- My local Cheesecake Factory has 33 flavors on its menu and I decided to try them all in one sitting.
- In about two and a half hours I had devoured at least one heaping bite of every single flavor.
- The cheesecakes were delicious and beautiful but by the end, I felt kind of nauseous and I had a headache from eating so much sugar.
- I learned that you can definitely have too much of a good thing — but I still wanted more cheesecake the next day.
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With over 30 cheesecakes on the menu, a trip to The Cheesecake Factory can be overwhelming in the best way.
And instead of choosing just one slice, I decided to taste every single flavor that the chain offers.
Here’s what it was like making my way through the entire cheesecake menu at The Cheesecake Factory in just a few hours.
I arrived promptly, hungry, and foolishly excited at 10 a.m.
Since I was planning on eating dozens of cheesecakes and camping out at a table for a few hours, I had to set up my arrival with the manager of my local California-based The Cheesecake Factory ahead of time.
So, after a few phone calls, my mission began at 10 a.m. on a Saturday, right when the restaurant opened. It was predictably empty, so I was able to grab a couple of high-top tables.
My plan was to try 10 cheesecakes at a time and I decided to start the first round with Lemon Raspberry Cream, a flavor I already knew I loved, to kick things off on a high note.
For the first 10 cheesecakes, I opted for a mix that included some lighter flavors and some more decadent ones. I figured this would stop my taste buds from getting bored.
My decadent choices included the restaurant’s 30th Anniversary Chocolate Cake, Cinnabon Cinnamon Swirl, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Chocolate Tuxedo Cream, Adam’s Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Ripple, and Caramel Pecan Turtle.
The lighter ones included Lemon Raspberry Cream, Tiramisu, Low-Carb Cheesecake with Strawberries, and White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle.
My initial plan was to eat at least one-third of each cheesecake, so I started to dig in with no real order of which ones I would sample first.
I was pleased with the flavor of all of these cheesecakes from round one and my favorites were the Lemon Raspberry Cream and the White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle.
I was so hungry that, even though I knew I should pace myself, I ate a little bit more than one-third of the White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle. This would come back to haunt me later.
By 10:49 a.m. I was ready for round two and a bit more confident than I should have been
I began round two with some foolish enthusiasm — it’s hard not to be excited when 10 beautiful slices of cheesecake are being placed before you.
Once again, I opted for a mix of cheesecakes with and without fruit.
My fruit options were Fresh Strawberry, Pineapple Upside-Down, Fresh Banana Cream, and Key Lime.
And the more decadent ones included White Chocolate Caramel Macadamia Nut, Original, Ultimate Red Velvet Cake, Salted Caramel, Chocolate Mousse, and Dulce de Leche Caramel.
My server suggested I add caramel to the Fresh Banana Cream Cheesecake to make the dessert “extra delicious” but now was not the time to be adding more to my plate. His suggestion sounded pretty tasty, though, so I filed this tip away for my next trip.
I have a pretty hearty appetite, so I felt confident that I’d be able to breezily get through most of the menu. But around the 13th or 14th slice, I started feeling full.
This was discouraging, especially since a server let me know that I still had over a dozen more flavors to try.
By cheesecake number 16, I had to change my strategy
There was just no way I could make my way through the entire menu by eating one-third of each slice, so by cake number 16 I decided to take one bite that encompassed every delicious layer of each cheesecake from this point forward.
The large bite would include the cheesecake itself, the crust, and all of the toppings just so I could really capture the essence of each slice.
By the time I took a bite of the 20th cheesecake to complete round two, I felt renewed. I was more than halfway through — I could definitely do this!
Round three began at 11:30 a.m. and I was starting to feel queasy
At 11:30 a.m, my confidence began to waver as the server set down each plate and, as I looked out to a sea of chocolate toppings, I wanted to run.
Predictably, after eating bite after bite of jiggly, dairy-rich cheesecake, I was starting to feel queasy and although these flavors weren’t all chocolate, this round was heavy on the decadent options, making it that much harder.
For this round, I had a number of indulgent desserts including Very Cherry Ghirardelli Chocolate, Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake, Godiva Chocolate, Hershey’s Chocolate Bar, Pumpkin Pecan, and Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch.
And I had a few lighter ones to help cut through the decadence of the others: Celebration, Mango Key Lime, and Vanilla Bean.
The 30th slice was Lemoncello Cream Torte, which I noticed at the time of writing is not a cheesecake but actually a “specialty dessert.” It was really delicious but I regret that I ate an extra dessert that didn’t count toward my goal.
Servers and the bartender were cheering me on, but I still didn’t feel good
As servers came by, they cheered me on and shared words of encouragement and the bartender right behind my table told me to keep at it. The pressure was on and I appreciated the support but physically I wasn’t feeling great.
Between each of these cheesecakes, I was stifling belches and hoping I could make it home without getting sick.
Midway into this round, at about 11:50 a.m., I walked across the restaurant for a bit to help me feel less nauseous.
Despite drinking a lot of water and — quite frankly — taking smaller bites and longer breaks between cheesecake flavors, I was starting to get a headache, which I assumed was from the amount of sugar I was eating.
I don’t typically eat much sugar or dairy, and although I love cheesecake in moderation, this challenge was definitely proving to me that too much of a good thing can actually backfire.
The final round arrived and I was now choking down bites of cheesecake with gulps of water
At 12:03 p.m., two hours after my experiment started, the final round of just four cheesecakes came to the table.
This round of four included Pumpkin, Lemon Meringue, Toasted Marshmallow S’mores Galore, and Oreo Dream Extreme.
I love cheesecake, especially cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory, but the mere thought of swallowing down more of it made me want to gag at this point.
As you can imagine, cheesecake, especially with its unique creamy texture, is not something you want to consume for two hours straight.
The Lemon Meringue Cheesecake and Toasted Marshmallow S’mores Galore options came with a toasted-marshmallow topping, making them time-sensitive, so I ate those first.
I deeply wish I could’ve appreciated the golden marshmallow bits on each slice, but at this point in the game, I was very nauseous and ready to go home.
I was now choking down bites and following them with huge gulps of water, which makes me certain that I could never be a successful competitive eater — I don’t know how they do it.
The final two cheesecakes truly tested my endurance
By 12:22 p.m., I had just two cheesecakes left and morale was low.
At this point, the location’s general manager, Rebecca Perkins, came over to share her experiences watching people eat large amounts of the chain’s food.
She told me that new staff members go through a five-day training in which they try The Cheesecake Factory’s entire menu. She said that for the first couple of days, leftovers are nowhere in sight. But by the end of the week, it’s a struggle to get the new staff members to even take a bite.
This made me feel better and, knowing that I had just two cheesecakes and not the entirety of the chain’s offerings ahead of me, I powered through.
The Oreo Dream Extreme was intimidating with layers of chocolate, so I promised myself I would tackle it last. I moved on to the Pumpkin Cheesecake, which tasted more like pumpkin pie.
At 12:30 p.m., I officially finished my sampling of that intimidating Oreo cheesecake.
I had a headache, and I didn’t want to move from my seat. Little did I know that the hardest part of the challenge was not yet over.
Heading home was absolutely the worst part of the experience, but by the next day I was feeling pretty good
It was finally time to pay my bill that, with tax, came to $324.72 for all of the slices (including the torte I’d mistakenly consumed).
As I left, I walked very slowly from the restaurant, making my way to my car without vigor. I remember wishing I’d brought a trashcan or bag with me in case I got sick on the way home.
I didn’t have to drive since my partner came along for support, but every little bump on the road made me want to barf out of the side window.
“I’m not eating cheesecake for a year,” I vowed to nobody in particular.
When I got home I took some nausea medication and rested in bed until the queasiness started to slightly subside. My partner, who had not consumed nearly as much cheesecake, kindly documented this moment in a photo (above).
By the evening, I felt moderately normal and even OK enough to eat dinner, although I still had an intense headache.
When I woke up on Sunday, I was feeling decent and I headed straight for the fridge. What’s for breakfast? Leftover cheesecake, of course.