Banana Split Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 30 min. + chilling
This banana split cake takes a twist on the beloved ice cream dessert with a timeless no-bake recipe. It’s so celebratory and eye-catching, no one will guess how easy it was to make. 

Updated: May 29, 2024

When summer hits, sometimes all you want is something sweet—without needing to turn on the oven. An icebox cake offers that elusive middle ground, a no-bake dessert that builds upon a cream-and-cookie base. This banana split cake takes a spin on the traditional dessert with the flavors of the iconic ice cream shop treat (it’s also much easier to serve than passing around banana splits for everyone). 

Icebox cakes date back to the 1930s when, you guessed it, many people had iceboxes. They opened up a wide world of culinary possibilities and people could set these desserts using cool temperatures, enjoying a cake-like treat without needing to bake. 

It doesn’t take much work to bring this banana split cake recipe together. You can even have the kids help out. Our no-bake banana split cake ends with a showstopper-esque appearance that will dazzle at your next potluck or picnic. It’s also very versatile; you can easily add your personal touch. 

Banana Split Cake Ingredients

  • Frozen whipped topping: This is a key part of the cake’s layers. While some recipes use real cream, a frozen version is much more convenient (it comes pre-whipped) and can be lighter and airier. 
  • Sour cream: The sour cream adds a tangy balance to the sweetness of the other pudding mixture ingredients. 
  • Instant vanilla pudding mix: Long the secret of high-end chefs, instant pudding mix provides moisture, sweetness and flavor to this dessert. 
  • Crushed pineapple: Mixing in pineapple provides extra sweetness and a burst of tropical flavor to liven up the cake.
  • Graham crackers: These will make up the base and layers of the cake, providing structure, sweetness and texture. Since they’re not overly sweet, they help balance the cake’s flavor profiles.
  • Bananas: Providing a natural sweetness, bananas are part of each of the cake’s lakers, evoking the eponymous dessert. In this recipe, you will put aside additional banana slices.
  • Chocolate syrup and halved fresh strawberries: A balance of rich chocolate and fresh fruit to complement the cake. They’ll also give the final product extra pizzazz. 

Directions    

Step 1: Make Pudding Mixture

Mix the whipped topping, sour cream and pudding mix in a large bowl until blended. Then fold in the pineapple. Cut a small hole in the tip of a pastry bag and transfer the pudding mixture to the bag.

Step 2: Build Your Layers

On a flat serving plate, arrange four graham crackers in a rectangle. Pipe about 1 cup of the pudding mixture over the crackers. Top with about 1/4 cup banana slices. Repeat these layers five times. Cover the cake and refrigerate overnight.

Editor’s tip: Don’t make the pudding layer too thick, since that could cause the upper layers to slip. 

Step 3: Put On the Finishing Touches

Top with the chocolate syrup, strawberries and additional banana slices just before serving.

Editor’s Tip: Wait to cut the cake until after it’s been refrigerated overnight. The graham crackers will soften from the pudding mixture, making it much easier to cut.

Banana Icebox Cake Variations

  • Play with your toppings: You can get creative with your toppings here.To fully channel the beloved banana split, top your cake with peanuts, whipped cream and maraschino cherries. You can also experiment by switching up your layers. 
  • Swap pudding flavors: A good way to change the flavor is by choosing a different instant pudding mix. We recommend dabbling with chocolate or coconut but there are plenty of great options. 
  • Choose a different cream: If sour cream isn’t your jam,  swap it out for cottage cheese or Greek yogurt.

How to store a banana split cake?

Your banana split cake will last two to three days in the fridge. Store it in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap. 

Can you freeze a banana split cake?

To freeze your banana split cake, cover it in aluminum foil. It will stay good for a month. Let it thaw in the refrigerator for a few hours before eating.

Banana Split Cake Tips

Can I make this cake gluten-free?

Definitely! If you substitute in some gluten-free graham crackers, you’ll be good to go. 

Do I have to pipe the pudding mixture?

If you don’t have piping equipment or want to make things a little easier, spread the pudding mixture with a spatula.

Can I make this in a pan?

Yes. We recommend using a 13×9-inch dish. If needed, you can use halves or quarters of graham crackers to fill in empty spots. The cake will be shallower, and much easier to transport.

Watch how to Make Banana Split Cake

Banana Split Cake

Prep Time 30 min
Yield 10 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 carton (16 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained
  • 24 whole graham crackers
  • 2 medium bananas, sliced
  • Toppings: Chocolate syrup, halved fresh strawberries and additional banana slices

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix whipped topping, sour cream and pudding mix until blended; fold in pineapple. Cut a small hole in the tip of a pastry bag. Transfer pudding mixture to bag.
  2. On a flat serving plate, arrange 4 crackers in a rectangle. Pipe about 1 cup pudding mixture over crackers; top with about 1/4 cup banana slices. Repeat layers 5 times. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
  3. Just before serving, top with chocolate syrup, strawberries and additional banana slices.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 405 calories, 15g fat (11g saturated fat), 16mg cholesterol, 372mg sodium, 60g carbohydrate (30g sugars, 2g fiber), 4g protein.

One day a friend showed me how to make a traditional icebox cake with just cream and graham crackers. I make it extra special with the fruit. Now everyone at your potluck can have a banana split with no fuss! —Shelly Flye, Albion, Maine