The Washington Post

Banana Split Sundae Pie

Banana Split Sundae Pie 8.000

(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Aug 29, 2019

Boasting a salty pretzel crust and three ice cream flavors, this no-bake dessert is a throwback to the beloved classic, the banana split, but refashioned into a pie topped with whipped cream, caramel, nuts, chocolate shavings and bananas, of course. If your kitchen is so hot you can't even consider turning on the stove, buy the caramel sauce instead of making it.

Make Ahead: The crust can be made up to a week ahead and stored, wrapped, in the freezer. The pie should be made 1 day ahead to set.

Storage Notes: The pie can be stored, wrapped and frozen for up to 4 days.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8 servings; makes 4 cups

  • For the caramel
  • 1/3 cup (75 grams) sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) heavy cream or half-and-half
  • For the crust
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams; 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 4 cups (160 grams) dried mini pretzels
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
  • For assembling the pie
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) chocolate ice cream
  • 2 large ripe but firm bananas
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) strawberry ice cream
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup (240 milliliters) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (130 grams) strawberry jam
  • 1 bar (100 grams) dark chocolate, preferably 70 percent
  • 1/3 cup (42 grams) shelled, toasted walnuts or salted peanuts, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 5 maraschino cherries
  • 5 fresh cherries, pitted (optional)


Make the caramel sauce: Heat a small, dry stainless steel skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Sprinkle in some of the sugar and watch for it to melt, then sprinkle in more. When all of the sugar is added, decrease the heat to medium, add the salt and stir until the caramel turns the color of a penny. This could happen in less than 1 minute, or it could take a few minutes. Turn off the heat. If any sugar clumps together, break it up with a spoon.

Carefully whisk in the cream; the mixture will sizzle and spatter; take care not to let it splatter onto your skin. If the sugar seizes, turn the heat back to low and cook, whisking, until the sugar melts again and the caramel is smooth, 5 to 8 minutes.

Pour the caramel into a heat-safe container, cover and set aside until ready to serve.

Make the crust: Butter a 9-inch regular or deep-dish pie plate.

In a food processor, grind the pretzels until almost fine, leaving a few small bits for texture. (Alternatively, place the pretzels in a zip-top plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin.) Stir in the sugar, then the butter and combine thoroughly. The mixture should look like wet sand.

Transfer the crust mixture into the pie plate and, using your fingers, press the crust into the bottom and up the sides of the plate. Transfer the plate to the freezer and let it chill while you prepare the pie, for at least 10 minutes or, covered, for as long as 1 week.

Assemble the pie: Let the chocolate ice cream soften on the counter for about 10 minutes.

Remove the crust from the freezer. Peel 1 banana and slice it into 1/3-inch rounds. Lay the banana slices evenly over the bottom of the crust and sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice.

Working quickly, use a spoon and/or a small spatula to spread the chocolate ice cream evenly over the bananas, smoothing it out as you go. Return the pie to the freezer for about 10 minutes, or until the chocolate layer is almost solid. Remove the strawberry ice cream from the freezer and let it soften on the counter while the pie chills.

Remove the pie from the freezer and, working quickly, scoop the strawberry ice cream over the chocolate layer, smoothing it out as you go. Return the pie to the freezer for about 10 minutes, or until the strawberry layer is almost solid. Remove the vanilla ice cream from the freezer and let it soften on the counter while the pie chills.

Remove the pie from the freezer and, working quickly, scoop the vanilla ice cream over the strawberry layer, smoothing it out as you go. Return the pie to the freezer for about 10 minutes, or until the vanilla layer is almost solid; if making in advance, tightly cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight until ready to serve.

Use a well-chilled medium bowl and whisk, or a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, to whip the cream just until fluffy and stiff peaks hold. (Whipping by hand will take longer than with a mixer.) If making the whipped cream in advance, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. (You may need to rewhip.)

In a small bowl, stir the strawberry jam with 1 tablespoon warm water until thin enough to drizzle; strain. If making in advance, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Peel the remaining banana and slice it as the first. Pull the pie out of the freezer and top with the banana slices. Sprinkle or brush with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice. Top with the whipped cream and drizzle with the strawberry and caramel sauces.

Using a vegetable peeler, shave curls of dark chocolate on top and sprinkle with the nuts, if using, maraschino cherries and fresh cherries, if using.

Dip the pie plate into a shallow pool of warm water to help loosen the crust. Slice and serve right away, with extra sauce on the side. (To get cleaner slices, dip the knife in hot or warm water and wipe dry with a towel between slices.)

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Recipe Source

Adapted from a recipe by food writer and former pastry chef Daniela Galarza.

Tested by Olga Massov.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 10): 600

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 37g 57%

Saturated Fat: 24g 120%

Cholesterol: 155mg 52%

Sodium: 390mg 16%

Total Carbohydrates: 58g 19%

Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%

Sugar: 39g

Protein: 6g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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