This Banana Split Cake is a no bake dessert with a graham cracker crust, followed by a layer of sweetened cream cheese, sliced bananas, crushed pineapple, whipped cream, and finally delicious maraschino cherries on top. It's an over-the-top layered dessert that will put a smile on any banana split lover's face.
I love a good banana split. Eating this perfect treat takes me back to being a kid and heading to the ice cream store with my family. I always wanted that huge, banana split that was probably decadent enough for three people! I still love banana splits but I also just adore the flavor combinations that make up the banana split.
With those flavors in mind, I created this banana split cake recipe. It is a unique cake that is packed with fruity flavors. The best part is that my recipe is no-bake! No oven needed means this is a perfect summertime treat, just like the classic banana split always has been!
I have so many more No Bake Desserts that you should check out.
- No Bake Monster Cookie Dough Cheesecake Pie
- No Bake Cheesecake
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Dessert
- No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Lasagna
- Easy No Bake Butterfinger Bites
What is Banana Split Cake?
Banana split cake is a layered dessert. The first layer is a homemade graham cracker crust which is then topped with a vanilla cream cheese filling. Next up are the sliced bananas, crushed pineapple, and whipped topping or whipped cream. Finish off the cake with some maraschino cherries and chopped pecans or peanuts. If you have some on hand, a drizzle of chocolate syrup or hot fudge makes a nice addition as well.
The end result is a light, airy dessert that is incredibly full of fruity flavors.
How to Make Banana Split Cake
Step 1. Make the 9x13 graham cracker crust. Mix the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar together until the crumb looks like wet sand. Then press the mixture into a 9x13 baking dish, covering just the bottom of the pan. The crust is placed in the fridge to get firm while the next layer of the banana split cake is made.
Step 2. Make the cream cheese filling. Beat the softened cream cheese with sugar and vanilla extract. Once combined, the cream cheese mixture is spread across the graham cracker crumbs to create a dense, bottom layer of filling.
Step 3. Slice fresh bananas and sprinkle with fruit fresh or lemon juice. The banana slices are scattered evenly over the cream cheese layer.
Step 4. Drain two 20 ounce cans of crushed pineapple. Use a fine mesh strainer or 2 layers of cheese cloth to get out as much of the juice as possible. Sprinkle the crushed pineapple over top of the banana slices.
Step 5. Add the whipped topping, maraschino cherries, pecans or peanuts. The whipped cream topping is spread across the pan next, making the top layer of “frosting”. A few bright red maraschino cherries and chopped pecans garnish the top of the cake and it is ready to serve! All those layers will be hard to resist.
How Long Does Banana Split Cake Last?
The short answer is it can last 3 to 4 days covered in the fridge.
It's definitely best when eaten fresh since the ripe bananas can turn brown quickly and become not as pretty inside the cake. The cake will still taste good after a day or two, it just may not have such beautiful layers.
How to Freeze Banana Split Cake
Freezing banana split cake is a fantastic idea. It is th perfect way to make this cake ahead of time and have it ready to serve at your next party. Freezing banana split cake also allows you to make a whole cake and enjoy one slice every night, making that goodness last longer.
Wrap the entire casserole dish in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer. It will keep for about 2-3 weeks. The cake will actually taste fresh for up to a month, however, the bananas inside will turn brown. Brown is not necessarily bad! In fact, brown bananas are even sweeter.
When you are ready to eat the banana split cake, you can simply unwrap it, slice and enjoy. The cake is actually really yummy when still frozen. It tastes just like an ice cream cake and real banana split. You can let the banana split cake thaw at room temperature for 20 minutes or so, just to get it a little soft. It will soften quickly though so only take it out of the freezer when you are ready to eat!
Frequently Asked Questions
You can use oreo crumbs instead of graham crackers. This will give you a nice chocolate banana split cake! If you choose to use oreo crumbs, leave out the sugar in the crust recipe. The oreo crumbs are already sweet enough!
The possibilities are endless! Think about what you like on top of your ice cream banana split and add those toppings. Here are a few of my favorites:
-Any kind of chopped nuts
-Chopped peanut butter cups
-Fresh strawberries or raspberries
You can use homemade whipped cream instead of whipped topping but keep in mind that homemade whipped cream is very soft and will not hold its shape for long. Whipped topping has stabilizers which keep it fluffy and light. Over time, homemade whipped cream will deflate and collapse. You can choose to stabilize your homemade whipped cream with gelatin and use this in place of whipped topping.
You can use fresh pineapple instead of canned. Chop the fresh pineapple into very small pieces. Pat the pieces dry so that the excess moisture doesn’t make the cake layers too soft. Sprinkle the pineapple in the cake and continue on with the recipe!
More Recipes You Might Like
Banana Split Cake
- 2 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 cup butter melted
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 16 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 16 ounces whipped topping thawed
- 4 bananas peeled and sliced
- 2 20 ounce cans crushed pineapple, well drained
- 2 cups chopped pecans or peanuts
- 16 ounces maraschino cherries drained
- Fresh lemon juice or fruit fresh to coat bananas
- Add the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar to a large mixing bowl. Stir until the butter coats all of the crumbs.
- Firmly and evenly press the crust mixture into a 9x13-inch baking pan. Place in the refrigerator or freezer to firm up while working on the filling.
- Add the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. Beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until smooth.
- Add in the granulated sugar and vanilla extract. Beat until incorporated.
- Spread the cream cheese layer evenly on top of the graham cracker crust.
- Add the bananas in a single layer on top of the cream cheese mixture.
- Add the drained crushed pineapple on top of the bananas until evenly distributed.
- Add dollops of whipped topping all over the top of the crushed pineapple. Spread the whipped topping evenly and to the edges of the pan.
- Add the drained maraschino cherries to the top and sprinkle with chopped pecans.
- Loosely cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for about 4 hours to chill.
(Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.)
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Marianne Stevens says
You created this? Sorry, but my next door neighbor gave me this recipe about 30 years ago. I have made many over the years and so have family members. Still have the original recipe card my dear neighbor wrote it on. It is delicious, but has been around a long, long time.
Hi Marianne! The recipe was passed down to me as well. I'm happy to hear that your family loves it as much as we do!
Marianne Stevens says
Hello Miranda -- The maraschino cherries are loved by me but not all the family. For a delicious change, try making the cake with fresh strawberries on top or simply serve them on the side.
Miranda C. says
Great suggestion! Thanks Marianne!
I'm w/Marianne on this. My first experience w/this recipe goes back to 1980 in a hospital cafeteria. It took me many years to acquire the recipe from the hospital cafeteria attendant. Excellent dessert.
This recipe was first introduced at Tupperware Parties in the 70’s. It was used to Demo their wares. Made at the party. Made in a cold cut keeper, placed graham crackers on the bottom and sliced butter on top. Microwave and finish topping with the rest of the ingredients. So good.
Is the one cup of melted butter correct for the graham cracker crust? It seems almost soggy.
Miranda C. says
Yes it is correct! I will give it a try again and see if it should be lowered but this is the quantity I have used in the past. Sometimes a lot of butter is needed to make the crust stick together 🙂