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How Do You Make A Banana Split And What Toppings Do You Put On It?

Updated on June 6, 2012

Filling The Banana Boat

The dish routinely used for this cool and refreshing banana ice cream sundae treat is a deep elongated plate that is commonly called a banana boat.

Start off with ripe firm bananas. You do not want to use mushy ones, nor ones that are too hard or green.

The traditional banana split dessert is made by peeling the skin off the banana and slicing it lengthwise into two equal parts, placing three scoops of ice cream in the middle of the two banana slices, adding some chocolate syrup, a scoop of whipping cream, a spoonful of nuts, and topping this off by placing a maraschino cherry on top.

For a warmer version of this American treat, you can cook the bananas slightly on the grill leaving the peelings on them while they broil. First, slit the skins open lengthwise on one side of each banana and cut a section of the peeling away to expose one side of the banana leaving about an inch uncut on each end so you can turn the opening face down without the banana falling out of it. You will want to cook them with the open side down so that the exposed face of the banana is heated first, then after about two minutes flip them over and heat for a few more minutes before removing your bananas from the grill. It is a good idea to lightly oil the grill rack before grilling so that the bananas can be removed easily without much sticking. Afterward scoop the banana and warm sauce from inside the peelings into the serving dish, add vanilla ice cream, and whatever toppings you choose. This warmer variation is a good base for some of the more unusual ingredients recommended below, such as cinnamon, brown sugar, honey, baked apples, etc.

The original banana split consisted of three different flavors of Neapolitan style ice cream, which included chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. A simple, vanilla only, version of this delicious treat is very popular now days. Some other kinds of ice cream, I think would be interesting to try but normally aren't served in a banana split, are Coffee Mocha, Cherry Vanilla, Peanut Butter Fudge Swirl, or Cookies and Crème. If you have tried other flavors and they were yummy (or if the results were the opposite and they were terrible) please share the details with us in the comments area below.


No Banana Split is complete without your favorite toppings. Here are several suggestions for what you can put over the top of the bananas and ice cream.

Syrup of your choice: chocolate, strawberry, caramel, butterscotch, or hot fudge

Nuts: crushed pecans, walnuts, almonds, peanuts, cashews or macadamias

Candy: chocolate chips (dark or regular milk chocolate), sprinkles, Reese’s Pieces, M&Ms, Andes mints, Butterfingers, Heath Bars, Nestles Crunch (break the bars into bits and pieces)

Fruit: maraschino cherries, pineapple bits, sweetened baked apples, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or strawberries, kiwi, raisons or dates, coconut (raw or toasted)

Other possibilities: ground cinnamon, honey, brown sugar, whipped cream, dream whip, cool whip or frozen whipped topping (thawed), marshmallow crème, vanilla wafers, sugar cones, or graham crackers (broken into pieces or crushed), bits of peanut butter bars, fudge brownies, cookies or banana bread, rum or brandy, yogurt, pie filling, pudding (vanilla, chocolate, butterscotch, tapioca, caramel, or pistachio)

History of the Banana Split

While searching for some important facts about banana splits that I could include in this hub, I discovered there was a bit of a discrepancy regarding the original creator of this scrumptious dessert.

Wilmington, Ohio residents claim that the title should go to restaurant owner Ernest Hazard who they say created the banana split in 1907, but the National Ice Cream Retailer’s Association credited this accomplishment in 2004 to David Evans Strickler during the city of Latrobe’s celebration of its 100th anniversary.

Dr. Strickler was an apprentice drug store pharmacist working for Tassel pharmacy in Latrobe, Pennsylvania in 1904 when he created and served his first banana split type sundae. Later on he purchased the pharmacy and changed its name to Strickler’s Pharmacy.

Recordings in 1905-1907 indicate the dessert was sold in soda shops of that time for only ten cents a serving. (I wonder what they would think about how much we pay today to enjoy this delicious treat a century later!)


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    • profile image

      Dennis Charlesworth 

      6 years ago

      For anyone interested in the birthplace of the banana split and the effort to rebuild Strickler's Pharmacy, please join the Strickler's Rebuild Project or my facebook page.

    • Cathleena Beams profile imageAUTHOR

      Cathleena Beams 

      6 years ago from Lascassas, Tennessee

      Thank you Debbie for your feedback and blessings to you also!

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Oh My Word!!! this looks so good.. I am going to the kitchen and making me one.. LOl



    • Cathleena Beams profile imageAUTHOR

      Cathleena Beams 

      6 years ago from Lascassas, Tennessee

      Thank you Ashley Bunn - I think I will buy some bananas and toppings tomorrow as seeing this hub pop up again has triggered the craving.

    • ashleybunn profile image


      6 years ago from South Carolina

      Oh, yummy! I haven't had a banana split in what seems like ages! I think I'm going to remedy that as soon as possible. Voted up :)

    • Cathleena Beams profile imageAUTHOR

      Cathleena Beams 

      6 years ago from Lascassas, Tennessee

      Thank you Vocalcoach and Vinaya Ghimire for your feedback and up votes. I wish I was close enough to make you one Vinaya - They really are delicious!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      6 years ago from Nepal

      Perfect dessert recipe for the summer. But sadly I need someone who can make this for me.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Oh boy do I love banana splits. I like your idea of warming up the bananas first. Your picture of the banana split made me start drooling.

      A very good hub and it's getting an up vote from me!

    • Cathleena Beams profile imageAUTHOR

      Cathleena Beams 

      6 years ago from Lascassas, Tennessee

      Thank you unknown spy for your message and for expressing that you found this hub to be awesome!

    • unknown spy profile image

      Not Found 

      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      wow, this is really mouth-watering. and you really did include helpful facts and info about Banana splits!

      Awesome hub!

    • Cathleena Beams profile imageAUTHOR

      Cathleena Beams 

      6 years ago from Lascassas, Tennessee

      Thank you Kashmir56 and Christy for your input. I'm glad you found this hub cool and refreshing and agree that M&Ms and vanilla ice cream would be superb on a banana split.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      This is a cool and refreshing hub, enjoyed reading the history of banana splits, well done !

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Ooooh yum! I think I would add M&Ms and vanilla ice cream on top :) It is morning here yet I want one now! I vote up.

    • Cathleena Beams profile imageAUTHOR

      Cathleena Beams 

      6 years ago from Lascassas, Tennessee

      Thank you Witnessing4him - I am also diabetic so I don't get to indulge in these very often myself.

    • witnessing4HIM profile image


      6 years ago from NC USA

      Cathleena, when your photo of that banana split in its boat appeared I wanted one so bad. I have not had one for a long time since I am a severe diabetic patient. This was a hub that could not be put down. I truly loved your research on this one. That peanut butter sounds great Suzie.

    • Cathleena Beams profile imageAUTHOR

      Cathleena Beams 

      6 years ago from Lascassas, Tennessee

      Thank you Girishpuri and Peggy for your comments, and most certainly for your votes up! Very cool Peggy, that your mother-in-law loved banana splits and that she happened to be a pharmacist too, like the originator of this delicious dessert happened to be.

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 

      6 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      One of my favorite deserts, voted up

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      My mother-in-law loved banana splits and she was a pharmacist. Wonder if she knew that the original banana split was credited to one? She is gone now, so I can only speculate. Interesting hub about a food favorite for many people. Up votes.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      One of my favourite desserts! an excellent hub thank you and voting up.

    • Cathleena Beams profile imageAUTHOR

      Cathleena Beams 

      6 years ago from Lascassas, Tennessee

      I appreciate all these responses and thank each of you for taking the time to let me know you like this hub and find the photo appealing.

    • mackyi profile image

      I.W. McFarlane 

      6 years ago from Philadelphia

      This is one of my favorite kind of stuff for the summer. I tend to have the appetite for these cold delicious mouth-watering kind of snacks. Thanks for sharing.

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 

      6 years ago from Sweden

      The picture look delicious and the recipe sounds so tasty that I can hardly wait to try this! I will save this for later use. Thanks for sharing this recipe and for the inspiration!


    • sammimills profile image


      6 years ago from California, USA

      Wow! Thanks for sharing the tips! Makes me hungry. :D The picture really looks enticing.

    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 

      6 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      This reminds me of my grandfather. When, I assume he received his paycheck,on Friday, he took us to Dairy Queen and where I got a hot fudge sundae and he got a Banana Split! Fond memories! Thank You!

    • skylergreene profile image


      6 years ago

      That looks amazing. I think I'm going to go make one. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      need peanut butter on bananas

    • WillStarr profile image


      6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      We used to have banana split dishes...I wonder where they are!

      'Cool' Hub!

    • billd01603 profile image


      6 years ago from Worcester

      Cathleena: As soon as i read your Hub, I wanted a banana split. Checked the kitchen, we had bananas, syrup, nuts and cream, but no ice cream! Oh well, I'll have to do without it. Have a great summer

    • thejeffriestube profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      Great, now I'm on the way to the kitchen! Awesome pic and great explanations. I'm hungry!


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