Saturday, August 23, 2008

Banana Split Cake

Banana Split Cake

Dorcas Annette Walker

Right in the middle of a hot summer afternoon, when I take a break from my tasks, I sometimes eat a small bowl of sherbet or ice cream. I don’t consider myself to be an adventurous ice cream eater. In fact, when dating, I didn’t share my husband’s enthusiasm for banana splits. I usually did good to eat half of the enormous confection and I was not at all enamored of eating different flavors of ice cream and toppings all mixed up together. So it was quite ironic when expecting my first child that I had an insatiable craving for banana splits. My husband on the other hand thought he had reached paradise every week when we stopped to buy a banana split. Not only did I crave banana splits, eat every bite of mine, but I also finished up half of my sister’s split whenever she was with us. My hormones were definitely mixed up big time as I have never craved nor desired to eat a banana split since.

There is controversy over who actually created the first banana split as there is no definite proof or documentation. It is possible that the invention occurred close to the same time. Latrobe, Pennsylvania claims that in 1904 a young drugstore employee concocted the first banana split while Wilmington, Ohio declares that in 1907 a restaurant owner created the first banana split and every year holds an annual Banana Split Festival. The banana split was also showcased at a Boston convention at the National Association of Retail Druggists in 1905 by the chief dispenser at the Butler’s Department Store in Boston. Charles Walgreen adopted the banana split as a signature dessert in his chain of restaurants, which spread the popularity of banana splits. An article states in a Soda Fountain magazine: “among all the beverages dispensed here, none was more novel with the ladies than the banana split.” The Ben and Jerry’s premium ice cream company also offered a Banana Split flavor. 2004 marked the 100th anniversary of the invention of the banana split.

The banana split is a deluxe form of an ice cream sundae traditionally formed by a whole banana being peeled and then split in half with scoops of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream placed on top. There are different toppings associated with banana splits, but a traditional banana split is finished with a dollop of whipped cream, chopped nuts, and a maraschino cherry. Its classic form is then served in a long dish called a “boat”.

My Banana Split Cake has evolved from different recipes that I have tried and is more of a pudding dessert than a cake in texture. Although sweet in nature, the graham cracker crust and cream cheese layer helps to balance this mouth-watering dessert. While you can experiment with different toppings I have kept true to the traditional banana split topping by garnishing my Banana Split Cake with chocolate, nuts, cool whip, and a maraschino cherry. The Banana Split Cake makes a colorful dessert that will capture everyone’s attention. Preparation time for the Banana Split Cake takes only fifteen minutes and this recipe serves twenty.

Banana Split Cake

Layer graham crackers in the bottom of a 9 x 13 dish.
Beat on high until smooth:
2 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
1 c sugar
½ container of (16 oz) cool whip
Spread on graham crackers.

Then layer:
1 (20 oz) can of crushed pineapple (drained)
3 bananas (peeled and sliced)

Mix together in a medium bowl:
2 (3.4 oz) pkg of instant vanilla pudding
2 c milk
Then add:
½ container of (16 oz) cool whip
Layer over bananas and pineapple. Cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight. Garnish each serving with chocolate syrup, nuts, cool whip, and a maraschino cherry!

Weekly tip: Peel a banana from the bottom to avoid the clinging strings. For longer shelf life, break apart your bananas at the stem and store in a dark place!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, syndicated columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: For more recipes check out her Creative Mountain Cookin page at:


Kat said...

Thanks for sharing all your wonderful yummy desserts. I really enjoy and look forward to reading your column in the Herald each week.

Dorcas Annette Walker said...

Thanks, Kat!
Your kind comments about my Creative Mountain Cookin recipes made my day!
Have a great day on your end & Happy Cookin!
See you-

Anonymous said...

That is interesting but do you know who invented the banana split cake?

Dorcas Annette Walker said...

No, I've not been able to run down who invented the Banana Split Cake.

oneordinaryday said...

My mom and I have been talking about this cake. Thanks for the post.