A well known fact about me – I love ice cream. So much that before we started really eating healthy, I once bought 4 gallons of Blue Bell ice cream when it went on sale for $2.49 each. One of my favorite Blue Bell flavors is the banana split. If I did not control myself, I could eat the entire container in one sitting.
So when I volunteered to make dessert for a family gathering over the Memorial Day weekend and knowing that our family loves cheesecake, I thought I’d try my hand at a new recipe – a banana split cheesecake. I knew I wanted the flavors to include banana, strawberry, pineapple and chocolate. I’d seen a few recipes that were close to what I was going for, but nothing that knocked it out of the park for me. Hence the decision to experiment with my own.
This cheesecake tastes just like a banana split and really hit the spot – it put me in the mood for the warm weather we’ve started having here in the south! With strawberries now in season, I made fresh strawberry puree swirled into a banana flavored cheesecake on top of a chocolate and pecan graham cracker crust. It was then topped off with pineapple compote, fresh whipped cream, chocolate ganache and cherries.
The perfect summer dessert when you can’t do ice cream. You could even set it up like a sundae station at a party with the toppings laid out for each person to dress their own piece of cheesecake – wouldn’t that be super cute! I had so much fun making this cheesecake and decorating it like a banana split – I hope you do too! If you need any handy-dandy cheesecakin’ tips, check out the old (and ridiculously thorough) blog the hubs did about the science of cheesecake.
- 1 cup chocolate graham crackers, crushed
- 1/4 cup toasted pecan pieces
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- Two medium bananas
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 4 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 oz sour cream, room temperature
- 1 cup fresh strawberries
- 2/3 cup water
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 can pineapple tidbits in juice, drained, liquid reserved
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine chocolate graham crackers, pecans and melted butter in a bowl until evenly moistened. Press into a 10 inch springfrom pan. Bake for 12 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
In a blender or food processor combine the strawberries and water. Cover and blend or process until smooth.
In a medium saucepan combine sugar and cornstarch; stir in blended strawberry mixture. Stir over medium heat until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Cool for 10 minutes.
Lower oven to 325 degrees
Mash bananas with lemon juice and set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese in a large bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until combined. Mix in vanilla and sour cream until well incorporated. Be careful not to overmix. Gently mix or fold in the banana mixture. Pour into springform pan. In the meantime, you should have made the strawberry puree (this can be made in advance and reheated).
Drop large dollops of strawberry puree on top of the cheesecake filling. Swirl with a toothpick - you can swirl in a clockwise motion or you can swirl up and down in a snake shape. I did both.
Fill a roasting pan with hot water (does not need to be boiling) and place on the bottom rack of your oven. You will want to check your oven temperature to make sure it did not drop and allow to return to 325.
Place cheesecake in the middle of your oven and bake until filling is slightly puffed and the center moves only slightly when pan is shaken gently, about 1 hour 20 minutes.
Turn off the oven, open the oven door and allow the cake to cool for at least 1 hour in the oven.
Remove and chill in the refrigerator overnight.
Combine the drained pineapples, sugar and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes until pineapple begins to soften. In a separate bowl, combine the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of reserved pineapple juice to make a slurry. Pour into the saucepan. Continue cooking mixture for 5 more minutes or until slightly thickened. The liquid should coat the back of a spoon, but not be overly thick.
In a small saucepan, heat the whipping cream over medium until it bubbles. Remove from the heat and stir in chocolate chips until combined. Allow to cool slightly.
Using a medium cookie scooper, make mounds of pineapple compote around the edge of the cheesecake. Allow to chill.
Top each mound with a dollop of whipped cream (you can make your own - my preference - or use storebought). Allow to chill.
Spoon chocolate sauce over each dollop of whipped cream and top with a cherry. Refrigerate until serving.