Recipe: Banana split ice cream cake

Fun factor's high with this spin on a frosty classic

  • place PRE 10 minutes
  • place COOK 10 minutes + 3 hours freezing (minimum)
  • place SERVES 10 - 16
  • printicon

This ice cream cake is one of the best-tasting, most fun-to-eat desserts I’ve ever made, and doesn’t require much actual effort – just time (to freeze), and space (in your freezer). The banana jam can be made two weeks ahead and stored airtight in the refrigerator and the cake itself assembled a week before it’s served, as long as it’s wrapped tightly in plastic and frozen.


  • Make the banana jam: In a small heavy-based pan, cook the granulated sugar over medium heat. Use a heatproof spatula to stir occasionally, until the sugar starts to dissolve and then eventually caramelise in 3 to 4 minutes.

  • Add the banana and stir to coat in the caramel. The sugar will bubble up and seize a bit; that’s okay, it’ll smooth out. Cook the banana chunks, stirring occasionally, for about a minute or so, until they start to look broken down and jammy. Add the cream, season with salt and remove from the heat. Cool completely.

  • To assemble: Place the ice cream on your kitchen bench to soften for a few minutes – you want it slightly softer than simply scoopable but not entirely melted. Next, crush the chocolate wafers by hand (not too finely).

  • Line a 23cm springform tin with plastic wrap, leaving some clingfilm hanging over the edges. Scatter half the wafer crumbs on the bottom and cover with half the ice cream. Smush the ice cream down, making sure it’s in one even layer. Spread the banana jam over the top, then the remaining ice cream.

  • Scatter the remaining wafer crumbs over the ice cream, pressing them in to make one even layer (it should come to the top of the tin). Freeze until extremely firm, at least 3 hours, depending on your freezer. This one likes to be very solid before slicing – if you can wait.

  • Using a whisk or electric hand-held mixer, beat the cream in a bowl to medium peaks, then whisk in the icing sugar. Beat until you have nice, pillowy stiff peaks then refrigerate until ready to serve.

  • Once the cake is frozen, carefully unmould it by removing the springform sides. (If it feels too malleable, return to the freezer until solid enough to exist without its frame.)

  • Coat the outside and top of the cake with whipped cream. Slice and serve with extra whipped cream and a maraschino cherry or return to the freezer for later.

    Adapted from ‘Sweet Enough’, by Alison Roman


For the banana jam
165g granulated sugar
4 large bananas, cut into 2.5 cm chunks
60g thick (double) cream
Sea salt, for seasoning
For assembly:
1.5 litres vanilla ice cream
255g chocolate wafer biscuits
475g double cream
30g icing sugar
Maraschino cherries, for fun

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