I’ve been thinking of these for quite some time now…
Banana Pudding Cheesecakes.
When my friends at McCormick asked me to come up with a brunch worthy recipe using their great vanilla and almond extracts, I knew this would be the way to go. It just had to be done. So thanks, McCormick, for sponsoring this post and forcing me to actually make it happen!
Being from The South, Banana Pudding is a tradition. A Classic. A dessert tied to the territory. I can’t think of a single holiday or pot luck where there wasn’t a Banana Pudding.
But let me tell you a little secret…
I’m not a huge fan.
Slap my mouth!
True though, and here’s why.
Bananas, for me, have about a 22 minute window of consumption. Not too green, no specks of brown. Perfectly yellow. Eat it quickly, out of hand.
Once the bananas are cut up and put in the pudding?
Oh God. They get brown. And slimy. Let’s not even talk about it, okay?
Let’s instead talk about Vanilla Wafers.
I don’t really like those either. They’re either too crunchy (I don’t like to hear myself chew), or, too soggy once they’ve been buried down in the pudding. Gosh, I’m finicky. Whatever. I like what I like.
So despite all that, and the overwhelming tasks that I would need to overcome, I set out to make a Banana Pudding Cheesecake.
Because the FLAVOR of Banana Pudding is pretty darned awesome. Combine something like that with the perfection of cheesecake, the ultimate in desserts?
Could be an award winning combination.
I recently met the Executive Chef of our local restaurant – Chef Mike Behmoiras – who is the mastermind behind The Bank Food & Drink. Mike knows his stuff, and I, the leech that I am, have latched onto him in hopes I can learn a few things. So, like I do, I Twittered him, then texted him, then confused him.
Yep, confused him. It’s my M.O. and that’s all there is to it.
I convinced him to come up last Monday and cook with me.
That’s code for I’m hungry, I have a few people to feed dinner to tonight, why don’t you come up here and cook while I watch, and then I’ll eat it and take the credit for it.
He fell for it. I am very convincing.
It only works once though, folks, then you need to come up with another ruse.
So anyway, while he was here, we attacked the making of the ultimate Banana Pudding Cheesecake. Because I am not a big fan of crusts, I put Chef Mike in charge of that. Plus, he said he had a recipe that would work for our purposes, so off he went.
While he did that, I modified my go to cheesecake recipe in order to make it Banana Pudding-y. I gave him 3 slightly overripe bananas, which he roasted with a little brown sugar and Captain Morgan’s Black Rum in Gilda (my KitchenAid range). Once they were smooshed and flavorful, into the batter they went, along with a few wafer crumbs. A quick taste of the batter (how many samples did we have? I lost count), confirmed one very important thing – this cheesecake tasted JUST LIKE BANANA PUDDING.
I baked the cheesecakes in mini silicone molds, but you could also bake it in a regular full sized round. I just wanted to go mini, as it’s nice and easy for a dinner party or brunch. It’ would be a fantastic dish for Easter, and what a way to kick off spring! Give it a shot, I think you’ll love it as much as we did!
Banana Pudding Cheesecake
makes 24 mini cakes or 1-8 inch cheesecake
For the Roasted Bananas
- 3 Bananas, over ripe and mashed
- 1/4 cup Captain Morgan’s Black Rum (if desired)
- 1/4 cup Dixie Crystals Dark Brown Sugar
Combine the bananas, rum, and sugar; roast in shallow pan at 400 for 10-12 minutes, stirring every 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool while preparing cheesecake batter.
For the Cheesecake
- 3- 80z bricks of cream cheese, softened
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3/4 cup Dixie Crystals Granulated Sugar
- 1/4 cup Dixie Crystals Light Brown Sugar
- pinch of salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Almond Extract
- 2 teaspoons McCormick Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 cup pulverized Vanilla Wafer cookies
- Roasted Bananas (see above)
- Preheat the oven to 325 F and grease or butter a 9-inch springform pan. Wrap the pan in heavy duty aluminum foil so that it is waterproof. Press crust into prepared pan. If using mini silicone molds, skip this step.
- Place one 8-ounce package of the cream cheese, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until creamy, about 3 minutes, then beat in the remaining packages of cream cheese.
- Increase the mixer speed to high and beat in the remaining sugar, then beat in the salt, vanilla, and almond extract. Blend in the eggs one at a time, beating only until completely blended. Mix in the sour cream and heavy cream. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
- Lastly, stir in the cookie crumbs and roasted bananas by hand.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan on silicone molds. Place the springform pan in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about halfway up the sides of the pan. Bake the cheesecake until the top is lightly browned, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. (or 25 minutes if using molds. Molds require no water bath) Allow to cool in the oven with the door propped open.
For the Crust
- 10 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
- 2/3 cup Dixie Crystals Granulated Sugar
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 cup pulverized Vanilla Wafer Cookies
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add dry ingredients and mix on low until combined.
- Chill for 30 minutes, then roll half of dough between two floured pieces of parchment paper. Press into round cake pan or, if making minis, cut into desired size. Freeze remaining dough for later use.
- Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown. (Skip this step if making full sized cheesecake and follow directions above.)
Mini Cheesecakes – Place one mini cheesecake onto one cookie crust. Top with homemade whipped cream and garnish as desired.
Full Sized Cheesecake – Remove from springform pan and top with piped homemade whipped cream. Garnish as desired.
Thanks so much Mike for your help, and I’m thrilled to have gotten to get to know you. I think. And thanks for the sugared jalapenos we used to top this beauties – I appreciate it!
This post is courtesy of and sponsored by McCormick. All thoughts and opinions are my own.