This decadent Banana Split Lush is very similar to a banana split icebox cake my Mom used to make for us when we were kids. It features layers of cream cheese, pineapple and banana slices all drizzled with chocolate and lots of colorful sprinkles. Add a layer of strawberries if you like, and lots of toasted nuts. Top it all off with whipped cream and maraschino cherries then step aside and watch it disappear.
Easy Banana Split Lush Recipe
Lush desserts are basically layered desserts that can be made in a variety of flavor combinations. This variation is a fantastic way to enjoy all of the things we love about banana splits without melting ice cream. It works perfectly for picnics, office parties, potluck meals or special family gatherings. It’s lush and decadent but super easy to make. How to make Banana Split Lush: (Scroll down for full printable recipe.)
- Crust – In a medium mixing bowl mix together the graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts, granulated sugar and melted butter. Press firmly onto the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch baking dish and bake for 16-18 minutes or until golden and set. Cool completely.
- Cream Cheese Layer – Whip together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, drained pineapple and 1 cup whipped topping. Whip for 2 minutes until fluffy and evenly combined. Spread evenly over the crust.
- Bananas – Top the pineapple-cream cheese with a layer of banana slices.
- Pudding Layer – Whip together instant white chocolate pudding with 3 cups of cold milk for 2-3 minutes until thickened but still pourable. Pour over the bananas.
- Frost – Spread the top with the remaining whipped topping.
- Garnish – Drizzle the top with chocolate fudge and garnish with the remaining toasted walnuts and maraschino cherries.
- Chill for at least 4 hours before cutting.
How to Make the BEST Banana Split Lush Recipe
This stunning Banana Split Lush dessert is ideal for entertaining. You can pack it up and take to picnics and outdoor events as well as office or church potluck parties. It’s one of those luscious layered dessert recipes that are always a crowd pleaser. It’s a treat that’s simple to make in advance and have it ready to serve when you’re ready to eat dessert.
- Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Banana Split Lush: For the crust you’ll need crushed graham crackers, toasted walnuts, melted butter and sugar. To make the filling layers you’ll need cream cheese, powdered sugar, crushed pineapple, sliced bananas, instant white chocolate or cheesecake instant pudding mix, cold milk or half and half, whipped topping, maraschino cherries and sprinkles. You also need a thick hot fudge sauce slightly warmed to go on top.
- Kitchen tools you’ll need: A 13 x 9 inch deep baking dish, mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, a hand mixer or a stand mixer, an offset icing spatula or silicone spoon to spread the cream cheese and whipped cream layers, a sharp knife and chopping board plus a small spoon to stir the hot fudge sauce before pouring on top.
- If you prefer, you can also use Neufchatel cheese in this lush in place of plain cream cheese with no other adjustments needed.
- You can use pecans, macadamia nuts or almonds in place of walnuts. The method of toasting in the oven would be the same.
- I use a piping bag fitted with a star tip to decorate the top of this banana split lush. You could also use a large Ziploc bag with the tip cut off to drop one dollop of whipped cream on each individual serving piece and then decorate it with a maraschino cherry. This way, every serving looks the same.
- When covering the banana slices with filling, make sure you take the filling to the edge of the dish to seal the and protect them from oxidizing too quickly. Doing so will delay browning.
- If you’d like to add a layer of fresh sliced strawberries to this dessert you can! You’ll need around 2 cups of fresh sliced strawberries to make a layer. Alternately, drizzle the banana layer with strawberry ice cream topping.
- For the layers to set adequately allow at least 4-6 hours of chill time in the refrigerator before cutting and serving. It will keep overnight as well.
- Store Banana Split Lush in the the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
More Southern Style Lush Desserts to Make
These types of desserts seem to have a thousand names and in my kitchen, each one spells delicious. More luscious dessert recipes you may like to try:
- This island inspired Hawaiian Pineapple Coconut Lush is like a staycation.
- Two favorites are combined in this recipe for Caramel Banana Pudding Lush.
- This Black Forest Lush recipe will make a stunning addition to your holiday desserts menu.
- Pumpkin Spice Layered Lush Dessert is a tasty alternative to pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.
- Banana Pudding Lush is one more way to enjoy this iconic southern dessert.
- You may also like to try this Pina Colada Banana Bread from Mom on Timeout with a cup of coffee or hot tea.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Banana Split Lush
- 2 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans divided
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- 2 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 20 oz can crushed pineapple drained
- 4 medium bananas sliced
- 2 3.4 oz boxes white chocolate or cheesecake instant pudding
- 3 cup milk
- 1 16 oz whipped topping or 4 cup fresh whipped cream divided
- hot fudge sauce slightly warmed
- 16 maraschino cherries with stems
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spritz the bottom only of a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Toast Walnuts: Spread 1/2 cup walnut pieces in a single layer on a sheet pan and toast for 6-8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Crust: In a medium mixing bowl mix together the graham cracker crumbs, remaining 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, granulated sugar and melted butter. Press firmly onto the bottom of the baking dish. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until golden and set. Cool completely.
- Cream Cheese Layer: Whip together the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, drained pineapple and 1 cup whipped topping. Whip for 2 minutes until fluffy and evenly combined. Spread evenly over the crust.
- Bananas: Top pineapple-cream cheese with a layer of banana slices.
- Pudding: Whip together both boxes of instant white chocolate pudding with 3 cups of cold milk for 2-3 minutes until thickened but still pourable. Pour over the bananas.
- Topping: Frost the top with the remaining whipped topping. Drizzle whipped cream with chocolate fudge and garnish with the remaining toasted walnuts and maraschino cherries. Decorate as desired.
- Chill for at least 4 hours before cutting to allow the layers to set.