This no bake banana split cake is a graham cracker crust topped with layers of cheesecake, pineapple, bananas, whipped topping and chocolate fudge. It’s the perfect make-ahead dessert to feed a crowd!
I love to serve no-bake desserts because they’re easy to make and always a huge hit with family and friends. I typically make chocolate lasagna, no bake peanut butter pie, or this colorful banana split cake.
If you’re a sundae lover, this no bake banana split cake is for you. It’s a real showstopper, towering high with layers of crust, cheesecake, fruit, chocolate, nuts, sprinkles, and of course, cherries. This dessert is the ultimate treat for summer parties and potlucks. You get all that great banana split flavor, without the melting factor of ice cream.
How do you make banana split cake?
The first step in the process is to make your graham cracker crust, which is a mixture of crushed crackers, butter and sugar. After your crust has chilled, it’s time to add a layer of no-bake cheesecake. The next layers are fresh sliced bananas, along with canned crushed pineapple. Top everything off with a layer of whipped topping, hot fudge, and sundae fixings such as pecans and sprinkles. The hardest part is to wait for everything to chill so you can slice and serve!
Tips for banana split cake
- It’s important to follow the chilling instructions in the recipe to make sure all the layers set up properly. This cake takes a few hours to make, but the majority of that time is waiting for the layers to firm up.
- This cake is best served within 12 hours after making it. The acid in the pineapple helps to keep the layer of bananas fresh, but eventually the bananas can soften and discolor.
- You can use whipped topping or whipped cream in this recipe. I typically use whipped topping because it’s less work, but if you want to whip your own heavy cream with some sugar, free free. Do not use the aerosol style whipped cream as it will quickly deflate.
- You can use any sundae toppings you like to decorate your cake. Any variety of sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, toffee bit, caramel sauce will work.
The hardest part about making banana split cake is cutting neat slices! I have a few tips to make the slicing process go a little smoother.
- Freeze your cake for about 30 minutes before you plan to slice it. This will help firm up the layers even more and keep them intact as you cut into the dessert.
- Wipe your knife with a paper towel between each cut. This will prevent the layers from running together as you slice.
- If you’re looking for picture perfect slices, you can run an offset spatula around the cut sides of each slice to even out the layers.
My kids always request this dessert for their birthday, and their friends always go crazy about it. There’s just something special about all those different layers of color and flavor!
More sweet treats you’ll love
Banana Split Cake
For the crust
- 1 1/2 cupa graham cracker crumbs
- 8 tablespoons butter melted
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- cooking spray
For the fillings
- 12 ounces cream cheese softened
- 8 ounces whipped topping thawed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 bananas sliced
- 20 ounce can crushed pineapple well drained
For the toppings
- 8 ounces whipped topping thawed, divided use
- 1 1/4 cups hot fudge sauce
- 1/3 cup pecans chopped
- 1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles
- 16 maraschino cherries
- Coat a 9"x13" pan with cooking spray.
- For the crust: Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar in a bowl. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Chill the crust in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a mixer. Beat until smooth and creamy. Add the whipped topping, sugar and vanilla extract.
- Spread the cream cheese mixture over the crust. Add a layer of bananas, then a layer of crushed pineapple.
- For the toppings Spread half the whipped topping over the pineapple layer. Chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
- Warm the fudge sauce in the microwave for 15-20 seconds or pourable. The sauce should not be hot or it will melt the whipped topping. If your chocolate is too hot, let it sit at room temperature until lukewarm.
- Drizzle the fudge over the whipped topping and quickly gently spread into place.
- Sprinkle pecans over fudge layer. Chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 8 hours.
- Place the remaining whipped topping in a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe rosettes of whipped topping onto the top of the cake. Top with sprinkles and cherries. Cut into slices, then serve.
This post was originally published on June 2, 2015 and was updated on May 28, 2019 with new content.