This Banana Split Layer Cake will remind you of your favorite ice cream treat with every bite. It's even topped with maraschino cherries and rainbow sprinkles just like a classic banana split!
This banana split cake recipe has three layers of banana cake with a fresh strawberry filling in between each layer.
The entire cake is frosted with a stabalized whipped cream frosting and has chocolate sauce that drips down the side. Get ready to make your new favorite cake!
Why You'll Love This Cake
- The banana cake layers are soft and tender.
- There's a chocolate drip going down the sides.
- It's filled with a sweet strawberry sauce.
- All the flavors of a banana split are tasted, including the maraschino cherry on top!
I've already shared with you my banana split cupcakes, and now we have it in cake form!
Fresh bananas are used to create the best banana flavor, making this cake practically irrisistable!
Expert Baking Tips
- Read the Instructions: Be sure to read the recipe before starting. There are quite a few steps and fully reading the recipe will help to minimize any mistakes or confusion.
- Cake Pans: This recipe calls for three 6-inch cake pans. Line each pan with parchment paper and non-stick spray.
- Measuring Flour: To help ensure you don’t add extra flour, follow these three simple steps: 1) Fluff up the flour using a fork. 2) Spoon the flour into your measuring cup. 3) Scrape a knife across the top of the measuring cup to level out the flour.
- Room Temperature Ingredients: Any ingredient that needs to be at room temperature should be taken out of the refrigerator at least 1 hour before you want to bake. Do not skip this step! It's super important so that the ingredients can incorporate properly.
- Dividing the Batter: To make sure I evenly divide up the batter amongst the cake pans I use a ½ measuring cup to scoop the batter into each pan. I count as I go and then switch to a tablespoon as I get less and less batter.
Here are some notes on the ingredients we'll be using. For the full ingredients list, look at the recipe card below.
- Flour: I used all purpose flour. Be sure to properly measure your flour (check out "Expert Baking Tips" above).
- Leavening Agents: A combination of both baking soda and baking powder are used.
- Butter: Make sure to use unsalted butter.
- Bananas: Three medium-sized bananas are what you need. The more ripe bananas you have, the better!
- Yogurt: Use either plain or vanilla yogurt. You could also use greek yogurt or sour cream.
- Strawberries: Feel free to use either fresh or frozen.
- Chocolate Chips: I used semi-sweet, but you could also use dark or milk chocolate chips.
- Cream Cheese: Using cream cheese helps to stabilize the whipped cream frosting. Be sure to use the brick-style cream cheese and not the one from a tub.
Here are the step by step instructions on how to make this banana cake.
Step 1: Dry ingredients. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Step 2: Cream together the butter and sugars. In the large bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
Step 3: Wet ingredients. Reduce the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Then add in the mashed bananas, yogurt, and vanilla extract, mixing until incorporated.
Step 4: Combine the ingredients. Reduce the mixer speed to low and alternately add the flour mixture and milk, starting and ending with the flour (flour, milk, flour) and mixing just until combined.
Step 5: Bake the cake. Divide the batter amongst the three prepared cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Step 6: Strawberry filling. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, mix together the pureed strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, and corn starch.
Occasionally stir until thickened and cool completely in the refrigerator.
Step 7: Make the frosting. Beat the cream cheese on high speed until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
Add the heavy whipping cream a ½ cup at a time until a thick consistency forms (at med-high speed). Once all has beed added, beat for an additonal 1-2 minutes.
Step 8: Chocolate ganache. Heat the heavy cream in the microwave just until hot and slightly bubbly. In a small bowl, pour it over the chocolate chips, let it sit for a few minutes, and then mix until the chocolate is smooth.
Assembling The Cake
Make sure the cake layers are completely cooled before assembling and decorating.
Place one cake layer on a cake stand or serving plate and pipe a border of frosting around the edge of the cake. Then spread half of the strawberry sauce in the center of the piped frosting border.
Repeat with the next layer. Top the cake with the last layer and spread on about ¼ cup of frosting. Frost and smooth the outside of the cake with a thin crumb coat (I use my offset spatula and cake scraper).
Place the entire cake in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill.
Finish frosting the sides of the cake and pour ganache over the top, allowing it to drip down.
Place the remaining frosting in a piping bag and decorate the top. Then add on the sprinkles and cherries to the top of the cake.
Keep any leftover cake slices in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
You could also wrap each individual cake slice in plastic wrap before placing it into the refrigerator. This helps the cake to not dry out.
Frequently Asked Questions
If desired, you can make a vanilla frosting or strawberry frosting instead.
I have not tried this before, so I'm not sure how stable the frosting would be.
You could also use two 8-inch or two 9-inch cake pans instead.
It brings me so much joy to see you make my recipes. 🙂
More Cake Recipes
Banana Split Layer Cake
- Three 6-Inch Cake Pans
- Electric Stand Mixer
- Mixing Bowls
- Cake Decorating Tools
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 overripe bananas, medium-sized (mashed)
- ⅓ cup yogurt (plain or vanilla), room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup milk, room temperature
- 2 cups strawberries, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
Whipped Cream Frosting
- 8 ounces block-style cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- rainbow sprinkles
- maraschino cherries
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line three 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper then nonstick spray. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and sugar on med-high speed until fully combined and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Reduce the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then mix in the bananas, yogurt, and vanilla extract.
- Now, reduce the mixer speed to low and alternately add the flour mixture and milk, starting and ending with the flour (flour, milk, flour) and mixing just until combined. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and fold in any loose ingredients with a silicone spatula.
- Divide the batter amongst the three prepared cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cakes come out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing and placing them on a wire rack to cool completely.
- Thinly slice the strawberries (or puree them in a food processor for 5 seconds) and place them in a medium saucepan with the sugar, lemon juice, and corn starch. Mix together and cook over medium heat until thick (about 5-10 minutes).
- Once thickened, transfer the strawberry filling to a heat-safe bowl and place it into the refrigerator to completely cool.
Whipped Cream Frosting
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on high speed until soft and creamy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and mix on medium speed until thick (about 30 seconds).
- Slowly add the heavy whipping cream (about ½ cup at a time) and beat on med-high speed until a thick consistency starts to form. Continue adding a ½ cup of the cream at a time until you have no more left and beat the frosting for an additional 1-2 minutes until smooth and creamy.
- In a small bowl, add the chocolate chips. Set aside. In a microwaveable-safe bowl, heat the heavy whipping cream until bubbling (30-45 seconds). Pour the heavy cream over the chocolate chips and allow it to sit for 3 minutes, then whisk together until smooth. Cool to room temperature.
- If needed, use a serrated knife to level off the tops of each cake layer to create a flat surface. Place one cake layer on a cake stand or plate and pipe a border of frosting around the edge of the cake. Then spread half of the strawberry sauce in the center of the piped frosting border.
- Repeat with the second layer. Top the cake with the last layer and spread on about ¼ cup of frosting. Frost and smooth the outside of the cake with a thin crumb coat. Place the entire cake in the refrigerator or freezer for 10 minutes to chill.
- Pour the chocolate ganache over the top of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. I used the Wilton 1M piping tip to decorate the top of the cake, along with adding rainbow sprinkles and maraschino cherries.
- Refrigerate the cake for at least 15 minutes before serving so it's easier to cut. Keep any leftover cake slices in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.