Banana Split Cake

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Cakes / Chocolate / Fruit

IMG_7836We all have it.  That one dessert that instantly transports us back to our youth.  That one dessert that floods you with memories and brings a smile to your face.  Growing up in Texas, it should be of no surprise that mine involves Dairy Queen.  As a kid, Dairy Queen was a magical, magical place.  An endless choice of ice cream confections from shakes you could turn upside down and would somehow, miraculously stay in it’s cup.  Or those perfectly formed chocolate dipped cones.  I still wonder how they did it.  Or my favorite, the pièce de résistance if you will.  Yes, you know where I’m going with this don’t you?  There is always that one dessert, and for me that is the one, the only banana split.   So, it’s about time we make a cake out of it, don’t you think?

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This cake has not three, not four, not five layers my friends.  Oh no, this cake has six separate layers of banana cake, filled with homemade strawberry and pineapple jam, an appropriately excessive amount of chocolate ganache, sprinkles, whipped cream and last but not least…the cherry on top.   I will be the first to tell you that this is a cake for only the strong-willed and massively patient as it has six separate components that need to be made in order to come together.  Oh, but come together it does.   My past weekend was spent baking the childhood cake of my dreams and let me tell you, it was everything I could have possible imagined and more.

recipe from The Cake Blog

Ingredients + Instructions

For the Banana Cake:
1 ½ cups cake flour, sifted
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 medium bananas, mashed (approx. ¾ cup)
¾ cup buttermilk, at room temperature

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease and flour three 6″ cake rounds, line with parchment.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside
  3. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth.
  4. Add sugar and beat on medium-high until pale and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Reduce speed and add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition. Add vanilla and mashed bananas and mix until well combined.
  6. Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour (3 additions of flour and 2 of milk). Fully incorporating after each addition. Do not overmix.
  7. Spread batter evenly into prepared pans. Smooth the top with a spatula.
  8. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
  9. Place cakes on wire rack to cool for 10 minutes then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.

For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting:
3 large egg whites (1/2 cup)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla

  1. Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer*, whisk until combined.
  2. Place bowl over a pan of simmering water to create a double-boiler.  Whisking constantly, heat the egg mixture until it registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer. Carefully transfer the bowl onto the stand mixer.
  3. Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg white mixture on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes until the bowl is no longer warm to the touch and the meringue is fluffy, glossy and holds a stiff peak.
  4. Switch to the paddle attachment.  With the mixer on low, slowly add cubed butter and mix until incorporated.
  5. Add vanilla and whip on medium-high until silky and smooth.

For the Strawberry Sauce:
1 1/2-2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  1. Place strawberries and sugar into a medium saucepan. Cook uncovered over medium-high heat, breaking down strawberries with a wooden spoon. Cook 5-10 minutes until softened and broken down. Cool completely before using.

For the Pineapple Filling:
8 ounces canned crushed pineapple
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch

  1. Place all ingredients into a medium saucepan, stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook 2-3 minutes until thickened. Cool completely before using.

For the Chocolate Ganache:
3 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
3 ounces heavy cream

  1. Place chopped chocolate and cream into a microwave safe bowl. Stir to combine. Microwave for 20 seconds, stir. Microwave in 10 second intervals, stirring in between, until ganache is smooth and silky. Cool completely before using.

For the Assembly:
2/3 cup whipping cream, cold
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
maraschino cherries

  1. Cut each layer of cake in half horizontally.
  2. Place one layer of the cake onto a cake stand or serving plate. Spread a thin layer of frosting and, using a large round tip, pipe a dam of frosting along the top to hold the filling. Place 3 tablespoons of strawberry sauce inside the dam and spread evenly.
  3. Top with a second layer of cake. Spread approximately ½ cup of frosting on this second layer.
  4. Top with a third layer of cake. Spread a thin layer of frosting and pipe a dam of frosting along the top to hold the filling. Place 3 tablespoons of pineapple filling inside the dam and spread evenly.
  5. Top with a fourth layer of cake. Spread approximately ½ cup of frosting on this layer.
  6. Repeat steps 2 & 3 and crumb coat the outside leaving the sides of the cake exposed. Use a bench scraper to smooth out the sides and top of the cake. Chill for 20 minutes.
  7. Using a teaspoon, apply ganache near edges to create drips.  Pour some ganache to fill in the top of the cake and spread with an offset spatula.
  8. Sprinkle some sprinkles along the top edge and sides of the cake.
  9. When ready to serve, whip cream and sugar until thickened and pipeable. Fill a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.
  10. Pipe rosettes of whipped cream and top with maraschino cherries.


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