No-Bake Banana Split Dessert
Memorial Day weekend is here and it’s the unofficial start to summer! The summer parties are about to kick into high gear and I’m always looking for new party-friendly dishes.
The banana split is one of my favorite ice cream treats this time of year and I’ve given it a fun party twist and is melt-free! It’s so simple and best of all, no-bake!
I wasn’t really sure what to call this. It’s not a cake, and it’s not really pie either so I’m just going with “dessert”. I know, so original, but I think it works.
This dessert starts out with a graham cracker crust. Then, comes the delicious creamy layer which is made with cream cheese and Cool Whip. Now, before everybody freaks out, yes, I know, Cool Whip is the root of all evil in this world. I have great news though, you don’t have to use it if you prefer not to! You can also use homemade whipped cream.
I’ve provided the directions for both below. Just note that Cool Whip is a bit more stable which makes it easier to get clean slices. However, whipped cream also works just fine, it may just be easier to spoon out if you can’t slice it.
After the whipped cream mixture, I just arranged banana slices and crushed pineapple, topped it with more whipped cream and into the fridge it goes to chill and firm up!
I made this dessert the night before I planned to serve it. You may be wondering if the bananas will turn brown and I can promise you that once they are covered with the pineapple and whipped cream, they do not brown so you can make this a day in advance. Once you do slice into it though and air hits the bananas, they will start to brown so this dessert is best eaten within 2 days or so!
I garnished the dessert with chopped walnuts, maraschino cherries, and a little drizzle of chocolate syrup. I don’t like to add too much of the chocolate syrup as the flavor can be a bit overpowering so I recommend letting people add their own or just drizzling a small amount.
No-Bake Banana Split Dessert
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
- 1 (8-ounce) block plain cream cheese
- 16 ounces Cool Whip, thawed, divided (or 4 cups heavy whipping cream)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
- 4 bananas, sliced
- Toppings: chopped walnuts, maraschino cherries, chocolate syrup, sprinkles, etc.
- Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick spray. In a bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Pour the mixture into the baking dish and spread into an even layer, pressing down to set into place. Place the dish in the fridge.
- If you are using Cool Whip: Add 8 ounces of the Cool Whip and cream cheese to a mixing bowl and beat until fluffy and combined. Beat in the vanilla and powdered sugar.
- If you are making homemade whipped cream: Pour the whipping cream to a bowl and beat until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. Spoon out about 2 cups of the whipped cream and set aside. Add the cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar with the remaining whipped cream and mix until just combined.
- Take the baking dish out of the fridge. Spread the Cool Whip/whipped cream mixture on top of the graham cracker crust evenly. Arrange banana slices in a single layer on top, pressing down gently. Then spread the crushed pineapple on top of the banana slices.
- Spoon the remaining Cool Whip or whipped cream on top and spread with a knife to cover the bananas and pineapple. Cover with foil and chill for at least 4 hours. Before serving, garnish with chopped walnuts, maraschino cherries, chocolate syrup, or sprinkles. Slice and serve. The dessert is best eaten within 2-3 days.