Bananappeal: Frosted Cakes, Cheesecakes, and Gluten Free Cheesecakes

I can’t decide what to rave about first. There are the adorable glass jars adorned with red and white twine just begging to be re-used as soon as I scarf down their contents, the great textures of all Courtney Dougherty’s products, or the fact that there are two gluten free cheesecakes.

As someone who loves innovative packaging, I will start there. Not only are these jars very appealing (there are two sizes, both of which beg to house spices, nuts, or grains), but the labels and pretty twine make them look different and new. As an avid recycler, I am often miffed when labels adhere to glass jars as if they were super-glued. These came off with no effort. I also liked the pewter colored screw tops.

Still on the subject of packaging, the cardboard carrying case housing four cakes was fetching and functional.

Courtney has made two cheesecakes for those on a gluten free diet. The Tiramisu was wickedly addictive. I didn’t miss the crust, at all, since I was so preoccupied with the luscious, creamy texture and layers of flavor. Her Strawberry Cheesecake had a strawberry infused creamy topping made with sour cream. All I can say is it was the epitome of strawberries and a welcome treat in January. The more traditional Banana Gingersnap was perked up with spices and molasses in the crust. Bananas Foster sandwiched her signature cake between a brown sugar shortbread crust and a layer of sinfully delicious cinnamon rum caramel whipped cream. You can buy a box of one flavor, a variety pack, or an all gluten free assortment.

There are four cake flavors, all of which are unique. Each has a layer of banana buttermilk cake on the bottom and a healthy helping of frosting. Courtney’s frosting is not heavy and overly sweet, like most commercial products. I found the texture and sugar levels spot on. It’s amazing how much gustatory punch Courtney packs into these jars.

Here are the flavors:

Banana Salted Caramel was topped with a smooth brown sugar caramel cream cheese frosting. English Malden Salt is a beautiful catalyst to the not overly sweet caramel.

Banana Peanut Butter had half an organic milk chocolate peanut butter cup imbedded in its peanut butter cream cheese frosting. A classic combination and with good reason.

Toasted Coconut was festooned with toasted coconut shards and the one I found most redolent of banana. The banana cream cheese frosting enhanced the chewy coconut and perfectly textured cake.

Banana Chocolate Fudge, the reason I sampled these little beauties in the first place, had a thick layer of creamy banana chocolate ganache over Courtney’s cake. Another delight.

You might think this much banana gets boring, but I never once thought about the fruit. As strange as that may seem, it took a back seat to strawberries, peanut butter, Tiramisu, fudge, caramel,and gingersnaps.

As easy as these are to enjoy at home, they would be equally suited to a picnic, lunch box, or office treat.

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