13 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Cheesecake Factory’s Cheesecake
You'll never be able to memorize the restaurant's 250-item menu, but you won't forget these sweet facts.
The original recipe came from a newspaper
In the 1940s, Detroit resident Evelyn Overton found a recipe for cheesecake in her local newspaper. She tried it out and perfected the recipe, and her go-to dessert was a hit with everyone she served it to. They got such rave reviews that she eventually opened her own small cheesecake shop in Michigan before eventually moving to Los Angeles to grow the business.
They were baked in an unlikely kitchen
Before making it big in L.A., Overton’s cheesecake “factory” was a bit smaller than the industrial-sized kitchens of today. She brought her equipment to the basement to churn out cheesecakes for local Detroit restaurants. For more dessert facts, read 12 things you never knew about the McDonald’s apple pie.
That recipe was a keeper
Times change, but one thing hasn’t: Overton’s recipe. That recipe she developed in the 1940s was used in the Cheesecake Factory’s grand opening in 1978, and it hasn’t changed since.
You won’t want to know how many calories are in a slice
TCF is a chain known for massive portions and obscene calorie counts, so would you really expect anything different from those sky-high cheesecake slices? The most reasonable option (other than the 610-calorie low-carb cheesecake, of course) is the Original Cheesecake, with 830 calories. For an I’m-not-eating-cheesecake-for-my-health kind of day, the Oreo Dream Extreme Cheesecake is the biggest indulgence, with 1,620 calories in a portion. This is where to find the 8 unhealthiest restaurant meals in the country.
Profits from your dessert order might go to charity
The Cheesecake Factory is committed to giving back year-round, founding a charity to help communities, donating surplus food, offering gift cards to school fundraisers, and more. But sometimes the cheesecakes themselves are used for good. At any given time, profits from one cheesecake flavor will be given to Feeding America. Now through February 2019, for each slice of the new Very Cherry Ghirardelli Chocolate Cheesecake sold, TCF will give 25 cents to the organization.
You can order it online
Tragically far from the nearest Cheesecake Factory? No need to settle for second best. Online retailer Harry and David offer actual Cheesecake Factory cheesecakes delivered straight to your door. You can even get a subscription to get a different cheesecake every month of the year so you never have to worry about being cheesecake-less for long.
Cheesecake Factory sells millions of slices
The restaurant sells almost 35 million slices of cheesecake every year, according to a company spokesperson.
They aren’t made in-house
In case the name didn’t give it away, Cheesecake Factory desserts aren’t exactly baked mom-and-pop style. All of the decadent cheesecakes are put together by baking teams in Calabasas Hills, California, and Rocky Mount, North Carolina, before being frozen and shipped all over the country.
There’s a clear crowd favorite
The fresh strawberry cheesecake, which has an original cheesecake topped with glazed strawberries, has been the most popular flavor for more than 35 years, according to the Cheesecake Factory website. Can’t beat the classics!
The bakers are constantly working on new flavors
The Cheesecake Factory’s executive pastry chef, Chris Radovan, has been with the company for more than 21 years, and every year he and the team introduce a new flavor (or two!) for National Cheesecake Day on July 30. The restaurant’s most recent additions were Very Cherry Ghirardelli Chocolate Cheesecake and Cinnabon Cinnamon Swirl Cheesecake, and Radovan was the mastermind behind other crowd favorites like Ultimate Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake and Oreo Dream Extreme Cheesecake.
The dessert list has always been ridiculously long
The food menu is about ten times as long as the original 1978 offerings, but its cheesecake list has always been impressive. The restaurant’s CEO, David Overton (son of the original baker, Evelyn Overton), says the Cheesecake Factory had a dozen types of its namesake dessert when it opened, but based on a 1978 menu, the list quickly expanded to a whopping 30 types of cheesecake. Here’s how to make 24 copycat recipes for your favorite restaurant items.
Some of those original varieties are off the menu
Unlike the food menu, which has grown and grown with minimal cuts, the cheesecake menu has evolved dramatically over time. You couldn’t find the ever-popular red velvet or celebration cheesecakes on the menu, but there were plenty of other mouth-watering options that have since disappeared, like Kahlua, apple cinnamon, Grand Marnier, and rocky road.
You can find the cheesecakes all over the world
The dessert might be famous for its New York-style and typical Philadelphia cream cheese base, but cheesecakes are still popular outside the United States. The Cheesecake Factory has locations in Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East, and they still have the same creative cheesecake offerings you’d find in your local branch, from tuxedo to tiramisu. Check out these other 50 secrets food manufacturers won’t tell you.