Dessert Recipes

Classic Banana Split

Picture this: You’re in an old-fashioned ice cream parlor. The tiled floor is black and white, the walls are candy-floss pink, and the booths are upholstered in aqua green vinyl. The folks behind the counter are all sporting paper soda jerk hats — and maybe bowties or red pinstripe aprons. And on the counter in front of you? A banana split.

According to historians and the National Ice Cream Retailers Association, the banana split was invented back in 1904 by David “Doc” Strickler, an apprentice pharmacy clerk — and de facto soda jerk — based in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. It cost a whopping 10 cents, twice the price of other sundaes at the time; the bananas had to be shipped in from New Orleans.

Long story short, word spread about this novelty sundae, and it became an iconic dish in American culture. And here we are, over 115 years later, loading up a banana split boat for our 70th anniversary. In addition to the eponymous fruit, there’s a scoop each of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice creams. We drizzle it all with Hershey’s chocolate syrup, scatter strawberries and pineapple over the ice cream scoops, and sprinkle on some toasty peanuts for crunch. The finishing touch? Rosettes of sweet, airy whipped cream, and of course, neon red maraschino cherries. Sound over-the-top? It is — in the best way possible.

If you ask us, the marvelous thing about a banana split is that there’s something in that oblong glass dish for everyone, whether it’s sweet, creamy, nutty, or fruity. Also, we can’t help but smile a big, sparkly white grin whenever we see (and eat!) a banana split: the bright colors and nostalgia are just too irresistible.

Servings: 1

1 banana, peeled and halved lengthwise

1 scoop strawberry ice cream

1 scoop chocolate ice cream

1 scoop vanilla ice cream

Hershey’s chocolate syrup

¼ cup strawberries, hulled and medium-diced

¼ cup pineapple, medium-diced

½ cup roasted peanuts, rough chopped

Reddi-wip, for garnish

3 maraschino cherries, with stems, for garnish

  1. Place the banana halves, cut sides facing in, in a banana split boat or oblong bowl. Nestle the scoops of ice cream in a row between the banana slices and drizzle them with the chocolate syrup.

  2. Scatter the strawberries, pineapple, and peanuts over the banana split.

  3. Top each scoop of ice cream with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. Enjoy!

Calculate nutrition information for this recipe.