Love and Olive Oil

Banana Split Cheesecake

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Banana Split Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce

I’m in love with the Loveless Cafe. You might assume that this lust would be for their fried chicken or their world-famous biscuits, in which case I’d assume that you forgot to try their desserts. And by forgot I mean you probably stuffed yourself so full of chicken and biscuits that you can’t even begin to think about pie.

And for that I say, “How DARE you.”

Put down that third helping of chicken and that 7th biscuit (which, by the way, are incredible and totally deserving of a lifetime of devotion on their own). But whatever you do, no matter how many biscuits you choose to eat, you must, and I mean MUST, save room for dessert.

Banana Split Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce

For those of you who have not or cannot experience the Loveless Cafe in person, you’re in luck. No, they’re not giving up their secret for flaky biscuits. But with the release of the new book, Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe, you can at least make some of their famous down-home desserts in your own home.

I’m no stranger to pastry chef Alisa Huntsman’s work. Because she also wrote one of my all-time favorite cake cookbooks, Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes. I didn’t realize she was local at first, only after I had left a trail of cake batter and drool over the pages of her book did I discover she lived here. In my city. And that made me more excited than the hoards of famous actors and musicians that also call Nashville home.

Alisa has been the pastry chef at the Loveless for 7 years. When she was first hired, Loveless didn’t serve dessert. Oh, the horror! But Alisa was dead set on changing that. Tucked away in her little pastry “closet” (as she calls it), and surrounded by ingredients, she couldn’t help but create new things. So while originally she was only asked to make a few classics (like coconut cream pie), she couldn’t help but add a few more sweet treats to the menu. And now? Well, let’s just say her desserts are as famous as the cafe itself.

Banana Split Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce

I had a hard time choosing just what I was going to make first. Until I saw this recipe. Banana split cheesecake. I swooned, quickly recovered, and almost immediately set about making this fantasy a reality.

The result is what just might be the most beautiful cheesecake I’ve ever made. The banana flavor is subtle, the texture light and creamy. The gorgeous chocolate swirls are smothered in a fresh strawberry sauce that brings the whole thing together. And perfect, like I said, with not a crack in sight. Alisa offers up a few tricks for perfect cheesecakes, including to scrap the springform pan and water bath in favor of a heavy duty aluminum cake pan. Scary. But it works.

I took the full recipe and split it into two smaller cheesecakes. Perfect for two people. The second cheesecake is currently stashed away in the freezer, where I’m sure it won’t be for long. In fact, I may go get it out right now… it’d be thawed in time for dinner, um, I mean dessert… tonight. Sounds like a plan, Stan.

Banana Split Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce


1 1/2 cups cookie crumbs (chocolate wafers, graham crackers, nilla wafers, etc.)
2/3 cup plus 6 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 pound cream cheese (not low-fat or whipped)
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (1 to 2 bananas)
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
4 eggs
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 cups fresh strawberries
whipped cream and chopped walnuts for garnish (optional)


Preheat oven to 300ºF. Grease an 8-inch round heavy aluminum pan, or two 6-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper if desired; butter parchment.

In a small bowl, combine the cookie crumbs and 3 tablespoons of the sugar. Stir to mix well. Pour in the melted butter and stir until evenly moistened. Dump crumb mixture into the prepared pan and press to cover the bottom and three-quarters of the way up the sides.

To make the filling, place the cream cheese, 2/3 cup sugar, banana, sour cream, and flour in a food processor; pulse to form a smooth paste. With the machine on, add the eggs, one at a time; scrape down the sides of the bowl and pulse briefly to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.

Measure out 1 1/4 cups of the filling and set aside. Pour the remaining filling into crust. Return 1 cup of reserved filling to the food processor. Add melted chocolate and pulse to combine, scraping the sides of the bowl to make sure the batter is evenly mixed. Drizzle the chocolate filling in an abstract ribbon pattern over the top of the plain filling in the pan. Drizzle the remaining 1/4 cup banana filling over the chocolate and use a blunt knife or bamboo skewer to swirl them into a marbled pattern; do not overmix.

Bake in the center of the oven for 45 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven when center is still just slightly jiggly. Run a knife all the way around the edges to release the cake and crust. Return the cheesecake to the oven, turn off the heat, and let stand without opening the door for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand in the pan on a rack until cooled to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight if possible, to allow it to set completely.

To remove the cake from the pan, wrap a flat plate or tray with plastic wrap and spray it lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Hold the bottom of the cake pan over ow heat until it is slightly warm but not hot. Gently shake the pan from side to side to release cheesecake. Place the greased plate over the top of the cake and quickly invert it. The cake should slide right out of the pan. Place your serving plate on the bottom of the cake and invert it again right side up.

To make the strawberry sauce, place the strawberries and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

To cut, use a large chef’s knife dipped it hot water and wiped clean between the cuts. Serve with a drizzle of strawberry sauce and a garnish of whipped cream and chopped walnuts, if desired.

Recipe from Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe

All images and text © Lindsay Landis /

Did you make this recipe?

Let us know what you think!
Leave a Comment below or share a photo and tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #loveandoliveoil.

Lucky for you, I just happen to have an extra copy of Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe. And one lucky reader is going to win it!

Congratulations to the winner Katie, comment #45!

To Enter:

Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe

Simply leave a comment on this post with the answer to this question:
What is your favorite down-home dessert?

Entries open through Wednesday, October 26 at 11:59 CST. I’ll be selecting the winner via random number generator on the morning of Thursday, October 27th. Prize will be shipped to the winner by me. And hey, for once (since it’s a book and nothing perishable!) this giveaway is open to international folks as well! Whoohoo!

Want Extra Entries?
Increase your odds of winning! In addition to the main entry comment, leave a separate comment for each bonus entry.
1. Follow @loveandoliveoil on twitter and tweet the following:
I just entered to win “Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe” cookbook from @loveandoliveoil! Enter here:
2. Like Love & Olive Oil on Facebook (or if you are already a fan just say so!)

Be sure you enter a valid email address, because if your name is drawn and I can’t get a hold of you within 48 hours, I will choose an alternate winner. You may also want to add me to your address book (lindsay AT loveandoliveoil DOT com), as I’d hate for your congratulatory email to end up in the spam folder.

The fine print: No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. I was provided with a free book by Artisan books and the Loveless Cafe, and some fried chicken and fudge pie to sweeten the deal. However all opinions and declarations of undying devotion here are purely my own. I’d gladly pay for that chicken. And for that pie.

There may be affiliate links in this post. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

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331 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. Mine is banana pudding! Especially my grandmas!

  2. My favorite down home dessert is red velvet cake!

  3. I liked you on facebook!

  4. FB fan of LAOO!

  5. Brownies with homemade vanilla ice cream – yum!

  6. My favorite is lemon meringue pie from The Golden Lemon, which is the exact recipe my mother used without ever having seen this book –

  7. like Love and Olive Oil on Facebook (and off)

  8. My mother makes the most divine apple pie in the world… the crust is perfect, always flaky and light (and cooks evenly!), and if she tried to cram another apple into the pie dish, it would overflow. She even tried it once with caramel sauce baked onto the top – it was fabulous, but nothing compares to the original!

  9. I also like you on Facebook :), but haven’t mastered Twitter yet :(

  10. My favorite down-home dessert is Apple Candy Pie – underneath like apple pie filling with a crunchy brown sugar candy topping – with vanilla IC, of course!

  11. I love making and eating apple pie!

  12. I’m a fan on Facebook.

  13. Our guess our favorite would be banana pudding.

  14. I’m a Facebook fan!

  15. That cheesecake looks so delicious! Already a fan of yours on FB (;

  16. Peach Cobbler with 1/2 and 1/2 Mmmmm, mmm!

  17. Chocolate cake with vanilla icing. mm!!

  18. Oh m GEE, I’ve seen this beauty all over! I’ve actaully handled the wonderful item a couple of times at Costco but just continue to walk away.

    N-e whoo, my all time favorite down home dessert would be peach cobbler, made from peaches in the backyard! Double crusted, not the kind with one layer on top or a crumble. Then topped with country style vanilla. I’m salivating.

  19. I’ve been an FB fan/follower for a while

  20. I want to check this book out!

    My favorite classic dessert would have to be Yellow Cake with Fudge frosting…or just plain rootbeer floats. :)

  21. I am also a fan/follower on facebook. :)

  22. The recipe looks delish! My favorite (mom-made) desert is apple strudel with vanilla sauce. Yum!

  23. Also, I happily follow your blog with bloglovin’. :)

  24. For me, nothing would ever beat my mom’s stained glassed candied. No Bake, Easy to Make, and sooooooooo good.

  25. nothing beats chocolate chip cookies!

  26. also, I’m a fan on facebook!

  27. I LOVE banana cream pie, my all-time favorite!!!! ::)

  28. Pumpkin pie. Love it!

  29. I am a huge FB fan too.

  30. I think that would have to be banana cream pie. So delicious, especially with some chocolate drizzle on top.
    p.s. I’m already a fan on facebook! :)

  31. Down-home? I’ll have to say smitten kitchen’s blueberry boy bait is out of this world… I’ve swapped the blues for blackberries (like em more!) and it’s PHENOMENAL


  32. Down-home? I’ll have to say smitten kitchen’s blueberry boy bait is out of this world… I’ve swapped the blues for blackberries (like em more!) and it’s PHENOMENAL


  33. Down home for me in in Singapore – and my favorite dessert from there is red bean soup!

  34. I liked you on FB, so am entering again to win!

  35. Chocolate fudge cake!

  36. wow!!! so many wonderful compliments in that post-i cant thank you enough! now, about that favorite dessert-for me it is cookies, especially chocolate chip cookies but the peanut butter granola cookies in the book are especially decadent and one of my favorite ways to misbehave! thanks again!!!

  37. Chiffon cake is my all time favorite. As a little girl, it is the cake I requested on my birthday! No icing, no whipped cream, no strawberries, just plain good ‘ol chiffon cake. Have a great week-end!

  38. Pecan Pie is the ultimate down home dish!

  39. Nutella creme brulee and I want to win this cookbook!

  40. Blueberry buckle!

  41. rice crispie bars- (especially when I add nutella instead of PB~)

  42. Blueberry lemon buttermilk cake :)

  43. Key Lime Pie!!!
    Also I tweeted and liked you on Facebook :)

  44. I can never have too much key lime pie..I LOVE it!

  45. I already like you on Facebook :)

  46. My favorite classic dessert would definitely be apple pie. Nothing can beat sitting down to a freshly baked apple pie on a chilly, frigid afternoon!

  47. Chocolate chip cookies.

  48. My favorite dessert made at home is peach cobbler. With cream or ice cream!

  49. Following @loveandoliveoil on twitter and tweeted about the contest.!/teslaca/status/127854437036331008

  50. My favorite dessert that I make is milk and white chocolate swirled fudge. Mmmm…

  51. I like Love & Olive Oil on Facebook.

  52. Orange Juice Cake

  53. i love some homemade peach cobbler!

  54. I just made the “World’s Best Cookies” with the addition of chocolate chips, and I think those are my new favorite chocolate chip recipe.

  55. I am a fan on FAcebook.

  56. Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.
    And I’d like the book to give to Alan Loveless, my first hubby, and his wife, Nicki.

  57. I really love warm chocolate chip banana bread, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

  58. My mom’s apple crisp with vanilla ice cream. Yum!

  59. For me it has to be a classic Red Velvet Cake everytime. Three layers (at least) and thick cream cheese icing!

  60. My favourite has to be brownies. Nothing can beat the gooey chocolatey goodness.

  61. Oh and I like you on facebook :)

  62. Homemade Layered Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing and sprinkled with shaved Coconut!!!

  63. Flourless chocolate cake!

  64. Following and tweeted!

  65. peanut butter pie is always my favorite and completely reminds me of growing up in mom’s kitchen.

  66. Perfect cookbook for the not that far off February celebration of romance.

  67. … warm apple cobbler with homemade vanilla ice cream and home made caramel sauce

  68. … liked “love and olive oil” on Facebook!

  69. Red Velvet Cake!!

  70. That changes depending on my mood, but right now, all I can think of is my homemade banana cream pie!

  71. What is your favorite down-home dessert?

    Ooooh, so many to choose from. I guess my fav is my mother’s just ever-so-slightly cripsy chocolate chip cookies. Not burnt, exactly, just… they’d crumble & melt in your mouth. Durnit, now I’m getting cravings!

  72. WOW, this recipe looks fabulous…..cheesecake is definitely one of my favs…..Id have to say my fav dessert would be a trifle of some sort:)

    What a great giveaway!

  73. I love my mum’s homemade chocolate caramel slice. :) We only had it as an occasional treat when we were kids, but that made it even more special!

    kate1485 at

  74. Fresh fruit on anything like a tart or flan is always unbeatable in my books!

  75. apple crumble with vanille ice cream.

  76. my grandma’s recipe of homemade Jack Daniels pecan pie with whipped cream on top!! its heavenly!!

  77. my favorite down home dessert is peach cobbler!

  78. Liked you on Facebook!

  79. pumpkin pie! for breakfast!

  80. My favorite down-home dessert has got to be my aunt’s Southern Cream Cheese Poundcake. At first read, it may seem pretty simple, but here’s the catch…she uses the cake as a base and uses different icings (Pineapple upside down, caramel, chocolate, coconut…and the list goes on)!

  81. I’m a huge cheesecake fan. Especially chocolate cheesecake. ummmm…….

  82. I also like you on FB!

  83. My favorite down home dessert is bread pudding! Mmmm, reminds me of Grandma’s house!

    I don’t tweet, but I am following you on FB!

  84. coconut cake!!

  85. i like you on fb

  86. hands down a chocolate cake….just is nothing better!!!

  87. peanut butter cupcakes, blondies, bundt cakes, cheesecakes – well, anything with peanut butter in it :)
    Love your blog and I am heading to facebook to like you there too :)

  88. Blackberry cobbler……..yum!

  89. i love my granny’s chess squares. Esp the corner pieces. YUM

  90. I just followed you on twitter! Mum’s cupcakes are my favorite!

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