It’s party time with this ultimate dessert! Make room for this show stopping Gluten Free Banana Split Cheesecake. There won’t be a single slice left in the room.
My dad claims to be allergic to bananas. He says they make him throw up. Apparently since he was a baby, he would gag whenever he ate a banana and then throw up violently. I have yet to witness this reaction in the 33 years I have been his daughter. Something seems a little fishy to me.
Even my mom is skeptical that he really is allergic to fresh bananas. She’s spent the past 35 years making sure that every fruit salad is portioned off for him before she mixes in sliced bananas. She also makes sure that the paring knife that was used to slice a banana doesn’t touch any food that may go on his plate. But even as she takes these precautions, she rolls her eyes as if she is doing them in vain.
I’ve asked her before if she’s ever seen my dad get sick from eating a banana. She recalled that on a vacation one time he ate a popsicle that apparently had fresh bananas pureed into the mix. Having seen her skepticism to his allergy claims, I assumed that nothing extreme happened to him. But when I asked if he got sick she simply stated, “Yep. He threw up and was sick all day.”
Hahahaha! Um…okay…so then YES, mom, I think he must be allergic. I think in reality, rather than her actually doubting his banana barfing, it just annoys her to have to cater to one more individual in the family.
Even though I enjoy teasing my dad about not believing in his banana allergy, I’m quite certain that he is probably telling the truth. Although I do side with my mom in the fact that it is quite annoying. He can be a little LOUD and obnoxious about his banana aversion.
I make many MANY desserts and breads/muffins using bananas and I tend to get overly excited about my successful results. If I ever try to tell my dad about some amazing banana concoction I made, he sighs and then huffs and puffs about why I would waste my time baking with bananas. Why don’t I make something he would enjoy?! He very readily gives his disapproval of disgust. Again, it’s ANNOYING. Some days I’d like to take a fresh banana and shove it in his face just for being such a baby about it.
But I’m pretty sure that if there was any dessert that could change his mind concerning this heaven sent fruit, it would be this Gluten Free Banana Split Cheesecake. Heck, I would probably exchange a day of being sick just for a slice of this magic.
Actually…he CAN eat cooked bananas…sooooo…maybe I can talk him into a bite of this cheesecake without a single ounce of suffering. We shall try!
Regardless of my daddy dear, everyone should have the opportunity to taste this glorious dessert. Let me break this baby down for you. There is so much delight to this tasty treat that it’s going to require bullet points to describe its goodness:
- Thick chocolate cookie crust
- Smooth and creamy, fresh banana cheesecake with a hint of vanilla
- Dark chocolate ganache that drizzles down the sides of the cake
- Dollops of strawberry preserves
- Swirls of fresh whipped cream
- Drizzles of buttercotch
- Sprinkles of chopped mixed nuts
- Toppers of bright, sweet maraschino cherries
Now these are only the elements photographed in my first round of making this cheesecake. I made this a second time and added crushed pineapple, sliced strawberries, and some cut up bananas. Don’t ask me where I fit them, but somehow I found some extra room.
I took this dessert to two different parties, two weekends in a row, and it was a showstopper at each event. The first cheesecake I made tasted good, but I was unsatisfied with the consistency. It turned out a little too soft and creamy in the center and resembled more of a pudding cheesecake.
For the second attempt, I cut down of the amount of mashed bananas and added an extra block of cream cheese. Who doesn’t need more cream cheese in their cheesecake??? Plus, I baked it at a slightly higher temperature which helped it set. This second go around was PERFECT! Seriously, I could not have wished for a better outcome.
The cake is light and creamy, while still holding firm in shape. No pudding-like center here! And the crust is thick and chocolaty with a slight crunch from the cookies. Oh, and that dark chocolate ganache??? You’ll want to lick it with a spoon. In fact, there is no shame in devouring the leftover sauce that doesn’t fit on your cake.
Now if I really wanted to be ambitious, I would make my own butterscotch sauce as well. But, I didn’t. Deal with it. Good old butterscotch topping from the store works just fine. Make sure that it is the thicker type butterscotch topping and not the runny sauce. In my opinion, it’s so much better. Also make sure that your sauce is gluten free. That is important for any pre-made sauces that you buy while cooking or baking. You never know if gluten has creeped its way into the ingredient list.
I was giggling to myself when I brought this second cheesecake to a women’s event last night. There was a group of women behind me in the dinner line that had spotted my cheesecake. They didn’t know that I had made it (or that I was eavesdropping) and they were oo-ing and aww-ing over it, while at the same time freaking out that it would be all gone by the time they got through the dinner line. Instead of waiting their turn and chancing their would still be some left after they got their meal, they sent half of their crew to grab plates and snatch a few slices while the others saved their places in the dinner line. That cheesecake was gone by the time I took a second look. Success indeed!
So with all your holiday parties coming up, break the mold and ditch the Fall flavors for a moment to present this gift of pure enjoyment. Your guests will be singing you praises for years to come…even if they are allergic to bananas.
Do you find it annoying to cater to others’ food allergies?
- For the crust:
- 25 gluten free vanilla or chocolate (your preference) sandwich cream cookies similar to Oreos, crushed*
- 3 tablespoons melted butter*
- For the cheesecake:
- 4 packs cream cheese, room temperature
- ¾ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- dash of salt
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¾ cup mashed ripened banana (about 2)
- For the chocolate ganache:
- ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Additional toppings:
- fresh whipped cream
- strawberry preserves
- chopped nuts
- maraschino cherries
- gluten free butterscotch sauce
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease the bottoms and sides of a spring form baking pan with cooking spray or butter. Line the outside bottom and sides of the pan with foil going up the sides about an inch and a half. Set aside.
- In a food processor, add cookies and crush into fine crumbs. Add melted butter and pulse until well combined. Scoop mixture into spring form pan and press evenly to cover bottom of pan and slightly up the sides about ¼". Set in fridge while making cheesecake filling.
- To make the filling, add cream cheese into a large mixing bowl. Beat on low until smooth. Add sugar and cornstarch and mix until incorporated. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat on low until smooth. Add vanilla and mix until incorporated. Add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth. (Make sure your mashed banana is very smooth and free of chunks)
- Pour filling over chilled crust. Lightly tap on counter to remove any air bubbles from the batter. Place pan in a large baking pan with a lip. Pour water up to ½" in the baking pan surrounding the spring form pan, making sure that your spring form pan is securely sealed with foil so water does not seep in. Carefully place in oven.
- Bake cheesecake at 325 degrees for 65-70 minutes until edges are set and the middle just barely jiggles like jell-o when shaken. Turn off the oven and allow cheesecake to cool for 1 hour with oven door shut. Remove cheesecake from oven. Take off foil and allow to completely cool at room temperature. Lightly cover the top with plastic wrap, and chill in fridge overnight.
- Once ready to serve, run a sharp knife along the edges to loosen cheesecake. Remove ring and carefully transfer to serving platter.
- To make ganache, heat whipping cream in a microwave safe container at high heat for 45 seconds. Remove from microwave and pour in 1 cup of chocolate chips. Allow to sit for 1 minute. Mix with a spatula until mixture is smooth. If mixture is too runny (remember mixture will set as it cools), add additional chocolate and stir until smooth.** Pour on top of cheesecake and smooth to the edges. Return cheesecake to the fridge for 10 minutes to allow ganache to harden.
- Decorate cheesecake with drizzles of butterscotch, scoops of strawberry preserves, swirls of whipping cream, sprinkles of chopped nuts, and top with maraschino cherries. Chill until ready to serve.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in fridge for up to 5 days or in freezer for up to 3 months.
**Before adding additional chocolate, scoop out some of the ganache and allow to cool to see thickness. It should pour and spread easily, but thicken in place when cooled. If mixture is too thick, heat a additional cream (1 tablespoon at a time) for 10 seconds and pour into chocolate mixture. Stir until smooth.