Few things taste quite as nostalgic and familiar as a banana split, especially when eaten at the counter of your local diner. The old-fashioned dessert features big scoops of your favorite ice cream plopped onto ripe bananas, all topped with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and a maraschino cherry. This no-bake ice cream pie is everything a banana split should be, and then some. It is decadent but refreshing — perfect for a special summer celebration.
Like any good pie, this one has a good crust. It might just be me, but I always thought vanilla wafers had a hint of banana flavor to them. I knew they would pair particularly well with the fruit in this pie, so I mixed them with a bit of sugar and melted butter to make a crumbly crust. It firms up just fine in the freezer, so no need to bake it. Other cookies like graham crackers, chocolate wafers or Biscoff cookies could be used instead if you’d like.
Chocolate and strawberry ice creams take their turns layering with sliced bananas. The ice cream stays rich and luscious, while the bananas develop a pleasingly icy texture in the freezer. And it wouldn’t be a banana split without the traditional toppings – melted chocolate gets drizzled over the top and every slice gets a dollop of fluffy whipped cream and a syrupy maraschino cherry.
Note: A springform pan is the best way to make and serve this ice cream pie, but a deep-dish pie plate will work too.
Technique Tip: To smooth out the ice cream quickly, beat it for a few seconds in a stand mixer until it’s spreadable.
Swap Option: Chocolate and strawberry ice creams are classics for a banana split but use your favorite flavors. Something tells me coffee or rocky road would be particularly delicious in this pie.
In the bowl of a food processor, blend the wafer cookies until finely ground (you should have about 1 cup). Add sugar, salt and melted butter and pulse until crumbly and evenly moistened. Press the crumb mixture into an even layer over the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.2.
Let the chocolate ice cream soften at room temperature until spreadable, about 20 minutes. Spread ice cream into an even layer on top of the chilled crust. Scatter bananas over the ice cream in an even layer. Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours. Let the strawberry ice cream soften at room temperature until spreadable. Spread strawberry ice cream over the banana layer; freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.3.
Melt chocolate chips, then drizzle over the top of the pie; freeze until set, about 5 minutes. Whisk heavy cream to stiff peaks in a medium bowl, then transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe swirls of whipped cream over the top of the pie (alternatively, dollop whipped cream onto the pie with a spoon); top each dollop with a maraschino cherry.