That favorite old-school boozy dessert - Bananas Foster - but in a cheesecake - Caramel Banana Cheesecake with an oatmeal cookie crust.
If you like Bananas Foster, you will love this Caramel Banana Cheesecake. It's all those things, boozy bananas in a brown-sugar caramel sauce, but also, it is a cheesecake....
.. because everything is better when it is knee-deep in a cheesecake 🙂
More inspired cheesecake recipes:
Do not try not to get too fancy with this cake. Let it be messy and sticky. Not fussy. Banana desserts are not fussy.
Banana desserts are not fussy
I've switched up a typical graham cracker crust for an oatmeal cookie crust. You can use your favourite graham crumb crust if you prefer. But, but... oatmeal cookies and bananas are just perfect. One small package of Dad's Original Oatmeal cookies (no raisin variety) will work for the crust. Just pulse the whole bag of cookies in a food processor until you have fine crumbs.
Ironically, I tend to make this cake in early to mid-summer when all the fresh fruit is out there and I could make any kind of fruit-based dessert my little heart desires. But this is a large and crowd-pleasing cheesecake. So I usually bust it out for neighbourhood BBQs and casual potlucks.
Why I love this banana cheesecake
It's a something for everyone cake.
Kids love it: bananas and oatmeal cookies
Adults appreciate the fried, boozy bananas foster inspired filling
There is something very nostalgic and old-school about this dessert. Maybe it is the bananas and caramel sauce, or maybe it's the oatmeal cookies. This is an unfussy cake, not what I would call Instagram-worthy. So maybe it is just the casual way it presents itself. Whatever it is, it makes my inner child happy. And seems to inspire both adults and kids to lick their plates clean.
The inspiration: this Banana Caramel Vodka. A fun and sweet small-batch vodka made by Wolfhead Distillery in Amherstburg Ontario. It's a bit more like a liqueur. A good spiced rum will work nicely instead. Of course, you can totally leave out the booze. If you choose to leave it out, add an extra teaspoon of vanilla or rum extract to both the cake and the banana layer.
Notes about this recipe
- The beautiful golden colour of the cake comes from fresh backyard (not my backyard) eggs. Like little sunsets... they had the deepest, orangey yolks. Supermarket eggs will give you a paler cake. Don't worry about it, it will still be delicious.
- I used Banana Caramel Vodka in this recipe. A good banana-flavoured liqueur will work or simply use rum.
- Use your favourite caramel sauce to top this cake. I've used the kind we like for topping ice cream to cover the top of the cake. Butter rum, Butterscotch, Caramel... it will all work nicely.
- And one more thing - I used a water bath this time, like this cake, which helps reduce and eliminate cracks on top of the cake.. obviously from the pictures it is not completely foolproof, or at least it will not save you from your own impatience - the cracks you see in my pictures are because I did not let the cake completely cool before I took it out of the pan to take its picture. Trust me on the water bath - if you follow the instructions it will work. Just be sure to let the cake cool before you pop it out of the cake pan. For how to make a cheesecake using the water bath method, see the instructions here.
- For the water bath, you will need a roasting pan or deep-sided baking pan that is big enough to hold your spring-form cake pan. There is a picture of what this looks like here, because I’m useless and completely forgot to take a picture while this cake was in process.
Serving caramel banana cheesecake
This cake takes some time to firm up. I like to make it the day before so I can leave it in the cake pan in the refrigerator overnight. Remove it from the spring form pan when you are ready to serve it.
Carefully remove the cheesecake from the springform pan. I like to run a very sharp and thin knife or my small offset spatula between the cake and the edge of the springform pan before I remove the cheesecake from the pan. I find this makes for a cleaner edge.
Drizzle with caramel sauce just before serving or a least just as you are ready to put it out on the dessert table. The caramel will run a little and puddle around the serving platter ... which usually means whoever gets the last piece is scrapping every last bit of sauce onto their plate.
Caramel Banana Cheesecake
- For the crust:
- 1 package crunchy oatmeal cookies
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter
- For the cake:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup brown sugar packed
- 3 perfectly ripe bananas sliced
- 2 tablspoons banana caramel vodka or rum
- 4 8oz packages of cream cheese
- 1 cup brown sugar packed
- 2 tablspoons unsalted butter melted
- 5 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-½ tablespoons banana caramel vodka or rum
- caramel topping
- Preheat oven 350 degrees. Grease a 10-in springform pan and cover the outside bottom and halfway up the sides with alluminum foil.
- Crush cookies in a foodprocessor until you have an even crumb. Add the melted butter and pulse to just combine, then dump and press into the bottom of the prepared springform pan. Bake for 12 minutes. Allow to cool before the next step.
- Heat a saute pan over medium heat. Add butter and brown sugar, stirring until melted and bubbling. Add bananas, vodka (or rum) and vanilla. Stir and saute for just a minute or two, until the bananas are heated through and covered in the brown sugar and butter mixture. Pour over the crust. Set aside.
- For the cheesecake, in a standmixer with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, scraping down the sides several times, until it is light and fluffy. Add brown sugar and beat until creamy and smooth. Beat in butter. Then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat well after each addition. Stir in vanilla and vodka (or rum) and pour over the banana layer in the springform pan.
- Bake cheesecake in a water bath. Place spring-form pan into a large roasting pan and place whole thing in the oven. Carefully fill the roasting pan with boiling water so that it surrounds the cheesecake. Bake for 30 monutes at 350. Then reduce oven to 325 and bake for another 30-40 minutes, until filling puffs up slightly and center is just slightly firm. Remove from oven and water bath and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving, overnight is best.
- For serving, remove cake from springform pan and place on serving platter. Cover top of cake with your favourite caramel topping.
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