Our banana split cake recipe has all the flavors of a summer favorite in cake form. Plus, it’s simple to make…and requires no baking whatsoever!
Today’s philosophical question: what makes a cake, exactly? Though we share cake recipes all the time, we’ve been pondering this over at Sweets and Treats HQ for a while now. Is there a certain process or ingredient that defines a cake? We’re still researching the answer, but in the meantime, we’ve decided that any tasty, edible treat that looks like a cake…is a cake. Regardless of how you make it!
And so this no-bake banana split cake is certainly one of the most scrumptious cakes you’ll ever have, even if you never need to open your oven. It’s layers of fruit, pudding, and sweetened cream cheese chilled to perfection, and it’s oh-so-easy to make. Now that summer’s approaching (at least as of writing), it’s a wonderful companion to lots of other warm weather treats we’ve talked about before.
We hope you love it as much as we do!
Banana Split Cake: Ingredients & Utensils
While it seems like this cake is super complex (especially looking at all the ingredients), we promise it’s very simple! To make this banana split dessert, you’ll need…
For the crust:
- Graham cracker crumbs, butter: These form the base of your crust. The butter in particular holds the crumbs together!
- Granulated sugar: To sweeten the crust.
For the cream cheese layer:
- Cream cheese: Softened. Can’t have a cream cheese layer without…cream cheese!
- Granulated sugar: To sweeten this layer.
- Whipped topping or whipping cream: These add a fluffy, light texture to your cream cheese layer.
- Vanilla extract: A touch of vanilla extract always brings out the other flavors in any recipe.
For the fruit filling:
- Bananas: Sliced! It wouldn’t be a banana split cake without them.
- Strawberries, crushed pineapple: The other tasty fruits in this cake!
For the pudding layer:
- Instant banana cream pudding mix, milk: These will add a load of delicious banana flavor to this cake.
For the topping:
- Whipped topping or whipping cream: Have you ever seen a picture of a perfect banana split without a huge dollop of whipped topping?!
- Chocolate syrup or hot fudge sauce: Another classic banana split topping!
- Maraschino cherries: The literal cherries on top!
- Sprinkles: To mimic our banana split cake, you’ll want to use our Banana Split Sprinkles Mix.
Utensils & Other Tools:
- 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray: You’ll make your banana split cake in this dish.
- Food processor or bag and rolling pin: To crush your graham crackers for the crust.
- Bowls: For melting butter, beating cream cheese, whisking pudding, etc. You’ll want 3-4.
- Summer party supplies: This cake is best served at a summer party or get-together. It’s scientifically proven!
Let’s put together this Banana Split Dessert
First you will need to make the crust. Graham Cracker Crusts have only three ingredients. The trick – be sure it is tapped down nice and firm.
Next you will mix the pudding layer and let it set up in the refrigerator.
And then make the cream cheese layer, it takes just a handful of simple ingredients, but this layer makes all the difference in taste.
Now the fun starts, it’s time for the fruit layers and decorating.
Slice the bananas and layer them on top of the cream cheese layer.
Then slice the strawberries and add them.
Next be sure the pineapple is drained really well, and spoon it over the strawberries.
Top it all with the pudding.
To finish up the Banana Split Cake, we added whipped topping, a drizzle of hot fudge, cherries and our favorite Banana Split Sprinkles.
Banana Split Cake: FAQs
Here are some questions we’ve been asked about this recipe!
How long does it take to make a banana split cake?
Put aside 20 minutes to prep all the ingredients, and about 2 and ½ hours to chill the cake!
How many servings does this recipe produce?
Somewhere between 14 and 16 servings/slices, so everyone at your party or picnic can have a bite (or two)!
Are there any other toppings you recommend?
We’ve also made this banana split cake with crushed nuts on top, like pecans or peanuts. We just left them out in this post specifically for allergenic reasons…but if you know they’re good to go at your house, feel free to throw them on top! They’re a classic!
What should I do with leftovers?
You have leftovers?! (Kidding!) Put them in the fridge and they’ll last for 3-4 days. Make sure to use a covered container. Note that the bananas may brown and the cake may look less pretty if you wait to eat it…but it’s still quite edible and extremely tasty!
Can you freeze this cake to make it in advance?
You can! That’s the beauty of many no-bake cakes. If you keep it in the baking dish, omit the toppings, and wrap it up nice and tight, it should last 2ish weeks in the freezer. (After that it’ll still be edible, but again, it may brown and start to look less pretty.)
Did you enjoy this banana split cake recipe?
No-bake cakes are always so fascinating, aren’t they? But oh-so-simple and crazy delicious! Comment down below with your thoughts on our banana split cake. Please let us know, too, if you had any trouble with the recipe. We’d be happy to help you with any questions you have!
More cakes at Sweets & Treats!
You may think that there are times that don’t call for cakes…but you’d be wrong! (Just kidding!) Seriously, though, fun cakes make any occasion worthwhile, and we have a ton of recipes here on the blog:
- 2 cups (about 10-12 full crackers) graham cracker crumbs
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- Cream Cheese Layer
- 1 + ½ packages (12 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tub (8 ounces) thawed whipped topping or 2 cups whipping cream
- Fruit Filling
- 3-4 bananas, sliced
- 10-14 strawberries, cleaned and sliced
- 1 can (20 ounce) crushed pineapple, drained well
- Pudding Layer
- 2 (4 serving) instant banana cream pudding mix
- 2 cups cold milk
- 1 tub (8 ounces) whipped topping or 2 cups whipping cream
- Chocolate syrup or hot fudge sauce
- Maraschino cherries
- Banana Split Sprinkle Mix
- Spray a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray
- Crush graham crackers in food processor or resealable bag using a rolling pin
- Add crumbs to medium bowl
- Stir in ¼ cup sugar
- In a small microwave safe bowl, melt butter
- Pour over graham cracker crumbs and mix until well combined
- Press crumbs into prepared pan
- Freeze for 15-20 minutes
Cream Cheese Layer
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth
- Add sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth
- Fold in whipped topping until smooth
- In a large bowl, whisk together pudding and milk until smooth and slightly thickened
- Place bowl in refrigerator for 5-10 minutes until thick
- Remove pan from freezer and spread cream cheese layer evenly over crust
- Slice bananas and place on top of cream cheese in a single layer
- Slice strawberries and place on top of bananas in a single layer
- Drain pineapple really well and spread evenly over strawberries
- Remove pudding from refrigerator and spread evenly over bananas
- Top with whipped topping
- Chill in refrigerator for 2-5 hours
- Serve with toppings of your choice
- Store leftovers in refrigerator