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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.

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Cheesecake FactoryCOURTESY THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY

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. Ever wondered why the Cheesecake Factory menu is so big?

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CHEESECAKE FACTORY interiorCOURTESY THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY

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. You don’t have to drive all the way to Cheesecake Factory—enjoy the delicacies at home!

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Celebration cheesecakeCOURTESY THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY

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. Find your own family cheesecake recipe with the help of our ultimate baking guide.

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Oreo cheesecakeCOURTESY THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY

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.

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Cheesecake Factory interiorCOURTESY THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY

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.

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Peanutbutter chocolate cheesecakeCOURTESY THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY

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 isn’t the only thing you can have delivered to your door. Here’s why grocery delivery is worth the investment.

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Red velvet cheesecakeCOURTESY THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY

Cheesecake Factory sells millions of slices

The restaurant sells almost 35 million slices of cheesecake every year, according to a company spokesperson.

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Cheesecake Factory signJOE HENDRICKSON/SHUTTERSTOCK

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. Find out how to make 50 of the best American comfort foods from home.

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Plain cheesecake with strawberriesCOURTESY THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY

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! Check out the need-to-know secrets for great cheesecake at home.

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Cinnabon cheesecakeCOURTESY THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY

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. Swirl cheesecake isn’t as hard to make as it looks.

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Cheesecake FactorySUPANNEE_HICKMAN/SHUTTERSTOCK

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.

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Very cherry Ghirardelli chocolate cheesecakeCOURTESY THE CHEESECAKE FACTORY

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.

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Cheesecake factory in San Diego4kclips/Shutterstock

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. These are our top restaurant copycat recipes to try.

Originally Published on Reader's Digest

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