Layers of fresh banana, ice cream, hot fudge, strawberry sauce, whipped cream, nuts, sprinkles, and a cherry on top. It’s the ultimate summer dessert.
The heat this summer is relentless. We’ve been trying to escape it as much as possible, whether it’s to the fountain at the park or an afternoon hike through the mountains. A few Sundays ago we decided to take a drive through some mountain passes and ended up in a small town cafe, where we enjoyed an old-fashioned banana split out on the patio.
It was nostalgic and delicious. I can’t remember the last time I had one. Before we had even licked the bowl clean, I was plotting to make my own ultimate banana split.
Sure, I could have taken the easy way out— just purchased everything from the grocery store and assembled it at home. But where’s the fun in that? I did cheat and use store-bought ice cream though, because I didn’t want to do that many dishes.
“Ultimate” is definitely the right word to describe this treat, as it holds nothing back. Bananas topped with ice cream, topped with hot fudge and strawberry sauce, topped with whipped cream, sprinkles and nuts, and finally finished with a cherry. Whew! You’ll think you’ve died and gone to ice cream heaven.
Now that I’ve let the banana split back into my life, I don’t think it’s ever leaving.
The Ultimate Banana Split
For the banana splits:
- 2 bananas, sliced lengthwise
- 2 scoops chocolate ice cream
- 2 scoops vanilla ice cream
- 2 scoops strawberry ice cream
- Hot fudge sauce, recipe follows
- Strawberry sauce, recipe follows
- Whipped cream, recipe follows
- Chopped nuts
- Maraschino cherries
For the hot fudge:
- 1/4 cup (21 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, not dutch process
- 1/3 cup (71 grams) dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (115 ml) light corn syrup
- 2/3 cup (160 ml) heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces (170 grams) bittersweet or dark chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the strawberry sauce:
- 1 pound (455 grams) strawberries, hulled
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
- 1 tablespoon grand marnier or other orange liqueur (optional)
For the whipped cream:
- 1 cup (237 ml) heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the fudge sauce:
- Combine the cocoa powder, brown sugar, corn syrup, heavy cream, salt, and chopped chocolate in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.
- Serve warm. Store leftovers in the fridge.
To make the strawberry sauce:
- Purée the strawberries and lemon juice. Pour into a small saucepan and add the sugar and lemon zest. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and add the orange liqueur, if using.
- Serve warm or cold. Store leftovers in the fridge.
To make the whipped cream:
- Beat the heavy whipping cream until thickened. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat just to stiff peaks. Use immediately.
To assemble the banana splits:
- In either 2 small bowls or 1 larger bowl, lay down the sliced bananas. Cover with the scoops of ice cream. Drizzle with hot fudge and strawberry sauce. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with nuts and sprinkles. Place a maraschino cherry on top. Serve immediately.