Old-fashioned banana splits! This 3-scoop ice cream sundae is topped with crushed pineapple, chocolate syrup, crunchy walnuts, and more. It’s easy to see why it’s an American classic!

Wondering how to make an old-fashioned banana split? Let’s do it! Read on for my tips on making a classic banana split that everyone will love.

A banana split on a table with a hand pouring chocolate syrup on top


 

When is the last time you had an old-fashioned banana split sundae? If it’s been a while, I highly recommend dropping what you’re doing to make this classic dessert!

There’s something so nostalgic and satisfying about a giant sundae topped with all manner of toppings. This ice cream parlor classic wouldn’t be complete without crushed pineapple, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and a cherry on top.

Eating a banana split honestly makes me feel like a kid again — and who doesn’t love that feeling?

These classic banana splits would make such a fun dessert at a kid’s birthday party, family dinner, or summer barbeque. Set out all the toppings and let everyone go to town at the banana split bar.

Dessert doesn’t get any easier (or more fun!) than this!

Table of Contents

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Bursting with flavors and textures
  • Easy to make
  • Perfect for parties
  • Customize with your favorite toppings
  • Classic American dessert

You also might like these recipes for gluten-free ice cream cake, peanut butter bars, dairy-free caramel sauce and gluten-free banana pudding.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here’s what you’ll need to make this tasty banana split sundae:

Banana split ingredients on a countertop
  • Banana: Every great banana sundae starts with a good banana! Make sure to pick one that is ripe and firm. We don’t want our bananas falling apart!
  • Ice cream: A classic banana split has three types of ice cream: vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. That’s what I’m using in this recipe, but you could use any flavor of ice cream that you like!
  • Strawberry compote: If you don’t have any homemade strawberry compote on hand, store-bought strawberry sauce will work too.
  • Crushed pineapple: You can buy crushed pineapple in a can (I like Dole brand!), or use fresh pineapple, if you prefer. You can also substitute it with another type of fruit compote or sauce.
  • Chocolate sauce: Homemade hot fudge sauce tastes amazing here, but you can also use storebought chocolate fudge or Hershey’s chocolate syrup. Or switch it up and use caramel sauce, marshmallow sauce — whatever you want!
  • Walnuts: Chopped walnuts add a bit of crunch to the split. I love the added texture! You could use any nuts you like, including pecans, almonds, peanuts, etc.
  • Whipped cream: Whipped cream is a classic ice cream topping! I love the texture of freshly whipped cream, but of course, store-bought will work too.
  • Cherry: Maraschino cherries add a fun pop of color to garnish the banana split. 

You also might like these recipes for raspberry compoteblueberry compote and apple compote. Check out this full post on how to make fruit compote!

How to Make a Banana Split

Banana slices in a dish
  • Place the split banana in your desired bowl, leaving a space in the middle for your ice cream. 

For more banana recipes, try these banana pancakes, gluten-free banana bread, gluten-free banana cake and gluten-free banana muffinsn.

Three ice cream scoops and banana slices in a dish
  • Place the vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream in a line between the banana halves. 
Banana split in a dish
  • Top the vanilla ice cream with crushed pineapple. Top the chocolate ice cream with chocolate syrup. Top the strawberry ice cream with strawberry compote. 

If you like pineapple you also might like this pineapple dump cake or banana pudding for a crowd. You also might like this cherry delight dessert.

Banana split in a dish with a cherry on top
  • Sprinkle over the chopped walnuts. Add a swirl of whipped cream and garnish with a maraschino cherry. Enjoy immediately. 

Love brownies and ice cream? Try these gluten-free brownies!

Storage Instructions

Banana splits are best enjoyed immediately after preparing. If you have leftover ice cream or toppings, I recommend storing them individually and then preparing a fresh banana split whenever the craving strikes!

A side view of a banana split on a table

FAQs

What is a traditional banana split made of?

A traditional banana split starts with a layer of banana slices (cut length-wise), followed by three scoops of ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry). The sundae is then topped with crushed pineapple, strawberry compote, chocolate syrup, nuts, whipped cream, and a cherry.

Are banana splits an American thing?

Yes, banana splits were invented in America in 1904 — though they can be found in other countries today. The unique sundae was invented by pharmacist David Evans Strickler at Tassell Pharmacy in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. The dessert quickly caught on in bigger cities like Philadelphia and Atlantic City, and is considered a classic American treat to this day.

How do you cut bananas for banana splits?

For a traditional banana split, bananas should be peeled and then cut in half lengthwise with a sharp knife. The long slices are then placed in a boat-shaped dish and topped with ice cream, sauce, and nuts. But of course, you can cut banana slices into round circles if you prefer.

Banana split in a dish with a hand touching the dish

Expert Tips & Tricks

  • Use a ripe and firm banana: Every great banana split ice cream sundae starts with a good banana! Make sure to pick one that is ripe and firm. Avoid bananas that are too brown or too green. Otherwise, your banana will fall apart or won’t be sweet enough!
  • Choose your favorite ice cream: An old-fashioned banana split has three types of ice cream– vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. But you could use any flavor of ice cream that you like! Rocky Road, cookie dough, or cookies and cream would all be delicious!
  • Get creative with toppings: You’re welcome to get creative with your homemade banana split and add any of your favorite toppings. Caramel, marshmallow, or peanut butter sauce would taste amazing! You can also swap out the nuts and use other crunchy toppings like granola, cereal, mini chocolate chips, coconut shreds, etc.

For another frozen treat, try this mocha milkshake!

MORE RECIPES TO TRY

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you try this banana split dessert, be sure to leave me a comment/rating below. I’d love to hear from you! 

A side view of a banana split on a table
No ratings yet

Old-Fashioned Banana Split (Easy Recipe!)

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Old-fashioned banana splits! This 3-scoop ice cream sundae is topped with crushed pineapple, chocolate syrup, crunchy walnuts, and more. It’s easy to see why it’s an American classic!

Ingredients

  • 1 large banana sliced in half lengthwise
  • 2 scoops approximately ¼ cup each vanilla ice cream
  • 2 scoops strawberry ice cream
  • 2 scoops chocolate ice cream
  • 2 tablespoons crushed pineapple drained well
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry compote
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup whipped cream
  • 1 maraschino cherry

Instructions 

  • Place the banana in your desired bowl, leaving a space in the middle for your ice cream.
  • Place the vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream in a line between the banana halves.
  • Top the vanilla ice cream with crushed pineapple. Top the chocolate ice cream with chocolate syrup. Top the strawberry ice cream with strawberry compote.
  • Sprinkle over the chopped walnuts. Add a swirl of whipped cream and garnish with a maraschino cherry. Enjoy immediately.

Notes

RECIPE NOTES
  • Use a ripe and firm banana: Every great banana split ice cream sundae starts with a good banana! Make sure to pick one that is ripe and firm. Avoid bananas that are too brown or too green. Otherwise, your banana will fall apart or won’t be sweet enough!
  • Choose your favorite ice cream: An old-fashioned banana split has three types of ice cream– vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. But you could use any flavor of ice cream that you like! Rocky Road, cookie dough, or cookies and cream would all be delicious!
  • Get creative with toppings: You’re welcome to get creative with your homemade banana split and add any of your favorite toppings. Caramel, marshmallow, or peanut butter sauce would taste amazing! You can also swap out the nuts and use other crunchy toppings like granola, cereal, mini chocolate chips, coconut shreds, etc.

Nutrition

Calories: 247kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 23mg | Potassium: 331mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 107IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Categories:

Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

You may also like

image for website to buy cookies cookbook

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating