Every year I make my famous Banana Split Cake for my Grandma’s birthday. I’ve probably made it for at least the last 15 years without missing a birthday. I have alot of other cakes that I can make. And I’ve tried to convince her to mix it up, but she always requests this one. With age comes wisdom so who am I to argue? At 88 years young she knows what she likes. There have been times when I didn’t feel like making it or I’ve felt like I didn’t have the time. But I’ve done it anyways because I know the day will eventually come when I miss making this Banana Split Cake for her every year. Happy Birthday Grandma and here’s to many, many more Banana Split cakes shared together!
Here’s all you’ll need: yellow cake mix, instant vanilla pudding, cream cheese, milk, bananas, crushed pineapple, pineapple chunks, Cool Whip, maraschino cherries, strawberries, walnuts, and chocolate.
Bake cake according to package directions. I’ve used a simple boxed yellow cake mix here. You can certainly use your favorite from scratch mix too! Sometimes I switch it up and go with a strawberry cake mix! Pick your favorite! I like to put the cream cheese near the oven warmer to soften while the cake is baking. We’ll need it in the next step.
Allow the cake to cool. While the cake is cooling, mix up the instant pudding, softened cream cheese, and milk. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes.
Once the cake has cooled completely, spread the pudding mixture over top. Be sure to cover the entire cake including the sides. The filling is delicious and also helps to keep the cake nice and moist. Grams will be loving that leftover slice on day three just as much as she did on day one!
A sturdy cake board is a good idea BTW! This cake will be HEAVY by the time we’re done! Cut 2 bananas into thin slices. Cover the top of the cake with the thinly sliced bananas. This cake looks super hard and time consuming but really the majority of it is just cutting up fruit!
Next we’re going to layer the crushed pineapple on top of the bananas. Be sure to drain the pineapples. I even go a step further and squish out any excess juice with hands.
Cover the entire cake with Cool Whip. You don’t have to be an artist to make this cake. Don’t worry about it being pretty or neat. Just cover it all up! The Cool Whip will be completely covered up by the end of this recipe. So don’t feel bad it you don’t have any cake frosting skills. You don’t need ’em for this one!
Next we’re going to slice a bunch of strawberries in half. How many you need will depend on how large your strawberries are. I like to cherry pick (or strawberry pick as my hubby pointed out) the biggest ones for this part. Push the strawberry halves into the side of the cake to create a border all the way around the outside. Then cut a few strawberries into slices and plop them on the cake. For reals. You can just toss em right on there. They’ll stick.
Now slice up some bananas and toss them on top. What would a Banana Split Cake be without bananas? Then add some pineapple chunks to that! Add the maraschino cherries as well.
Keep adding fruit until the whole cake is covered. You’ll know its done when your husband says, “you’ve gone too far this year” or “you’re just being ridiculous”. If you’re a fruit lover, this cake is for you!!
And just when you thought we were done….sprinkle with chopped walnuts. OMG!! This cake is SO extra!! Then melt chocolate (in 30 second intervals in the microwave) and drizzle over top of EVERYTHING!!! Again you don’t have to be fancy. I just take a spoonful of chocolate and kind of shake it all over the cake. You can use chocolate chips or melt up some chocolate bars. I had some leftover Merckens chocolate wafers to use up. Repeat as many times as you think is necessary. Basically the perfect bite of Banana Split Cake has a little bit of everything, strawberries, pineapple, banana, walnuts, chocolate, whipped cream and cake!
And Voila! This years masterpiece!!! The World’s Best Ever Banana Split Cake!! Be prepared to pass out the recipe to anyone and everyone that tries it. This cake is perfect for parties or to serve for a crowd.
Grandma’s favorite! Made with love!!
Banana Split Cake
- 1 package yellow cake mix
- 2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 4 ripe bananas
- 1 (20 ounce) cans crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 (20 ounce) cans pineapple chunks, drained
- 1 quart (1-2 pounds) fresh strawberries
- 1 (16 ounce) package frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 1 (8 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips or 1-2 chocolate bars
- Step 1 Bake cake according to package directions. Allow the cake to cool completely before decorating.
- Step 2 In a medium bowl, mix the instant pudding, softened cream cheese, and milk. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Spread pudding mixture over the entire cake.
- Step 3 Cut 2 bananas into thin slices. Top the cake with banana slices.
- Step 4 Drain the crushed pineapple. Squeeze out any excess juice. Layer crushed pineapple over banana slices.
- Step 5 Cover the cake completely with Cool Whip. Slice strawberries in half. Push the strawberry halves into the side of the cake to form a border around the cake.
- Step 6 Slice additional strawberries and bananas. Press them into top of cake. Add pineapple chunks and maraschino cherries. Continue to add fruit until the cake is completely covered.
- Step 7 Sprinkle with walnuts. Melt chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals. Drizzle cake with melted chocolate. Enjoy!!
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