Sure, you could eat a banana split in the usual way. Or, you could cake—er, shake—things up and serve it as a cake. And judging by the title of the recipe, I think you can probably tell which method I am going to suggest.
Banana Split Ice Cream Cake is a wonderful way to enjoy all of the classic flavors of a banana split, but in ice cream cake form. Plus, assembling the ice cream with dividing levels of crumbled chocolate cake or cookies and a layer of banana slices makes for a pretty presentation. The dessert is assembled and then frozen, which allows the flavors to meld and lends a nice banana tone to the whole dessert once you're ready to eat it.
Of course, while topping it with hot fudge, whipped cream, nuts, and a cherry isn't necessary, it's highly suggested. Why stop at simple pleasure when you can experience pleasure overload?
Note: You have some freedom in terms of the ice cream flavors used in this recipe. While I went for the classic vanilla-chocolate-strawberry combo, feel free to tailor the flavors to suit your tastes.
- Yield:serves 8
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:3 hours 20 minutes (includes chilling)
- 1 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) chocolate ice cream, softened
- 2 1/2 cups (about 16 ounces) cookie or cake crumbs (chocolate preferred)
- 1 cup (about 5 ounces) vanilla ice cream, softened
- 1 cup (about 5 ounces) strawberry ice cream, softened
- 2 medium ripe bananas, sliced into 1/4-inch coins
- 1/2 cup hot fudge sauce
- whipped cream, nuts, and a maraschino cherry for garnish (optional)
Line a 9-inch cake or pie plate with plastic wrap, ensuring that once pressed into the pan, the plastic wrap extends out of the plate—this will make removal much easier later.
Put the chocolate ice cream in the pan. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, spread the ice cream so that it forms an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Cover the chocolate ice cream layer with 1/3 of cookie crumbs.
Spread vanilla ice cream over crumbs. Spread with another third of crumbs. Lay the banana slices on top of this crumb layer, making an even layer all across the pan.
Spread strawberry ice cream over bananas, then top with remaining crumbs. Let chill for at least 3 hours, or overnight
When you're ready to serve, remove the pan from the freezer. If you gently tug on the plastic wrap and then turn the pan over, it should come out on a serving plate fairly easily; if not, run a butter knife under hot water and gently run it along the inside of the pan (outside of the plastic wrap). Place a plate on top, then turn together with pan to release.
Directly before serving, spoon the hot fudge on top of the cake, and top it with whipped cream and nuts, and, if desired, a maraschino cherry on top.