No Bake Banana Split Cake taste just like a banana split! With banana pudding, strawberry topping, pineapple, and chocolate sauce it’ll be a new family favorite!
As the weather heats up, who really wants to bake something in the kitchen? Seriously. Can you see yourself turning the oven on to make a cake when it’s 90 plus outside? Oh, and did I mention that the 90 plus heat includes ad heat index of over 100? Yeah. I didn’t think you’d want to turn the oven on either. Heck, I’m just sweating thinking about it.
I looked into the history of icebox cakes. It’s sort of short without much controversy. It mimics the trifle and charlotte. Both are delicious no bake desserts. It gained popularity through the 20’s and 30’s when convenience products started popping up. They were modern and trendy because they used box pudding and store bought sponge cake or ladyfingers.
The graham cracker version didn’t start until Ernestine Emanuel snacked on some graham crackers and pudding in New Jersey. She loved the combination so much she created the iconic icebox cake we know today. It’s typically graham crackers layered with pudding; both vanilla and or chocolate. Sometimes there’s banana, like I used. And sometimes there’s sliced bananas and pineapple. I used the latter.
That’s about it as far as the history of this epic no bake cake goes.
Smart marketing by the manufacturers of the ingredients made this spread throughout every home. They had a recipe on the back of their package for this no bake cake. If the lady of the house purchased some sweetened condensed milk, boom! Recipe for icebox cake. Need some whipped topping? Recipe on the back. It’s amazing how marketing as truly shaped…everything!
I could on and on about history and the emergence of popular products. I wrote a similar paper for my thesis. In chatting with a friend the other day, I searched for it at the university online library. Her son is thinking about going to the same school and was asking questions about it. That’s what prompted me to look for it.
Anyway. This isn’t about me or my thesis. It’s about this no bake banana split cake. Now, I’ve only made one before this one. It was a strawberry one. It was so good and super simple to make. When the theme of no bake cakes showed up, I thought I’d try making another one.
Initially I was going down the road of a banana pudding version but switched to a banana split version. I’ve been craving a good banana split lately. I don’t know why. The craving has just been popping up every now and then. Like my weird craving for bologna. No. I’m not pregnant. That truly would be an immaculate conception!
This no bake banana split cake comes together easily after you make the pudding. And, well, the pudding isn’t difficult to make either. It just needs to refrigerate before you can spread it on the graham crackers. Then it’s simple as layer, spread, layer, spread, sprinkle, layer, spread, dot and swirl, and drizzle. Okay. That kind of sounds time consuming, but it really isn’t. I whipped this bad boy up in about 5 minutes.
So, not only is it a no bake banana split cake, but it’s also one that gets you back in the pool playing with your kids in no time. No pool? Then kick it old school like we did and set a simpler up. You know the kind, right? The ones that go about 6 or 8 feet tall and have go back and forth. I know, it’s not as fun as a pool, but when it’s hotter than Hades’ you know what you’ll do anything to cool off.
When we first moved here, oh so many years ago, the pool wasn’t up and running yet. It was a new development and there was construction still going on. That’s when we’d kick it in the back yard with that sprinkler. Just running back and forth and jumping over it. Water balloon fights were also popular. And then there’s the straight up hose fights. I’m not so sure most of the kids now will even understand or appreciate the simplicity with which we grew up.
But I know you will appreciate the simplicity of this no bake banana split cake. I know I listed a bunch of layering and spreading earlier in this post. Don’t let that fool you. The hardest part will be to get the pudding over the first layer of crackers. After that, everything is a piece of cake.
For that first layer, I dropped spoonfuls of the pudding onto the crackers. Then I found it easiest to hold the crackers as I spread the pudding over each layer. Once they were all covered, it was easy to spread the pudding evenly over the crackers.
I pressed the next layer of crackers into the pudding mixture. This is to ensure that the crackers get surrounded by the pudding on the bottom and the whipping topping on top. It will also make sure that the crackers absorb moisture and become more cake like. This is where the cake part comes from the no bake or icebox cake recipe.
Y’all knew that right?
The reason it’s a “cake” is the crackers absorb the surrounding ingredients and become cake like in texture. I didn’t believe it either until I made my first one. The crackers don’t exactly taste like cake nor do they have the texture of cake. But they do soften and have this rich texture that’s delicious. And no, they’re not just soggy.
So, this version only has one package of pudding in it. I’ve since double for the recipe. There wasn’t enough of the pudding in the first layer to suit me. I wanted more! And that whole idea about a banana pudding version is still on the brain. These no bake icebox cakes are so easy and so versatile.
You can easily make them with any graham crackers (or lady fingers), any pudding or custard, and any fruits and toppings. Chocolate pudding, peanut butter fluff, and a drizzle of melted peanut butter on top. Dark chocolate pudding, cherries in the middle and cherries with chocolate shavings on top.
The possibilities are almost endless!
This week it all about the no bake desserts. Make sure to scroll past the recipe to see what the other bloggers whipping up for this event.
- 7 ounces instant banana cream pudding
- 3 cups milk
- 14.4 ounces honey graham crackers
- 20 ounces pineapple tidbits in juice, drained
- 8 ounces whipped topping
- 11.75 ounces strawberry topping
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans, but you can use walnuts, peanuts, cashews, your choice)
- 2 ounces dark chocolate syrup
- Combine the pudding mix with the milk. Stir with a whisk until the pudding mix is dissolved and the pudding begins to set.
- Cover with plastic wrap making sure to place the wrap on top of the pudding to keep a skin from forming.
- Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
- Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with one layer of graham crackers.
- Spread the banana pudding on top of the graham crackers.
- Top with another layer of graham crackers.
- Spread half of the whipped topping on top of the graham crackers.
- Sprinkle the pineapple tidbits over the whipped topping.
- Top with a final layer of graham crackers.
- Spread with remaining whipping topping.
- Dot with the strawberry topping. Using the back of a spoon, spread the strawberry topping into the whipping topping making a swirled effect.
- Sprinkle with the nuts before drizzling with chocolate syrup.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Slice, top with a maraschino cherry and serve.
- Store leftovers (if there are any) up to three days in the refrigerator.
No Bake Dessert Recipes
- Banana Split No Bake Ice Box Cake by Our Good Life
- Chocolate Dream Pie by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Fried Ice Cream Cake by Cheese Curd In Paradise
- Key Lime Yogurt Pie by Art of Natural Living
- Maple Chocolate Fudge by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- No Bake Banana Split Cake by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Peppermint Crisp Tart by Pandemonium Noshery
- S’mores No Bake Cake by The Freshman Cook
opener noreferrer”>No Bake Grasshopper Parfaits by Family Around the Table