Banana Split Cake is, as my grandmother would say, a type of “ice box cake”. It’s actually a creamy dessert rather than a cake, but it’s made in a 9×13 inch cake pan, sets up in the refrigerator and can be sliced like cake.
I have fond memories of Banana Split Cake because my grandmother made it, but not often enough. Whenever we visited I hoped to find one in the refrigerator, but my grandmother was a baker at heart and unlike German Chocolate and Pineapple Cake, Banana Split Cake wasn’t in her regular rotation. Of course that made it even more special.
Now that I’m an adult and can make Banana Split Cake any time I want, I’ve enjoyed trying different versions. This latest rendition calls for a mixture of condensed milk and lemon juice which is poured over bananas and topped with pineapple, vanilla pudding mix and whipped cream. It’s a little different than the raw egg and cream cheese versions. The lemon-y condensed milk mixture adds a quick burst of tartness similar to what you’d find in a lemon or Key lime pie and the pudding mix adds more vanilla flavor. It tasted better on Day 2, but because I also like the bananas to be somewhat stiff, I wouldn’t refrigerate this for more than 12 hours tops. It does freeze well, but if you freeze it the bananas will be softer. Either way it will still be good! This is one of those desserts you really can’t mess up.
Banana Split Cake
- 2 cups graham crackers crumbs
- 1/2 cup salted or unsalted butter softened to the point of almost melted
- 4 large bananas
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 14 oz can condensed milk
- 1 20 oz can of pineapple, drained
- 1 small box instant pudding French vanilla or vanilla flavored instant pudding
- 2 cups milk or as per pudding directions
- 12 oz tub of whipped topping or 5 cups sweetened whipped cream
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans or ice cream topping nuts
- 8 Maraschino cherries
- Mix the crumbs with the butter and press into the bottom of a 9x13 inch dish.
- Slice the bananas and brush them with some of the lemon juice. Lay them across the crust.
- Mix the condensed milk with the remaining lemon juice and pour over the bananas.
- Spread drained pineapple over the condensed milk mixture.
- Whisk together the pudding mix and milk until it starts to thicken, then pour over the pineapple.
- Spread whipped topping all over the top and chill for about 6 hours or overnight.
- Shortly before serving, sprinkle top with nuts and dot with well-drained cherries.