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no-bake banana split cake!!!

No Bake Banana Split Dessert is a classic! It layers a graham cracker crust, cream cheese-based filling, bananas, pineapple, strawberries, whipped cream, nuts, chocolate & a cherry on top! Part banana pudding and part icebox cake, it’s a great dessert for the most special holidays or simple gatherings.

Each year, around Easter, I start to get a hankering for this no bake banana split dessert, which is peculiar to me, because I can only remember eating it once or twice ever, and that was at least 10 or 15 years ago. For some reason, it has stuck in my mind and I associate it with Easter. It’s quite possible that my mom made it for an Easter dessert a couple of years in a row, and then moved on to something else. A few years ago I finally asked my mom if she had the recipe for the “banana split dessert thing” that she made a long time ago, and she was able to dig it up for me. It took me approximately 2.2 seconds to assemble what I needed and I’ve been enjoying it at least a couple of times a year ever since!

Ingredients

For the crust

2 cups graham cracker, crumbled
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt

Filling

16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
8 ounces Cool Whip
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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Toppings

3 to 4 bananas, sliced (as many as you need to cover the baking dish)
1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained well
20 ounces strawberries, sliced
8 ounces Cool Whip
1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped
chocolate sauce

Directions

  1. The first step is to crush the graham crackers. Mix in butter and a dash of salt with the crushed graham crackers to complete the crust.
  2. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish and pat the mixture down onto it, letting it cool down in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  3. For the topping, whip together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract. Once it’s well combined, add the Cool Whip using a rubber spatula. Spread the topping over your crust.
  4. Now, layer your dish with banana slices. Spread a can of crushed pineapple over the bananas and, finally, add a layer of sliced strawberries.
  5. For the finale, top the dish with Cool Whip and melted chocolate drizzle. You can also add nuts and maraschino cherries if you desire. Chill for at least four hours before serving or leave in the fridge overnight.

Cut a slice and enjoy!

Pro tip: The toppings in this recipe aren’t set in stone. This versatile dessert doesn’t really call for any fruit type in particular, so feel free to substitute for your favorites or be even bolder and add a layer of chocolate chips, peanut butter chips… Whatever floats your boat!

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