The Perfect Banana Split

Perfect Banana Split
The Spruce
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 15 mins
Serving: 1 to 2 servings
Yield: 1 banana split
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
461 Calories
24g Fat
57g Carbs
6g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 to 2
Amount per serving
Calories 461
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 15g 74%
Cholesterol 3mg 1%
Sodium 26mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 57g 21%
Dietary Fiber 9g 31%
Protein 6g
Calcium 68mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A classic banana split is a combination of vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate ice cream served with a banana cut lengthwise and toppings like chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and maraschino cherries. It was named as such because the banana is split in half and then the ice cream is nestled between the two pieces. You can tweak the original formula according to your tastes. Use your favorite ice cream flavors (as long as they go nicely together) and switch out the toppings to make the dessert your own.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for making a banana split
     The Spruce
  2. Peel the banana and slice it in half lengthwise. Place the banana slices against the sides of a long, narrow, shallow dish.

    Banana sliced and placed in a narrow dish
    The Spruce
  3. Place the scoops of ice cream in a row between the banana slices.

    Three scoops of ice cream between banana slices
     The Spruce
  4. Squirt the chocolate syrup on the vanilla and strawberry ice cream.

    Chocolate syrup on vanilla and strawberry ice cream
    The Spruce
  5. Spoon the marshmallow creme over the chocolate ice cream.

    Marshmallow creme drizzled over the chocolate ice cream
    The Spruce
  6. Top everything with the whipped cream. Sprinkle it all with nuts and top each mound of ice cream with a cherry.

    Banana split topped with whipped cream, nuts, and cherries
    The Spruce

Recipe Variations

  • Swap one or more of the ice cream flavors for any of your favorites, like pistachio, cookies and cream, or cherry ice cream.
  • Try different syrups like butterscotch, caramel, or strawberry sauce.
  • A variety of chopped, toasted nuts like peanuts, pecans, almonds, or pistachios are delicious sprinkled on top.
  • Add other toppings like toasted coconut or sprinkles.


  • The long, narrow banana dishes can be found in your local grocery or home goods store, but if you don't have this specific shaped dish you can use a large bowl and cut the bananas as needed to fit. It will not be the traditional presentation but will be just as delicious.
  • If you're having a party or feeding a crowd, arrange all of the ingredients on a table or buffet in the order they are used, starting with the dishes and ending with the spoons. Let everyone make their own banana split for a fun, interactive dessert.

Who Invented the Banana Split?

A 23-year-old pharmacist apprentice named David Evans Strickler is credited with inventing the banana triple ice cream sundae in 1904. Back then, this was a high-priced dessert costing 10 cents, or twice the price of other ice cream sundaes where Strickler worked at the Tassel Pharmacy, in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. The price didn't deter customers, though, and the treat became popular throughout the country.

In 2004, the 100th anniversary of the city of Latrobe celebrated the invention of the banana split. That year, the National Ice Cream Retailers Association (NICRA) dubbed this Pennsylvania city as the banana split birthplace.