The Perfect Banana Split

The perfect banana split in a dish

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 15 mins
Serving: 1 to 2 servings
Yield: 1 banana split
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
962 Calories
46g Fat
130g Carbs
16g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 to 2
Amount per serving
Calories 962
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 46g 58%
Saturated Fat 20g 102%
Cholesterol 108mg 36%
Sodium 265mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 130g 47%
Dietary Fiber 8g 27%
Total Sugars 87g
Protein 16g
Vitamin C 22mg 112%
Calcium 374mg 29%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 1084mg 23%
*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, using your favorite ice cream flavors (as long as they go nicely together) and switching out the toppings to make the dessert your own.


Click Play to See This Classic Banana Split Come Together


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Perfect banana split ingredients gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  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 lengthwise and placed in a narrow dish

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Place the scoops of ice cream in a row between the banana slices.

    Scoop of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream between banana slices

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Squirt the chocolate syrup on the vanilla and strawberry ice cream.

    Chocolate syrup on vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream and bananas

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Spoon the marshmallow creme over the chocolate ice cream.

    Marshmallow creme drizzled over the chocolate ice cream in a banana split

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  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 Eats / Julia Hartbeck

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'd like to set up a banana split bar, 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.