No-Bake Banana Split Dessert



  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
  • 1 box graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 ripe bananas, sliced
  • 1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 (16 oz) container Cool Whip, thawed (or 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped)
  • 1 (4 oz) jar maraschino cherries, stemmed
  • 1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
  • Hot fudge sauce, slightly warmed
  • 1 tablespoon rainbow sprinkles


  1. In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Mix until well combined.
  2. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of a 9×13 inch glass or porcelain dish to form a crust. Place the dish in the freezer for about 10 minutes to firm up the crust.
  3. In another medium bowl, cream together the softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup softened butter, and powdered sugar until creamy and smooth, about 5 minutes. Do not add milk; the mixture will blend perfectly with time.
  4. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the cooled graham cracker crust.
  5. Arrange the sliced bananas in a single layer over the cream cheese mixture.
  6. Spread the drained crushed pineapple evenly over the banana layer.
  7. Carefully spread the Cool Whip over the pineapple layer using a rubber spatula, creating an even layer.
  8. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts or pecans over the Cool Whip layer.
  9. Garnish the dessert with the stemmed maraschino cherries, placing them evenly across the surface.
  10. Drizzle the slightly warmed hot fudge sauce over the dessert, creating a decorative pattern.
  11. Sprinkle rainbow sprinkles over the top of the dessert for a colorful finish.
  12. Chill the dessert in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before cutting to allow the layers to set.
  13. Serve chilled and enjoy the delightful flavors of this no-bake banana split dessert!

Feel free to customize this dessert by adding or substituting your favorite toppings, such as shredded coconut, chocolate chips, or caramel sauce.

Here are some helpful tips to make your No-Bake Banana Split Dessert even more delightful:

  1. Use Ripe Bananas: Make sure to use ripe bananas for the best flavor and texture. They should be yellow with a few brown spots, indicating they’re perfectly ripe and sweet.
  2. Chill Ingredients: For a firmer and more stable dessert, chill the cream cheese, Cool Whip, and even the mixing bowl before preparing the layers. This helps maintain the shape and consistency of the dessert.
  3. Layering Technique: When layering the ingredients, ensure each layer is evenly distributed and spread out to the edges of the dish for a balanced flavor in every bite.
  4. Add Fresh Fruit: Consider adding additional fresh fruits to enhance the flavor and texture. Sliced strawberries or blueberries would complement the bananas and pineapple beautifully.
  5. Experiment with Nuts: Try different types of nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, or macadamia nuts for added crunch and flavor. Toasting the nuts beforehand can also intensify their flavor.
  6. Homemade Whipped Cream: If you prefer homemade whipped cream instead of Cool Whip, whip up some heavy cream with a bit of powdered sugar and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. It adds a fresh, light flavor to the dessert.
  7. Drizzle Variations: Get creative with the drizzle on top. Instead of hot fudge sauce, try caramel sauce, chocolate ganache, or even a fruit syrup for a different flavor profile.
  8. Personalize Toppings: Customize the toppings to suit your taste preferences. Sprinkle crushed pretzels, chocolate shavings, or mini marshmallows for extra texture and visual appeal.
  9. Serve with Ice Cream: For an extra indulgent treat, serve slices of the dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. It adds a creamy contrast to the fruity and creamy layers.
  10. Make Ahead: This dessert can be made a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator until serving time. This allows the flavors to meld together even more, resulting in a more delicious dessert experience.
  11. Slice with Warm Knife: For clean and neat slices, run a knife under hot water before slicing the dessert. Wipe the knife clean between cuts for perfectly shaped slices.
  12. Enjoy Seasonally: Take advantage of seasonal fruits to vary the flavor of the dessert throughout the year. Swap out pineapple for fresh peaches in the summer or use sliced apples in the fall for a seasonal twist.

With these tips, your No-Bake Banana Split Dessert will be even more delightful and enjoyable for you and your guests!

Here are some commonly asked questions and their answers related to the No-Bake Banana Split Dessert:

  1. Can I use store-bought whipped topping instead of Cool Whip?
    • Yes, you can use store-bought whipped topping or make your own whipped cream using heavy cream. Just make sure it’s thawed or whipped to a stiff consistency before layering.
  2. How far in advance can I make this dessert?
    • You can make the No-Bake Banana Split Dessert up to 1-2 days in advance. It needs at least 4 hours to chill and set properly in the refrigerator before serving.
  3. Can I substitute any ingredients?
    • Yes, you can customize this dessert to your preferences. You can use different fruits, nuts, or even swap the graham cracker crust for a different type of cookie crust, like chocolate or vanilla wafers.
  4. How do I store leftovers?
    • Store any leftover dessert covered in the refrigerator. It will keep well for a few days, but the texture may change slightly over time as the crust softens.
  5. Can I freeze this dessert?
    • It’s not recommended to freeze the completed dessert as it may alter the texture and consistency. However, you can freeze individual layers separately if needed.
  6. What can I do if my cream cheese mixture is too thick?
    • If the cream cheese mixture is too thick, you can add a small amount of milk, cream, or even pineapple juice to thin it out to your desired consistency.
  7. Do I have to use canned pineapple, or can I use fresh pineapple?
    • You can use fresh pineapple instead of canned if you prefer. Just make sure to drain any excess juice to prevent the dessert from becoming too watery.
  8. How do I prevent the bananas from turning brown?
    • To prevent the bananas from browning, you can toss them in a mixture of lemon juice and water before layering them in the dessert. This will help preserve their color.
  9. Can I make this dessert gluten-free?
    • Yes, you can make this dessert gluten-free by using gluten-free graham crackers or another gluten-free cookie for the crust.
  10. Can I omit the nuts for allergies?
    • Yes, you can omit the nuts or substitute them with a different topping such as shredded coconut or crushed pretzels if you have nut allergies or preferences.
  11. Can I use a different type of crust?
    • Absolutely! Feel free to use a different type of crust such as an Oreo cookie crust, vanilla wafer crust, or even a gingersnap crust for a unique twist on the classic dessert.

These answers should address many common questions about making and customizing the No-Bake Banana Split Dessert to suit individual preferences and dietary needs.

Here are some secrets to achieving the perfect No-Bake Banana Split Dessert:

  1. Room Temperature Ingredients: Make sure your cream cheese and butter are at room temperature before mixing. This ensures a smooth and creamy texture for the cream cheese layer, making it easier to spread evenly over the crust.
  2. Thorough Mixing: Take your time to thoroughly mix the cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar until creamy and smooth. This will prevent any lumps and ensure a velvety texture for the cream cheese layer.
  3. Proper Layering: When layering the ingredients, spread each layer evenly and all the way to the edges of the dish. This ensures that each bite has a perfect balance of flavors and textures.
  4. Chill the Crust: After pressing the graham cracker crust into the dish, chill it in the freezer for about 10 minutes before adding the cream cheese layer. This helps the crust set and prevents it from crumbling when slicing.
  5. Even Banana Slices: Slice the bananas evenly to ensure consistent flavor and texture throughout the dessert. This also helps with presentation and ensures that each bite has a perfect balance of banana flavor.
  6. Drain the Pineapple: Make sure to drain the crushed pineapple well to remove excess liquid. This prevents the dessert from becoming too watery and ensures a firmer texture.
  7. Thick Cool Whip Layer: When spreading the Cool Whip over the pineapple layer, aim for a thick and even layer. This provides a creamy and fluffy texture that complements the other layers perfectly.
  8. Garnish with Precision: Take your time to garnish the dessert with chopped nuts, maraschino cherries, and rainbow sprinkles. Arrange them evenly and strategically for a beautiful presentation.
  9. Chill Thoroughly: Allow the dessert to chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving. This allows the layers to set properly and ensures that the flavors meld together for the best taste experience.
  10. Serve Cold: Serve the dessert cold for the most refreshing and delicious experience. The cool temperature enhances the flavors and textures of the layers.

By following these secrets, you’ll be able to create the perfect No-Bake Banana Split Dessert that’s sure to impress your family and friends!