This Banana Split Cake is an easy dessert made with banana pudding, cream cheese, bananas, strawberries, pineapple, and whipped topping layered on a graham cracker crust. Top it off with some chocolate sauce, sprinkles, and cherries for the ultimate banana split dessert.
Easy Banana Split Cake – No Baking Required!
There’s nothing quite like a banana split sundae to satisfy a sweet tooth, so we took it as inspiration to make what will likely be your new favorite no-bake cake: Banana Split Cake.
This banana split dessert begins with a simple graham cracker crust, which is topped with layers of cream cheese and whipped topping, banana pudding, sliced bananas and strawberries, and crushed pineapple. I like to finish it off with your classic banana split toppings – chocolate sauce, sprinkles, and cherries.
I love to serve this in the summer as it’s simple to put together and always a hit. Plus it’s a great cooking project to involve the kids with, since no oven is required.
If you love this cake, don’t miss our Neapolitan Cake – a decadent dessert with all the great banana split flavors!
Why You’ll Love This Banana Cake Recipe
Here are a few reasons why this no bake dessert will quickly become a family favorite.
- Perfect for summer. Made with fresh fruit, sweet pudding, and tangy cream cheese, this banana split cake is perfect for those hot summer days.
- No baking required. The best part of this banana split cake? You don’t need to turn on the oven – or the stove!
- All the flavors of a banana split. With strawberries, bananas, and pineapple layered in the cake and chocolate sauce, cherries, and sprinkles on top, this no bake banana split cake has all the great flavors of the original dessert.
Here’s what you’ll need to make Banana Split Cake (the exact measurements and full recipe instructions are below in the easy to print recipe card):
- Graham cracker crumbs – To make things easy, you can buy pre-made graham cracker crumbs in the baking aisle of your grocery store with the ready-to-use graham cracker pie crusts. If you prefer to make the crumbs yourself, just pulse graham crackers in a food processor until they become fine crumbs.
- Butter – We used regular salted butter, but unsalted works as well.
- Granulated sugar
- Cream cheese – The best cream cheese to use for this recipe is full-fat block cream cheese. The cream cheese in the tub tends to be too soft.
- Vanilla extract
- Cool Whip – A generic store brand works fine too.
- Bananas & strawberries – Classic banana split toppings! Fresh fruit works best.
- Crushed pineapple – Be sure to drain the pineapple very well so the juices don’t make the cake soggy.
- Instant banana cream pudding mix – If you can’t find banana pudding, vanilla works well, but this does take away from the overall banana flavor of the cake.
- Milk – Make sure the milk is very cold as this helps the pudding thicken.
- Toppings – Chocolate syrup, maraschino cherries, and rainbow sprinkles are our go-to’s.
How to Make Banana Split Cake
Preparing this banana split dessert is quick and easy. Just be sure to allow plenty of time for it to chill before diving in!
- Make the graham cracker crust. Combine the graham crackers with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup melted butter. Press into a greased pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Prepare the cream cheese layer. Beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy, then gently fold in the whipped topping.
- Make the pudding layer. Whisk together the pudding mix and cold milk until well combined. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to thicken.
- Assemble the banana split cake. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the crust, then top with a layer of sliced bananas and a layer of sliced strawberries. Spread the drained pineapple evenly over the fruit. Add the pudding over the pineapple then spread a container of Cool Whip over the pudding.
- Chill. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- Add the toppings. Before serving, add the chocolate sauce, maraschino cherries, and sprinkles. Enjoy!
Tips for Success
Here are a few important things to keep in mind when making this easy banana split cake.
- Use INSTANT pudding. Make sure you grab instant banana pudding, not the cook and serve type, as it won’t work in this recipe.
- Press the crust firmly into the pan. Be sure to tightly pack the graham cracker crust into the pan. Otherwise, it will crumble easily when you slice the cake.
- Drain the pineapple well. Be sure to drain the crushed pineapple really well, to prevent the juices from running into the rest of the cake.
- Prepare this well in advance. While the directions say to let this banana split cake chill for at least 3 hours, I definitely recommend giving it a bit longer – overnight if you can.
Banana Split Cake Topping Ideas
We love how maraschino cherries, chocolate sauce, and sprinkles really make this cake look like a banana split, but there are so many topping options! Here are some you may want to try:
- Caramel sauce
- Hot fudge sauce. But be sure it’s been cooled down or it will melt the Cool Whip.
- Chocolate sprinkles
- Chopped nuts. Peanuts or pecans are delicious on this cake!
- Fruit. Fresh cherries, bananas, strawberries, or pineapple slices
- Whipped cream
How to Store Leftover Cake
- Fridge. Keep any leftover Banana Split Cake covered with plastic and refrigerated for up to five days. Note that the bananas may begin to brown after 3 days or so.
- Freeze. I do not recommend freezing this cake.
More Easy Dessert Ideas
- No Bake Orange Cheesecake
- No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies
- Peanut Butter Pie
- Chocolate Lasagna
- No Bake Raspberry Cheesecake
Banana Split Cake
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- ½ cup butter melted
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
Cream Cheese Layer
- 12 ounces cream cheese softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounce tub Cool Whip thawed
- 3 bananas sliced
- 12 strawberries
- 20 ounce can crushed pineapple drained well
- 2 boxes 3.4-ounce each instant banana cream pudding mix
- 2 cups cold milk
For the Graham Cracker Crust:
- Coat a 13×9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, ¼ cup granulated sugar, and 1/2 cup melted butter; mix until well combined then press the crumbs evenly into the prepared pan. Refrigerate the crust for 30 minutes, or until set.
For the Cream Cheese Layer:
- In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth.
- Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat until smooth and creamy.
- Gently fold in the Cool Whip until combined.
- Set the cream cheese filling aside until you’re ready to assemble the cake.
For the Pudding Layer:
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pudding mix and cold milk until well combined. Refrigerate for 10 minutes until the pudding has thickened.
To Assemble the Cake:
- Remove the pan with the graham cracker crust from the refrigerator and spread the cream cheese layer evenly over the crust.
- Arrange the sliced bananas on top of the cream cheese layer, followed by a layer of sliced strawberries. Spread the drained crushed pineapple evenly over the fruit.
- Spread pudding evenly over the pineapple.
- Evenly spread one container of Cool Whip over top of the pudding layer.
- Chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Add chocolate sauce, maraschino cherries, and sprinkles to the top of the cake as garnish.