Today is a special day because we’re welcoming the brand new PW design. Our little corner here is getting its very own spot in the front page of The Pioneer Woman and if you haven’t been there yet today, check it out! There are tons of new features to play with, and it’s new and familiar at the same time. We thought it’d be be fun to celebrate all this forward movement by going retro here at the Tasty Kitchen Blog, and we’re absolutely thrilled to have our dear friend Alice of Savory Sweet Life help us usher in this new age of Aquarius. Or something like that.
When it comes to ice cream sundaes, banana splits are the grand daddy of them all. This nostalgic ice cream dessert has been around since the early 1900s and its popularity over the years has never ceased. It is a timeless classic which I have adored since I was a small child and still do today. As the world quickly changes around us, banana splits remain the same today as they did over 100 years ago.
A traditional banana split is made of a banana vertically cut in half and lined on each side of a boat shaped serving bowl. A scoop of vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate ice cream is sandwiched between the two halves of the banana like three peas in a pod. Each scoop of ice cream is then topped off with its own sauce of hot fudge, strawberry, and crushed pineapple. Finally, the sundae is made complete with a crown of whipped cream, a sprinkling of chopped nuts, and a maraschino cherry on top. When I discovered Annalise’s recipe for a Banana Split Ice Cream Cake on Tasty Kitchen, I instantly knew I had to make it! It is the perfect marriage of all things banana split except in a ice cream cake version.
If you love ice cream sundaes, you are in for a fantastic treat. It’s a fun way to enjoy a classic banana split but served as an ice cream cake. This recipe is not difficult but does require time—but it’s so worth it! I’m convinced people who hate bananas (cough … Ree Drummond) will love this dessert. So let’s get started, shall we?
Here is a list of everything you’ll need to get started: Oreo cookies, butter, vanilla and strawberry ice creams, hot fudge sauce, frozen sweetened strawberries, crushed pineapple, and whipped cream. I also opted to add a few chopped almonds and maraschino cherries just for the heck of it. The recipe calls for a springform pan but doesn’t mention which size to use. I used an 8” and would suggest using a springform pan between 8”-10”. The smaller than pan, the taller the ice cream cake will be and vice versa.
This recipe is all about layers and building on top of one another after the previous one has set. The first layer is the Oreo chocolate cookie crust.
Place Oreo cookies in a food processor and pulse until they become fine crumbs resembling rich dark soil. If you don’t have a food processor, you can place the cookies in a Ziploc bag and achieve the same effect by using a rolling pin to crush the cookies.
Add melted butter the food processor and pulse a few more times to make sure the butter is evenly distributed.
Dump mixture into the springform pan. Using the back of a spatula or by using your fingers, press cookie crumb mixture down and firmly to form a uniformed crust on the bottom of the pan.
The recipe calls for cutting four bananas in ½” thick slices but I found I only needed 2.5 bananas. I point this out only to let you know you may or may not need to use as many bananas the recipe calls for. Cut enough banana slices to cover the bottom of the pan in a single layer and then put the springform pan in the freezer for at least 10 minutes.
A note to banana haters (you know who you are): If you dislike bananas because of their texture, the banana slices in this recipe become frozen. This changes the texture from mushy to a frozen piece of fruit that’s more like hard banana ice cream. This may be the recipe which converts your disdain to love. Just saying.
Scoop slightly softened ice cream on top of the banana layer until it is completely covered. Smooth and press down the ice cream layer by using a spatula dipped in hot water. Place cake pan in the freezer for 2 hours.
Note: Although the photo above shows a 1.5 gallon of strawberry ice cream, the recipe actually calls for only a pint. I bought the bigger size because it was actually cheaper than the smaller container. In my opinion you could use either. But if you do go with the bigger size, you’ll want to use approximately 1/3-1/2 of the container.
Warm the hot fudge in the microwave for 30 seconds with the lid removed. Stir the jar so the sauce has a nice spreadable consistency. Empty the entire hot jar of hot fudge sauce on top of the strawberry ice cream layer and smooth it out from edge to edge. Place the cake pan back in the freezer for 30 minutes or until the fudge layer has firmed up.
Grab the vanilla ice cream and repeat the exact same steps as the strawberry ice cream.
Cover the cake pan with plastic wrap and return the ice cream cake to the freezer for at least 6 hours or until very firm. What you’re looking for is for the cake to be completely rock solid frozen. Allowing the ice cream layers to set overnight works beautifully.
When you’re preparing the cake to serve, be sure to make sure the frozen strawberries have thawed. Drain the strawberries and then spread the mixture on top of the frozen ice cream cake. Make sure to leave about a 1” edge around the cake.
To loosen the cake from the pan, take a knife and run it around the inside of the pan.
Unlatch the springform pan from its base.
To finish the ice cream cake off, top the edges off with swirls of whipped cream. For an added touch, sprinkle chopped nuts on top of the cake and add maraschino cherries on top of the whipped cream crowns.
Serve with crushed pineapple on the side.
Final thoughts: I will not lie. As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, this recipe requires time. It is best made at least 1 day ahead but can be stored in the freezer for a couple weeks. This makes a great alternative to serving a traditional cake on any special occasion and best of all … requires NO BAKING. It is nostalgic, whimsical, and fun to eat.
Soo good. Really. That’s all there is to it!
Oh, and don’t let the ‘cake’ part fool you … there’s no cake in this ‘cake’!
Take out the strawberry ice cream to thaw. Place the Oreos in a gallon Ziploc bag and crush well with a rolling pin or small frying pan. Pour the melted butter into the Ziploc bag and mix it up. Press this crumb mixture into the bottom of a springform pan.
Slice the bananas into 1/2″ rounds and arrange in a single layer on top of the crust. (Use as many banana slices as needed to fill the layer.) Place the pan into the freezer for about 10 minutes.
Scoop the softened strawberry ice cream in small scoops on top of the frozen banana layer, smoothing it together with a spoon dipped in warm water. Return to the freezer for 1-2 hours, until the ice cream is firm again.
Take the vanilla ice cream out of the freezer to thaw. Warm the hot fudge sauce slightly, just until it is easily spreadable. Pour the fudge over the strawberry ice cream layer, smoothing the top, and place back into the freezer for 15 minutes or so, until the fudge has firmed up again.
Scoop the softened vanilla ice cream in small scoops on top of the fudge layer, again smoothing it together with the back of a spoon dipped in warm water. Cover with plastic wrap and return to the freezer for at least another 4-6 hours until very firm. (At this point the cake could be frozen, well wrapped, for a week or longer!)
Pour the drained sliced sweetened strawberries into a bowl and crush with a pastry blender or a fork until the berries are all mashed up. Store in the fridge until almost ready to serve the cake.
Spread the crushed berries over the top of the cake, to within one-half inch of the edge. Serve with fresh whipped cream and crushed pineapple for those who want it!
- 20 whole Oreo Cookies
- 4 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
- 4 whole Bananas
- 1 pint Strawberry Ice Cream
- 1 pint Vanilla Ice Cream
- 1 jar (about 16 Oz. Jar) Hot Fudge Sauce
- 1 container (16 Oz. Container) Frozen Sliced Sweetened Strawberries, Thawed And Drained
- Fresh Whipped Cream, For Serving
- Crushed Pineapple, For Serving
Alice Currah is the force behind Sweet Savory Life and Everyday Alice. She and her husband Rob are the proud parents of three children: Abbi, Mimi, and Elli. Alice is the winner of Saveur’s Cover Contest and is on the Forbes.com list of Eight of The Very Best Food Bloggers. She’s the best-est.