No-Bake Banana Split Cake Recipe Perfect For Ice Cream Lovers

When summertime rolls around and ice cream shops are packed with people seeking sugary sweet treats, one time-tested dessert that's always guaranteed to star on the menu happens to be the banana split. With two banana halves are paired with three scoops of vanilla ice cream, this dessert is filling, fruity deliciousness. It's a great treat that can be shared with a friend, your significant other, or even enjoyed all by yourself!

The old-fashioned classic banana split has a scoop of strawberry ice cream covered with succulent strawberry syrup, a scoop of chocolate ice cream in the middle buried with rich chocolate syrup, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream slathered with sweet pineapple. Each scoop of ice cream has a dollop of whipped cream with a maraschino cherry nestled smack dab in the middle. A handful of chopped nuts are sprinkled across the top. It's the quintessential ice cream dish.

But now, there's a delicious version of the banana split that resembles more of a cheesecake-type dessert and won't melt before you eat it all. Created by recipe developer Jaime Shelbert of Wholly Nourished, the no-bake banana split cake will be such a hit at parties and gatherings. It tastes quite similar to the ice cream banana split, but with its own flair. 

You absolutely have to give this sweet treat a try. "It couldn't be easier to make, and it's definitely a crowd pleaser. It's great for potlucks and large gatherings," Shelbert says.

Gather up the ingredients to prepare no-bake banana split cake

Not only is this dessert beautiful, but it's delicious, too. Thankfully, it takes just 25 minutes to whip up in the kitchen and serves 12, making it an absolutely perfect dessert for when friends or family come over. Some of these ingredients you might have on hand, and the rest you'll need to pick up at the store. Be sure to have two sleeves of graham crackers with which you'll prepare the crust, along with sugar, butter, light cream cheese, Cool Whip, bananas, strawberries, maraschino cherries, chopped walnuts, and chocolate syrup.

Crush the graham crackers

The first thing you will need to do is crush two sleeves of graham crackers in a food processor until it reaches a fine crumb consistency, and place in a bowl. If you don't have a food processor handy, you can always place them in a sealable plastic bag, a few at a time, and press a rolling pin over the crackers, breaking them up. You'll need to make several passes with the rolling pin in order to revert the graham crackers to a fine crumb. "If you don't have a good processor, the Ziploc/rolling pin method works great," Shelbert confirms.

Create the graham cracker crust

Empty the canister or plastic bag of crushed graham crackers into a bowl, then add in ¼ cup of sugar and ½ cup of melted butter. Combine the three ingredients thoroughly until all of the ingredients are soft and blended completely. Lightly butter a 9x13-inch dish, and firmly press the graham cracker crust ingredients into the dish. Shelbert advises to use unsalted butter in this recipe. She prefers to use organic, grass-fed butter "from a nutritional standpoint." Be sure to smooth out the crust and remove any fingerprints by using a metal measuring cup or spoon.

Prepare the cream cheese filling

The highlight of this dessert is the light and airy filling, so be sure to take your time making it. The cream cheese filling takes hardly any effort at all. Pull out your stand mixer or handheld mixer and a bowl, then add in a 12-ounce block of light cream cheese and the remaining ½ cup of sugar. Mix on medium speed until the ingredients are completely mixed and smooth, which takes approximately one minute. Fold in 4 ounces of the 16-ounce container of Cool Whip

Once the filling is blended in thoroughly, spread it evenly across the graham cracker crust. "For the Cool Whip, any variety will work. Same with the cream cheese. I used light cream cheese to make it a little lighter," Shelbert says.

Begin to assemble this divine dessert

I think we've mentioned before that not only is this a beautiful dessert, but it tastes fantastic, too. Take three large bananas, and slice them into coins. Make sure they're fresh and without blemishes before using them. Dice 2 cups of fresh strawberries. "Definitely [use] fresh berries, otherwise they will have too much moisture and make things soggy," Shelbert explains.

Place a layer of the sliced bananas on top of the fluffy cream cheese mixture, followed by a layer of strawberries nestled on top of the banana slices. If your mouth isn't watering by now, it will be soon enough. Try not to sample too many of the toppings and leave them for the dessert!

Finish putting together your sweet masterpiece

Spread the remaining 12 ounces of Cool Whip across the top of the fruit layer. Try hard not to disturb the pattern of fruit, but don't fret if a piece or two get knocked off target. It'll still taste fantastic! 

Drain ½ cup of maraschino cherries, and plunk them down on top of the Cool Whip layer, making sure to spread them out. Toss ½ cup of chopped walnuts across the Cool Whip layer, too, then drizzle chocolate syrup everywhere. If you're a chocolate lover, use more chocolate syrup and leave lots of pretty asymmetrical lines all across the top of the dessert.

No-Bake Banana Split Cake Recipe Perfect For Ice Cream Lovers
4.8 from 10 ratings
This no-bake banana split cake will be such a hit at parties and gatherings. It tastes similar to the classic ice cream banana split, but with its own flair.
Prep Time
25
minutes
Cook Time
0
minutes
Servings
12
servings
dish of bake banana split cake
Total time: 25 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 sleeves of graham crackers
  • ¾ cup sugar, divided
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 12 ounces light cream cheese
  • 16 ounces Cool Whip, divided
  • 3 large bananas, sliced into coins
  • 2 cups strawberries, diced
  • ½ cup maraschino cherries
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • chocolate syrup, for drizzling
Directions
  1. Crush the graham crackers or pulse in a food processor until a fine crumb. Place in a bowl.
  2. Add ¼ cup of the sugar and the melted butter to the graham crackers until everything is moist and combined.
  3. Press the graham cracker crust into a lightly buttered 9x13-inch dish.
  4. In the bowl of a mixer, add the cream cheese and the remaining ½ cup of sugar. Mix on medium speed until smooth and incorporated, about 1 minute. Fold in 4 ounces of the Cool Whip.
  5. Spread the cream cheese mixture in an even layer atop the graham cracker crust.
  6. Place a layer of bananas atop the cream cheese mixture.
  7. Add a layer of diced strawberries on top of the banana slices.
  8. Spread an even layer of the remaining 12 ounces of Cool Whip atop the fruit.
  9. Decorate the cake with the cherries, walnuts, and a drizzle of chocolate syrup.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 407
Total Fat 29.4 g
Saturated Fat 15.9 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 80.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 34.8 g
Dietary Fiber 2.1 g
Total Sugars 26.4 g
Sodium 119.5 mg
Protein 4.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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