This banana rum cheesecake with maple rum sauce is made with roasted bananas, cream cheese, a pecan crust, and a boozy topping. We offer both a vegan and regular option. Either way, you won’t tell the difference.
This banana rum cheesecake is indulgent as can be, whether you make it with regular cream cheese or the vegan option. Maybe the kids will come home for Thanksgiving after all.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Banana Rum Cheesecake
- Quick Glance
- 1 H
- 5 H, 30 M
- Serves 6 to 8
Special Equipment: 9-inch springform pan
- For the roasted bananas
- 4 large very ripe bananas
- For the maple rum sauce
- 1 cup grade B maple syrup, preferably organic
- 4 tablespoons Earth Balance
- Fine sea salt, to taste
- 1 tablespoon dark rum
- For the pecan crust
- 1 cup pecan nut flour* (see * below)
- 1/2 cup white or wheat all-purpose or spelt flour
- 1 tablespoon firmly packed light brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons Earth Balance, partially melted
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- For the cheesecake filling
- 16 ounces cream cheese (regular or substitute non-dairy)
- 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup dark rum
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- To serve
- Toasted pecan halves
- Make the roasted bananas
- 1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Adjust the oven rack to the center position.
- 2. Place the unpeeled bananas in a roasting pan and roast in the center of the oven for 15 to 25 minutes, until the bananas are soft, the skins are dark brown, and some of the juice is seeping out. Let the bananas cool to room temperature in the pan in their skins. Increase the oven temperature to 400°F (204° C).
- Make the maple rum sauce
- 3. In a small saucepan, combine the maple syrup, Earth Balance, and salt to taste and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.
- 4. Remove the pan from the heat and add the rum, stirring well. Be careful, as the sauce will bubble up a bit. Let cool for a few minutes, then taste and, if necessary, add more salt. Cool to room temperature, then transfer to a squeeze bottle. (The sauce can be rewarmed by placing the bottle in a pan of hot water off the heat.)
- Make the pecan crust
- 5. Combine all the crust ingredients in a bowl and stir until really well combined.
- 6. Press the crust into a 9-inch springform pan and place it in the freezer for 5 minutes. Bake in the center of the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until the crust looks a little dry and the edges are light golden. Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool completely.
- Make the cheesecake filling
- 7. Peel the roasted bananas and remove any strings. In a food processor, puree the bananas until very smooth. Add the remaining filling ingredients and pulse until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl periodically. Do not overprocess or the cream cheese will separate and curdle.
- 8. Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (176°C) and bake for another 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is the color of light brown sugar and the center of the cheesecake is set but still jiggles slightly. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
- 9. Let the cheesecake cool on a wire rack until room temperature, at least 1 hour. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and preferably overnight.
- To serve
- 10. Rewarm the sauce in a pan of hot water. Use an offset spatula or a thin-bladed knife to loosen the edge of the cheesecake. Remove the sides of the pan and cut the cake into slices. Serve with the warm sauce and toasted pecans. Originally published April 22, 2010.
*What You Need To Know About Making Your Own Nut Flour
- To make your own nut flour, first freeze raw nuts overnight. Place about 1 cup frozen nuts in a food processor at a time and pulse until finely ground. Repeat as needed. Freezing the nuts prevents them from turning to nut butter in the food processor as the blade heats up—but be warned, it will be loud!
Recipe Testers Reviews
This is the best dessert recipe I have tried so far. No exaggerations, it is really that good. No water bath was used to make this cheesecake, but it still comes out moist and with a lovely smooth texture. While the cheesecake stands alone as an awesome dessert, the sauce and toasted pecans definitely take it to the next level.
I used regular butter, dairy cream cheese, and all-purpose flour. I made the pecan flour myself. While I think freezing the pecans is an essential step to grinding the nuts, I don't know that overnight is necessary. I would probably experiment with this timing the next time I make it. The recipe doesn't seem to make enough for a bottom crust, but it presses into the pan with just enough to cover the bottom. The bake time for the crust was accurate.
I roasted the bananas for 24 minutes before any juices were noticeable coming from the bananas, and they were soft at this time as well. I had no issues with processing the cheesecake mixture. I was concerned that my food processor bowl was too small for the amount added, but there was no problem. I poured the rum into the top with the motor running, which seemed to help create a more uniform mixture.
I baked the cheesecake for 55 minutes total. The center was still too wobbly at 45 minutes, and a toothpick didn't come out clean.
I used grade A robust flavor maple syrup, as I couldn't find grade B. I think this made the sauce much thinner than what the recipe intended, but it was still delicious. After 15 minutes of simmering the sauce, I didn't notice much in the way of thickening but it tasted good so I took it off the heat.
It takes a long time to make, but it's so worth it. About an hour and a half to roast the bananas, make the sauce, toast the pecans, and prepare the crust and cheesecake for baking, almost an hour to bake, an hour to cool, then at least 3 hours in the fridge. Total time equals a whopping 6 and half hours, but I will be making it again!
As a gesture of genuine love, I made this recipe. I do not like banana. I do not like rum. And I am mostly indifferent to cheesecake. But when my husband saw this recipe, he squealed like a child, and I had no choice but to make it for him.
I made my own pecan flour following the instructions. And I used the all-purpose flour and dairy options provided in the recipe. As someone who was vegan for over 30 years, I can bet that the vegan version of this recipe is probably fantastic. The non-vegan one was really pretty great (which, from my early caveats, is high praise from me). The pecan crust was neat. I used salted butter in the recipe because Earth Balance, the vegan version, is quite salty. The rum sauce is amazing. And again, I do not like rum or most things with alcohol added. Roasting the bananas in their skins was new to me, simple, and kind of fun. And other than waiting for things to cool or set, this recipe was really quick to put together. I think I had the whole recipe ready to cool in less than an hour. And then we had it for dessert later that night. My husband was pretty in love right off the bat. I would have liked it a hair sweeter, maybe a bit more brown sugar in the mix. But I still enjoyed it. If you love banana's you will LOVE this recipe. If you don't like banana flavor, you may still be surprised at how tasty this recipe actually is. I was prepared to hate this. I had to eat my words, as well as some tasty cheesecake.
I used regular salted butter and regular cream cheese.