This banana split cake is everything you love about the classic treat but in cake form!
No one can say no to a delectable banana split. Ice cream, bananas, cherries, nuts, cream – it’s the ultimate summer dessert!
The only problem is the serving size. It’s great for sharing, sure, but what if you’re eating it on your own?
The ice cream starts to melt and you’re barely halfway through it!
With this cake version, there’s no need to worry about the ice cream melting.
You can enjoy the goodness of a banana split, minus the need to eat it in a rush.
Best of all, it’s a breeze to make! You won’t even need to turn on the oven. Raise your hand if you love no-bake desserts!
Banana split cake is the scrumptious dessert you never thought you needed.
No-Bake Banana Split Cake
Banana split cake is the no-melt version of a banana split.
With its layers of graham cracker crust, cream cheese filling, bananas, pineapple, cherries, whipped cream, and peanuts, this dessert is the epitome of summer.
Each component is already delicious on its own, so you can just imagine how amazing they are once layered together.
It’s sweet, buttery, tangy, and nutty all at the same time. Talk about the perfect bite!
It’s served chilled, too, which makes it ultra-refreshing. It’s the best way to beat the summer heat!
One batch can feed a crowd, making it perfect for potlucks and barbecues. Bring this to your next party, and it will be an instant hit.
For the Crust:
- Graham Crackers. The base of the crust. The recipe calls for crushed graham crackers instead of flour, which means there’s no baking required.
- Granulated Sugar. To sweeten the crust.
- Butter. To saturate the graham crackers and sugar. It also makes the crust ultra-rich and buttery! I use salted butter for more flavor.
For the Filling
- Cream Cheese. For a rich and creamy filling with a hint of tang. Be sure the cream cheese is softened for a smooth mixture. If you forgot to take it out of the fridge, microwave on low power for 30 seconds.
- Powdered Sugar. To sweeten the tangy cream cheese. Sift the powdered sugar for a lump-free filling.
For the Topping
- Bananas. It’s called banana split cake for a reason! Don’t peel and slice until right before you need them to avoid them from browning too soon.
- Pineapple. For a tropical twist. The tanginess of the pineapple balances out the sweetness of the dessert. It also keeps the bananas from browning.
- Whipped Topping. We use it in lieu of ice cream. That way, there’s no need to worry about the dessert melting. With whipped cream, there’s no rush.
- Maraschino Cherries. The quintessential banana split topping. Use a whole jar because there’s no such thing as too many cherries.
- Chopped Peanuts. The crunchy element that contrasts the soft layers.
How to Make Banana Split Cake
1. Make the crust.
Combine the crushed graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter in a bowl. Mix well, then transfer the mixture to a 9×13-inch cake pan. Freeze for 30 minutes.
2. Make the filling.
Combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar. Use a mixer on medium speed to beat the mixture until it’s smooth.
3. Assemble the cake.
Spread the filling over the chilled crust. Then, add the bananas and pineapples and top with whipped cream.
Finish it off by adding cherries and nuts.
Place the cake back into the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving. Then, slice, serve, and enjoy!
Tips for the Best Cake
- Use whatever nuts you have available. Macadamias, cashews, almonds – take your pick. For a deeper flavor, toast them for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Freeze the crust before adding the filling. This will firm it up much faster than the fridge.
- Add a teaspoon of vanilla. Add it to the cream cheese mixture to enhance the flavor.
- Soak the bananas in pineapple juice to delay browning. It will add flavor to the bananas too!
- Go crazy with the toppings. You can’t go wrong with shaved chocolate, toasted coconut, hot caramel, sprinkles, jam, and crushed candy.
- Tweak the filling. Besides bananas and pineapple, you can also add strawberry or mango slices.
- Use homemade whipped topping. Beat whipping cream for 5 to 8 minutes until stiff peaks form, and voila. It’s not as stable as frozen whipped topping, though, so add it immediately before serving. (If you go this route, be sure to freeze the bowl and beaters before beating. It’ll speed things up.)
How to Slice Neatly
This dessert requires no baking expertise, but making neat slices can be quite a challenge. Here are a few tips:
- Freeze the cake 30 minutes before slicing to firm the layers.
- Wipe the knife clean with a paper towel between slices.
- Run an offset spatula around the edges of the cake slice for a cleaner look.
Can I Make This Dessert Ahead?
Yes! In fact, you really should. It’s basically banana split in cake form, so naturally, you want to eat it cold.
The dessert must be chilled for at least 2 hours before serving. But it’s even better to make it the night before. This gives the layers ample time to firm up.
Don’t worry about the bananas turning brown. The acid in pineapples will help prevent this. Plus, they’re covered in whipped cream, so they’re safe in the fridge.
Once you’ve sliced the cake, though, you’ll want to consume it within 2 days. The bananas will start to brown once exposed.
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