Saturday, July 19, 2014

Banana Split Dessert - my husband's favorite!

I make this dessert for my husband's birthday every year or on Father's Day! It's his absolute favorite! There are several variations, some that use raw egg in the spread that doesn't get cooked (which I'm always leery about), but this is my easy-peasy version using instant vanilla pudding, instead.

Photo by Elsie Park
Banana Split Dessert

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 (5 ounces each) packages instant vanilla pudding*
4 cups milk
3 bananas sliced thinly (lengthwise or in little rounds)
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
1 (16 ounce) carton frozen whipped dessert topping, thawed in fridge
1/4 cup chopped nuts of choice (peanuts are good, but mixed nuts are too)
1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries (without stems), drained
9x13-inch cake pan

Mix softened butter and sugar together in bowl then add graham cracker crumbs. Mix until all crumbs are moistened with butter. Press crumb mixture into cake pan. You DON'T need to bake it, but you can put it in the oven at 350 degrees F. for 5 minutes if you'd like. This melts the butter a little more and helps glue the crumbs together. Do NOT overbake or the crust will be too hard. Cool completely.
Photo by Elsie Park
Prepare vanilla instant pudding with the 4 cups milk (this gives you a firmer, thicker pudding). Mix thoroughly. It set up quickly, so pour over cooled graham cracker crust and allow to set in the pan (this takes only a minute or so).
Photo by Elsie Park
Slice bananas and layer them onto the set pudding, then spread the drained crushed pineapple over the bananas.
Photo by Elsie Park
Spread the whipped topping over everything, sprinkling chopped nuts on it afterwards. Last, put cherries on top, placing them in spaced out rows so that each slice of dessert will have a cherry on top.
Photo by Elsie Park
This dessert can be made the night before. Keep refrigerated.


*One variation is to use 2 packages of softened cream cheese mixed with 1 cup of confectioner's (powdered) sugar in place of the instant pudding - your preference

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