Banana Split Icebox Cake – Nance & Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Banana Split Icebox Cake, found over at The Girl Who Ate Everything. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was my choice, and I chose it because I knew if I chose another damn BAKING recipe, Nance was going to give me shit. So as I was casting around wildly for a light NON-BAKING, NON-COOKING recipe, I ran across this post about 10 No-Bake Desserts. I looked through them – and they all look good – but then I saw the Banana Split Icebox Cake, and I was all “Ooh! That looks yummy!”, glanced at the recipe to make sure it didn’t contain any weird ingredients, and sent the link to Nance for her approval.

Then came time to make it, and my freakin’ bananas weren’t ripe yet so I had to put it off ’til the next day. THEN OF COURSE THEY WERE OVER-RIPE. Bananas go from completely green to having brown spots in the space of ten minutes, I swear. So the morning came, and I was gathering my ingredients, and I actually READ THROUGH the recipe and found that once it was assembled it needed to sit in the fridge for 8 hours.

I think we need to start putting warnings at the top of these posts. Warning: Has to sit in the fridge for 8 hours, then you STILL have to make the chocolate drizzle and drizzle it, FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST. Now, I am well aware that it’s my own stupid fault for not reading the recipe before I sent it off to Nance for approval, but what fun is that? What would I have to bitch about? MUCH more fun this way, of course.


Banana Split Icebox Cake (1)

Cool Whip, sour cream, instant vanilla pudding mix, graham crackers, strawberries, bananas.

It was when I opened my can of pineapple to drain it that I realized instead of buying crushed pineapple, I’d bought pineapple tidbits.

Banana Split Icebox Cake (2)

There was a little swearing on my part, but whatcha gonna do? No way I’m going back to the store for pineapple when I HAD pineapple. So I dumped it into a cup and used my stick blender thingy (what the hell is it called? Immersion blender, maybe?) to “crush” the pineapple.

Banana Split Icebox Cake (3)

Only instead of “crushing” it, I more “pureed” it, but OH WELL.

Throw the Cool Whip, sour cream, vanilla pudding mix into a bowl.

Banana Split Icebox Cake (4)

Mix it all up, then fold in the pineapple.

Banana Split Icebox Cake (5)

You should probably take a couple of bites to make sure it tastes okay. Best to be safe, am I right?

Then dump all that stuff into a big Ziploc bag (I used the gallon size) and snip a corner of the bag. Place four graham crackers, side by side (to make a big rectangle) in a baking dish or on a serving plate, and then pipe out about a cup of the Cool Whip mixture.

Banana Split Icebox Cake (6)

This is the point where I said “I cannot eyeball “about” 1 cup, and also, I think I cut too big a hole in the corner of this stupid bag.” So I smoothed what I’d piped out across all the graham crackers, and then measured the amount of filling for each layer rather than eyeballing it. I’m picky that way. Also, I don’t like the word “about” in recipes. I need some firm guidelines, damnit.

Banana Split Icebox Cake (8)

Then I was to put  1/4 cup of banana slices on top of the filling. Only banana slices stick to measuring cups, which annoys me, so I just slapped down banana slices willy-nilly.

Banana Split Icebox Cake (9)

When I got further along in the layering, I realized that if I used that much banana on each layer, I’d probably end up using like 5 bananas. Which, in retrospect, would have been fine (we both like bananas), but I wanted to have leftover bananas from the bunch to make banana bread later this week, so I was stingy with the banana slices toward the upper layers.

Banana Split Icebox Cake (10)

What I’d recommend you do, before you start the whole layering thing, is put 24 graham crackers to the side and do the layering thusly: graham crackers, filling, bananas, graham crackers, filling, bananas, and repeat until you’re out of graham crackers, whereupon you put the last layer of filling and then bananas, and you’re done. (It sounds confusing when I put it that way, but it makes sense to ME.)

Then I slapped some plastic wrap over the whole kit and caboodle, and wandered off.

8 hours later, Fred said “Are we ever going to eat this stuff you made?” and I said “Oh, right. I need to make the chocolate drizzle for the top!”

Banana Split Icebox Cake (11)

Heavy cream and semi-sweet chocolate chips. The recipe says to measure 1/4 cup of heavy cream, microwave it until hot, and then pour it over the chocolate chips, let it sit for a moment, and then stir it all together ’til you have a smooth sauce. The problem was that both of my 1/4-cup measuring cups were in the dishwasher, dirty, and I didn’t want to pull them out and wash them. So I used 1/3 cup of each instead. I’m wild like that.

Banana Split Icebox Cake (12)

Banana Split Icebox Cake (13)

Banana Split Icebox Cake (14)

Banana Split Icebox Cake (15)

After all that, I let the sauce cool while I was chopping strawberries to put on the top.

Before drizzling:

Banana Split Icebox Cake (16)

After (I didn’t use all the sauce I had, by the way) :

Banana Split Icebox Cake (17)

Fred predicted that it was going to be messy, getting a slice of this stuff on the plate, but the graham crackers had softened nicely and behaved themselves, so there was no mess.

Banana Split Icebox Cake (18)

I was able to cut it with a plastic spatula, no problem.

Banana Split Icebox Cake (19)

The verdict? It was really good! As promised, it was really light and not overly filling. It reminded me a lot of a recipe Jean sent me a few years ago, called “Eclair Cake”, the exact recipe I am unable to find online anywhere. The difference between that recipe and this is that the Eclair Cake doesn’t have fruit, you actually make the vanilla pudding before mixing it with the Cool Whip, and the topping is Hershey syrup. I liked the fruit in this (makes it practically health food!), but next time I might use Hershey syrup instead.

Fred liked it a lot, too, and today (two days after I made it), there’s some left in the fridge and it still tastes good – I went and tasted it so I can say that honestly. I do and do for you people! (I should add that Fred thought it could use more pineapple and more banana.)

So yes, two thumbs up to the Banana Split Icebox Cake. Now that I actually know it has to sit for 8 hours, that won’t come as a shock to me next time!

Nance’s take:


Welcome to my Banana Split Icebox Cake Hell.

This is a visual blog, right? Good. Because I’m using the above picture to represent how I was feeling when I made this recipe.


Please note: picture of non-food on a food blog. This is in my dining room right now. If you’re not sure what you’re seeing, I’ll tell you. It is a collection of tools sitting on a tall dresser. In my dining room. I admit to being a bit of an uptight bitch about a few things (some of you can shut the hell up right now). It has a lot to do with my needing order and structure in my life. But I have relaxed over the years when it comes to the house. You can compare it to baking and cooking. If you don’t have the proper ingredients or tools and you’re working in a cluttered or messy space, the whole experience is going to be a miserable one.

When I married an animal Rick I knew that I was going to have to give up my tight rein on chaos, cleanliness and clutter. And I really did!  There are lots of times that my house is a total mess. BUT. There is a limit. My limit was reached when my mother’s bedroom repair (storm damage) took more than 3 days.  Especially when the process brought things like the above into the other rooms of my house (including my kitchen countertops).  Tube-top wearing Shirley’s bed is in the middle of our living room and has been there since last Friday.  To say I’m shitting bricks over here is an understatement!

Yes, I’m telling you all of this because I want you to know how put-upon I was when I had to make this recipe.


But I soldiered on and just made sure that I didn’t grab the goddamn putty knife or paint tape that was left on my kitchen counter while I was making this dish and WHAT THE FUCK, RICK?


All I wanted to do was drain the freaking crushed pineapple. Already I am hating this recipe. Misplaced Anger Issue #1.


Guess who’s a dumbass and didn’t realize that your typical tub of cool whip (fuck the trademark symbol – they can sue me for the nothing that I have) is not enough for this recipe.  It specifically says 16 ounces.  The typical tub is only 8 ounces.  I totally put Shirley to work making homemade whipped cream since I had to go out and buy whipping cream special for this recipe anyway (even though it only calls for ¼ cup).  Yup.  Way to waste my money, Robyn.  Misplaced Anger #2.  Also note: no tube-top, thank Christ!


This is my mother trying to fold the pineapple into the mix. She said, “I don’t know how to fold.” But when I snapped the picture it looked like she did. And then she proceeded to BEAT THE HELL OUT OF IT until I finally took it away from her because she’s right, she does not even know what the concept of folding means and JESUS H., MOM! Misplaced Anger #3.


I am fancy and do not need to bother with a Ziploc bag.


I am also bored.


Layering my bananas. HOHUM.

And also, I did not just use two freaking bananas.  That’s ridiculous.  You definitely need at least four!


This is what it looked like the next morning. The refrigerator made it firm enough that the plastic wrap didn’t stick to it and get all yucky.


I had high hopes for how this drizzle was going to turn out. And I have decided that I am going to try to slip my Polish pottery into every single entry. Oh hush, I have to entertain myself somehow.


My hopes were dashed and I have no idea what the fuck I did wrong. And truthfully, I didn’t fucking care by then (see: word art at beginning of entry). I had work to do and absolutely no interest in making this shit. Misplaced Anger #4.


It was time to bring out the big guns.


Oh, hello, pretty cake! Goodbye, Misplaced Anger Issues!


Every single one of us loved it!


The cake was really good, but I found the recipe to be too fussy for my taste. I don’t like to shit around with things like microwaving cream to make drizzle, etc. If/When I make it again, I’ll use sugar-free pudding (I don’t like sugar free cool whip) and skip the whole drizzle mess and just use Hershey’s. This is not a reunion-party type dish. It’s the kind of dish you could serve if you were having company over for dinner since it doesn’t serve a shit-ton of people and it has to be kept in the refrigerator.


Banana Split Icebox Cake - Nance & Robyn make the same recipe
Prep time
Total time
Original Source/Author:
: dessert
Serves: 10
  • 1 carton (16 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained
  • 24 whole graham crackers
  • 2 - 3 medium bananas, sliced thin
  • Toppings: additional sliced bananas and sliced fresh strawberries
  • Chocolate Drizzle:
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. In a large bowl, mix the whipped topping, sour cream, and pudding mix until blended. Fold in pineapple. Fill a Ziploc bag with pudding mixture and cut off the corner of the bag. (Or if you're annoying like Robyn, measure out the filling in 1-cup increments for each layer.)
  2. On a flat serving plate or large baking dish arrange four graham crackers in a rectangle. Pipe about 1 cup of the pudding mixture over the crackers; top with about ¼ cup banana slices. Repeat layers five times. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight. Graham crackers should be soft.
  3. Before serving, make the chocolate drizzle.
  4. For the Chocolate Drizzle: Heat the cream in the microwave until hot (about 20-30 seconds). Place chocolate chips in a small bowl and pour hot cream over the chips. Let it sit for a second and then stir until chocolate is smooth. Let cool slightly while preparing the bananas and strawberries for the topping.
  5. Arrange sliced fruit on top. Drizzle with chocolate and serve.