Enjoy a tasty twist on a classic dessert with this no bake banana split cake. This delicious dessert is made with banana slices, homemade graham cracker crust, and a cream cheese layer. Top it off with your favorite ice cream toppings; this sweet treat is ready to feed a crowd!
Enjoy all the flavors of a simple banana split sundae but in a no bake cake instead. Plus without the mess of ice cream melting everywhere on a hot summer day. The perfect dessert for those summer parties!
This banana split cake dessert is simple to make ahead of time and is always a crowd favorite. Great way to spend more time playing games together rather than cooking at your next family gathering.
This layered dessert consists of a buttery graham cracker crust topped with a fluffy cream cheese mixture, fresh bananas, and whipped cream. Then served with the ice cream toppings of your choosing. Top it ahead of time or make a topping board to serve alongside it for even more fun!
No matter where and how you choose to serve it, this great dessert is bound to be a crowd pleaser. One you’ll go back to all year long.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Customizable – the perfect dessert is one you can make your own. This banana dessert lets you do just that by topping it with whatever you enjoy most! Or switch out any of the fruit layers for even more options. The possibilities are endless with this no bake banana split dessert.
- Easy – not only does this easy dessert not require any baking but the ingredients are easy to find at any store. No need for special ingredients or equipment to enjoy the flavors of a banana split at home.
- Feeds a crowd – good desserts are meant to be shared. This banana cake makes it easy to feed everyone at your next party.
- Graham cracker crumbs – if you are a chocolate lover consider changing these out for Oreos instead.
- Cool Whip – if you have heavy whipping cream on hand you can substitute this for homemade whipping cream as well. For even more flavor consider making flavored whipped cream!
- Fresh fruit – almost any fruit would be delicious in this dish. Although, you may have to call it something else if you change out the sliced bananas.
- Peanuts – any nut works, just depend on what your personal favorite is.
- Toppings – maraschino cherries, chocolate sauce, and sprinkles are just a few ideas of things you can use as toppings for this no bake banana split cake recipe. Add caramel sauce, Oreo crumbs, hot fudge sauce, or your favorite sweet instead. The possibilities are endless.
Also, some people like to add crushed pineapple as a topping of this no bake cake. We tried this out and personally didn’t love the pineapple combination with everything else.
how to make a no bake banana split cake
This perfect treat is really simple to make and takes less than half an hour to prep. The most time-consuming part is chopping up the fruits.
Layered dessert recipes are super easy to follow, just focus on a single layer at a time. I’ve included a handful of pictures and step-by-step instructions to help keep you on track.
1- Make The Crust
Start by greasing a 9×13 baking pan then set it aside for later.
Prep graham crackers by pulsing them in a food processor until they become fine crumbs. Or you can skip this step and use graham cracker crumbs.
Combine graham cracker crumbs and salt together in a medium bowl. Then add in the melted butter and stir the ingredients together until the butter evenly coats the graham cracker crumbs. This is similar to how we make the crust for our popular striped delight recipe, just without any added sugar.
Using a rubber spatula pour the crust mixture into the prepared baking dish. Press evenly into the bottom of the pan to form a layer of crust.
For this step, I recommend using your fingers or the bottom of the measuring cup to flatten out the crust into an even layer. Place the graham cracker crust into the fridge to chill.
2 – Cream Cheese Layer
While the graham cracker crust chills, make the cream cheese filling.
In a large bowl add the cream cheese, room temperature butter, sour cream (or yogurt), lemon juice, and pure vanilla extract.
Use a hand mixer in a large mixing bowl and whisk all the ingredients together until light and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as you mix. This can also be done in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment.
Then add the powdered sugar about 1/2 cup at a time until it is fully incorporated into the cream cheese mixture. Make sure the mixer is on low to prevent the powdered sugar from flying out of the bowl. Scrape the bowl down after you mix to make sure there aren’t any chunks of sugar left on the sides of the bowl.
Once the sugar is mixed into the cream cheese, gently fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture with a rubber spatula. Make sure not to stir or whip the cool whip in or it will get too runny.
Take the graham cracker crust out of the fridge and pour the cool whip cream cheese mixture on top of the graham cracker. Use a rubber spatula and gently spread the mixture evenly around the pan.
3 – Add Fresh Fruit Layers
If you haven’t yet, slice the bananas and strawberries. First place the sliced bananas over the cream cheese layer. Then for the next layer, place the strawberries over the bananas. Finally, add the other 8 ounces of cool whip for the top layer.
4 – Chill And Serve
After all the layers have been added, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the cake for 4 – 6 hours. It can also be refrigerated overnight.
When you are ready to serve the cake add your favorite toppings or set toppings out to let people top their own.
You can add what whatever toppings you want but some of our favorites are nuts, sprinkles, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and of course cherries!
Slice the cake into squares and serve immediately. If you’re not planning to serve immediately, I recommend waiting until you’re about to serve to add toppings like whipped cream and chocolate syrup!
Expert Tips And Storage Info
Serve this dessert partially frozen in the summer. Simply place the no bake dessert in the freezer two hours before serving then serve straight from the freezer when ready. Makes it easier to cut and is extra cold for those hot summer days.
You can top the dessert before chilling but it may cause the nuts to lose their crunch or the sprinkle’s coloring to bleed onto the whipped topping.
Store in an airtight container for up to three days in the fridge. The fruit juices will blend with the cream cheese layer but shouldn’t impact the taste, just might have a soggy crust.
Freeze this dessert for up to a month in an airtight container.
This banana split cake includes the classic vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and banana flavors in a layered dessert. If you’d prefer some other flavors, you can use different fruits if you want. I know some people like to use pineapple as well, it’s just not my personal favorite.
Absolutely! This is a great dessert to make the night before a party and pull out when you are ready to serve it. Make the entire cake but leave off the toppings until right before you’re going to serve it if possible!
You need to use fresh bananas, not frozen, in this cake. If you use frozen bananas, the texture will be completely off, even after the bananas thaw. Just grab some new fresh bananas and enjoy!
You can add whatever toppings you want to this banana split cake. We’ve tried and enjoyed Oreo crumbs, graham cracker crumbs, chocolate cookie crumbs, all sorts of nuts, and more!
More Easy Dessert Recipes
If you like easy desserts, you have to try these other delicious no bake treats!
No Bake Banana Split Cake
- 2 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ¾ Cup unsalted butter melted
Cream cheese filling
- 16 ounces full fat cream cheese softened
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2-2 cups powdered sugar preference of sweetness
- 8 ounces Cool whip
fruit filling and additional toppings
- 4 bananas sliced
- 16 ounces fresh strawberries sliced
- 8 ounces cool whip
- ¼ cup peanuts chopped
- chocolate syrup
- maraschino cherries
- Grease a 9×13 baking pan then set it aside for later.
- Mix the graham cracker crumbs and salt together in a medium bowl. Then add in the melted butter and stir the ingredients together.2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 3/4 Cup unsalted butter, 1/8 tsp salt
- Pour the graham cracker mix into the prepared baking pan. Press evenly into the bottom of the pan to form a layer of crust. Place the graham cracker crust into the fridge to chill.
- In a large bowl add the cream cheese, butter, sour cream , lemon juice, and pure vanilla extract. Use a hand mixer and whisk all the ingredients together until light and creamy.16 ounces full fat cream cheese, 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1/4 cup sour cream, 2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Then add the powdered sugar about 1/2 cup at a time until it is fully incorporated into the cream cheese mixture.1 1/2-2 cups powdered sugar
- Once the sugar is mixed into the cream cheese gently with a rubber spatula fold the cool whip into the cream cheese mixture until it is evenly distributed.8 ounces Cool whip
- Take the graham cracker crust out of the fridge and pour the cool whip cream cheese mixture on top of the graham cracker. Gently spread the mixture evenly around the pan.
- First place the bananas over the cream cheese layer. Then place the strawberries over the bananas. Add the other 8 ounces of cool whip for the top layer.4 bananas, 16 ounces fresh strawberries, 8 ounces cool whip
- Refrigerate the cake for 4- 6 hours. It can also be refrigerated overnight.
- When you are ready to serve the cake add your favorite toppings.1/4 cup peanuts chopped, chocolate syrup, sprinkles, maraschino cherries