The Ultimate Banana Split Cake
Once the weather heats up, the first thing I crave is a homemade banana split: ice cream, strawberry topping and whipped cream, surrounded by bananas covered in hot fudge. A classic for sure.
Turning that classic summertime dessert into a cake was a brilliant suggestion from a good friend who shares the same passion for those amazing flavors as I do! One word of advice: Be sure to time out your recipe. The fantastic frozen banana bites should be made ahead of time and properly chilled before you add them to the cake. You may also notice that I used a canned strawberry pie filling — this was very intentional! It really adds to the authentic banana-split flavor.
Once the cake is fully assembled, it should be eaten right away. Leftovers are not an issue, as it is so good people always want more.
The Ultimate Banana Split Cake
1/2 cup chopped semisweet chocolate
1 tablespoon shortening
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup boiling water
1 cup (1/2 pint) heavy or whipping cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla paste or extract
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
Canned strawberry pie filling
For the Frozen Banana Bites:
Peel and slice banana into 1-inch pieces. Heat up chocolate and shortening for 30 seconds in the microwave in a bowl. Remove and stir. If any lumps remain, heat in 10-second increments until fully melted.
Place banana pieces on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Using two forks, place a banana piece on one fork and dip it into the chocolate. Make sure the banana piece is covered completely. Remove the banana piece from chocolate and, using the other fork, gently move the banana piece onto the cookie sheet.
When completed, place chocolate-covered banana pieces in the freezer for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.
Cut up one banana into 1-inch pieces.
For the Chocolate Cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9-by-13-inch cake pan by rubbing with butter, sprinkling with flour and tapping out extra. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix together with a wooden spoon, then set aside.
In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix together with a wooden spoon, then set aside.
In a small bowl combine eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat well with hand mixer.
Slowly add boiling water and mix. Add wet ingredients to flour mixture, and fold and stir until smooth. Pour batter into pan.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove cake from pan and cool on rack.
For the Whipped Cream:
Beat the cream and vanilla in a chilled nonreactive bowl with a whisk or an electric mixer just until they hold a loose peak. (Lift the beater from the cream and look at the shape of the peak at the end of the whisk; it should hold a lazy curve.)
Sift the sugar over the cream and continue to beat just until it holds a soft peak. Take care not to overbeat the cream or it will be curdy.
Refrigerate, covered, for up to 4 hours.
When cake is cool, cut in half with a long serrated knife. Place one half of chocolate cake on a serving platter or cake stand. Cover cake with strawberry pie filling (about 1 cup; you will have some left over, which can be refrigerated). Set other half of cake on top. Try to match up the ends that have been cut when stacking.
With a pastry bag fitted with a large open star decorating tip, pipe whipped cream mounds on top of cake. Add sprinkles. Cut frozen banana bites in half and set on top of whipped cream.
Make more treats to satisfy your sweet tooth:
Amanda is a wife, mom, baker and the creative force behind iambaker.net. She homeschools her four children, lives in the land of 10,000 lakes and is self-appointed president of the Committee to Get Ina Garten on Twitter. (Amanda tweets at @iambakertweets)