Banana Split Ice Cream Cake

You had to have an inkling as to what was up my sleeve this week when I added both strawberry and pineapple ice cream toppings to my collection of hot fudge and salted caramel, right? During the summer, strawberry + hot fudge + pineapple can only equal one thing – banana splits! This cake is no ordinary banana split… it’s a banana split on some serious, serious steroids. It’s a sky-high ice cream “cake” that starts with an Oreo crust, is topped with sliced bananas, strawberry ice cream, strawberry sundae topping, chocolate ice cream, hot fudge sauce, vanilla ice cream and pineapple sundae topping. Finally, it’s garnished with whipped cream, chopped walnuts and, of course, cherries. We all know that no sundae is complete without a cherry on top! It’s essentially one, big, massive banana split. Yet it’s so much better than any banana split I’ve ever seen or eaten. This could very well take the top spot as my favorite summer treat. My Chief Culinary Consultant declared it one of the best desserts I have ever made. Considering I made it twice in the span of 5 days, I’d say we had more than ample opportunity to solidify our opinions ๐Ÿ™‚

I had seen a banana split ice cream cake making the rounds on the Internet since last summer, and while I loved the idea, I felt like it needed to be amped up just a teeny bit. The original version starts with an Oreo crust and bananas, topped with strawberry ice cream then moves on to a layer of hot fudge, vanilla ice cream and strawberries on top. If I was going to make a banana split ice cream cake, I wanted to go the whole nine yards and have it mimic a banana split as closely as possible. Strawberry ice cream with a strawberry topping, chocolate ice cream with hot fudge sauce, and vanilla ice cream with pineapple topping. Whipped cream, chopped nuts and cherries as garnishments were musts. The result is one absolutely phenomenal ice cream cake.

Last weekend my mom had my Chief Culinary Consultant’s parents over for dinner and I took it upon myself to figure out something for dessert. Since we were in the midst of an agonizing heat wave, I really didn’t want to bother with the oven and wanted something refreshing with lots of bright flavor. This was the perfect solution! Since I was doing everything rather last minute, that version used store-bought ingredients (I know, but sometimes life happens, and it’s good to have recipes that canย accommodateย last-minute decisions). Everyone loved the cake so much that a few days later I made a second version (this version) with all homemade elements. The result? A dessert I felt a lot better about, and one that my Chief Culinary Consultant declared a million times better than the first one I made. So, know that homemade ice cream and toppings can take this from wow to WOWZA, but if you are in a pinch and short on time, you could definitely create a fabulous dessert with purchased ingredients.

I guarantee this dessert will have your guests ooh’ing and aah’ing and talking about this for a long time to come. Don’t be surprised if you get requests for many repeat appearances!

One year ago:ย Peach Cobbler
Two years ago: Chocolate Ice Cream
Five years ago: Bacon, Cheddar and Green Onion Scones

Banana Split Ice Cream Cake

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

Prep Time: 4 hours

Total Time: 12 hours


For the Crust:
20 Oreo cookies, crushed into crumbs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 to 3 bananas, sliced ยฝ-inch thick

For the Strawberry Layer:
1 pint strawberry ice cream
1 cup strawberry ice cream topping (make sure it's a pourable consistency, warm briefly if necessary)

For the Chocolate Layer:
1 pint chocolate ice cream
1 cup hot fudge sauce, at room temperature (make sure it's a pourable consistency, warm briefly if necessary)

For the Vanilla Layer:
1 pint vanilla ice cream
ยฝ cup pineapple ice cream topping

For the Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To Garnish:
Maraschino cherries
Chopped walnuts


1. Spray an 8x3-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom and sides with parchment paper; set aside.

2. Assemble the Crust: Combine the Oreo cookie crumbs with the melted butter, tossing until all of the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press into an even layer in the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with the banana slices. Place the pan in the freezer for at least 15 minutes.

3. Assemble the Strawberry Layer: Top the banana layer with the strawberry ice cream. Use an offset spatula to spread the ice cream into a smooth, even layer. Place the pan back in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

4. Pour the strawberry topping over the strawberry ice cream and gently spread so that it covers the entire ice cream layer beneath. Return to the freezer for at least 1 hour, or until completely frozen.

5. Assemble the Chocolate Layer: Top the strawberry layer with the chocolate ice cream. Use an offset spatula to spread the ice cream into a smooth, even layer. Place the pan back in the freezer for at least 30 minutes, or until firm and set.

6. Pour the hot fudge sauce over the chocolate ice cream and gently spread so that it covers the entire ice cream layer beneath. Return to the freezer for at least 1 hour, or until completely frozen.

7. Assemble the Vanilla Layer: Top the hot fudge layer with the vanilla ice cream. Use an offset spatula to spread the ice cream into a smooth, even layer. Cover with plastic wrap, return the assembled cake to the freezer and freeze overnight.

8. Final Assembly and Garnishment: At least 1 hour (and no more than 12 hours) before serving, unmold the cake. To release the cake from the pan, invert the cake onto a plate or cardboard round the same size and wrap a hot kitchen towel around the cake pan, keeping it there for 30 seconds, or until the cake loosens and slide the pan off. Remove the parchment (and bottom of pan if using a springform). Top with a serving plate and turn the cake right side up. Return to the freezer for at least 10 minutes.

9. While the cake is in the freezer, make the whipped cream. Combine the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whip on medium-high speed until the cream is light and fluffy and holds a medium to firm peak, 2 to 3 minutes.

10. Just prior to serving, pipe the whipped cream into mounds around the outer edge of the cake. Top each mound with a maraschino cherry. Fill in the space in the middle with the pineapple topping and top with chopped walnuts. A hot, dry knife will yield the cleanest cuts. Dip your knife in a glass of hot water, wipe it clean with a towel, and cut a slice. Repeat between every slice. Store leftover slices in airtight containers (or covered with plastic wrap and foil) in the freezer.

Note: If you are making homemade ice cream, your best bet is to time the assembly so that you can add the freshly-churned ice cream right onto the cake. It will be the perfect consistency. If you will be using already-made ice cream, pop it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before you plan to need it and then mix it really well with a spatula so that it is smooth and spreadable.

(Recipe inspired by Sweet Anna's)


67 Responses to “Banana Split Ice Cream Cake”

  1. Averie @ Averie Cooks on July 12, 2012 at 1:06 am

    It looks so good, Michelle! And one of the best desserts you’ve ever made? High praise but I believe it!


  2. Kristen on July 12, 2012 at 1:15 am

    Wow!!!! I was guessing banana split based on the rest of the week’s post, but this is unbelievably good looking!


  3. Samaira on July 12, 2012 at 1:54 am

    It looooooks superb!!!!!!!!! Can’t wait to try it! By the way what is 1 pint equal to? Thank you michelle ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Michelle on July 12th, 2012 at 8:29 am

      Hi Samaira, There are about 2 cups of ice cream in a pint of ice cream (by weight, 1 pint is 16 ounces).


  4. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on July 12, 2012 at 1:57 am

    Wow!!! This cake is beautiful! I bet it tastes as good as it looks ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. Coleens Recipes on July 12, 2012 at 3:38 am

    I love recipes (like this) that you can have ready in the freezer!!


  6. Katrina on July 12, 2012 at 5:50 am

    Mmm pure deliciousness!


  7. Susan on July 12, 2012 at 7:05 am

    Wow!!!!! This looks delishhhhhhh! My “bucket list” of recipes from your site keeps getting longer!keeps growing!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚


  8. Lori on July 12, 2012 at 7:49 am

    OMG. This looks incredible. I might attempt this for our family party next month.


  9. Jill on July 12, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Oh my!! What a delicious, delicious cake!


  10. Phoebe on July 12, 2012 at 8:22 am

    What an AMAZING dessert!!!


  11. shelly (cookies and cups) on July 12, 2012 at 8:35 am

    This is the coolest! My family would love this!


  12. Jessen on July 12, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Wowza is Right! Now that’s Talent! Beautiful Ice Cream Cake. . . I think I gotta Take this one on and make it this weekend! Thank u.


  13. Paula on July 12, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Every year, since she was a little girl my daughter wants a DQ ice cream cake for her birthday. I think if I made her this she would change that tradition! Beautiful cake.


  14. JJ @ 84thand3rd on July 12, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Far out – this looks phenomenal! Annnnd now I want a banana split!


  15. Melanie on July 12, 2012 at 10:05 am

    You have outdone yourself this time! Looks beautiful (and tastes great I bet!)


  16. colleen @ Secrets fromthe Cookie Princess on July 12, 2012 at 10:12 am

    I had a feeling we were going to see banana split something this week! And having worked at Bruster’s in Greenfield in high school, I’m a firm believer in if it’s going to be called banana split, it’s got to have banana, strawberry, chocolate, pineapple, nuts and a cherry. Awesome job.

    And I’m honored to share with you one of my early blog cookies:
    My photos are terrible, but the taste of the cookie more than makes up for it.


  17. sally @ sally's baking addiction on July 12, 2012 at 10:27 am

    This would DEFINITELY be one of my favorite desserts! And I knew a recipe with your homemade ice cream sauces would make an appearance after you posted them. ๐Ÿ™‚


  18. Stephanie on July 12, 2012 at 10:31 am

    This looks amazing! And is great for the summer too. Love this!


  19. Kristy on July 12, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Oh god, this looks so good!


  20. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts on July 12, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Wow! Now THAT is an ice cream cake!


  21. teresa on July 12, 2012 at 10:41 am

    This looks amazing!
    I LOVE frozen desserts!
    I can only imagine how good this was with homemade ice cream!


  22. Nancy @ CouponClippingCook on July 12, 2012 at 11:54 am

    This looks too good to be true. I would eat it for breakfast.


  23. Kristin @ The Chocolate Box on July 12, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    I’m loving all these ice cream recipes!! ๐Ÿ˜€ I’ve just started using my ice cream maker (who knew making ice cream was so easy?!) and I’m on an ice cream making spree at the moment. ;D My mind is filled with all sorts of flavours and toppings I wanna try, so this is some wonderful inspiration for sure!


  24. Riley on July 12, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    You’re killing anything that resembles a diet in my life with these ice cream recipes! But I love them!


  25. Katie @ Blonde Ambition on July 12, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Aaaand it has fruit in it, so no guilt involved, riiiight? ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Michelle on July 13th, 2012 at 9:27 am

      Absolutely! ๐Ÿ™‚


  26. Jessica@AKitchenAddiction on July 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    This is one gorgeous ice cream cake! I want a piece right now!


  27. Jen @ Savory Simple on July 12, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Frozen desserts are the right answer in this heat!


  28. rosa on July 12, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    What happened to the banana in the banana split?


  29. rosa on July 12, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    O I see found it


  30. Shumaila on July 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Heaven! LOve it! Pinning it! Making it! And filling my face with it!


  31. marla on July 12, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Oh is this a FUN cake ~ perfect for all kinds of celebrations ๐Ÿ™‚


  32. Dallas Duo Bakeks on July 12, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Seriously gorgeous! You outdid yourself on this one ๐Ÿ™‚


  33. Rachel (teacher-chef) on July 12, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    Wow – this looks beyond amazing. And when you make it from (high quality) store-bough ingredients it is actually a pretty simple cake – now I just need lots of people to help me eat it…. beautiful!!!


  34. Sues on July 12, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Oh my gosh- this is AMAZING! It’s beautiful and the perfect banana split in cake form ๐Ÿ™‚


  35. Amy on July 13, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Wow! This looks better and more professional than anything you could get in the store! Too bad I already have a huge ice cream cake sitting in my freezer! ๐Ÿ™‚


  36. Ruth on July 13, 2012 at 10:50 am

    I’m a big fan! What a brilliant idea! I was wondering: wouldn’t it be easier to just flip the springform bottom to the other side and place a round cake board (cardboard)? That way you can pretty much just lift it off with a spatula or your hands without having to invert. Maybe I am missing something. Please let me know!


    • Michelle on July 16th, 2012 at 10:05 pm

      Hi Ruth, You could certainly do it that way. I just like having the cake on the serving platter without the springform bottom or a cardboard cake round underneath. I tend to butcher things when I cut them so to avoid scratching my pan or serving people flecks of cardboard, I try to just get the cake on the serving platter ๐Ÿ˜‰


  37. Kavi on July 13, 2012 at 11:21 am

    I just stumbled upon your blog, and I’m loving it so far! So many recipes I want to try, such as this amazing ice cream cake… looks way better than anything store-bought!


  38. Tara Noland on July 13, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    I have seen this on many sites now and it catches my eye every time. I am going to add this to my Mouth Watering Mondays post this Monday. Come on over to see it at Cheers, Tara


  39. purelylori on July 13, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    wow that looks incredible! love all the colors and layers — YUMMMMM


  40. Allison on July 13, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    This looks so decadent! I’m very into ice cream cakes right now. Thank you for sharing this.


  41. bridget on July 14, 2012 at 12:49 am

    It looks amazing! Do you think I can assemble the last step of the cake and then freeze and serve it the following day? Concerned about freezer burn,I want to make it for a party but will not have time to assemble it right before serving.


    • Michelle on July 18th, 2012 at 12:09 pm

      Hi Bridget, You can assemble the cake and then turn it out onto your platter (or plate), cover it and freeze. I would cover with both plastic wrap and foil to prevent freezer burn. I would not add the pineapple topping, nuts, whipped cream and cherries until just before serving.


  42. My Inner Chick on July 14, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Are you serious? I just gained 5 pounds, man. Amaaazing.


  43. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet on July 14, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Gorgeous, Michelle! My kids will love this!


  44. KAPP on July 16, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Hi Michelle, thanks for this recipe. I’m in the “process” of making this myself for hubby’s Bday. He saw the picture of your recipe and his reaction was “you’re making this for me? isn’t it hard” I laughed. I said no just a little time consuming. I hope mine turns out as nice as yours. Hubby’s favorite (and mine) is banana splits…this may be a true go-to recipe for celebrations.


  45. naomi on July 16, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Um, holy awesomeness-I would make this and probably end up eating all by myself. Deadly good!


  46. Katie on July 23, 2012 at 6:28 am

    I made this with all Jeni’s ice cream! Ugandan Vanilla Bean, Dark Chocolate, and Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk…O.M.G. I died and went to ice cream heaven!


  47. Ruth on July 23, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Hi Again,

    I ended up making this for my daughter’s birthday. It was a huge hit! I added a layer of homemade caramel sauce as well as acrushed salted macadamia praline instead of the walnuts. I thought I would love the bananas in here, but I felt like the flavor clashed instead. I used very on the spot ripe bananas. Should they have been overripe ones? Maybe I will bypass the bananas next time. Thanks for the idea! It was wonderful!


    • Michelle on July 28th, 2012 at 11:20 pm

      Hi Ruth, I’m not sure that the type of bananas matter too much, probably just more of a personal preference thing. You could certainly leave them out if you didn’t like them!


  48. Shari on August 2, 2012 at 11:12 am

    OH for sure I will be making this Having more then one Banana Split in a day is a very GOOD day.
    Thank You !


  49. Ree on August 2, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    I made this for my 33rd birthday and it was amazing! Seriously. My husband and I kept saying ‘Oh, it’s too much. We’ll give some away to the neighbors,’ everyday for three days until we eventually finished it. Making everything– the sauces, ice cream and cookies, from scratch with one ice cream maker was serious work, but well worth it. Thanks for sharing. =)


  50. Terri on August 8, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    I want to thank you for this recipe. I just finished making it for my son’s 13th Birthday. He loves it! It looks beautiful.


    • Michelle on August 9th, 2012 at 5:15 pm

      Happy Birthday to your son!! So glad he loves his cake! ๐Ÿ™‚


  51. Nisha on April 20, 2013 at 2:43 am

    this looks too unbelievably freaking good. don’t know about one of the best desserts you have ever made, but this sure is the BEST ice cream cake i have EVER seen. for my next dinner get together, i would make something like this and impress. last time i made a random layered pudding and it was a hit.


  52. Joanne on December 28, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Hi there! I am a fairly new fan and I wanted to write and thank you for so many inspiring recipes! Just this morning I was wondering what to make for a birthday party next weekend and I found your “Banana Split Ice Cream Cake”, BINGO! Instead of the cookie crust, I was reading your recipe for “Frozen Brownie Sundae” and decided I wanted to bake a brownie for the base instead but it’s the only part of the cake that won’t be made from scratch. I will admit that I had a Ghiradelli triple chocolate box mix from Costco calling my name, I feel like a cheat! So I’ve already baked the brownie crust but I can’t start making the ice cream until tomorrow when my ice cream maker is ready. I’m going to use all of your recipes for the ice cream layers but I’m going to make a slightly different version of the cake. I won’t be adding a layer of bananas on the bottom of the cake, instead I’m going to put vanilla ice cream topped with your recipe for caramel sauce with skor bits. Then I’ll add the chocolate ice cream with your recipe for the hot fudge sauce, and lastly I will do the layer of strawberry ice cream but top it with sliced bananas and raspberry sauce instead of strawberry sauce. Finished with the whipped cream and cherries. Phew!! It’s going to be awesome and I have you to thank for it! I’m hopeful it turns out exactly how I see it in my head. So Thank YOU for the inspiration! Also, I wanted to say I’ve made your “Coconut-Vanilla Bean Cake with Coconut Meringue Buttercream Frosting” at least 3x now and it’s loved by everyone, especially the frosting! Thanks for so many great recipes, they really make me look good ๐Ÿ˜‰


  53. Lindi on June 12, 2014 at 8:30 am

    I made this last year for Father’s Day. Was worth the process!!! Excited to try another of your recipes this year!! Thanks!!! ๐Ÿ™‚


  54. kiya on July 18, 2014 at 2:56 am

    Is the overnight freezing absolutely required?


    • Michelle on July 18th, 2014 at 9:43 pm

      Hi Kiya, Yes, everything needs to set before the final assembly and serving.


  55. Seana on July 19, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Just made this for my mom’s birthday this week and we all LOVED it. She is a huge ice cream fiend so it was perfect. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!


  56. Teri Smyth on September 2, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Wow. What a great idea to make a Banana Split Ice Cream Cake. Your pictures are amazing Michelle. I’m a huge fan of making desserts that are frozen and can be made ahead of time. This recipe makes entertaining easy and my time will be freed up to enjoy the evening with my relatives.
    I am hosting the family birthday party this Sunday and I will be trying your recipe for the first time. I’m sure it will be a huge hit.
    Thanks for sharing.


  57. Michelle S on May 21, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    I have a question. The middle of the oreo is not in the crust, is it? I don’t think so but want to ensure before I start this over the weekend.

    Thanks so much!


    • Michelle on May 22nd, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      Hi Michelle, Yes, you use the entire cookie, filling included.


  58. TONY on July 4, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    Why would you need 20 oreo cookies, crumbled up, if you’re making a CAKE??????


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