Banana Split Icebox Cake

081_IceCream_Box_Cake_5913One of the best things about making an icebox cake is that no baking is involved. The process of layering cookies and whipped cream or custard, followed by chilling for a few hours in the “icebox” (the refrigerator), creates a dessert with a moist cake texture. This retro dessert comes together quickly, yet still manages a major wow factor both visually and taste-wise.

Ingredients (serves 8)

  • 3⁄4 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 6 bananas, sliced
  • 21⁄2 cups chilled heavy cream
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 (9-ounce) packages chocolate wafer cookies
  • 1⁄4 cup chocolate syrup or sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped toasted peanuts
  • 1 maraschino cherry, for garnish (optional)


In a blender, puree 1⁄2 cup of the strawberries with 1 tablespoon water until thick and smooth. Set aside another 1⁄2 cup sliced strawberries and 1⁄2 cup sliced banana for garnish.

Using an electric mixer, whip the cream until soft peaks form, 3-5 minutes. Add the sugar, vanilla, and strawberry puree and continue whipping until slightly stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes more.

In a 9­-inch springform pan, arrange a layer of cookies (about 16) in a circle, overlapping them to fit. Spread about 1/5 of the strawberry whipped cream over the cookies, making sure to cover them completely. Top with about 1/4 each of the strawberry and banana slices. Repeat the layering to make a total of 5 layers, finishing with the whipped cream on top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

Run a small spatula around the edge of the cake to release it, unhook the springform pan, and transfer the cake (on the springform base) to a serving plate. Drizzle the cake with the chocolate syrup, sprinkle with the peanuts, and top with the reserved strawberries and bananas, and, if desired, a maraschino cherry.