

    “Remove the bowl from the water bath and fold the whipped cream into the milk mixture in two additions. Strain the cream through a fine mesh sieve into the prepared mould. Use an offset spatula to level and spread the cream to the sides. Cover the mould with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to set, 3 to 4 hours.

    After adding the gelatine to the milk mixture and straining it through a sieve you’ll be transferring to a bowl. Then you will place the bowl over an ice water bath (bowl a little bit larger than the bowl you’re using for the milk mixture) to cool down the mixture, stir it occasionally, as it cools it will start to thicken. Once cooled you will be folding in the whipped cream with a large spatula. At this point I prefer to strain it through a fine mesh sieve once again because it ensures a smooth, creamy bavarian cream (catches any bits of gelatin etc.). I strain directly into the prepared mould (saves me from washing yet another bowl). When the bavarian is set you will unmould and place on top of the cheesecake filling. For ease of unmoulding, once chilled and set completely I transfer to the freezer to chill until firm. This step makes it very easy to unmould and stack on top of the cheesecake filling. The freezer is your best friend when preparing desserts like this, or desserts like mousse cakes with different layers.

    If you need further clarification or if I’ve answered the wrong question please let me know.

  29. Brekell Says:

    Thank you so much for responding so quickly!! Yes you explained it well! I was on google looking for the cheesecake factory recipe for this and I came across your site and I’m excited to make this! So if I have any futher questions I will def. contact you! Be blessed.

  30. Brekell Says:

    So folding and mixing are two separate things right?

  31. Grace Says:

    Hi Brekell, yes with folding you’re using a large spatula and you’re carefully adding (in this case) the whipped cream into the milk mixture a little at a time, take the spatula, scrape the bottom of the bowl (one side to the other) and take the milk mixture and fold it over the whipped cream. You’re incorporating air into the mixture making it light. Keep adding and scraping the bottom of the bowl from one side to the other and folding the mixture over until all the whipped cream is added to the mixture. If you were to just mix the whipped cream into the milk mixture it wouldn’t turn out near as light.

  32. Lauren Says:

    Hi – I have a question concerning the gelatine sheets. Where do I find these as I have never seen them in any grocery store. Is this something I have to order online or can I just use powdered unflavored gelatin in place of the sheets? If so, how much would I use?

  33. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Hi Lauren, it’s very difficult to substitute powder for gelatine sheets and you’ll probably find if you search for a substitution amount on the internet everyone will provide a different answer. If you can find the sheets it would be best. Having said this the sheets I buy come 6 in a package and one package sets 2 cups of liquid. If you use powdered gelatine, one package sets 2 cups of liquid. I purchase the sheets at my local grocery store, the brand is Dr. Oetker. It’s usually in the same section as the packaged powdered glazes and powdered gelatine boxes. I’ve also seen them available for purchase at Walmart and the Bulk Food Stores. They are available online but I would see if they’re available locally first. Once I started using the sheets I found I prefer over the powder, they dissolve much easier.

  34. Jannet Says:

    I’ve looked everywhere for the gelatine sheets I haven’t had any luck I am going to try and use the gelatine powder how do I substitute that ingredient for the sheets I’ve baked the pie it looks so delicious the only thing I’m stuck is on the Bavarian cream thank you!

  35. Grace Massa Langlois Says:

    Hi Jannet,

    I’m sorry you’re having difficulty finding the gelatine sheets (I prefer them over powder). I’m able to purchase at our local grocery store. The brand I use is Dr. Oetker, it’s usually in the baking aisle stocked on the same shelf as the powder gelatine as well as clear glazes (packaged). One package of powdered gelatine (7 grams) sets 2 cups or 500 ml of liquid, I would recommend using half of one package or 3 1/2 grams. Have a happy holiday!

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